Effects of food processing on the chemical structure and toxicity of fumonisin mycotoxins

Institut für Lebensmittelchemie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster, Germany.
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research (Impact Factor: 4.6). 09/2004; 48(4):255-69. DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.200400033
Source: PubMed


Fumonisins are Fusarium mycotoxins that occur in corn and corn-based foods. They are toxic to animals and at least one analogue, fumonisin B1, is carcinogenic to rodents. Their effect on human health is unclear, however, fumonisins are considered to be risk factors for cancer and possibly neural tube defects in some heavily exposed populations. It is therefore important to minimize exposures in these populations. Cleaning corn to remove damaged or moldy kernels reduces fumonisins in foods while milling increases their concentration in some and reduces their concentration in other products. Fumonisins are water-soluble and nixtamalization (cooking in alkaline water) lowers the fumonisin content of food products if the cooking liquid is discarded. Baking, frying, and extrusion cooking of corn at high temperatures ( > or = 190 degrees C) also reduces fumonisin concentrations in foods, with the amount of reduction achieved depending on cooking time, temperature, recipe, and other factors. However, the chemical fate of fumonisins in baked, fried, and extruded foods is not well understood and it is not known if the reduced concentrations result from thermal decomposition of fumonisins or from their binding to proteins, sugars or other compounds in food matrices. These possibilities might or might not be beneficial depending upon the bioavailability and inherent toxicity of decomposition products or the degree to which bound fumonisins are released in the gastrointestinal tract. In this review the affects of cooking and processing on the concentration and chemical structure of fumonisins as well as the toxicological consequences of known and likely fumonisin reaction products are discussed.

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    • "Although fumonisins are relatively heat-stable and persist through most of the conditions used in food manufacturing, they may undergo reactions in food systems that alter their chemical structure and toxicity. The fate of fumonisins during various processing stages has been the subject of various research papers showing that large reductions in contamination levels can be achieved (Bullerman, Ryu, & Jackson, 2002; Castells, Ramos, Sanchis, & Marín, 2009; De Girolamo, Solfrizzo, & Visconti, 2001; Humpf & Voss, 2004). However, the degree of reduction is variable and depends on cooking conditions and food matrix composition. "
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of nixtamalization on the content of fumonisins (FBs), hydrolysed (HFBs) and partially hydrolysed (PHFBs) fumonisins in maize was investigated at laboratory-scale. Maize naturally contaminated with FBs and PHFBs was cooked with lime. Starting raw maize, steeping and washing waters and final masa fractions were analysed for toxin content. Control-cooking experiments without lime were also carried out. The nixtamalization reduced the amount of FBs and PHFBs in masa and converted them to HFBs. However, the three forms of fumonisins collected in all fractions amounted to 183%, indicating that nixtamalization made available forms of matrix-associated fumonisins that were then converted to their hydrolysed forms. Control-cooking enhanced FBs and PHFBs reduction, due to the solubility of fumonisins in water during the steeping process, but did not form HFBs. These findings indicate that benefits associated with enhancing the nutritional value of nixtamalized maize are also associated with a safer product in terms of fumonisin contamination. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Food Chemistry 02/2016; 192:1083-9. DOI:10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.07.059 · 3.39 Impact Factor
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    • "Therefore, this is possible that bounded fumonisins be released in the gastrointestinal tract and reconvert into the parent toxin during digestion, by micro flora and may be hydrolyzed to partially or hydrolyzed fumonisins (PHFBs) or HFBs and increase the possibility of exposure to these toxins after ingestion, adding to the toxicity of the food or feedstuff by a mechanism similar to free fumonisins. In conclusion, masked mycotoxins remain in the plant tissue and food, and will not get regulated by legislation (Berthiller et al., 2013; Falavigna, 2012; Humpf & Voss, 2004; Streit et al., 2013). Therefore, a guaranteed safety level for these fumonisin derivatives must be set and a definite limit for them should be determined. "
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    • "Potential exposure to modified mycotoxins due to their presence in food and feed raises concern that modified mycotoxins may pose an additional risk to human and animal health. While conjugated and matrix-associated mycotoxins may be cleaved by the gut microflora (e.g., DON-3-Glc→DON, Nagl et al. 2012) or endogenous digestive enzymes (e.g., fumonisins bound to starch→fumonisins, Humpf and Voss 2004) to the parent compound and thus add to the systemic exposure and toxicity of the free mycotoxin, other modified mycotoxins may be less, equally or even more toxic than their parent compound. To understand the toxicological relevance and contribution of modified mycotoxins to the overall health risk resulting from dietary intake of mycotoxins, it is thus critical to assess the bioavailability and toxic potential of Mycotoxin Res modified mycotoxins. "
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    ABSTRACT: As the term "masked mycotoxins" encompasses only conjugated mycotoxins generated by plants and no other possible forms of mycotoxins and their modifications, we hereby propose for all these forms a systematic definition consisting of four hierarchic levels. The highest level differentiates the free and unmodified forms of mycotoxins from those being matrix-associated and from those being modified in their chemical structure. The following lower levels further differentiate, in particular, "modified mycotoxins" into "biologically modified" and "chemically modified" with all variations of metabolites of the former and dividing the latter into "thermally formed" and "non-thermally formed" ones. To harmonize future scientific wording and subsequent legislation, we suggest that the term "modified mycotoxins" should be used in the future and the term "masked mycotoxins" to be kept for the fraction of biologically modified mycotoxins that were conjugated by plants.
    Mycotoxin Research 06/2014; 30(4). DOI:10.1007/s12550-014-0203-5
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