Smectite clays as adsorbents of aflatoxin B1: Initial steps

Author(s): Kannewischer I, Tenorio AMG, White GN, Dixon JB


Smectite clay has been shown to sorb aflatoxin B 1 (AfB 1) in animal feed 1), 2) and thereby reduce its toxic influence on animals and its entrance to the human food chain. In an effort to find effective adsorbents, 39 samples proposed to adsorb aflatoxin were analyzed and classified into four groups based on their properties: coefficient of linear extensibility (COLE), pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), organic carbon, microbial content and x-ray diffraction (XRD) spacings. A subset of 20 bentonite samples from commercial sources and reference minerals from 6 US-states and 2 sites in Mexico was selected for sorption determinations. A 10-fold difference in sorption based on the Langmuir equation was observed. Yet clay properties were mostly clustered and it is not clear which properties influence this variation. The basal spacing of AfB 1 saturated smectites exhibited greater resistance to collapse on heating than untreated smectites indicating that AfB 1 entered the interlayer galleries of the smectites. After heating the mycotoxin-clay complex the desorbed mycotoxin was altered indicating a reaction of the molecules with the clay surface. The most effective sorbent smectite samples were from three US-states (MS, ID, TX).

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