Fumonisins are toxic secondary metabolites produced mainly by Fusarium verticillioides
and Fusarium proliferatum.
Their toxicity was evaluated, and health-based guidance values established on the basis of both Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommendations. This study presents the results of fumonisin analyses in different maize- and rice-based food products in Hungary and the potential health risk arising from their dietary intake. In total, 326 samples were measured in 2017 and 2018 to determine fumonisins B1
levels. Three-day dietary record data were collected from 4992 consumers, in 2009. For each food category, the average concentration values were multiplied by the relevant individual consumption data, and the results were compared to the reference values. With respect to the maximum limits, one maize flour, two maize grits, and two samples of other maize-based, snack-like products had total fumonisin content minimally exceeding the EU regulatory limit. The mean daily intake for all maize-product consumers was 0.045–0.120 µg/kg bw/day. The high intake (95 percentile) ranged between 0.182 and 0.396 µg/kg bw/day, well below the 1 µg/kg bw/day tolerable daily intake (TDI) established by EFSA. While the intake calculations resulted in comforting results, maize-based products may indeed be contaminated by fumonisins. Therefore, frequent monitoring of fumonisins’ levels and evaluation of their intakes using the best available data are recommended.
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