Abstract: Fungal contamination and the presence of related toxins is a widespread problem. Mycotoxin contamination has prompted many countries to establish appropriate tolerance levels. For instance, with the Commission Regulation (EC) N. 1881/2006, the European Commission fixed the limits for the main mycotoxins (and other contaminants) in food. Although valid analytical methods are being developed for regulatory purposes, a need exists for alternative screening methods that can detect mould and mycotoxin contamination of cereal grains with high sample throughput. In this study, a commercial electronic nose (EN) equipped with metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) sensors was used in combination with a trap and the thermal desorption technique, with the adoption of Tenax TA as an adsorbent material to discriminate between durum wheat whole-grain samples naturally contaminated with deoxynivalenol (DON) and non-contaminated samples. Each wheat sample was analysed with the EN at four different desorption temperatures (i.e., 180 °C, 200 °C, 220 °C, and 240 °C) and without a desorption pre-treatment. A 20-sample and a 122-sample dataset were processed by means of principal component analysis (PCA) and classified via classification and regression trees (CART). Results, validated with two different methods, showed that it was possible to classify wheat samples into three clusters based on the DON content proposed by the European legislation: (a) non-contaminated; (b) contaminated below the limit (DON 1,750 μg/kg), with a classification error rate in prediction of 0% (for the 20-sample dataset) and 3.28% (for the 122-sample dataset).
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Campagnoli, A.; Cheli, F.; Polidori, C.; Zaninelli, M.; Zecca, O.; Savoini, G.; Pinotti, L.; Dell’Orto, V. Use of the Electronic Nose as a Screening Tool for the Recognition of Durum Wheat Naturally Contaminated by Deoxynivalenol: A Preliminary Approach. Sensors 2011, 11, 4899-4916.
Campagnoli A, Cheli F, Polidori C, Zaninelli M, Zecca O, Savoini G, Pinotti L, Dell’Orto V. Use of the Electronic Nose as a Screening Tool for the Recognition of Durum Wheat Naturally Contaminated by Deoxynivalenol: A Preliminary Approach. Sensors. 2011; 11(5):4899-4916.
Campagnoli, Anna; Cheli, Federica; Polidori, Carlo; Zaninelli, Mauro; Zecca, Oreste; Savoini, Giovanni; Pinotti, Luciano; Dell’Orto, Vittorio. 2011. "Use of the Electronic Nose as a Screening Tool for the Recognition of Durum Wheat Naturally Contaminated by Deoxynivalenol: A Preliminary Approach." Sensors 11, no. 5: 4899-4916.