Do we know the risks?

Fumonisins are a significant risk to animal and human health. Where can they be found and what are their toxic effects?

Nemanja Todorović, Marko Vasiljević, Jog Raj, Hunor Farkaš, and Zdenka Jakovčević

PATENT CO,. Mišićevo, Serbia

Fumonisins are a significant health risk to livestock and potentially also to humans

Fumonisins are naturally occurring toxins produced by several species of Fusarium fungi (molds), with Fusarium moniliforme recognized as the largest producer of this mycotoxin. Other species such as F. proliferatum, F. nygamai, F. anthophilum, F. dlamini and F. napiforme are also producers.


Only Fumonisin B1 (FB1), B2 (FB2) and B3 (FB3) are toxicologically significant whereas the most predominant FB1 corresponds to 70% of fumonisins. In comparison to other mycotoxins, fumonisins are highly soluble and have greater capacity to spread easily and contaminate high volume of water and feedstus. FB1 is classified as a potential human carcinogen (class 2B) by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and has been linked to acute toxicity in farm animals (horses and swine), including hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity.

Raw materials affected

FB1 and FB2 can be found as a natural contaminant in cereals, specially corn and wheat, usually in concentrations that generally induce subclinical intoxications in different species.

Fungi of the Fusarium genus are often called, field fungi. Insect damage, adverse weather with temperatures between 15 and 25°C and high contents of substrate humidity i.e. above 20% or water activity higher than 0.88 favor fumonisins production.


Fungi of Fusarium genus are widespread worldwide and are the cause of economically significant diseases of cultivated and other plants called FUSARIOSIS. It can be found in grains e.g corn, wheat, etc. In wheat, this disease can cause yield reductions of up to 70%.

Corn micotoxinas survey 2018

Fumonisins are found globally in grains and other feed materials. Recent mycotoxins survey conducted by PATENT CO shows that corn harvested around the world in 2018 and 2019 is mostly contaminated with fumonisins. In 2018 fumonisins were present in most of the samples (78%) with a median of 668 ppb and a total of 95% corn samples were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins.

Micotoxicosis prevention
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