Journal Articles

Effect of UV irradiation on aflatoxin reduction: a cytotoxicity evaluation study using human hepatoma cell line

August 31, 2017

Ankit Patras, Sharath Julakanti, Sudheer Yannam, Rishipal R. Bansode, Mallory Burns, Matthew J. Vergne (2017) Effect of UV irradiation on aflatoxin reduction: a cytotoxicity evaluation study using human hepatoma cell line. Mycotoxin Research 1-8.

Author Affiliations

1.Food Biosciences and Technology Program, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Tennessee State University Nashville USA
2. Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, North Carolina Research Campus North Carolina A&T State University Kannapolis USA
3. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Lipscomb University Nashville USA


In this proof-of-concept study, the efficacy of a medium-pressure UV (MPUV) lamp source to reduce the concentrations of aflatoxin B1, aflatoxin B2, and aflatoxin G1 (AFB1, AFB2, and AFG1) in pure water is investigated. Irradiation experiments were conducted using a collimated beam system operating between 200 to 360 nm. The optical absorbance of the solution and the irradiance of the lamp are considered in calculating the average fluence rate. Based on these factors, the UV dose was quantified as a product of average fluence rate and treatment time. Known concentrations of aflatoxins were spiked in water and irradiated at UV doses ranging from 0, 1.22, 2.44, 3.66, and 4.88 J cm−2. The concentration of aflatoxins was determined by HPLC with fluorescence detection. LC-MS/MS product ion scans were used to identify and semi-quantify degraded products of AFB1, AFB2, and AFG1. It was observed that UV irradiation significantly reduced aflatoxins in pure water (p < 0.05). Irradiation doses of 4.88 J cm−2 reduced concentrations 67.22% for AFG1, 29.77% for AFB2, and 98.25% for AFB1 (p < 0.05). Using this technique, an overall reduction of total aflatoxin content of ≈95% (p < 0.05) was achieved. We hypothesize that the formation of ˙OH radicals initiated by UV light may have caused photolysis of AFB1, AFB2, and AFG1 molecules. In cell culture studies, our results demonstrated that the increase of UV dosage decreased the aflatoxin-induced cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells. Therefore, our research finding suggests that UV irradiation can be used as an effective technique for the reduction of aflatoxins.

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