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Aflatoxin B1 Degradation by Flavobacterium aurantiacum in the Presence of Reducing Conditions and Seryl and Sulfhydryl Group Inhibitors

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This study was undertaken to determine the effects of reducing conditions (L-cysteine) and seryl (phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride) and sulfhydryl (divalent cadmium) group inhibitors on aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) degradation by Flavobacterium aurantiacum. High-performance liquid chromatography was used to determine AFB1 concentrations in 72-h cultures of F. aurantiacum. The addition of 0.1, 1, or 10 mM L-cysteine did not have any significant effect on AFB1 degradation by these cultures after incubation for 4, 24, or 48 h (P > 0.05). The addition of 0.1 mM phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride did not significantly decrease AFB1 degradation (P > 0.05), but 1 mM phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride significantly decreased AFB1 degradation after 4, 24, and 48 h of incubation (P ≤ 0.05). No significant difference in AFB1 degradation was obtained with 0.1 mM Cd2+ after 4, 24, or 48 h of incubation (P > 0.05). The addition of 1 and 10 mM Cd2+ significantly decreased AFB1 degradation compared with the cells containing AFB1 alone after 4 and 24 h (P ≤ 0.05). The addition of chelators, 1 mM EDTA and 1 mM o-phenanthroline, did not result in removal of inhibition of AFB1 degradation observed with 1 and 10 mM Cd2+. Higher concentration of chelators (>1 mM) are necessary to overcome the inhibitory effect. Further work on the cellular fractions and/or crude enzyme preparations is necessary to determine if indeed sulfhydryl and seryl groups of the enzymes are involved in AFB1 degradation (by maintaining either the structure or function of the enzyme).


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement, Department of Food Science and Technology, The University of Georgia, Griffin, Georgia 30223-1797, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2001

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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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