5 September 2014 The use of one- and two- photon induced fluorescence spectroscopy for the optical characterization of carcinogenic aflatoxins
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Carcinogenic and toxic contaminants in food and feed products are nowadays mostly detected by destructive, time-consuming chemical analyses, like HPLC and LC-MS/MS methods. However, as a consequence of the severe and growing regulations on food products by the European Union, there arose an increased demand for the ultra-fast, high-sensitive and non-destructive detection of contaminants in food and feed products. Therefore, we have investigated fluorescence spectroscopy for the characterization of carcinogenic aflatoxins. With the use of a tunable titanium-sapphire laser in combination with second and third harmonic wavelength generation, both one- and two-photon induced fluorescence excitation wavelengths could be generated using the same setup. We characterized and compared the one- and two-photon induced fluorescence spectra of pure aflatoxin powder, after excitation with 365nm and 730nm respectively. Moreover, we investigated the absolute fluorescence intensity as function of the excitation power density. Afterwards, we applied our characterization setup to the detection of aflatoxins in maize grains. The fluorescence spectra of both healthy and contaminated maize samples were experimentally characterized. In addition to the fluorescence spectrum of the pure aflatoxin, we observed an unwanted influence of the intrinsic fluorescence of the maize. Depending on the excitation wavelength, a varying contrast between the fluorescence spectra of the healthy and contaminated samples was obtained. After a comparison of the measured fluorescence signals, a detection criterion for the optical identification of the contaminated maize samples could be defined. As a result, this illustrates the use of fluorescence spectroscopy as a valuable tool for the non-destructive, real-time and high-sensitive detection of aflatoxins in maize.
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L. Smeesters, L. Smeesters, W. Meulebroeck, W. Meulebroeck, S. Raeymaekers, S. Raeymaekers, H. Thienpont, H. Thienpont, "The use of one- and two- photon induced fluorescence spectroscopy for the optical characterization of carcinogenic aflatoxins", Proc. SPIE 9198, Ultrafast Nonlinear Imaging and Spectroscopy II, 919803 (5 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2061314; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2061314

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