Assessment of Fumonisins B1 and B2 Levels in Commercial Maize-Based Food Products by Liquid Chromatography with Fluorimetric Detection and Postcolumn Chemical Derivatization



Abstract:  The occurrence of the fumonisins B1 and B2 in maize-based food products marketed in Italy was examined. A simply and reliable chromatographic method with fluorimetric detection and postcolumn o-phtalaldehyde derivatization was used for a monitoring of 100 samples (8 flours, 21 corn-meal, 16 snacks, 7 maize samples, 13 gluten-free products, and 35 corn-flakes) bought in local supermarkets during the years 2008 and 2009. The presence of both fumonisins B1 and B2, at a concentration higher than 15 μg/kg, was observed in all samples of corn-meal and maize-flour, in 75% of snacks, in 57% of maize samples, in 54% of gluten-free products, and in 29% of corn-flakes. A total of 7 samples including 4 corn-meals, 2 maize-flours, and 1 maize showed a value exceeding the maximum level fixed in the Regulation 1126/2007/EC; no positive sample was observed in corn-flakes, snacks, and gluten-free foods. Fumonisins contamination, on the whole range of maize-based food products analyzed, emphasizes the need of improve agricultural practices, and increase official control and monitoring studies.