Indexed on: 27 Sep '14Published on: 27 Sep '14Published in: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Infrared spectroscopy is a rapid, nondestructive analytical technique that can be applied to the authentication and characterization of food samples in high throughput. In particular, near infrared spectroscopy is commonly utilized in the food quality control industry to monitor the physical attributes of numerous cereal grains for protein, carbohydrate, and lipid content. IR-based methods require little sample preparation, labor, or technical competence if multivariate data mining techniques are implemented; however, they do require extensive calibration. Economically important crops are infected by fungi that can severely reduce crop yields and quality and, in addition, produce mycotoxins. Owing to the health risks associated with mycotoxins in the food chain, regulatory limits have been set by both national and international institutions for specific mycotoxins and mycotoxin classes. This article discusses the progress and potential of IR-based methods as an alternative to existing chemical methods for the determination of fungal contamination in crops, as well as emerging spectroscopic methods.