Effect of Selected Cooking Ingredients for Nixtamalization on the Reduction of Fusarium Mycotoxins in Maize and Sorghum

Julianah Olayemi Odukoya, Sarah De Saeger, Marthe De Boevre, Gabriel Olaniran Adegoke, Kris Audenaert, Siska Croubels, Gunther Antonissen, Karel Vermeulen, Sefater Gbashi, Patrick Berka Njobeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Although previous studies have reported the use of nixtamalization for mycotoxins reduction in maize, the efficacy of calcium hydroxide and other nixtamalization cooking ingredients for mycotoxin reduction/decontamination in sorghum and other cereals still need to be determined. The current study investigated the effect of five nixtamalization cooking ingredients (wood ashes, calcium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, and calcium chloride) on the reduction of Fusarium mycotoxins in artificially contaminated maize and sorghum using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. All tested cooking ingredients effectively reduced levels of mycotoxins in the contaminated samples with reduction initiated immediately after the washing step. Except for the calcium chloride nixtamal, levels of fumonisin B1, B2, and B3 in the processed sorghum nixtamal samples were below the limit of detection. Meanwhile, the lowest pH values were obtained from the maize (4.84; 4.99), as well as sorghum (4.83; 4.81) nejayote and nixtamal samples obtained via calcium chloride treatment. Overall, the results revealed that the tested cooking ingredients were effective in reducing the target mycotoxins. In addition, it pointed out the potential of calcium chloride, though with reduced effectiveness, as a possible greener alternative cooking ingredient (ecological nixtamalization) when there are environmental concerns caused by alkaline nejayote.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Fusarium mycotoxins
  • LC-MS/MS
  • cooking ingredients
  • food processing
  • food safety
  • maize
  • nixtamalization
  • sorghum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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