New System detects aflatoxins

By Luke Geiver | May 21, 2010
Posted May 25, 2010

Charm Sciences Inc., a food and feed safety diagnostics company, has created a new system for aflatoxin detection in corn. The trademarked Rosa Best Aflatoxin P/N Test for Corn uses an aqueous-based, alcohol-free solution and has attained the USDA's Certificate of Performance for alflatoxin detection in corn at 10 and 20 parts per billion (ppb). Starting with 50 grams (recommended by Charm) of ground corn that creates a diluted extract when mixed with the Rosa solvent, the process involves placing a strip with the solvent and extract in a Rosa incubator for testing. A Rosa-M Reader then indicates the levels of the toxin on a pH strip used in the test.

The new testing system is non-toxic and non-flammable, ensuring low environmental impact and reduced storage, shipping and disposal costs compared to alcohol extractions, according to the company. Although the test cannot presently be used for distillers grains, there is a possibility for a test in the future. "If ethanol producers are aware of the test, and believe that they would benefit from a strip test with a water-based extraction for DDGS," the company said in a statement to EPM, "we would then start working on validating the test to make it useful for their purposes."

Aflatoxins are a group of chemicals produced by certain mold fungi and if not properly monitored or controlled, can compromise the quality of grains, food and feed. Aflatoxins may also be harmful or fatal to livestock and are considered carcinogenic.