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Appl Spectrosc. 2019 Apr;73(4):415-423. doi: 10.1177/0003702819829725. Epub 2019 Feb 20.

Use of Visible-Near-Infrared (Vis-NIR) Spectroscopy to Detect Aflatoxin B1 on Peanut Kernels.

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1 Geosystems Research Institute, Mississippi State University, Stennis Space Center, MS, USA.
2 USDA-ARS, Southern Regional Research Center, New Orleans, LA, USA.


Current methods for detecting aflatoxin contamination of agricultural and food commodities are generally based on wet chemical analyses, which are time-consuming, destructive to test samples, and require skilled personnel to perform, making them impossible for large-scale nondestructive screening and on-site detection. In this study, we utilized visible-near-infrared (Vis-NIR) spectroscopy over the spectral range of 400-2500 nm to detect contamination of commercial, shelled peanut kernels (runner type) with the predominant aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). The artificially contaminated samples were prepared by dropping known amounts of aflatoxin standard dissolved in 50:50 (v/v) methanol/water onto peanut kernel surface to achieve different contamination levels. The partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) models established using the full spectra over different ranges achieved good prediction results. The best overall accuracy of 88.57% and 92.86% were obtained using the full spectra when taking 20 and 100 parts per billion (ppb), respectively, as the classification threshold. The random frog (RF) algorithm was used to find the optimal characteristic wavelengths for identifying the surface AFB1-contamination of peanut kernels. Using the optimal spectral variables determined by the RF algorithm, the simplified RF-PLS-DA classification models were established. The better RF-PLS-DA models attained the overall accuracies of 90.00% and 94.29% with the 20 ppb and 100 ppb thresholds, respectively, which were improved compared to using the full spectral variables. Compared to using the full spectral variables, the employed spectral variables of the simplified RF-PLS-DA models were decreased by at least 94.82%. The present study demonstrated that the Vis-NIR spectroscopic technique combined with appropriate chemometric methods could be useful in identifying AFB1 contamination of peanut kernels.


Aflatoxin; PLS-DA; Vis-NIR; partial least squares discriminant analysis; peanut kernel; random frog; visible–near-infrared spectra


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