Risks and pitfalls of black light testing

Blacklight1_BLOGVisit Neogen at the Country Elevator Conference and learn why black light testing is “as good as flipping a coin.”

Neogen newcomers Stacy Bettinghouse, Inside Sales Representative, and Megan Roush, Market Development Manager, will be traveling to Indianapolis this Sunday to represent Neogen at the 2014 Country Elevator Conference. Stop by their booth, #119 to meet these two new faces to the milling and grain industry and discuss alternatives to black light testing.

Black light testing for aflatoxin has significant limitations compared to newer technologies. Below are the most important reasons to move away from black light testing as a test method for alflatoxin:

  • Rejecting truckloads of materials due to inaccurate results 

    Although black light testing is inexpensive, the cost for false results can be higher than implementing a testing program. Historically, black light testing was used because it is able to detect kojic acid in grains. Kojic acid, a by-product of various molds, will fluoresce if cracked corn is placed under a black light. However, this does not mean there is aflatoxin present in the grain. Also, other false positive results can occur when using black light testing due to products such as Aflagaurd® and/or rodent droppings.

  • Accepting material that contains high aflatoxinfeedcorn_blog 

    Studies have shown very poor correlation because black light testing doesn’t test for alfatoxin and instead actually tests for a secondary byproduct that may or may not be produced.  For instance, it is possible to get a negative result of non-glowing particles, but actually have aflatoxin. This could be due to kojic acid not being produced or kojic acid degrading during grain drying and storage.  Conversely, it is possible to have glowing particles and yet not have aflatoxin.

For more information on Neogen’s products that detect aflatoxin, click here.

For more information on the Country Elevator Conference, click here.

Comments are closed.