Influence of traditional dehulling on mycotoxin reduction and GC-HRTOF-MS metabolites profile of fermented maize products

Julianah Olayemi Odukoya, Sarah De Saeger, Marthe De Boevre, Gabriel Olaniran Adegoke, Frank Devlieghere, Siska Croubels, Gunther Antonissen, Johnson Oluwaseun Odukoya, Patrick Berka Njobeh

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Contamination with mycotoxins has been a worldwide food safety concern for several decades, and food processing has been suggested as a potential method to mitigate their presence. In this study, the influence of traditional dehulling (TD) on the mycotoxin reduction and metabolites profile of fermented white maize products obtained via natural and three controlled fermentation methods (involving Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus plantarum, and their mixed cultures) was examined. Gas chromatography coupled with high resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-HRTOF-MS) and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) were employed. TD brought the levels of fumonisin B1 (FB1) and B2 (FB2) in the white maize below the regulatory limit set by the European Union (EU) for maize consumed by humans. While TD increased the concentration of several mycotoxins in the fermented maize products obtained from other studied fermentation methods, it primarily reduced aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), FB1, deoxynivalenol, and 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol in the L. plantarum-fermented products. By tempering the dehulled maize, a solid-state fermentation process began. This was used in TD to make it easier to remove the pericarp. GC-HR-TOF-MS metabolomics revealed that TD brought about the generation of 12 additional compounds in the dehulled maize though some metabolites in the whole maize were lost/biotransformed. The fermented dehulled maize products obtained from the four studied fermentation procedures contained fewer compounds than the fermented whole maize products. Overall, the analysis showed that all fermented maize (whole and dehulled) produced had varied nutritional metabolites and mycotoxin concentrations below the EU maximum level, except for fermented maize obtained from mixed strains (AFB1 + AFB2 > 4.0 g/kg).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23025
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2024


  • Dehulled maize
  • Fermentation
  • Food processing
  • Food safety
  • Metabolomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Multidisciplinary


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