Honors College Thesis

Evaluation of Fusarium proliferatum Mycotoxin Profiles in Infected Garlic Cloves

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  • Fusarium proliferatum is a fungus found in soils which produces the mycotoxin group known as fumonisins. Of human concern due to hepato-, nephro- and neurotoxicity, the threat of fumonisins lies within several food items, including corn, wheat sorghum, asparagus and, more recently, garlic. Manifesting as ““garlic rot”,” F. proliferatum infection of garlic poses severe economic threats as garlic is grown and consumed in nearly every region of the world. In areas of the globe where diets may not be varied, fumonisins can be a particularly potent threat. The aim of this project was to validate a method previously used in peanut and corn matrices for use in detecting fumonisin B1 and B2 (FUM) in garlic, as well as examine the fumonisin profile produced by specific strains of F. proliferatum-infected garlic. A method validation process was successfully used to establish quality control parameters. Of the twenty six F. proliferatum-infected garlic samples, six were positive for FUM, although all were significantly below the guidance limit used in for livestock consuming corn (10 ppm). Further work will include analysis of additional samples to confirm this trend. This project is part of a larger goal to develop management strategies to minimize the economic loss, impact, and potential toxicity due to F. proliferatum infection in garlic.
  • Keywords: mycotoxins, fumonisins, garlic, food safety
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