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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About the Program

The One Sample Strategy standardizes corn sampling and testing procedures to reduce variability of aflatoxin and fumonisin test results. When grain operators utilize official methods, the Texas grain industry benefits from:

  • Accurate, defensible and timely test results for crop insurance settlement, purchasing decisions and regulatory purposes
  • Food safety from the first point of commerce to the consumer
  • Market confidence for producers, grain operators, merchandisers, retailers and regulators

The One Sample Strategy is a voluntary public-private partnership that extends the benefits and responsibilities of official testing to commercial grain operations, including grain elevators, feed mills and commercial laboratories. All Texas grain operators are invited to create a customized Sampling and Testing plan based on the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards (GIPSA) official methods described in the One Sample Strategy handbook.

Participants contribute:

  • A customized sampling and testing plan
  • Time to train employees and follow official procedures
  • Talented employees who are qualified to issue official test results
  • Equipement

The Office of the Texas State Chemist (OTSC) serves as the program administrator to ensure that:

  • Rapid test kits are validated to accurately measure aflatoxin and fumonisin in corn
  • Aflatoxin and fumonisin reference material is produced according to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) requirements and is made available free of charge to participating locations
  • Employees at grain operations are qualified to sample, grind and test according to official methods
  • Grain operation employees, who are credentialed as OTSC designees, adhere to official methods and issue official results
  • Official results continue to be recognized for crop insurance indemnification by the USDA Risk Management Agency

Reference Material Bottle Naturally contaminated corn is used to produce reference material.

We Measure Prevention in Grams, Not Ounces

As an approved ISO 17034-2016 Reference Material Provider, the Office of the Texas State Chemist provides free aflatoxin and fumonisin reference material to all One Sample Strategy participants. Reference material is developed from naturally contaminated corn and is produced according to the ISO 17034:2016 standard in order to establish the target mycotoxin concentration, confirm product homogeneity and determine stability.

One Sample Strategy analysts analyze aflatoxin and/or fumonisin reference material (i.e., control samples) to evaluate the reliability of the testing system and correct problems before testing official samples.

OTSC field staff regularly visit approved labs to monitor results, check records and collect file samples for verification testing. File samples are analyzed by the OTSC’s Agricultural Analytical Service using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for aflatoxin testing, and Ultra‐high Performance Liquid Chromatography with a Tandem Mass Spectrometry Detector (LC/MS/MS) for fumonisin. The OTSC Quality Assurance Manager reviews control sample records and verification results, and works with One Sample Strategy labs to improve performance.

For more information about Mycotoxin testing in Texas, please see:


Highlights


EQUIPMENT:
Firms use approved equipment to perform the primary program activities: sampling, grinding and aflatoxin analysis.

EMPLOYEE QUALIFICATION:
Firms assign two or more employees to perform activities. To become credentialed as an OTSC designee approved to issue official mycotoxin results, employees demonstrate their ability to sample, grind and test corn for aflatoxin and/or fumonisin using USDA-approved methods.

SAMPLING:
Employees use a 6’ spiral hand probe and follow USDA representative sampling patterns to collect a 5 pound (minimum) sample from each incoming truckload of corn.

GRINDING:
Each sample is ground in a Romer mill until at least 70% of the particles pass through a 20 mesh sieve.

MYCOTOXIN ANALYSIS:
Firms use testing methods approved by USDA and validated by OTSC to measure aflatoxin above 100 ppb and fumonisin up to 100 ppm to ensure accurate, defensible and timely results.

RECORDKEEPING & REPORTING
A Certificate of Analysis is issued for each sample. Equipment maintenance and employee proficiency records are also kept by the firm.

OTSC MONITORING & CORRECTIVE ACTIONS:
OTSC field investigators visit participating firms on a weekly basis to review records and observe employee performance.