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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fumonisin Content in Nixtamalized Maize Products

Authors
item Dombrink Kurtzman, Mary Ann
item Dvorak, Timothy

Submitted to: Mycological International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 28, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Fumonisins, a family of mycotoxins produced by Fusarium moniliforme and F. proliferatum, are frequently found in maize worldwide. There is concern that the high dietary intake of a maize-based diet by people in Mexico, Central America, and the southwestern United States may be exposing them to fumonisins. We have addressed this concern by examining nixtamalized maize products from Mexico and the United States. Masa and tortillas were analyzed to evaluate methods for the detection and quantitation of the different forms of fumonisins. Because of the various levels of calcium present in the samples as a result of the alkali-cooked treatment, the chelating reagent EDTA was added to enhance extraction of the fumonisins. The fumonisins were derivatized, separated by HPLC, and detected by fluorescence. It was expected that the alkali treatment would hydrolyze the native fumonisin so that only the hydrolyzed, possibly less toxic, form would remain. However, this did not occur. Some of the Mexican samples of masa and tortillas contained one to two ppm fumonisin B1, and the highest level of hydrolyzed fumonisin B1 detected was only 0.1 ppm. The presence of intact fumonisin in nixtamalized maize products suggests that fumonisin may be present at moderately high levels (10 ppm) in the Mexican maize before processing and that consumption of non-nixtamalized corn products exposes the human population to substantial levels of fumonisin.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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