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Publication Abstract

Development of a Hyperspectral Instrument for Contamination Detection of Whole Maize Ear

Yao, H., Hruska, Z., Kincaid, R., & Brown, R. L. (2012). Development of a Hyperspectral Instrument for Contamination Detection of Whole Maize Ear. Abstracts of lectures and posters of the WMF meets IUPAC 2012 conference. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: WMFmeetsIUPAC2012.


Aflatoxin is a mycotoxin mainly produced by Aspergillus flavus (A.flavus) and Aspergillus parasiticus fungi that grow naturally in corn. It can lead to very serious health problems such as liver damage and lung cancer if the level of the toxin in the grain is high. Consequently, many countries have established strict guidelines for permissible levels. Conventional chemical-based analytical methods used to screen for aflatoxin such as thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) are time consuming, expensive, and require the destruction of samples as well as proper training for data interpretation. Thus, it has been a continuing effort within the research community to find a way to rapidly and non-destructively detect and possibly quantify aflatoxin contamination in corn. One of the more recent developments in this area is the use of spectral technology. Specifically, fluorescence hyperspectral imaging offers a potential rapid, and non-invasive method for contamination detection in corn infected with toxigenic A.flavus spores. The current hyperspectral imaging system is designed for scanning flat surfaces, which makes it suitable for imaging single kernel or a group of corn kernels. In the case of a whole corn ear, it is preferable to be able to scan the circular surface of the corn cob for whole ear inspection. This study describes the development of a hyperspectral imaging system for whole corn ear imaging. The new instrument is based on a hyperspectral line scanner incorporated with a rotational stage for turning the corn cob. Lab and field inoculated corn ears with A. flavus will be used for testing the instrument.