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Uncommon toxic microbial metabolite patterns in traditionally home-processed maize dish (fufu) consumed in rural Cameroon

Abia, Wilfred A., Warth, Benedikt, Ezekiel, Chibundu N., Sarkanj, Bojan, Turner, Paul C., Marko, Doris, Krska, Rudolf, Sulyok, Michael
Food and chemical toxicology 2017 v.107 pp. 10-19
aflatoxin B1, bacterial toxins, corn, deoxynivalenol, foods, fumonisin B1, fungi, highlands, humans, metabolites, nivalenol, patulin, toxicity, toxicology, villages, zearalenone, Cameroon
Toxins of microbial origin frequently contaminate foodstuffs worldwide and pose a serious hazard to humans. This study reports on LCMS/MS quantification of multiple fungal and bacterial toxins, from household sampling of 50 traditionally prepared maize-fufu samples from Bamunka village, western highlands of Cameroon. Seventy-four metabolites including aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) (12/50: mean 0.9, range n.d-1.8 μg kg−1), cereulide (50/50: mean 37; range 1–236 μg kg−1), deoxynivalenol (DON) (50/50: mean 23, range 14–55 μg kg−1), fumonisin B1 (FB1) (50/50: mean: 151, range 48–709 μg kg−1), nivalenol (NIV) (50/50; mean 268, range 116–372 μg kg−1), patulin (PAT) (15/50:mean 105, range 12–890 μg kg−1) and zearalenone (ZEN) (50/50: mean 49, range 5–150) were detected; and of note every sample contained at least 27 toxic compounds. While individual toxin levels were mostly low there is always concern regarding mixtures, for which data are absent or limited. This study reports several novel observations of toxins not previously reported in maize, and the mixture of toxins, e.g. cereulide, PAT and ZEN derivatives (ZEN-cis and ZENsulfate-cis) are reported for the first time in Cameroonian food.