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Ensuring an Accurate Risk Assessment for Corn Products in the USA and Central America

Investigators
Bacon, Charles; Riley, Ronald
Institutions
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
Start date
2000
End date
2002
Objective
  1. Implement procedures for analysis of FB in corn products;
  2. Develop 3 year survey of FB in corn from markets and households;
  3. Develop protocols for collecting, storage, and processing of tortillas and urine samples;
  4. Conduct analyses;
  5. Develop procedures for transport to the US of samples from households where FB1 or AP1 in tortillas is >10 ppm.

The resulting data will be published and provided to regulatory agency.

More information

Use subsistence corn-eaters to validate the sphingolipid biomarker in humans and merge occurrence and exposure data and health records to answer questions important to the US fumonisin (FB) risk assessment.

Is FB or AP a risk factor for human disease when corn consumption is low or in those that eat large amounts of corn products?
Does nixtamilization improve corn safety?

It is impossible to evaluate the human risk from FB or AP consumption in the US because the populations at risk are not identified. This is not true in less developed countries where low quality corn provides a majority of the calories for a large portion of the population.

In Guatemala, nixtamilzed corn is used in tortillas and the process is also used in the US which has a growing population of citizens from Central America. Understanding comparative safety of nixtamalized products will be of growing importance to US consumers. The US economic benefit is that an accurate risk assessment ensures unnecessary regulations are not set on US corn exports and the safety of the food supply within the US is maintained.

Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
Project number
6612-42000-020-04R
Categories
Food Defense and Integrity
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Natural Toxins