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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Summary of Ongoing Studies in the Central Highlands of Guatemala

Authors
item Riley, Ronald
item Bacon, Charles
item Meredith, Filmore
item Torres, O - INCAP, GUATEMALA CITY, GT
item Saenz DE Tejada, S - INCAP, GUATEMALA CITY, GT
item Wang, E - BIOCHEMISTRY, EMORY U
item Merrill, Jr, A - BIOCHEMISTRY, EMORY U

Submitted to: Journal of Food Additives & Contaminants
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 10, 2000
Publication Date: July 1, 2000

Technical Abstract: Santa Maria de Jesus and Patzicia are rural Kaqchikel-speaking Mayan communities in Guatemala. In 1995, INCAP scientists conducted a survey of households in Santa Maria and Patzicia. As part of the study, tortillas, nixtamal, and the maize used to prepare the tortillas was obtained from 50 households in each town. The mean fumonisin B1 level in tortillas from the two communities were not significantly different, however, the mean AP1 in the tortillas from Santa Maria de Jesus (25.5 ug/g dry wt) was significantly (P<0.0001) greater than in Patzicia (5.7 ug/g dry wt). The finding of more AP1 in the cooked tortillas from Santa Maria de Jesus could be due to the fact that less water was used in the washing of nixtamal in Santa Maria de Jesus than in Patzicia. A more detailed study is underway where blood and urine samples as well as morbidity data have been collected from 100 individuals and are currently being analyzed at INCAP. Preliminary results indicate that the levels of fumonisins are much lower in the tortillas from the 1999 sampling compared to the samples obtained in 1995. The results from 1995 and 1999 indicate that fumonisin occurrence in maize in the Central Highlands is episodic. Human epidemiology studies will need to pinpoint when and where human exposure is most likely to be high. In Santa Maria and Patzicia the daily consumption of tortillas is around 400 g/adult male. Thus, the most important variable in the Central Highlands of Guatemala will be the yearly/seasonal variability of fumonisin contamination. It is therefore necessary to establish a baseline for F. moniliforme and FB1 occurrence in the maize used in the Central Highlands for making tortillas.

Last Modified: 11/25/2014
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