Enniatin B: Everything You Need To Know

Enniatin B

Welcome to my blog post ‘Everything You Need To Know About Mycotoxin Enniatin B’. This blog assumes you are up to speed with what mycotoxins are, the signs and symptoms of mycotoxin illness, and how to test for them. If not, you may also be interested in the section of my blog dedicated to mycotoxins, click here, in particular:

What Is Enniatin B?

Mycotoxin enniatin B (ENN B) is a secondary metabolism product by Fusarium fungi. It belongs to the group of the “emerging” mycotoxins.

Systemic exposure of humans to ENN B and ENN B1 is described as these mycotoxins are detected in blood, urine and breast milk.

What Are The Symptoms Of Enniatin B toxicity?

It is a well-known antibacterial, antihelmintic, antifungal, herbicidal, and insecticidal compound.

Despite its clear cytotoxic effect, European Food Safety Authority stated that acute exposure to ENNs, such as ENN B, does not indicate concern for human health, but a concern might be the chronic exposure.

Although there aren’t specific symptoms for Enniatin B we do have some understanding of the damage they may cause which includes:

  • Triggering cell death.
  • Oxidative stress.
  • Mitochondrial membrane potential disruption
  • Estrogenic Activity
  • Genotoxicity
  • Possible neurotoxic effects

On this final bullet point research has found that it can reach the brain parenchyma (a part of the brain) where neurotoxic effects cannot be ruled out.

What Foods Contain Enniatin B?

It has been found as a contaminant in several food commodities, particularly in cereal grains, co-occurring also with other mycotoxins.

It is also commonly found in:

  • Fish.
  • Dried fruits.
  • Nuts.
  • Spices.
  • Cocoa.
  • Coffee products.

Unlike other Fusarium mycotoxins, such as deoxynivalenol and zearalenone, whose presence in food and feed has been regulated by authorities, no limits have been set for Enniatin B, up to now. However, an increasing number of studies are proving their presence in several food and feed commodities and also their toxicity. This fact may constitute a great concern for human and animal health, since their toxicity could be also enhanced by the presence of other mycotoxins at the same time.

Concentrations of ENN B in grains range from a few μg/kg to over mg/kg. Just look at these findings:

  1. In a multi-mycotoxins analysis of maize silage in NW Spain, researchers found that ENN B was the most prevalent mycotoxin detected in 51% of the samples (average concentration: 157 µg/kg).
  2. Ina another study the researchers demonstrated the ENN B presence in all of the samples of Danish grain collected during the 2010 and 2011 harvests, with the highest value of 3,900 µg/kg detected in rye sample.
  3. A survey in Finland showed that ENNs were frequently detected in unprocessed grains including wheat, barley, rye, and oats, and that the maximum concentration was found for ENN B (10,280 µg/kg) in a barley sample

Does Cooking Kill It Off?

Moreover, some food processes including cooking, baking, frying, roasting, etc. do not affect their chemical structure

My Interview With Dr. Jill Crista

Concluding Remarks

Mycotoxins constitute a serious health concern both for animals and for humans, besides economic problems. Productive and nutritive values of food and feed can be compromised by mold and mycotoxin contamination, and toxicological risk derived by ingestion is constantly under Authorities control. Regarding ENNs, a risk assessment is still not available, despite its clear toxicity in vitro and its presence in food and feed.


  1. A Review of the Mycotoxin Enniatin B: click here.
  2. Fusarium mycotoxin enniatin B: Cytotoxic effects and changes in gene expression profile: click here.
  3. Transport of enniatin B and enniatin B1 across the blood-brain barrier and hints for neurotoxic effects in cerebral cells: click here
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