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Food Safety in Corn Products can be improved using New Reference Material

12th July 2019

A new reference material to identify deadly toxins in corn products has been developed by the scientists at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This new product namely Standard Reference Material 1565 or SRM 1565, can be used by the lab scientists to measure poisonous compounds like mycotoxins (produced by mold) in corn.

According to NIST, mycotoxins occurs naturally in favorable conditions and can cause economic losses for farmers and food producers if left undetected and allowed to spread. Humans who ingest them often develop flu-like symptoms such as inflammation of the sinuses, fatigue, frequent coughing, skin rashes, and headaches. In some cases, they can cause death as well.

The new SRM can identify 12 of the mycotoxins that occur in corn crops and corn products instead of identifying individual strains.

The material was prepared from the corn products obtained from various sources. Contaminated and uncontaminated samples were mixed together to produce a powdered SRM with levels of mycotoxins approximately equal to regulatory limits.

The team at NIST is now planning to develop similar SRMs for mycotoxins in other products.

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