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

Fumonisin exposure to Kansans through consumption of corn-based market foods.

Fumonisins are secondary metabolites of the fungus Fusarium moniliforme Sheldon, a common corn contaminant world wide. Presently 6 different fumonisins ( FB1, FB2, FB3, FB4, FA1 and FA2) have been identified and characterized. In veterinary medicine fumonisins cause equine leucoencephalomalacia and swine pulmonary edema. In addition, fumonisins have been shown to be carcinogenic in laboratory animals and have been linked to human esophageal cancer in South Africa and China. In this study we examined the prevalence of FB1, FB2 and FB3 in corn-based human foods in Kansas using HPLC equipped with a fluorescent detector. All 3 fumonisins were detected in at least 1 food item. However, only 24/121 samples analyzed (20%), contained detectable (> 40 ppb) fumonisins. Corn flour was the most frequently contaminated as 13/25 items (52%) were positive for fumonisins. For all analyzed human foods, the range of fumonisins was 42-350 ppb in comparison to 765-9953 ppb found in corn meant for animal consumption. This data shows that corn flour is the item most likely to be contaminated with low concentrations of fumonisins. Corn-based foods do not appear a significant source of fumonisins for Kansans although the implications to human health of these low levels are unknown.[1]


  1. Fumonisin exposure to Kansans through consumption of corn-based market foods. Rumbeiha, W.K., Oehme, F.W. Veterinary and human toxicology. (1997) [Pubmed]
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