A total of 31 corn samples collected from households in the counties of Cixian and Linxian of the People's Republic of China, where high incidences of esophageal cancer have been reported, were analyzed for fumonisin B1 (FB1), aflatoxin, and total trichothecene mycotoxins. High levels of FB1 (18 to 155 ppm; mean, 74 ppm) were found in 16 of the samples that showed heavy mold contamination. FB1, at lower levels (20 to 60 ppm; mean, 35.3 ppm), was also found in 15 samples, collected from the same households, that did not show any visible mold contamination. The levels of aflatoxin in the samples were low (1 to 38.4 ppb; mean, 8.61 ppb). High levels of total type-A trichothecenes were also found in the moldy corn samples (139 to 2,030 ppb; mean, 627 ppb). Immunochromatography of selected samples revealed that these samples contained T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, iso-neosolaniol, monoacetoxyscirpenol, and several other type-A trichothecenes. The concentration of total type-B trichothecenes in 15 moldy corn samples was in the range of 470 to 5,826 ppb (mean, 2,359 ppb). High levels (3.7 to 5.0 mg/g) of FB1 were produced in corn in the laboratory by five Fusarium moniliforme strains isolated from the moldy corn. These fungi were also capable of forming various nitrosamines (5 to 16 micrograms per flask) in the presence of nitrate and precursor amines.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS
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