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Open AccessArticle

Reducing Competition of Pepsin in Aflatoxin Adsorption by Modifying a Smectite with Organic Nutrients

Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas AM University, College Station, TX 77845, USA
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Toxins 2020, 12(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12010028
Received: 20 November 2019 / Revised: 19 December 2019 / Accepted: 20 December 2019 / Published: 2 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
Carcinogenic aflatoxins can be inactivated by smectites (e.g., montmorillonite) through adsorption and degradation. Proteins in gastric fluids can reduce smectite’s adsorption capacity for aflatoxins. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of smectites modified with organic nutrients in restricting the influence of proteins on aflatoxin adsorption. Arginine, histidine, choline, lysine, and vitamin B1 were selected to occupy part of the interlayer space of montmorillonite to achieve a smectite structure more selective for aflatoxin adsorption, but not for the large protein molecules. The unmodified montmorillonite had a maximum adsorption capacity of 0.2 mol/kg in the presence of pepsin. The vitamin B1-montmorillonite showed significant improvements in the aflatoxin affinity constant from 0.065 to 0.201 μ M 1 and the aflatoxin adsorption to 0.56 mol/kg. Choline-montmorillonite and histidine-montmorillonite showed a moderate increase in AfB1 adsorption. Arginine-montmorillonite and lysine-montmorillonite showed a slight increase in the adsorption capacity, but did not improve the affinity constant. The XRD results indicated that pepsin could still access the interlayer of nutrient-montmorillonite complexes. The intercalation of organic nutrients into the interlayer space of montmorillonite improved the AfB1 adsorption by restricting the adsorption of pepsin. View Full-Text
Keywords: aflatoxin; adsorption; nutrient-montmorillonite aflatoxin; adsorption; nutrient-montmorillonite
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Barrientos Velazquez, A.L.; Deng, Y. Reducing Competition of Pepsin in Aflatoxin Adsorption by Modifying a Smectite with Organic Nutrients. Toxins 2020, 12, 28.

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