Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin that can contaminate a wide range of crops such as grains and grapes. In this study, a novel fungal mutant strain (FS-UV-21) with a high OTA degradation rate (74.5%) was obtained from Aspergillus niger
irradiated with ultraviolet light (15 W for 20 min). The effect of pH, temperature, and inoculation concentration on the degradation of OTA by FS-UV-21 was investigated, and the results revealed that the detoxification effect was optimal (89.4%) at a pH of 8 and a temperature of 30 °C. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to characterize the degraded products of OTA, and the main degraded product was ochratoxin α. Triple quadrupole-linear ion trap-mass spectrometry combined with LightSight software was used to analyze the biotransformation pathway of OTA in FS-UV-21, to trace the degraded products, and to identify the main metabolite, P1 (C19
404). After the FS-UV-21 strain was treated with OTA, the HepG2 cellular toxicity of the degradation products was significantly reduced. For the real sample, FS-UV-21 was used to remove OTA from wheat bran contaminated by mycotoxins through fermentation, resulting in the degradation of 59.8% of OTA in wheat bran. Therefore, FS-UV-21 can be applied to the degradation of OTA in agricultural products and food.
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