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Intestinal absorption of Fumonisin B1 and its derivates

Fumonisins are a worldwide major group of fusariotoxins found mainly in corn. Fumonisin B1 is the most frequent fumonisin analogue, with a very high toxicity despite its low absorption in the gut. During food processing, Fumonisin B1 can be hydrolyzed into HFB1 if temperatures are raised above 100°C, leading to chemical degradation via Maillard-type reactions or hydrolysis. The hydrolysis of FB1 into HFB1 can also be caused by specific bacteria encoding type-B carboxylesterase. In livestock feeds, this latter reaction is used as a potential strategy to reduce fumonisin absorption in the gut as HBF1 seems to be less toxic to livestock species than FB1, thus protecting the animals from fumonisin toxicity. Nevertheless, some studies have reported a higher absorption of HFB1 by the intestinal mucosa than FB1, and this was confirmed again in 2014 by Cirlini et al. Indeed, Cirlini et al. observed a significant decrease of HFB1 in the gut that may be due to its lower polarity, suggesting that HFB1 can undergo absorption and biological transformation. Additionally, the authors highlighted that data regarding HFB1 toxicity are controversial, indicating that further studies are needed to understand the fate and toxicity of HFB1, prior to using biotransformation as a strategy to reduce fumonisin contamination and toxicity in feedstuffs.

More information: Hydrolysed fumonisin B1 and N-(deoxy-D-fructos-1-yl)-fumonisin B1: stability and catabolic fate under simulated human gastrointestinal conditions (M. Cirlini, I. Hahn, E. Varga, M. Dall’Asta, C. Falavigna, L. Calani, F. Berthiller, D. Del Rio, C. Dall’Asta).