Fumonisins Contamination Analysis

Fumonisins are a group of mycotoxins that produced by several species of Fusarium and mainly contaminate maize and maize based products.

Fumonisins Contamination Analysis

Figure 1. Chemical structure of fumonisin B1 and related contaminated foods

Fumonisins have a number of different types such as fumonisins B1, B2 and B3. Among them, fumonisin B1 is the most toxic form. Most studies reported to have detected free forms of fumonisins, but the toxins can also be bound to complex carbohydrates and proteins. They are secondary metabolites formed by fungi Fusarium. The commonly Fusarium species that produce fumonisins are F. verticillioides, F. fujikuroi, F. proliferatum. The contamination can occur all over the world and is most common in the area of warm climate where maize is grown. Maize and maize products were found to be associated with the highest level of fumonisins contamination than the other cereals and grains. It may lead to high exposures to fumonisins especially in areas where maize is the main food source. The maize is usually contaminated during the pre-harvest period. The production of fumonisins can continue during the post-harvest stage under poor storage conditions.

Fumonisins have significant health impacts on the livestock and other animals, and potentially also to human beings. Fumonisin B1 has been shown to have a wide range of harmful effects on the liver and kidney, leading to cancer in many animal studies. Fumonisins also have potential immunotoxicity and mutagenicity effects. They can suppress and stimulate the immune system. Although the studies on the adverse effect of fumonisins on human health are still under investigation, there are concerns that the exposure of fumonisins may result in serious harmful health outcomes on humans such as cancer and birth defects.

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) has issued a mean exposure limit to fumonisins B1 and total fumonisins as 250 ng/kg body weight per day. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has specified the recommended maximum levels for total fumonisins in human foods and animal feeds. The contamination limits for human foods were set as 4 ppm for whole milled corn products, dry milled corn bran and cleaned corn intended for masa production and 2 ppm for degermed dry milled corn products. The maximum levels for animal feeds ranged from 5 ppm for equids and rabbits to 100 ppm for poultry being raised for slaughter.

The procedure for the analysis of fumonisins in foods and animal feeds includes sample preparation and extraction, purification, and detection/quantification. We have expertise in the sample preparation of a variety types of food matrices. The sample preparation has significant effect on the accuracy of the level measured in the food samples.

We offer accurate and validated analytical platforms for both the identification and quantification that have been widely applied in the determination of fumonisins in food and feed samples to meet customers' needs.

Liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS)

LC-MS is a widely used standard method for the quantification of fumonisins. The method offers low limit of detection and high accuracy.

We also maintain high quality assurance for the analysis. The recovery of internal standard, the use of blanks and spikes is monitored for each batch of analysis.

* Not intended for personal food safety testing.

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