, Volume 159, Issue 2, pp 255-263

Validation of an ELISA test kit for the detection of total aflatoxins in grain and grain products by comparison with HPLC

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Abstract

An ELISA Microtiter Plate, Total Aflatoxin Test called AgraQuant® was validated to measure total aflatoxins in a range from 4 to 40 ppb in corn, corn meal, corn gluten feed, corn gluten meal, corn germ meal, corn/soy blend, popcorn, sorghum, wheat, milled rice, soybeans, peanuts and cottonseed. The test is performed as a solid phase direct competitive ELISA using a horseradish peroxidase conjugate as the competing, measurable entity. For the test method, aflatoxins are extracted from ground samples with 70 % methanol and sample extracts plus conjugate are mixed and then added to the antibody-coated microwells. After 15 min incubation at room temperature, the plate is washed and enzyme substrate is added and allowed to incubate for an additional 5 min. Stop solution is then added and the intensity of the resulting yellow color is measured optically with a microplate reader at 450 nm. Results obtained from internal validation studies assessing accelerated stability indicate a minimum of 1 year shelf life for the kits; accuracy and precision are comparable to HPLC in the range of 0–320 ppb and limit of detection in corn is 2.5 ppb. Comparison of the method to HPLC, ability to detect individual aflatoxins and ruggedness of the test kits at 18–30°C determined this test to be rugged, sensitive, accurate, precise and effective comparable to HPLC for measuring total aflatoxins ranging from 4 to 40 ppb in the commodities evaluated.