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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Reduction of risks associated with fumonisin contamination in corn.

Fumonisins, produced by Fusarium moniliforme, have been recognized as an important group of chemicals which cause health risks in domestic animals and humans. Decontamination procedures for fumonisin B1 (FB1) were evaluated to determine chemical modification and reduction in toxic/carcinogenic potentials. Ammoniation, a procedure used for decontamination of aflatoxins, yielded a 79% reduction in FB1 levels in naturally contaminated corn. Authentic FB1 and FB1-contaminated corn were exposed to alternative treatments containing various combinations of Ca(OH)2, NaHCO3, and H2O2 simulating a modified nixtamalization procedure. Treatments also included NH4Cl alone or in combination with H2O2 or horseradish peroxidase. The brine shrimp assay (Artemia spp.) was used to monitor toxicity of reaction products and the Salmonella/microsomal mutagenicity assay, using tester strains TA-100 and TA-102, was used to evaluate mutagenicity. Treatments of FB1-contaminated corn simulating modified nixtamalization (Ca(OH)2 alone or with Na-HCO3 + H2O2) gave 100% reduction of FB1 and reduced brine shrimp toxicity by ca. 40%. The positive mutagenic potential (without S-9) for extracts of corn naturally contaminated with FB1 was eliminated following exposure to modified nixtamalization. Reaction products formed when pure FB1 was treated with Ca(OH)2 and H2O2/NaHCO3 were inhibitory to Bacillus cereus, B. subtilis, and B. megaterium. No inhibitory potential was evident for contaminated corn extracts following the chemical treatments.[1]


  1. Reduction of risks associated with fumonisin contamination in corn. Park, D.L., López-García, R., Trujillo-Preciado, S., Price, R.L. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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