Mycotoxins

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Biomin poll: Firms confront mycotoxins head on

A full 60% of feed and livestock industry professionals have encountered a problem with mycotoxins in the past 12 months, according to a recent poll.

"This confirms what we see in the 2015 Biomin Mycotoxin Survey," noted Dr Simone Schaumberger, Mycotoxin Risk Management Product Manager at Biomin. "It's a fact that mycotoxins cost the global livestock industry billions each year," she added.

Unexplained problems

A further 18% of respondents answered that they "maybe" had encountered a mycotoxins challenge in the past 12 months. Uncertainty in the field may be explained by the vast diversity and combinations of mycotoxins found in livestock production situations. "There are a host of health and performance issues associated with low concentrations of multiple mycotoxins that can be difficult to detect," explained Dr Schaumberger. "Regular testing of feed, use of sophisticated detection methods and even prophylactic use of a mycotoxin deactivator may help alleviate the situation."

Product use widespread

Furthermore, 3 out of 4 respondents said that they have used a product to counter mycotoxins in the past year. "Due to structural differences among various mycotoxins, farmers need to use different strategies to successfully address a mycotoxin challenge: adsorption, biotransformation and bioprotection," observed Dr Schaumberger. Binding, or adsorption, can be effective against some mycotoxins such as aflatoxins. Certain commercially available binders may adsorb vitamins in nutrients in the feed, diminishing feed quality and hampering animal performance. "It's important to select a mycotoxin deactivator that has been tested for safety and efficacy in vitro and in vivo using recognised, relevant biomarkers," she stated.

About the poll

The poll of feed and livestock industry professionals was conducted during the 3 March 2016 webinar "Mycotoxin Detection and Survey Results" hosted by Biomin and Romer Labs. Answers were collected from 308 respondents in 86 different countries, including veterinarians, nutritionists, quality assurance and control managers, livestock managers, farmers, feed millers, researchers and scientists.

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