Tom Whitaker

Professor Emeritus

Retired 2009
  • 919-515-6731
  • D S Weaver Labs 124

Dr. Thomas Whitaker, a native of Buncombe County, North Carolina, received a B. S. and M. S. (Agric. Engr.) from NC State University in 1962 and 1964 and a Ph.D. (Agric. Engr.) from Ohio State University in 1967. Dr. Whitaker in 1967 accepted a position with U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Raleigh, NC, at NC State University in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering where he has dedicated himself over the past 41 years to the improvement of food quality and food safety. Dr. Whitaker also holds the rank of Professor (USDA) in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, NC State University.

Dr. Whitaker is internationally known for developing methods to evaluate the performance of mycotoxin sampling plans for agricultural commodities. Mycotoxins are carcinogenic compounds produced by fungi and found in a variety of foods. As a result, over 100 countries control maximum limits in foods and feed. His research studies include (1) the measurement of variability associated with sampling, sample preparation, and analysis, (2) determination of the aflatoxin distribution among sample test results, and (3) development of statistical models to predict the performance of mycotoxin sampling plans at detecting contaminated consignments in the food chain.

His research has assisted domestic and international producers, processors, manufacturers, exporters, importers, and regulatory agencies to develop mycotoxin control programs. Methods developed for mycotoxin have been extended to evaluate the performance of sampling plans used to detect genetically modified seed in grain, TCK spores in wheat, pesticide on seed, protein allergens in food products, and toxic compounds in fruit.

Dr. Whitaker has authored or co-authored 120 refereed publications and has made over 100 presentations at national and international scientific meetings and workshops. His research efforts have established Dr. Whitaker as a recognized expert and world leader in his field. Dr. Whitaker has received numerous awards. His research program has been recognized by the Food Engineering Division of ASABE as one of the six outstanding research achievements of the 20th Century; he received the Harvey W. Wiley Award from Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) for achievements in research; and he received the Group Honors Award for Excellence from the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for expanding U.S. wheat exports to China, Brazil, Mexico, and India. He has been invited to participate as a member of several international committees and expert consultations. The methods developed to evaluate the performance of mycotoxin sampling plans have been accepted and used by USDA, FDA, the US peanut, almond, and grain industries, as well as internationally by FAO/WHO, IAEA, regulatory agencies, and food manufacturers in the various countries. Working in a team environment, his research provided vital information that helped establish worldwide standards for mycotoxin limits and sampling plans for peanuts and almonds traded in the export market.

Dr. Whitaker’s service to agriculture continued the family tradition. His father, John V. Whitaker, served many years in the NC Dept. of Agriculture and later as Secretary of the NC Milk Commission. His father-in-law, Ralph Greene, developed and supervised the BAE Research Shop from the late 1940s to 1973.

Education

Ph.D. 1967

Agricultural Engineering

Ohio State University

M.S. 1964

Agricultural Engineering

NC State University

B.S. 1962

Agricultural Engineering

NC State University

Research Description

methods to evaluate the performance of mycotoxin sampling plans for agricultural commodities. Methods include (1) the measurement of variability associated with sampling, sample preparation, and analysis, (2) determination of the distribution among replicated sample test results, and (3) development of statistical models to predict the performance of mycotoxin sampling plans.

Publications

Sampling dried figs for aflatoxin - Part II: Effect of sampling plan design on reducing the risk of misclassifying lots
Ozer, H. and Basegmez, H. I. O. and Whitaker, T. B. and Slate, A. B. and Giesbrecht, F. G. (2017), World Mycotoxin Journal, 10(2), 99-109.
Sampling dried figs for aflatoxin - part 1: variability associated with sampling, sample preparation, and analysis
Ozer, H. and Basegmez, H. I. O. and Whitaker, T. B. and Slate, A. B. and Giesbrecht, F. G. (2017), World Mycotoxin Journal, 10(1), 31-40.
Developments in mycotoxin analysis: An update for 2014-2015
Berthiller, F. and Brera, C. and Crews, C. and Iha, M. H. and Krska, R. and Lattanzio, V. M. T. and MacDonald, S. and Malone, R. J. and Maragos, C. and Solfrizzo, M. and Stroka, J. and Whitaker, T. B. (2016), World Mycotoxin Journal, 9(1), 5-29.
Variability and distribution among sample test results when sampling unprocessed wheat lots for ochratoxin A
Whitaker, T. B. and Slate, A. B. and Nowicki, T. W. and Giesbrecht, F. G. (2016), World Mycotoxin Journal, 9(2), 163-178.
Developments in mycotoxin analysis: An update for 2013-2014
Berthiller, F. and Brera, C. and Crews, C. and Iha, M. H. and Krska, R. and Lattanzio, V. M. T. and MacDonald, S. and Malone, R. J. and Maragos, C. and Solfrizzo, M. and Stroka, J. and Whitaker, T. B. (2015), World Mycotoxin Journal, 8(1), 5-35.
Use of combined uncertainty of pesticide residue results for testing compliance with maximum residue limits (MRLs)
Farkas, Z. and Slate, A. and Whitaker, T. B. and Suszter, G. and Ambrus, A. (2015), Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 63(18), 4418-4428.
Variability and distribution among sample test results when sampling unprocessed oat lots for ochratoxin A
Whitaker, T. B. and Slate, A. B. and Nowicki, T. W. and Giesbrecht, F. G. (2015), World Mycotoxin Journal, 8(4), 511-524.
Developments in mycotoxin analysis: an update for 2012-2013
Berthiller, F. and Burdaspal, P. A. and Crews, C. and Iha, M. H. and Krska, R. and Lattanzio, V. M. T. and MacDonald, S. and Malone, R. J. and Maragos, C. and Solfrizzo, M. and Stroka, J. and Whitaker, T. B. (2014), World Mycotoxin Journal, 7(1), 3-33.
Development of an incurred cornbread model for gluten detection by immunoassays
Sharma, G. M. and Khuda, S. E. and Pereira, M. and Slate, A. and Jackson, L. S. and Pardo, C. and Williams, K. M. and Whitaker, T. B. (2013), Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 61(49), 12146-12154.
Developments in mycotoxin analysis: An update for 2010-2011
Shephard, G. S. and Berthiller, E. and Burdaspal, P. A. and Crews, C. and Jonker, M. A. and Krska, R. and MacDonald, S. and Malone, R. J. and Maragos, C. and Sabino, M. and Solfrizzo, M. and Van Egmond, H. P. and Whitaker, T. B. (2012), World Mycotoxin Journal, 5(1), 3-30.
Determination of aflatoxin risk components for in-shell Brazil nuts
Vargas, E. A. and Santos, E. A. and Whitaker, T. B. and Slate, A. B. (2011), Food Additives and Contaminants Part A-Chemistry Analysis Control Exposure & Risk Assessment, 28(9), 1242-1260.
Developments in mycotoxin analysis: An update for 2009-2010
Shephard, G. S. and Berthiller, F. and Burdaspal, P. and Crews, C. and Jonker, M. A. and Krska, R. and MacDonald, S. and Malone, B. and Maragos, C. and Sabino, M. and Solfrizzo, M. and Egmond, H. P. and Whitaker, T. B. (2011), World Mycotoxin Journal, 4(1), 3-28.
Comparing the performance of sampling plans that use a single regulatory limit based upon total aflatoxins to sampling plans that use dual limits based upon B-1 and total aflatoxins
Whitaker, T. B. and Slate, A. B. and Adams, J. G. and Birmingham, T. and Giesbrecht, F. G. (2010), World Mycotoxin Journal, 3(1), 35-44.
Correlation between aflatoxin contamination and various USDA grade categories of shelled almonds
Whitaker, T. B. and Slate, A. and Birmingham, T. and Adams, J. and Jacobs, M. and Gray, G. (2010), Journal of AOAC International, 93(3), 943-947.
Developments in mycotoxin analysis: An update for 2008-2009
Shephard, G. S. and Berthiller, F. and Dorner, J. and Krska, R. and Lombaert, G. A. and Malone, B. and Maragos, C. and Sabino, M. and Solfrizzo, M. and Trucksess, M. W. and Egmond, H. P. and Whitaker, T. B. (2010), World Mycotoxin Journal, 3(1), 3-23.
Effect of sample size in the evaluation of "In-Field" sampling plans for aflatoxin B-1 determination in corn
Brera, C. and De Santis, B. and Prantera, E. and Debegnach, F. and Pannunzi, E. and Fasano, E. and Berdini, C. and Slate, A. B. and Miraglia, M. and Whitaker, T. B. (2010), Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58(15), 8481-8489.
Developments in mycotoxin analysis: An update for 2007-2008
Shephard, G. S. and Berthiller, F. and Dorner, J. and Krska, R. and Lombaert, G. A. and Malone, B. and Maragos, C. and Sabino, M. and Solfrizzo, M. and Trucksess, M. W. and Egmond, H. P. and Whitaker, T. B. (2009), World Mycotoxin Journal, 2(1), 3-21.
Sampling and analytical variability associated with the determination of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A in bulk lots of powdered ginger marketed in 1-lb bags
Whitaker, T. B. and Trucksess, M. W. and Weaver, C. M. and Slate, A. (2009), Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 395(5), 1291-1299.
Sampling and analytical variability associated with the determination of total aflatoxins and ochratoxin A in powdered ginger sold as a dietary supplement in capsules
Trucksess, M. W. and Whitaker, T. B. and Weaver, C. M. and Slate, A. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Rader, J. I. and Betz, J. M. (2009), Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 57(2), 321-325.
A risk assessment model for importation of United States milling wheat containing Tilletia contraversa
Peterson, G. L. and Whitaker, T. B. and Stefanski, R. J. and Podleckis, E. V. and Phillips, J. G. and Wu, J. S. and Martinez, W. H. (2009), Plant Disease, 93(6), 560-573.
Determining the variability associated with testing shelled corn for aflatoxin using different analytical procedures in Louisiana in 1998
Park, D. L. and Whitaker, T. B. and Simonson, J. and Morris, H. F. and Durr, B. and Njapau, H. (2007), Journal of AOAC International, 90(4), 1036-1041.
Evaluating the performance of sampling plans to detect fumonisin B-1 in maize lots marketed in Nigeria
Whitaker, T. B. and Doko, M. B. and Maestroni, B. M. and Slate, A. B. and Ogunbanwo, B. F. (2007), Journal of AOAC International, 90(4), 1050-1059.
Evaluating the performance of sampling plans to detect hypoglycin A in ackee fruit shipments imported into the United States
Whitaker, T. B. and Saltsman, J. J. and Ware, G. M. and Slate, A. B. (2007), Journal of AOAC International, 90(4), 1060-1072.
Fruity fermented off-flavor distribution in samples from large peanut lots
Greene, J. L. and Whitaker, T. B. and Hendrix, K. W. and Sanders, T. H. (2007), Journal of Sensory Studies, 22(4), 453-461.
Sampling almonds for aflatoxin, Part II: Estimating risks associated with various sampling plan designs
Whitaker, T. B. and Slate, A. B. and Hurley, J. M. and Giesbrecht, F. G. (2007), Journal of AOAC International, 90(3), 778-785.
Sampling hazelnuts for aflatoxin: Effect of sample size and accept/reject limit on reducing the risk of misclassifying lots
Ozay, G. and Seyhan, F. and Yilmaz, A. and Whitaker, T. B. and Slate, A. B. and Giesbrecht, F. C. (2007), Journal of AOAC International, 90(4), 1028-1035.
Design of a sampling plan to detect ochratoxin A in green coffee
Vargas, E. A. and Whitaker, T. B. and Dos Santos, E. A. and Slate, A. B. and Lima, F. B. and Franca, R. C. A. (2006), Food Additives and Contaminants, 23(1), 62-72.
Predicting aflatoxin and fumonisin in shelled corn lots sing poor-quality grade components
Johansson, A. S. and Whitaker, T. B. and Hagler, W. M. and Bowman, D. T. and Slate, A. B. and Payne, G. (2006), Journal of AOAC International, 89(2), 433-440.
Sampling almonds for aflatoxin, part I: Estimation of uncertainty associated with sampling, sample preparation, and analysis
Whitaker, T. B. and Slate, A. B. and Jacobs, M. and Hurley, J. M. and Adams, J. C. and Giesbrecht, F. C. (2006), Journal of AOAC International, 89(4), 1027-1034.
Sampling foods for mycotoxins
Whitaker, T. B. (2006), Food Additives and Contaminants, 23(1), 50-61.
Sampling hazelnuts for aflatoxin: Uncertainty associated with sampling, sample preparation, and analysis
Ozay, G. and Seyhan, F. and Yilmaz, A. and Whitaker, T. B. and Slate, A. B. and Giesbrecht, F. (2006), Journal of AOAC International, 89(4), 1004-1011.
Testing green coffee for ochratoxin A, part III: Performance of ochratoxin A sampling plan
Vargas, E. A. and Whitaker, T. B. and Santos, E. A. and Slate, A. B. and Lima, F. B. and Franca, R. C. A. (2006), Journal of AOAC International, 89(4), 1021-1026.
Immunochemical analytical methods for the determination of peanut proteins in foods
Whitaker, T. B. and Williams, K. M. and Trucksess, M. W. and Slate, A. B. (2005), Journal of AOAC International, 88(1), 161-174.
Sampling uncertainties for the detection of chemical agents in complex food matrices
Whitaker, T. B. and Johansson, A. S. (2005), Journal of Food Protection, 68(6), 1306-1313.
Testing green coffee for ochratoxin A, part II: Observed distribution of ochratoxin A test results
Vargas, E. A. and Whitaker, T. B. and Dos Santos, E. A. and Slate, A. B. and Lima, F. B. and Franca, R. C. A. (2005), Journal of AOAC International, 88(3), 780-787.
Evaluation of sampling plans to detect Cry9C protein in corn flour and meal
Whitaker, T. B. and Trucksess, M. W. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Slate, A. B. and Thomas, F. S. (2004), Journal of AOAC International, 87(4), 950-960.
Testing green coffee for ochratoxin A, Part I: Estimation of variance components
Vargas, E. A. and Whitaker, T. B. and Santos, E. A. and Slate, A. B. and Lima, F. B. and Franca, R. C. A. (2004), Journal of AOAC International, 87(4), 884-891.
Variation of analytical results for peanuts in energy bars and milk chocolate
Trucksess, M. W. and Whitaker, T. B. and Slate, A. B. and Williams, K. M. and Brewer, V. A. and Whittaker, P. and Heeres, J. T. (2004), Journal of AOAC International, 87(4), 943-949.
Detecting mycotoxins in agricultural commodities
Whitaker, T. B. (2003), Molecular Biotechnology, 23(1), 61-71.
Estimating deoxynivalenol in shelled corn barge lots by measuring deoxynivalenol in corn screenings
Whitaker, T. B. and Richard, J. L. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Slate, A. B. and Ruiz, N. (2003), Journal of AOAC International, 86(6), 1187-1192.
Standardisation of mycotoxin sampling procedures: an urgent necessity
Whitaker, T. B. (2003), Food Control, 14(4), 233-237.
Statistical approach for risk assessment of aflatoxin sampling plan used by manufacturers for raw shelled peanuts
Vandeven, M. and Whitaker, T. and Slate, A. (2002), Journal of AOAC International, 85(4), 925-932.
Distribution among sample test results when testing shelled corn lots for fumonisin
Whitaker, T. B. and Hagler, W. M. and Johansson, A. S. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Trucksess, M. W. (2001), Journal of AOAC International, 84(3), 770-776.
Sampling grain shipments to detect genetically modified seed
Whitaker, T. B. and Freese, L. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Slate, A. B. (2001), Journal of AOAC International, 84(6), 1941-1946.
Variability associated with the official USDA sampling plan used to inspect export wheat shipments for Tilletia controversa spores
Whitaker, T. B. and Wu, J. and Peterson, G. L. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Johansson, A. S. (2001), Plant Pathology, 50(6), 755-760.
Performance of three pneumatic probe samplers and four analytical methods used to estimate aflatoxins in bulk cottonseed
Park, D. L. and Whitaker, T. B. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Njapau, H. (2000), Journal of AOAC International, 83(5), 1247-1251.
Sampling agricultural commodities for mycotoxins
Whitaker, T. B. (2000), Journal of AOAC International, 83(5), 12451245.
Sampling, sample preparation, and analytical variability associated with testing wheat for deoxynivalenol
Whitaker, T. B. and Hagler, W. M. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Johansson, A. S. (2000), Journal of AOAC International, 83(5), 1285-1292.
Testing shelled corn for aflatoxin, Part I: Estimation of variance components
Johansson, A. S. and Whitaker, T. B. and Hagler, W. M. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Young, J. H. and Bowman, D. T. (2000), Journal of AOAC International, 83(5), 1264-1269.
Testing shelled corn for aflatoxin, Part II: Modeling the observed distribution of aflatoxin test results
Johansson, A. S. and Whitaker, T. B. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Hagler, W. M. and Young, J. H. (2000), Journal of AOAC International, 83(5), 1270-1278.
Testing shelled corn for aflatoxin, Part III: Evaluating the performance of aflatoxin sampling plans
Johansson, A. S. and Whitaker, T. B. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Hagler, W. M. and Young, J. H. (2000), Journal of AOAC International, 83(5), 1279-1284.
Fate of dwarf bunt fungus teliospores during milling of wheat into flour
Bechtel, D. B. and Wilson, J. D. and Eustace, W. D. and Behnke, K. C. and Whitaker, T. and Peterson, G. L. and Sauer, D. B. (1999), Cereal Chemistry, 76(2), 270-275.
Performance of sampling plans to determine aflatoxin in farmers' stock peanut lots by measuring aflatoxin in high-risk- grade components
Whitaker, T. B. and Hagler, W. M. and Giesbrecht, F. G. (1999), Journal of AOAC International, 82(2), 264-270.
Estimating aflatoxin in farmers' stock peanut lots by measuring aflatoxin in various peanut-grade components
Whitaker, T. B. and Hagler, W. M. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Dorner, J W. and Dowell, F. E. and Cole, R. J. (1998), Journal of AOAC International, 81(1), 61-67.
Investigations of the problems of assessing aflatoxin levels in peanuts
Giesbrecht, F. G. and Whitaker, T. B. (1998), Biometrics, 54(2), 739-753.
Variability associated with testing shelled corn for fumonisin
Whitaker, T. B. and Trucksess, M. W. and Johansson, A. S. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Hagler, W. M. and Bowman, D. T. (1998), Journal of AOAC International, 81(6), 1162-1168.
Suitability of several statistical models to simulate observed distribution of sample test results in inspections of aflatoxin-contaminated peanut lots
Whitaker, T. and Giesbrecht, F. and Wu, J. (1996), Journal of AOAC International, 79(4), 981.
Variability associated with analytical methods used to measure aflatoxin in agricultural commodities
Whitaker, T. and Horwitz, W. and Albert, R. and Nesheim, S. (1996), Journal of AOAC International, 79(2), 476.
Evaluation of sampling plans used in the United States, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands to test raw shelled peanuts for aflatoxin
Whitaker, T. B. and Springer, J. and Defize, P. R. and DeKoe, W. J. and Coker, R. (1995), Journal of AOAC International, 78(4), 1010.
Effects of sample size and sample acceptance level on the number of aflatoxin-contaminated farmers' stock lots accepted and rejected at the buying point
Whitaker, T. B. and Wu, J. and Dowell, F. E. and Hagler, W. M. and Giesbrecht, F. G. (1994), Journal of AOAC International, 77(6), 1672.
Predicting the distribution of aflatoxin test results from farmers' stock peanuts
Whitaker, T. B. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Wu, J. and Hagler, W. M. and Dowell, F. E. (1994), Journal of AOAC International, 77(3), 659.
Variability associated with sampling, sample preparation, and chemical testing for aflatoxin in farmers' stock peanuts
Whitaker, T. B. and Dowell, F. E. and Hagler, W. M. and Giesbrecht, F. G. and Wu, J. (1994), Journal of AOAC International, 77(1), 107.
Variability associated with determining grade factors and support price of farmers stock peanuts
Whitaker, T. B. and Dickens, J. W. and Giesbrecht, F. G. (1991), Peanut Science, 18(2), 122.
Reply to "Reaction to a paper by Whitaker and Dickens on aflatoxin testing plans for shelled peanuts in the U.S. and the export market"
Whitaker, T. B. (1990), Journal of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists, 73(5), 812.

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Grants

Develop Sampling Protocols to Detect Aflatoxin in Maize and Groundnuts in the Food/Feed Supply Chain for Regional Trade in Africa
US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)(6/10/13 - 9/30/17)