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A New Nano Based Real-Time Aflatoxin Detector

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
22500 LAKE RD STE 801 Rocky River, OH 44116-3747
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: A New Nano Based Real-Time Aflatoxin Detector
Agency: USDA
Contract: 2007-33610-17972
Award Amount: $76,670.00


Aflatoxins are toxic metabolites produced by certain molds in/on foods and feeds. Aflatoxins have been associated with various diseases, such as aflatoxicosis, in livestock, domestic animals and humans throughout the world. The substance is so toxic that it is one of 19 contaminants-along with mercury and DDT-for which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration imposes strict tolerance levels in food, with only trace amounts allowed. We believe that unique volatile signatures are associated with fungal outbreaks associated production of aflatoxins. Our approach is to detect these volatiles using our sensor chip. The goal of this research project is to demonstrate the feasibility of our sensor chip detecting these MVOCs at very low levels and differentiating between low levels of these unique organic vapor and other VOCs and MVOCs. The research would lead to an aflatoxin detector device that would be set inside a grain storage container to protect food safety. The first objective in this research is to identify a catalyst and operating condition, which allow these unique volatiles to be selectively detected in crop enclosures containing both the unique volatiles and potential identified interferants. Our second objective is to provide baseline information, under biologically relevant conditions to substantiate the use of particular volatiles as markers of aflatoxin contamination. At the conclusion of this project, we expect to have demonstrated proof of principle for a sensor capable of selectively determining concentrations of unique mold related volatiles as low as 1 ppb in the presence of other typical crop related volatiles.

Principal Investigator:

Robert Mansfield, Jr.

Business Contact:

Nicholas J. Smilanich
Small Business Information at Submission:

Sensor Development Corporation
12900 Snow Road Parma, OH 44130

EIN/Tax ID: 311517908
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No