Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a Fusarium mycotoxin frequently occurring in maize-based food and feed. Alkaline processing like nixtamalisation of maize generates partially and fully hydrolysed FB1 (pHFB1 and HFB1) and thermal treatment in the presence of reducing sugars leads to formation of N-(1-deoxy-D-fructos- 1-yl) fumonisin B1 (NDF). The toxicity of these metabolites, in particular their effect on the sphingolipid metabolism, is either unknown or discussed controversially.We produced high purity FB1, pHFB1a+b, HFB1 and NDF and fed them to male Sprague Dawley rats for three weeks. Once a week, urine and faeces samples were collected over 24 h and analysed for fumonisin metabolites as well as for the sphinganine (Sa) to sphingosine (So) ratio by validated LC–MS/MS based methods. While the latter was significantly increased in the FB1 positive control group, the Sa/So ratios of the partially and fully hydrolysed fumonisins were indifferent from the negative control group. Although NDF was partly cleaved during digestion, the liberated amounts of FB1 did not raise the Sa/So ratio. These results show that the investigated alkaline and thermal processing products of FB1 were, at the tested concentrations, non-toxic for rats, and suggest that according food processing can reduce fumonisin toxicity for humans.
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