CONTINUATION OF FERN ACTIVITIES AT THE CONNECTICUT AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENTSTATION (CAES)Contamination of the food supply from chemical terrorism or adulteration is an ongoing threat.The Food Emergency Response Laboratory Network (FERN) was established in direct responseto this threat with the critical focus areas of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.Specifically, there needs to be trained personnel with the expertise, supplies and instrumentationnecessary to handle the redundancy and laboratory surge capacity that will be required torespond to incidences of food supply contamination. This proposal is in direct response to thatneed and will support a State laboratory's full participation within the FERN ChemistryCooperative Agreement Program (cCAP). This participation includes instrumentation, training,method enhancement activities and analysis of surveillance samples. The Department ofAnalytical Chemistry at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) has a 115year history of food safety research and over the last five years as a cCAP laboratory, hasdemonstrated the expertise and analytical capacity required to meet FERN goals. The currentproposal is divided into four distinct project areas, all of which are inherently flexible dependingon Forensic Chemistry Center (FCC) and FERN National Program Office (NPO) input: (1) The use of Gas Chromatography- Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) for the analysis ofunknown compounds in foods. We have used GC-MS to detect melamine in food productsfrom China and pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables. We have enhanced the FDA FERNT021 methodology by developing the use of a Programmed Temperature Vaporizing (PTV) inletfor the GC-MS. In this proposal we look to continue our advances with this methodology bylooking at new toxins and poisons, by expanding to new matrices such as alcohol and seafood,and to explore the potential use of Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) with GC-MS. (2) The use of Liquid Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) for the analysis ofunknown compounds in foods. We have used LC-MS to analyze toxins in surveillancesamples and pesticide residues in produce, as well as honey bee related matrixes. We haveadded new toxins to the FDA FERN T022 method and evaluated many matrixes. We proposethe use of new chromatography columns to expand the capabilities of the FERN methodologyand also to expand to additional matrices such as alcohol and seafood. (3) The use of Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) for theidentification of toxic metals in foods. Our elemental experience has ranged from thedetermination of lead in maple syrup to cadmium in fish tissue to nanoparticles in vegetables.We have used the FERN methods for the analysis of food surveillance samples. We propose tofurther enhance methodology by optimizing the High Matrix Introduction accessory for the ICP -MS. We also propose to use LC prior to elemental analysis instrumentation so as to speciatemetals and separately analyze multiple oxidative states. (4) The use of Enzyme -Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for the identification oftoxins in foods. We have used ELISA methods for surveillance samples, proficiency tests, andto determine peanut allergens in foods. We evaluated Tetracore Ricin kits and are developingtechniques for Abrin analysis. We propose to use ELISA kits and lateral flow devices (LFDs)for matrixes specified by FDA as well as studies on the rosary pea, the source of Abrin. The explicit goal of this opportunity is to enable the analysis of food in the event thatredundancy and surge capacity is need by FERN. The CAES Department of AnalyticalChemistry has demonstrated the expertise, capability, and adaptability to fully meet and exceedthese program needs.

Public Health Relevance

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station 123 HUNTINGTON STREET BOX 1106 NEW, HAVEN CONNECTICUT 06504 Founded 1875 Putting science to work for society RFA-FD-10-003 Food Safety and Security Monitoring Project (U18) FERN Chemical Laboratories Please see the included PHS 398 Research Plan, 2. Research Plan Attachments for the full project narrative for the proposal entitled Continuation of FERN Activities at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES). Included in that document are the research objectives in response to the four key project areas, as well as background and justification for funding the current proposal. Also included is a detailed description of CAES performance during the last five years as a FDA FERN cCAP Laboratory. Phone: (203) 974-8500 Fax: (203) 974-8502 Toll Free: 1-(877) 855-2237 Web Page: An Equal Opportunity Provider

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Research Demonstration--Cooperative Agreements (U18)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZFD1-SRC (99))
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Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Sta
New Haven
United States
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