Current Technologies for the Detection of Ricin in Different Matrices
Pp. 38-56 (19)
Ricin is a protein made of the castor bean plant, Ricinus communis, and
found primarily in its seeds. Ricin accounts for about 5% of the proteins in the mature
seeds and is one of the most poisonous naturally occurring substances. With the
worldwide increase of castor bean production for biofuels and petrochemical
replacements, it has been of increasing concern that ricin may become a major
instrument of bioterrorism because of its heat stability, accessibility, and ease of
production in massive quantities. To assure a safe food supply, it is necessary to have
detection methods applicable to important food matrices. This review highlights
detection of ricin in different matrices using methods ranging from classic animal
bioassays to cutting edge molecular approaches.
Ricin, immunoassays, receptor-based assays, ricin activity, ricinine.
Foodborne Contaminants Research Unit, Western Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 800 Buchanan St., Albany, California 94710, USA.