One of the most common molds that infects the seeds of small cereals worldwide, such as wheat, is Fusarium Head
Blight (FHB). The mycotoxin, deoxynivalenol (also known as DON or vomitoxin) is often produced by this mold,
which, upon ingestion, causes health problems to not only livestock (especially non-ruminants), but to humans as well.
In the United States, the FDA has established advisory levels for DON in food and feeds, a practice that is likewise
conducted by most countries of the world. Our previous research has shown that commercial high-speed optical sorters
are on average 50 percent efficient at the removal of mold-damaged kernels; however, under more careful control in the
laboratory, this efficiency can rise to 95 percent or better. Ongoing research is examining the potential to achieve the
higher efficiencies at conditions that are more akin to those of commercial processing. For example, multispectral
information is collected on single kernels in freefall at the sub-millisecond level. Knowledge gained from this research
will provide design criteria for improvement of high-speed optical sorters for reduction of DON in raw cereals
commodities, as well as in finished food products.