We aimed to develop a new food-processing approach using pectin to reduce gastrointestinal absorption of mycotoxins. When Ca(2+) is added to low-methoxyl pectin, a gel resembling an egg box-like structure forms that is able to trap certain molecules. We examined whether or not low-methoxyl amidated pectin (LMA) and low-methoxyl non-amidated pectin (LMNA) trapped the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) after being ingested. We first determined the trapping effects of LMA and LMNA on DON in vitro under conditions similar to those in the human stomach, with results showing that LMA gel trapped DON to a greater extent than the LMNA gel. We then performed in vivo experiments and demonstrated that the LMA gel containing DON reduced DON's absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. This new food-processing technique holds great promise for reducing the bioavailability of DON in contaminated food and may be useful in mitigating the effects of other mycotoxins.
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