News 3110 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Biomin Survey 2010: Mycotoxins inseparable from feeds

Mycotoxins are, more frequently than not, present in animal commodities and feed. That is the conclusion from the annual survey carried out by Biomin on the presence of mycotoxins in raw materials and animal feed.

Out of the more than 3,300 samples tested during the 12-months period of 2010 a striking 78% were positive for mycotoxin presence.

In 2005 Biomin started a mycotoxin survey program which nowadays is able to provide a good overview on the worldwide occurrence of mycotoxins.
In 2010 the company had 3,349 samples tested and 11,195 analyses were carried out on the most important mycotoxins in terms of agriculture and animal production – aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZON), deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisins (FUM) and ochratoxin A (OTA).
Overall results
As can be seen in the figure below, from all survey samples 28%, 42%, 58%, 55% and 26% tested positive for contamination with Afla, ZON, DON, FUM and OTA, respectively.
If compared with data from the previous year 2009, an increase on the occurrence of the fusariotoxins ZON and DON can be detected.
In addition to higher occurrence level also incredible high maximum levels for the toxins ZON, DON and FUM were found this year in comparison to the last year.
Average contamination levels of all samples tested for ZON and DON increased also to 108 ppb (2009: 77 ppb) and 722 ppb (2009: 418 ppb), respectively.
Regional differences
In North Asia, the most prevalent mycotoxins are the ones produced by Fusarium fungi, namely ZON, DON and FUM. DON was present in 71% of tested samples in an average of 757 ppb.
In South East Asia, the most prevalent mycotoxin was aflatoxin, present in 65% of analyzed samples at an average level of 22 ppb.
Generally regarded as storage mycotoxins, Afla and OTA are the most prevalent in countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh where 88% and 71% of analyzed samples tested positive for these mycotoxins, respectively.
Within the Asia-Pacific region, Australia and New Zealand show a different mycotoxin pattern, with oftentimes a lower prevalence of mycotoxins when in comparison with neighbour countries.
US had DON problem
North America’s concern with mycotoxins such as DON and ZON is widely known, especially after last year’s crops. DON was present in 87% of tested samples at worrying average levels (1,487 ppb).
In South American samples, which are mostly coming from Brazil, the trend was clear, with fumonisins as the biggest contaminant (88% positive samples) and at incredibly high average levels (2,515 ppb).
In Europe, the situation is distinct depending on the latitude. If in northern Europe DON is the most prevalent mycotoxin (62% positive), at lower latitudes (nearer the Equator), mycotoxins such as Afla have greater importance.
Corn by products danger
Regarding commodities corn was the most widely tested commodity. FUM and DON were found to be the mycotoxins of higher prevalence with 75% and 72% of positive.
As expected, corn by-products such as corn gluten meal and DDGS presented very high levels of fusariotoxins such as ZON, DON and FUM, a situation which must be taken into account when using such commodities in animal diets.

Dick Ziggers

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