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Food Chemistry
Vol. 252, 2018, Pages: 228-242

Determination of toxigenic fungi and aflatoxins in nuts and dried fruits using imaging and spectroscopic techniques

Qifang Wu, Lijuan Xie, Huirong Xu

College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, China.

Abstract

Nuts and dried fruits contain rich nutrients and are thus highly vulnerable to contamination with toxigenic fungi and aflatoxins because of poor weather, processing and storage conditions. Imaging and spectroscopic techniques have proven to be potential alternative tools to wet chemistry methods for efficient and non-destructive determination of contamination with fungi and toxins. Thus, this review provides an overview of the current developments and applications in frequently used food safety testing techniques, including near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), mid-infrared spectroscopy (MIRS), conventional imaging techniques (colour imaging (CI) and hyperspectral imaging (HSI)), and fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging (FS/FI). Interesting classification and determination results can be found in both static and on/in-line real-time detection for contaminated nuts and dried fruits. Although these techniques offer many benefits over conventional methods, challenges remain in terms of heterogeneous distribution of toxins, background constituent interference, model robustness, detection limits, sorting efficiency, as well as instrument development.

Keywords: Toxigenic fungi and aflatoxins, Imaging and spectroscopic techniques, Rapid determination, Nuts and dried fruits.

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