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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Toxicology and Toxinology of Mycotoxins in Foods

Location: Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research

Title: Analytical methods for evaluating the effect of thermal processing on fumonisins in corn-based food

item Jackson, Lauren
item Jablonski, Joseph
item Voss, Kenneth - Ken
item Ryu, Dojin

Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2011
Publication Date: 8/28/2011
Citation: Jackson, L.S., Jablonski, J.E., Voss, K.A., Ryu, D. 2011. Analytical methods for evaluating the effect of thermal processing on fumonisins in corn-based food [abstract]. Cornucopia, Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, American Chemical Society. Abstract AGFD18:27.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The fumonisins are ubiquitous mycotoxins produced mainly by Fusarium verticillioides and F. proliferatum, primarily in corn. Of the numerous fumonisin analogues, fumonisin B1 (FB1) is most prevalent. Consumption of corn contaminated with FB1 is a cause of various diseases in animals and has been correlated with increased risk of human esophageal cancer in regions of the world where corn is consumed as a staple food. While FB1 is relatively heat stable and survives conventional cooking processes such as baking and frying, several studies have suggested that high heat processes such as extrusion reduce toxin levels in finished food products, especially when reducing sugars are present. Fumonisins undergo reactions in foods during processing some of which may alter their bioavailability and toxicity. During thermal processes such as extrusion, FB1 is believed to react with glucose and other reducing sugars to form N-substituted FB1 compounds. In addition, heating has also been shown to result in binding of FB1 to proteins and starches in the food matrix. These heat-induced changes result in the formation of fumonisin derivatives which are not easily detected by conventional analytical methods. Methods (LC-MS/MS and LC-fluorescence) have been developed for detecting and quantifying these “hidden” or “masked” fumonisins in food. These methods have been essential for understanding the toxicological fate of fumonisins during processing.

Last Modified: 10/20/2017
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