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Aflatoxin Reduction in Maize by Removal of Kernels with Compromised Structural Integrity due to Fungal Infection


The aflatoxin reduction project is designed for the development of consistent and cost-effective approaches for aflatoxin contamination reduction in maize before milling. Because of their potent carcinogenic properties, certain mycotoxins pose a major health threat and prove to be costly to the grain producing and processing industry. The Federal Drug Administration issued stringent regulations for mycotoxin content for grains intended for export as well as domestic use for both humans and animals. Currently, maize kernels undergo a cleaning procedure to remove broken piece, small particles, foreign materials, etc., before milling. This work will add an additional step to break aflatoxin contaminated kernels so that they can be removed more effectively in the cleaning process. Therefore, greater aflatoxin reduction can be achieved through this approach.

Project Personnel

Dr. Haibo Yao, Principal Investigator
Research Professor
Geosystems Research Institute
Mississippi State University
Dr. Zuzana Hruska, Co-Investigator
Associate Research Professor
Geosystems Research Institute
Mississippi State University

Project Collaborators

Dr. Rajasekaran, Kanniah
Supervisory Research Biologist
Food and Feed Safety Research
USDA/Southern Regional Research Center
New Orleans, LA


This work was supported by grant no. 2019-67018-29645 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Period of Performance

June 1, 2019 – May 31, 2022