U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Distinguishing Infested Flour from Uninfested Flour through Chemometric Processing of DART-HRMS Data─Revealing the Presence of Tribolium castaneum, the Red Flour Beetle

NCJ Number
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Volume: 71, 22 Dated: 2023 Pages: 8613–8621
Date Published
9 pages

This study used Direct Analysis in Real Time-High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry to examine infested and uninfested flour samples for Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle).


In a new approach to addressing the threat of the Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle), Direct Analysis in Real Time-High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (DART-HRMS) was used to examine infested and uninfested flour samples. The results of this study have the potential to lead to a rapid technique by which flour and other grains can be tested for insect infestation. These samples were then distinguished through statistical analysis techniques, including EDR-MCR, in order to highlight the important m/z values contributing to the differences in the flour profiles. A subset of these values responsible for the identification of infested flour (nominal m/z 135, 136, 137, 163, 211, 279, 280, 283, 295, 297, and 338) were further investigated, and compounds responsible for these masses included 2-(2-ethoxyethoxy)ethanol, 2-ethyl-1,4-benzoquinone, palmitic acid, linolenic acid and oleic acid. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2023