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Vulnerability Assessment of Critical Food Additives

Principal Investigator: 
Margaret Rush
The overall objective of this study is to assess vulnerability of the food supply to introduction of a chemical or biological contaminant through a food additive. To our knowledge, no group has performed a vulnerability assessment that considers the intentional contamination of food additives. The...

Validation of Agent Inactivation and Isolation from Food Systems

Principal Investigator: 
Alvin Lee
Validation of a process needed to eliminate a microbiological or chemical hazard in food can be difficult. Processing technologies that have shown efficacy in eliminating a hazard under laboratory conditions, usually under well controlled parameters, may not be effective against the threat agent...

Application of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy in Detection of Chemical and Biological Terror Agents in Food Matrices II

Principal Investigator: 
Theodore Labuza
The objectives of this continuing project are to apply, improve, and validate developed SERS immunoassays to detect real ricin and anthrax spores in milk, Both antibody and aptamer will be used as capturers. The DNA aptamer is expected to give more distinct SERS patterns compared with protein...

Validation and optimization of biologically modified electrically-active magnetic nanoparticles (nano-BEAMs) for direct capture and concentration of bioterrorism agents in various food matrices

Principal Investigator: 
Evangelyn Alocilja
The existing project focuses on the synthesis and novel application of biologically modified electrically-active magnetic nanoparticles (nano-BEAMs) for sample acquisition and pre-analytical processing to render representative samples of food products ready for rapid agent detection in multiple...

Protein Complementation Based Functional Detection Assay for Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B

Principal Investigator: 
Jody Proescher
Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) is a significant cause of foodborne enteric illness and a potential biowarfare agent. A need exists for more rapid and sensitive methods to test food samples for SEB contamination with minimal sample manipulation and without complex instrumentation. A novel non-...

Melamine-Cyanuric Acid Detection System for Purposely Adulterated Foods

Principal Investigator: 
Lawrence Wackett
Melamine (2,4,6-triamino-1,3,5-triazine) has been used on numerous occasions by individuals as a food adulterant to boost the apparent nitrogen content of food. Together with cyanuric acid, melamine causes acute kidney failure. In the recent infant formula incident, 150,000 children were...

Chemical Inactivation of Protein Toxins on Food-Contact Surfaces

Principal Investigator: 
Jack Cappozzo
Ricin and abrin are potent plant toxins found in seeds of the castor bean plant and rosary pea plant, respectively. Both toxins have potential for being used as biological weapons since they are relatively easy to isolate and purify and can be disseminated as food contaminants. In the case of a...

Toxin/Pathogen Inactivation and Disposal of Intentionally Contaminated Foods

Principal Investigator: 
Craig Benson
Information is currently lacking regarding methods to safely dispose of food, packaging, and related materials contaminated with a variety of pathogenic or toxic agents. One of the goals of this oneyear pilot project is to document the state of knowledge concerning microorganisms and toxins...

A Simple and Rapid Method for the Simultaneous Purification and Concentration of Nucleic Acids and Proteins from Food Matrices

Principal Investigator: 
Charles Young
The objective of this research is to evaluate the potential for an electrophoretic method known as isotachophoresis to simultaneously concentrate and purify nucleic acids and proteins from difficult food matrices. The method, initially developed using Internal Research and Development (IRAD) money...

Detection and Removal of Select Agents from Complex Sample Matrices: Phase II

Principal Investigator: 
Lee Ann Jaykus
The purpose of this project is to use specific DNA aptamer and peptide ligands for the development of small, robust and inexpensive technologies for separating B. anthracis spores, ricin, and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (capture) from the background components (colloidal substances, nonharmful...


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