Fungal spoilage and insect damage is a large post harvest problem in maize. It's an especially important issue in areas where there are not adequate resources for safe storage. Fungal contamination of maize can result in mycotoxin production, which causes economic loss if detected and health hazards if consumed. Common ways to measure infection and infestation in corn are through human visual and olfactory examinations and temperature cable monitoring. These can be inefficient due to personal biases and inadequate coverage of temperature cables.
We are testing out the multispeQ's CO2 sensor for grain respiration. Respiration of grain can be indicative of spoilage by both fungi and insects. This would be a relatively quick method to check for spoilage and can catch early infestations even in large bags of grain. If we can detect spoilage by fungi using grain head space, we can hope to provide a portable, inexpensive device to detect early indicators of spoilage.
We will be using Aspergillus flavus inoculated maize kernels as well as non-inoculated kernels. This will be at different moisture contents to determine how much natural kernel respiration contributes to CO2 readings. Readings will also be taken with a commercial Vernier CO2 sensor.
This experiment will be run concurrently with: http://photosynq.org/projects/grain-reflectance-test-updated-12-4
- Grain CO2 Test
Testing using the mutlispeQ's CO2 sensor for grain respiration to detect contamination issues.
- Time point