Marketing and Delivery of Quality Grains and BioProcess Coproducts
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In this project, researchers will explore methods to measure and manage risks involving biological and chemical hazards in grains and bioprocess coproducts. The scope of this work considers measurement technology, methods to control hazards, creating decision aids using predictive modeling techniques, multi-institutional collaboration among faculty in the United States and Africa - all to improve food safety and security. The project capitalizes on the analytical and quality systems expertise of faculty and research scientists within the disciplines of chemistry, engineering, food science, and plant science. Individual research activities provide a crosscutting/systems approach from production to processing of food. Specifically, this project includes field validation of mycotoxin test kits, developing new methods to test high moisture corn for fumonisin, and RAMAN spectroscopy to identify and quantify biological and chemical contaminants in grain and bioprocess coproducts. Field validation of mycotoxin test kits will account for the diverse variables in measuring and managing mycotoxin risk within the production system. Post-harvest investigation of shelf-life stability of reference material that is produced for laboratories quality program to ensure testing accuracy as well as delivering an aflatoxin proficiency testing (PT) program to a global laboratory network developed by the project will include over 150 laboratories in 70 countries. To augment this research, training in laboratory quality systems will build the capability of individuals, particularly in developing countries, to accurately measure and manage contaminants in the food systems. The training offered online and face-to-face will involve multiple collaborators. Previous collaborators included the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Program, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), national research organizations, public health and trade agencies, and national associations representing producers and processors. The delivery of a PT program assists labs manage testing quality, conform to ISO 17025 auditing criteria, and enables the project to benchmark the global testing capability as well as measure project impact. Work on atmospheric cold plasma and ozone treatment will help treat/eliminate microbiological loads on food and feed products post-harvest. Predictive modeling of aflatoxin development in the field considers climatic, soil, and production variables including hybrid selection..........