Enniatin B is an emerging mycotoxin known to present biological activity because of its ionophoric characteristics. This compound has demonstrated strong in vitro cytotoxicity against different cancer cells, also at low molecular concentrations. Its natural occurrence in food commodities and feed is highly reported world-wide, but few information is available about its stability in the human gastro-intestinal tract. The present work evaluates the catabolic fate of enniatin B upon in vitro simulated digestion and colonic fermentation. LC-MS target and untargeted analysis have been performed to quantify the extent of enniatin B degradation and the formation of catabolic products. The results obtained showed significant degradation of enniatin B (degradation rate 79 ± 5%) along the gastrointestinal tract and further degradation of residual enniatin B was observed during colonic fermentation after 24 h of incubation. Moreover, 5 catabolic metabolites of enniatin B were putatively identified after gastrointestinal digestion resulting from the oxidation and opening of the depsipeptide ring. As a final step, the pharmacokinetic properties of enniatin B degradation products were tested in silico revealing that some of them may be adsorbed at the gastrointestinal level more than the parent compound. Additionally, the smaller degradation products showed moderate blood-brain-barrier crossing.
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