News 168 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Spanish livestock at risk for mycotoxins

An analysis among 90 raw material samples in Spain showed that mycotoxin contamination remains a significant problem. Corn resulted in being the most affected.

Biomin® GmbH has initiated the survey, which took place at the end of 2006. All tests have been conducted by Quantas Analytics - Austria, a company specialized in mycotoxin analysis. Samples of raw materials were taken directly at animal farms or animal feed producing sites.

Fusarium toxins
The aim of this programme was to identify the contamination level of certain Fusarium toxins and the co-occurrence of different types of mycotoxins which are produced by different Fusarium species.
Fusarium species occurring on cereals in the field are able to produce many types of mycotoxins. The main groups of Fusarium toxins commonly recognized in grains are trichothecenes, zearalenone, and fumonisins.

Corn most affected
As the most commonly used feed ingredient, corn resulted in being the most affected commodity. Corn accounts for 51% of all the commodities tested, resulting in being positive for deoxynivalenol (DON 84%), zearalenone (ZON 13%) and Fumonisin (23%).
Mycotoxin levels in barley all tested below limit of determination (LOD) levels.20 wheat samples were analyzed and contamination in wheat was at relatively low levels. No ZON were found in any sample tested. DON accounted for 15% of the contamination (average 463 µg/kg).

Deactivate toxins
A lot of research has been done to adsorb or deactivate these toxins in the intestinal tract of animals with products that are directly mixed into the feed. It turned out that some mycotoxins, like trichothecenes, cannot be adsorbed sufficiently. Thus, enzymatic biotransformation to metabolites without pathogenic activity is the only way to avoid their negative effects on animals. Only the combination of different strategies will finally lead to success.

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