Office of the Texas State Chemist website

One Sample Strategy for Mycotoxin Risk Management in Texas

A voluntary program to protect consumers and facilitate commerce

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Addresing Uncertainty in the Market

At most commercial grain elevators in Texas each truckload of corn is sampled and tested for aflatoxin and/or fumonisin up to three or more times. These tests are performed to help elevator operators make corn purchasing decisions, help insurance representatives determine the value of the corn for insurance purposes, and help regulators ensure that adulterated corn is targeted for appropriate target species through proper labeling.

Mycotoxins, however, are not uniformly distributed in each kernel of corn and thier presence is measured in parts per billion (aflatoxin) or parts per million (fumonisin). Consequently, each separate measurement is likely to yield different test results that create uncertainty in the market place.

To minimize the negative market impact of multiple measurements, the One Sample Strategy uses USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards (GIPSA)-approved sampling methodology, validated rapid test kits, quality control techniques, record keeping, and monitoring by competent authorities to ensure accurate, defensible and timely official results.

Maize The dark green pictured on this corn ear is Aspergillus flavus, the fungus that produces aflatoxin. Texas AgriLife Research photo by Blair Fannin

Factors that Introduce Uncertainty

  • Inconsistent corn sampling methods
  • Inconsistent rapid testing methods
  • Multiple tests that yield varied results
  • Delayed test results