Mold on corn can produce toxins that make people sick. Learn how to use black light (UV light) to detect mold on corn, then test it further in the laboratory to see whether it contains aflatoxin.
Virtual Labs interactive food science modules train high school and college students in basic laboratory techniques.
Corn that is intended for consumption by humans or animals must be tested for the presence of the dangerous Aspergillus mold, which produces a toxin. In this virtual lab, look at a sample of corn under black light to see if it glows. Then, grind up the corn, prepare a solution, and use a test strip to determine whether aflatoxin is present. You’ll practice using a pipette, adding solvent to extract toxins, diluting a solution, and maintaining consistent procedures.
This work was supported by USDA CSREES and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under two Higher Education Challenge Grant projects: 2008-38411-19055 and 2011-38411-30625. © 2008-2016 NMSU Board of Regents. Collaborating universities South Dakota State University, North Dakota State University and New Mexico State University are all equal opportunity/affirmative action employers and educators.