CONTINUATION OF FERN ACTIVITIES AT THE CONNECTICUT AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION (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 response to 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 instrumentation necessary to handle the redundancy and laboratory surge capacity that will be required to respond to incidences of food supply contamination. This proposal is in direct response to that need and will support a State laboratory's full participation within the FERN Chemistry Cooperative Agreement Program (cCAP). This participation includes instrumentation, training, method enhancement activities and analysis of surveillance samples. The Department of Analytical Chemistry at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) has a 115 year history of food safety research and over the last five years as a cCAP laboratory, has demonstrated the expertise and analytical capacity required to meet FERN goals. The current proposal is divided into four distinct project areas, all of which are inherently flexible depending on Forensic Chemistry Center (FCC) and FERN National Program Office (NPO) input: (1) The use of Gas Chromatography- Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) for the analysis of unknown compounds in foods. We have used GC-MS to detect melamine in food products from China and pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables. We have enhanced the FDA FERN T021 methodology by developing the use of a Programmed Temperature Vaporizing (PTV) inlet for the GC-MS. In this proposal we look to continue our advances with this methodology by looking 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 of unknown compounds in foods. We have used LC-MS to analyze toxins in surveillance samples and pesticide residues in produce, as well as honey bee related matrixes. We have added new toxins to the FDA FERN T022 method and evaluated many matrixes. We propose the use of new chromatography columns to expand the capabilities of the FERN methodology and also to expand to additional matrices such as alcohol and seafood. (3) The use of Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) for the identification of toxic metals in foods. Our elemental experience has ranged from the determination 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 to further 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 speciate metals and separately analyze multiple oxidative states. (4) The use of Enzyme -Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for the identification of toxins in foods. We have used ELISA methods for surveillance samples, proficiency tests, and to determine peanut allergens in foods. We evaluated Tetracore Ricin kits and are developing techniques 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 that redundancy and surge capacity is need by FERN. The CAES Department of Analytical Chemistry has demonstrated the expertise, capability, and adaptability to fully meet and exceed these 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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Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Sta
New Haven
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