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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fumonisins in Maize in Guatemala, Preliminary Exposure Estimate, and Policies and Recommendations to Minimize Exposure

Authors
item Riley, Ronald
item Torres, Olga - INCAP, GUATEMALA
item Palencia, Edwin - INCAP, GUATEMALA
item Lopez DE Pratdesaba, L - INCAP, GUATEMALA
item Glenn, Anthony
item O Donnell, Kerry
item Fuentes, Mario - IAST, GUATEMALA

Submitted to: Aflatoxin Elimination Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 5, 2005
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Citation: Riley, R.T., Torres, O.A., Palencia, E.R., Lopez De Pratdesaba, L., Glenn, A.E., O Donnell, K., Fuentes, M. 2006. Fumonisins in maize in guatemala, preliminary exposure estimate, and policies and recommendations to minimize exposure. Aflatoxin Elimination Workshop Proceedings. p. 61.

Interpretive Summary: Abstract - no summary.

Technical Abstract: From 2000-2003, maize samples were collected from fields in the highlands (>1650 m) and lowlands (<360 m) of Guatemala. The results showed that maize grown in the lowlands had significantly higher levels of fumonisins than the maize grown in highlands. Approximately 92% of the samples from the lowlands collected at harvest in 2002 contained detectable levels of FB1, whereas, only 5% of the samples collected at harvest from the highlands contained detectable fumonisins. However, 27% of samples of the 2002 crop collected from storage in the highlands immediately before harvest of the 2003 crop contained >0.3 ppm FB1 compared to only 2% of the samples collected at harvest in 2002. All (100%) of the Fusarium infected kernels (60/180) analyzed from nine random lowland samples (20 kernels/sample) were infected with F. verticillioides (60/60) and no other Fusarium species, whereas, in samples from the highlands (n=9) only 5% (2/43) of the Fusarium positive kernels (43/180) were F. verticillioides. All the F. verticillioides isolates were able to produce fumonisin in culture. In FY 2005 maize samples (n=236) from the 2004 crop were analyzed from highland and lowland markets in Guatemala. The results show that lowland maize, highly contaminated with fumonisin, is sold in highland markets in Departments where the incidence of neural tube defect is sometimes very high. Thus, fumonisin exposure in high risk areas will be greatest in groups that obtain their maize from the market place since we have shown that maize that is grown in the highlands contains very low levels of fumonisins. Based on a recall study in women conducted in the Central Highlands, a preliminary assessment of daily intake of total FBs was estimated. Consumption of nixtamalized maize products made from lowland maize could result in exposure exceeding the provisional maximal tolerable daily intake (2 micrograms total fumonisins/kg bw) with over 50% of the maize samples. Policies and recommendations to minimize fumonisin exposure in Guatemala have been discussed. These recommendations are intended to establish a prudent public health policy that will minimize risks to human health while also minimizing negative impacts on the maize industry. They can be achieved through the use of good agricultural and good processing/cooking practices and education of high risk populations and health providers in Guatemala. This work was supported by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service grant X01-4510-62-751071-4, a grant from the ILSI NA Technical Committee on Food Toxicology and Safety Assessment and support from the Instituto de Nutricion de Centro America Y Panama.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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