OBJECTIVE: To examine Saccharomyces cerevisae strains with previously reported beneficial properties and aflatoxin B1 binding capacity, for their ability to remove ochratoxin A (OTA) and zearalenone (ZEA) and to study the relation between cell wall thickness and detoxificant ability of yeast strains. RESULTS: A mycotoxin binding assay at different toxin concentrations and the effect of gastrointestinal conditions on mycotoxin binding were evaluated. Ultrastructural studies of yeast cells were carried out with transmission electronic microscopy. All tested strains were capable of removing OTA and ZEA. Saccharomyces cerevisiae RC012 and RC016 showed the highest OTA removal percentage, whereas RC009 and RC012 strains showed the highest ZEA removal percentages. The cell diameter/cell wall thickness relation showed a correlation between cell wall amount and mycotoxin removal ability. After exposure to gastrointestinal conditions, a significant increase in mycotoxin binding was observed. CONCLUSIONS: All tested Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains were able to remove OTA and ZEA, and physical adsorption would be the main mechanism involved in ochratoxin A and ZEA removal. Gastrointestinal conditions would enhance adsorption and not decrease mycotoxin-adsorbent interactions. CONCLUSIONS: Live strains with mycotoxin binding ability and beneficial properties are potential probiotics that could be included in animal feed. Previous and present results suggest that the RC008 and RC016 strains are very promising candidates for functional feed product development.
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