Adsorption of aflatoxin B1, zearalenone and ochratoxin A by microorganisms isolated from Kefir grains

Int J Food Microbiol. 2017 Jun 19;251:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2017.03.021. Epub 2017 Mar 28.


A strategy to reduce the deleterious effects of mycotoxins is to use dietary supplements that contain microorganisms that bind mycotoxins and decrease their gastrointestinal absorption. Novel strains were isolated from a Kefir culture and assessed for their mycotoxin adsorption and biotransformation ability. The most active strains were identified using DNA sequencing, and the stability of microorganism/mycotoxin complexes was evaluated using buffer solutions to simulate the pH conditions in the gastrointestinal tract. Our results showed that the microorganism consortium of Kefir grains adsorbed 82 to 100% of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), zearalenone (ZEA) and ochratoxin A (OTA) when cultivated in milk. The main strains that were capable of mycotoxin adsorption were identified as Lactobacillus kefiri, Kazachstania servazzii and Acetobacter syzygii. The strain L. kefiri KFLM3 was the most active, adsorbing 80 to 100% of the studied mycotoxins when cultivated in milk. Nonetheless, the strain K. servazzii KFGY7 retained more mycotoxin after the desorption experiments (65, 69 and 67% for AFB1, OTA and ZEA, respectively). These findings suggest that Kefir consumption may help to reduce gastrointestinal absorption of these mycotoxins and consequently reduce their toxic effects. The isolated strains may be of interest for the development of fermented dairy products for human consumption that have a new probiotic characteristic, the adsorption of mycotoxins.

Keywords: Acetobacter syzygii; Adsorption; Kazachstania servazzii; Kefir; Lactobacillus kefiri; Mycotoxins.

MeSH terms

  • Acetobacter / isolation & purification
  • Acetobacter / metabolism*
  • Adsorption
  • Aflatoxin B1 / metabolism*
  • Foodborne Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Kefir / microbiology*
  • Lactobacillus / isolation & purification
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism*
  • Microbiota / physiology
  • Ochratoxins / metabolism*
  • Probiotics / metabolism
  • Saccharomycetales / isolation & purification
  • Saccharomycetales / metabolism*
  • Zearalenone / metabolism*


  • Ochratoxins
  • ochratoxin A
  • Zearalenone
  • Aflatoxin B1