Journal Article

Development and Evaluation of a Sensitive Mycotoxin Risk Assessment Model (MYCORAM)

Hester-Mari Burger, Martani J. Lombard, Gordon S. Shephard, Natasha Danster-Christians and Wentzel C.A. Gelderblom

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 141, issue 2, pages 387-397
Published in print October 2014 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online October 2014 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Development and Evaluation of a Sensitive Mycotoxin Risk Assessment Model (MYCORAM)

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The differential risk of exposure to fumonisin (FB), deoxynivalenol (DON), and zearalenone (ZEA) mycotoxins to the South African population, residing in the nine Provinces was assessed during a cross-sectional grain consumer survey. The relative per capita maize intake (g/day) was stratified by gender, ethnicity, and Province and the probable daily intake (PDI) for each mycotoxin (ng/kg body weight/day) calculated utilizing SPECIAL and SUPER dry milled maize fractions representing different exposure scenarios. Men consumed on an average more maize (173 g/day) than women (142 g/day) whereas the black African ethnic group had the highest intake (279 g/day) followed by the Colored group (169 g/day) with the Asian/Indian and White groups consuming lower quantities of 101 and 80 g/day, respectively. The estimated mean PDIs for the various subgroups and Provinces, utilizing the different dry milled maize fractions, were below the provisional maximum tolerable daily intake (PMTDI) for each mycotoxin. A distinct and more sensitive mycotoxin risk assessment model (MYCORAM) for exposure, stratified by Province and ethnicity were developed utilizing specific maize intake increments (g/kg body weight/day) that provides information on the percentage of the population exposed above the PMTDI for each mycotoxin. Evaluation of the MYCORAM utilizing commercial and experimentally derived SPECIAL milling fractions, containing predefined mycotoxins levels, predicts the percentage of maize consumers exposed above the respective PMTDI. Safety modeling using the MYCORAM could also predict a maximum tolerated level adequate to safeguard all South African maize consumers including the most vulnerable groups.

Keywords: mycotoxins exposure; probable daily intakes; maize consumers; risk assessment model; South Africa

Journal Article.  8858 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology

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