Monday, July 26, 2021

Researchers control grain fungi with ultraviolet light

Tatiania Koutchma has found that ultraviolet light can control fungi in grain, even reducing the toxins the fungi produce.

She is a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada in Guelph and has support from Grain Farmers of Ontario for her work.

She is an expert in the use of ultraviolet light to sanitize everything from food preparation surfaces to both solid and liquid foods.

She and her colleagues have tried controlling Fusarium graminearum, which causes head blight in cereals, and Penicillium verrucosum, which infests stored grain.

In lab tests they were able to reduce fungi by up to 99 per cent and fungi on grain kernels by more than 94 per cent.

The ultraviolet light also reduced levels of toxins the fungi produce by 75 to 97 per cent.

The next step is to set up trials on a conveyer belt.