UV-induced cis-trans isomerization of zearalenone in contaminated maize
In the literature, it has been shown that the naturally occurring trans-zearalenone (ZEN) is transformed by ultraviolet irradiation to cis-ZEN. However, the practical relevance of this transformation in animal feeding remains unclear. The aim of the present preliminary investigation was to examine the effect of UV-irradiation on the concentration of trans-ZEN in a natural feed matrix at different dry matter contents to simulate the dry and wet feeding techniques usually applied in pig feeding. Four variants, air dry or wet ZEN-contaminated ground maize either irradiated or not were tested and analysed with conventional HPLC-FLD for trans-ZEN changes, which were further examined for cis-ZEN formation by HPLC-MS/MS. In conclusion, it could be shown that, under the investigated wet feed conditions, naturally occurring trans-ZEN was partially converted by ultraviolet irradiation to its cis counterpart. In contrast, the cis/trans isomerization seemed not to be relevant in dry maize. The consequence of this finding for practical liquid feeding systems for pigs requires further investigation. Additionally, an improvement of the analytical method for cis-ZEN determination is needed.