Fumonisins are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium moniliforme (Sheldon). It contaminants corn and corn-products and it is toxic to animals and human. Fumonisin was discovered at about 1988 with A, B, C and P series reported. Series B is the most important series with B1, B2, and B3.
F. moniliforme MRC 826 present in corn were employed in the isolation of fumonisins. The isolation of Fumonisin C1 is different from other fumonisin because of lack of methyl group at C-1. The chemical structures of this toxin show that there are a lot of stereoisomers present. Fumonisin B1 is produced in the highest quantity by F. moniliforme. Fumonisin B1 (FB1) has the empirical formula C34H59NO15 and is a diester of propane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid and 2-amino-12,16-dimethyl- 3,5,10,14,15-pentahydroxyeicosane (with relative molecular mass: 721). It is the most prevalent of the member. The A1 and A2 series are not harmful but promote the activity of fumonisin B1. Fumonisins inhibit ceramide synthase-key enzyme in biosynthesis of sphingolipid. Furthermore, they damage the cardiac function, and cause liver damage in animals. In swine, it is the cause of pulmonary oedema.
Analytical methods used in detection and quantification of theses toxins are thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and liquid chromatographic (LC), mass spectroscopic (MS), post-hydrolysis gas chromatographic and immunochemical methods. The preventive measure against fumonisin can be achieved using pest control, pest resistant corn varieties and seed treatment. At storage level, sorting out infested cereals and giving the right amount of temperature will be necessary to avoid fumonisin.
Fermentek offer the best fumonisin standard solutions for B1, B2 and B3
. They also manufacture powdered reference materials of fumonisins and its hydrolyzed metabolite such as HFB1 and HFB2. These toxins can be used for calibration and validation of instruments. They are also used as biomarkers in sensor development and as inhibitors in ceramide synthase.