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Open AccessArticle

Detoxification of the Fumonisin Mycotoxins in Maize: An Enzymatic Approach

Mycotoxicology Research Group, Institute of Biomedical and Microbial Biotechnology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bellville 7535, South Africa
BIOMIN Research Center, BIOMIN, Technopark 1, 3430 Tulln, Austria
Department of Biomedical Science, University of the Western Cape, Bellville 7535, South Africa
Department of Biochemistry, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 523;
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 20 August 2019 / Accepted: 23 August 2019 / Published: 10 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Approaches to Minimising Mycotoxin Contamination)
Enzymatic detoxification has become a promising approach for control of mycotoxins postharvest in grains through modification of chemical structures determining their toxicity. In the present study fumonisin esterase FumD (EC (FUMzyme®; BIOMIN, Tulln, Austria), hydrolysing fumonisin (FB) mycotoxins by de-esterification, was utilised to develop an enzymatic reduction method in a maize kernel enzyme incubation mixture. Efficacy of the FumD FB reduction method in “low” and “high” FB contaminated home-grown maize was compared by monitoring FB1 hydrolysis to the hydrolysed FB1 (HFB1) product utilising a validated LC-MS/MS analytical method. The method was further evaluated in terms of enzyme activity and treatment duration by assessing enzyme kinetic parameters and the relative distribution of HFB1 between maize kernels and the residual aqueous environment. FumD treatments resulted in significant reduction (≥80%) in “low” (≥1000 U/L, p < 0.05) and “high” (100 U/L, p < 0.05; ≥1000 U/L, p < 0.0001) FB contaminated maize after 1 h respectively, with an approximate 1:1 µmol conversion ratio of FB1 into the formation of HFB1. Enzyme kinetic parameters indicated that, depending on the activity of FumD utilised, a significantly (p < 0.05) higher FB1 conversion rate was noticed in “high” FB contaminated maize. The FumD FB reduction method in maize could find application in commercial maize-based practices as well as in communities utilising home-grown maize as a main dietary staple and known to be exposed above the tolerable daily intake levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: fumonisin; enzymatic detoxification; fumonisin esterase FumD; enzyme kinetics; maize fumonisin; enzymatic detoxification; fumonisin esterase FumD; enzyme kinetics; maize
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Alberts, J.; Schatzmayr, G.; Moll, W.-D.; Davids, I.; Rheeder, J.; Burger, H.-M.; Shephard, G.; Gelderblom, W. Detoxification of the Fumonisin Mycotoxins in Maize: An Enzymatic Approach. Toxins 2019, 11, 523.

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