Comparing the USDA/AMS Subsampling Mill to a Vertical Cutter Mixer Type Mill Used to Comminute Shelled Peanut Samples for Aflatoxin Analysis

Whitaker, T.B. and Slate, A.B. (2012) Comparing the USDA/AMS Subsampling Mill to a Vertical Cutter Mixer Type Mill Used to Comminute Shelled Peanut Samples for Aflatoxin Analysis. Peanut Science, 39 (1). pp. 69-81.

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The US peanut industry can use up to three 21.8 kg samples per lot to determine if shelled peanut lots are acceptable or unacceptable due to aflatoxin content. If a lot is accepted by the first 21.8 kg sample (1AB≤8 ng/g) prepared with the USDA/AMS Subsampling mill (DM), then some peanut buyers request that the sheller prepare the second sample (2AB) and in some cases the 3AB sample (called special samples in the trade) with a vertical cutter mixer (VCM) type mill. These requests to specifically use the VCM instead of the DM to prepare official (1AB) and special (2AB or 3AB) samples is based in part on a perception that analytical results associated with a test portion taken from the 21.8 kg sample comminuted with a DM does not detect the full magnitude of aflatoxin in the 21.8 kg sample and that negative aflatoxin certificates (lot acceptance) are more likely to occur when samples are prepared with a DM than a VCM. Analysis of aflatoxin test results from two shellers along with Monte Carlo simulation indicate that differences between the 1AB and special sample test results are due to the use of a cut-off limit (≤ 8 ng/g associated with the 1AB) requested by the buyer as part of the acceptance criteria and not due to any bias associated with the DM. Operating characteristic curves were used to demonstrate that the performance of the USDA/AMS aflatoxin sampling plan is about the same regardless of the use of a DM or a VCM for sample preparation. The performances are similar because the DM, with an 1100 g test portion, account for only 8% of the total variability of the aflatoxin test procedure (sampling and analysis account for about 92%). A sampling plan that requires two 21.8 kg samples to test less than a limit, regardless of mill used to prepare the two samples, has a very low risk of accepting bad lots above the FDA limit of 20 ng/g, but has a very high risk of rejecting good lots, which makes for an extremely high economic burden on the sheller.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: aflatoxin, peanuts, sample preparation, test portion, mills, USDA/AMS Subsampling mill, and vertical cutter mixer
Author Affiliation:  Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, Box 7625, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695-7625
Subjects: Plant Protection
Postharvest Management
Statistics and Experimentation
Divisions: Groundnut
Depositing User: Mr B Krishnamurthy
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2013 04:04
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2013 04:04
Official URL:

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