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Food Chem Toxicol. 1993 Dec;31(12):995-8.

Levels of fumonisin B1 in corn naturally contaminated with aflatoxins.

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Toxicology and Mycotoxin Research Unit, Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center, US Department of Agriculture, Athens, GA.


Aflatoxins and fumonisin B1 are hepatotoxic and carcinogenic metabolites produced by Aspergillus flavus and Fusarium moniliforme, respectively. These fungi are common natural contaminants of corn, and both aflatoxins and fumonisin B1 have been implicated as aetiological agents in animal and human diseases. To determine whether these mycotoxins co-exist on corn under natural conditions, 28 samples from the 1991 Georgia (USA) corn crop were assayed for (total) aflatoxin and fumonisin B1. 27 samples were positive for aflatoxin, 24 samples were positive for fumonisin B1, and 23 samples had detectable levels of both. In the positive samples, the mean aflatoxin concentration was 73 ppb (SD = 86), and the average fumonisin B1 concentration was 0.87 ppm (SD = 0.65). A correlation between aflatoxin and fumonisin B1 concentrations was not evident. None the less, these results demonstrate that exposure to both mycotoxins can occur simultaneously by consumption of co-contaminated corn.

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