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Open AccessArticle

Variation of Fusarium Free, Masked, and Emerging Mycotoxin Metabolites in Maize from Agriculture Regions of South Africa

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Mafikeng Campus, North-West University, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa
2
Department of Animal Health, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Mafikeng Campus, North-West University, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa
3
Department of Agro Biotechnology (IFA-Tulln), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), A-3430 Tulln, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2020, 12(3), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12030149
Received: 11 October 2019 / Revised: 9 December 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 28 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of LC-MS/MS in the Mycotoxins Studies)
The presence of mycotoxins in cereal grain is a very important food safety issue with the occurrence of masked mycotoxins extensively investigated in recent years. This study investigated the variation of different Fusarium metabolites (including the related regulated, masked, and emerging mycotoxin) in maize from various agriculture regions of South Africa. The relationship between the maize producing regions, the maize type, as well as the mycotoxins was established. A total of 123 maize samples was analyzed by a LC-MS/MS multi-mycotoxin method. The results revealed that all maize types exhibited a mixture of free, masked, and emerging mycotoxins contamination across the regions with an average of 5 and up to 24 out of 42 investigated Fusarium mycotoxins, including 1 to 3 masked forms at the same time. Data obtained show that fumonisin B1, B2, B3, B4, and A1 were the most prevalent mycotoxins and had maximum contamination levels of 8908, 3383, 990, 1014, and 51.5 µg/kg, respectively. Deoxynivalenol occurred in 50% of the samples with a mean concentration of 152 µg/kg (max 1380 µg/kg). Thirty-three percent of the samples were contaminated with zearalenone at a mean concentration of 13.6 µg/kg (max 146 µg/kg). Of the masked mycotoxins, DON-3-glucoside occurred at a high incidence level of 53%. Among emerging toxins, moniliformin, fusarinolic acid, and beauvericin showed high occurrences at 98%, 98%, and 83%, and had maximum contamination levels of 1130, 3422, and 142 µg/kg, respectively. Significant differences in the contamination pattern were observed between the agricultural regions and maize types. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fusarium; maize; masked mycotoxins; LC-MS/MS; agricultural regions; South Africa Fusarium; maize; masked mycotoxins; LC-MS/MS; agricultural regions; South Africa
MDPI and ACS Style

Ekwomadu, T.I.; Dada, T.A.; Nleya, N.; Gopane, R.; Sulyok, M.; Mwanza, M. Variation of Fusarium Free, Masked, and Emerging Mycotoxin Metabolites in Maize from Agriculture Regions of South Africa. Toxins 2020, 12, 149.

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