Assessment of human exposure to fumonisin B1
de Nijs, M.
van Egmond, H.P.
Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO
Fumonisin B1 is currently regarded as the most significant mycotoxin produced by Fusarium spp. It has carcinogenic properties and may play a 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 Duhring'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.
To reference this document use:
Journal of Food Protection, 61 (7), 879-884