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Chemical Threats and Countermeasures

Advancing SERS to field technology for food defense application

Principal Investigator: 
Lili He
The use of biological and chemical toxins as terror agents on the food supply could cause catastrophic consequences to public health and severe economic impact. However, an analytical method that can rapidly detect these agents in dynamic food chains is lacking. Previously, we received NCFPD...

Modular and Expandable Detection Platform for Current and Potential Food Toxins and Adulterants

Principal Investigator: 
Lawrence Wackett
This project is focused on developing a platform technology for detecting hundreds of potential toxins and adulterants in foods, including newly emerging threats to the food supply. The technology relies on the release of ammonia and is based on the action of specific enzymes acting on the toxin of...

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...

Impact of Select Rodenticides on the Coagulation Properties of Milk Proteins

Principal Investigator: 
Salam Ibrahim
During enzymatic coagulation of milk, three separate but overlapping processes occur: (1) enzymatic hydrolysis, (2) aggregation, and (3) gelation. These processes must occur successfully in order to produce a desirable milk coagulum for cheese production. Key to the success of these processes is...

Chemical stability of ricin under conditions that mimic pasteurization of beverages

Principal Investigator: 
Peter Varelis
Ricin and abrin are two plant-derived proteins that have been identified as potential bioterrorism agents because of their acute toxicities and the quantities that can be readily isolated from the seeds of two ubiquitous plants (Ricinus communis and Abrus pecatorius, respectively). Whilst several...
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