Fumonisin B1 and Hydrolyzed Fumonisin B1 (AP1) in Tortillas and Nixtamalized Corn (Zea mays L.) from Two Different Geographic Locations in Guatemala

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Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a common contaminant of corn worldwide and is responsible for several diseases of animals. In the preparation of tortillas, corn is treated with lime (producing nixtamal) that when heated hydrolyzes at least a portion of the FB1 to the aminopentol backbone (AP1), another known toxin. This study analyzed the amounts of FB1 and AP1 in tortillas and nixtamal from two communities in the central highlands of Guatemala where corn is a major dietary staple (Santa Maria de Jesus, Sacatepequez, and Patzicia, Chimaltenango). The amounts of FB1 and AP1 in tortillas from Santa Maria de Jesus were, respectively, 0.85 ± 2.0 and 26.1 ± 38.5 μg/g dry weight (mean ± SD), and from Patzicia were 2.2 ± 3.6 and 5.7 + 9.4 μg/g dry weight. Less than 6% of the tortillas from both locations contained ≥ 10 μg FB1/g dry weight; whereas, 66% of the samples from Santa Maria de Jesus and 29% from Patzicia contained ≥ 10 μg AP1/g dry weight. The highest amount of AP1 (185 μg/g dry weight) was found in tortillas from Santa Maria de Jesus. The highest amounts of FB1 were 6.5 and 11.6 μg/g dry weight in tortillas from Santa Maria de Jesus and Patzicia, respectively. The mean concentration of FB1 in nixtamal was significantly higher in Santa Maria de Jesus compared to Patzicia. Surprisingly, AP1 was not detected in any of the nixtamal samples. The human impact of exposure to these amounts of fumonisins is not known. However, based on findings with other animals, where corn is a dietary staple, long-term consumption of FB1 and AP1 (especially at ≥ 10 &mgrg/g of the diet) may pose a risk to human health.

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Toxicology and Mycotoxin Research Unit, R. B. Russell Agricultural Research Center, USDA/ARS, Athens, Georgia 30604, USA 2: Instituto de Nutricion de Centro America Y Panama, Calzada Roosevelt, 09001 Guatemala, C. A. 3: 3Department of Biochemistry, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA

Publication date: October 1, 1999

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