Evaluation of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for detecting a mold-specific, heat-stable and water-soluble antigen demonstrated the potential of the method for detecting molds in food products. The mold antigen, as produced by Penicillium spp. and Aspergillus spp., was present in all food samples containing aflatoxin B1. The amount of mold antigen present in the test samples was related in each case to the aflatoxin B1 content. Experiments done with samples artificially inoculated with mycotoxin-producing molds revealed that mold contamination could be detected by ELISA at a very early stage. The minimum detectable amount of mold mycelium for three different species of Penicillium was 38 ng/g of sample.

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Author notes

1National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Hygiene.

2Food Inspection Service