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Assessment of Human Exposure to Fumonisin B1

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Fumonisin B1 is currently regarded as the most significant mycotoxin produced by Fusarium spp. It has carcinogenic properties and may playa role in the etiology of human esophageal cancer. The human population is exposed to fumonisin B1 primarily by intake of fumonisin B1-contaminated maize. Maize consumed in the Netherlands is imported from all parts of the world. Since processing will not affect the overall toxic effect, the fumonisin B1 intake is directly related to the quantity of maize consumed. Literature results concerning the occurrence of fumonisin B1 in a total of 349 samples of maize from 18 countries worldwide demonstrated the presence of this mycotoxin in 93% of the samples. The median fumonisin B1 contamination of all samples was 420 ng of fumonisin B1 per g of maize, and the average contamination level was 1,359 ng of fumonisin B1 per g of maize. Human intake of fumonisin B1 was estimated based on the maize consumption of all people in the Netherlands in 1992. A probability distribution was derived to allow estimation of the exposure of the population to fumonisin B1 intake in relation to maize intake. It showed that among those in the group considered to be at risk, people with gluten intolerance such as people with celiac or Dühring's disease, 37% are estimated to be exposed to an intake of at least 105 ng and 97% to an intake of at least 103 ng of fumonisin B1 per person per day. For all people in the Netherlands these percentages would be 1% and 49%, respectively.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Wageningen Agricultural University, Department of Food Science, P.O. Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands; TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute, P.O. Box 360, 3700 AJ Zeist, The Netherlands 2: National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands 3: Wageningen Agricultural University, Department of Food Science, P.O. Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands 4: TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute, P.O. Box 360, 3700 AJ Zeist, The Netherlands

Publication date: July 1, 1998

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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