Correlation and Classification of Single Kernel Fluorescence Hyperspectral Data with Aflatoxin Concentration in Corn Kernels Inoculated with Aspergillus Flavus Spores.
Yao, H., Hruska, Z., Kincaid, R., Brown, R. L., Cleveland, T. E., & Bhatnagar, D. (2010). Correlation and Classification of Single Kernel Fluorescence Hyperspectral Data with Aflatoxin Concentration in Corn Kernels Inoculated with Aspergillus Flavus Spores. Food Additives & Contaminants. Tuln, Austria: Food Additives and Contaminants. 27(5), 701-709.
The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between fluorescence emissions of corn kernels inoculated with Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin contamination levels within the kernels. Aflatoxin contamination in corn has been a long-standing problem plaguing the grain industry with potentially devastating consequences to corn growers. In this study, aflatoxin-contaminated corn kernels were produced through artificial inoculation of corn ears in the field with toxigenic A. flavus spores. The kernel fluorescence emission data were taken with a fluorescence hyperspectral imaging system when corn kernels were excited with ultraviolet light. Raw fluorescence image data were preprocessed and regions of interest in each image were created for all kernels. The regions of interest were used to extract spectral signatures and statistical information. The aflatoxin contamination level of single corn kernels was then chemically measured using affinity column chromatography. A fluorescence peak shift phenomenon was noted among different groups of kernels with different aflatoxin contamination levels. The fluorescence peak shift was found to move more toward the longer wavelength in the blue region for the highly contaminated kernels and toward the shorter wavelengths for the clean kernels. Highly contaminated kernels were also found to have a lower fluorescence peak magnitude compared with the less contaminated kernels. It was also noted that a general negative correlation exists between measured aflatoxin and the fluorescence image bands in the blue and green regions. The correlation coefficients of determination, r2, was 0.72 for the multiple linear regression model. The multivariate analysis of variance found that the fluorescence means of four aflatoxin groups,51, 1-20, 20-100, and 100 ng g1 (parts per billion), were significantly different from each other at the 0.01 level of alpha. Classification accuracy under a two-class schema ranged from 0.84 to 0.91 when a threshold of either 20 or 100 ng g1 was used. Overall, the results indicate that fluorescence hyperspectral imaging may be applicable in estimating aflatoxin content in individual corn kernels.