AFB1in corn could be efficiently degraded by ozone.
The toxicity of the ozone-treated ACC was evaluated by the HepG2 cell line.
Ozonation is an effective, fast and safe method for AFB1degradation in ACC.
This paper studies the ozone treatment effect on degradation of aflatoxin B1(AFB1) in corn with different moisture content (MC). The toxicity of the degradation products (DPs) of the ozone-treated AFB1-Contaminated Corn (ACC) was also evaluated using the human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (HepG2) as model cells. The degradation rate of AFB1in corn increases with ozone concentration and treatment time. The results showed that ACC with 13.47% MC was easier to be degraded by ozone than with 20.37% MC. Treated with 90 mg L−1ozone for 20 min and 40 min, AFB1in corn with 13.47% MC decreased from 83 μg kg−1to 18.12 μg kg−1and 9.9 μg kg−1, respectively, well meeting the China National Standard of AFB1in corn (20 μg kg−1). In order to evaluate the safety of ozone used on ACC, the impacts of AFB1as well as untreated and ozone-treated ACC with the same level of AFB1content on HepG2’s survival rate, morphology, and apoptosis were studied. The results showed that ACC had high cell toxicity while the toxicity of ozone-treated ACC had no significant difference with that of the AFB1-free culture solution. It is concluded that ozonation can quickly and effectively degrade AFB1in corn and diminish ACC’s toxicity, and therefore, ozonation is expected to be an effective, fast, and safe method for AFB1degradation in ACC.