Ricin Toxin

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`Ricin Toxin’ brings together a collection of in depth and cutting edge reviews that focus on the current understanding of ricin toxins. This e-book provides a historical background, innovations in ...
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Current Technologies for the Detection of Ricin in Different Matrices

Pp. 38-56 (19)

Xiaohua He


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.