Submitted to: Toxicological Sciences
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2003
Publication Date: 3/1/2004
Citation: Voss, K.A., Couch, L.H., Howard, P.C., Keller, N.P., Bacon, C.W. 2004. Toxicological evaluation of joala, a home-brewed beverage, prepared from corn contaminated with fusarium verticillioides culture material. Toxicological Sciences. 78:1029.
Interpretive Summary: Abstract for Society of Toxicology - no summary required.
Technical Abstract: Fumonisins are water-soluble mycotoxins produced by Fusarium verticillioides and related fungi. They are liver and kidney toxins and the most common analogue, fumonisin B1 (FB1), is carcinogenic to rodents. Fumonisins have been implicated as a risk factor for esophageal cancer and, more recently, neural tube defects in some human populations heavily dependent on fumonisin-contaminated corn as a dietary staple. Fumonisins are found in foods and also in commercial beers. Joala is a type of home-brewed beverage consumed in rural southern Africa. It is made from corn, malted sorghum, yeast, and water but the fate of fumonisins during the Joala making process is unknown. Rats (n = 6/group) were dosed by gavage twice daily for two weeks with 10ml/kg of distilled water (negative controls), Joala made from sound corn (Joala-SC), Joala made from sound corn spiked with culture material of F. verticillioides (Joala-FC), or a water extract of the spiked corn (WE-FC). Decreased body weight gain and food consumption were found in the Joala-FC and WE-FC groups. Decreased kidney and liver weights and microscopic kidney and liver lesions typical of short-term fumonisin exposure were also found in animals given Joala-FC or WE-FC. The Joala and water extracts made from the spiked corn had similar FB1 concentrations of about 0.1 mg/mL (determined by HPLC). Thus, fumonisins are readily extracted into Joala beer and the Joala making process did not affect their toxicity. The findings suggest that Joala and similar home-brewed beverages can be a significant source of fumonisin exposure in populations depending on foodstuffs made from contaminated homegrown corn.