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J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Nov 24;58(22):12042-7. doi: 10.1021/jf103799q. Epub 2010 Nov 3.

In vitro digestion assay for determination of hidden fumonisins in maize.

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Dipartimento di Chimica Organica e Industriale, Università degli Studi di Parma, Parco Area Scienze 17/A, 43124 Parma, Italy.


Hidden fumonisins have received great attention in the last years as they have been frequently found in maize products in addition to the free forms. Several papers have shown that interaction with macromolecular components such as protein and starch is at the base of the phenomenon: although the nature of the interaction (covalent or not) is still not clarified, the occurrence of hidden forms is generally revealed by the application of an alkaline hydrolysis procedure. In this study, an in vitro digestion model has been applied to raw maize to evaluate the possible release of hidden fumonisins under gastrointestinal conditions. Upon digestion of the food matrix, an increased amount of total detectable fumonisins was observed in comparison with the analysis on the nondigested matrix, an amount even higher than that calculated through the application of the hydrolysis procedure. Besides the analytical issues, our data have serious implications, since consumers may be exposed to a systematic higher risk than that estimated by conventional techniques.

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