Researchers from the Laboratory of Food Analysis at Ghent University looked at occurrence of mycotoxins in feed as analyzed by a multi-mycotoxin LC-MS/MS method. The results were presented in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry.
Crops used for animal feed can be easily contaminated by fungi during growth, harvest, or storage, resulting in the occurrence of mycotoxins. Because animal feed plays an important role in the food safety chain, the European Commission has set maximum levels for aflatoxin B(1) and recommended maximum levels for deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, and the sum of fumonisin B(1) and B(2).
A multimycotoxin LC-MS/MS method was developed, validated according to Commission Decision 2002/657/EC and EN ISO 17025 accredited for the simultaneous detection of 23 mycotoxins (aflatoxin-B(1), aflatoxin-B(2), aflatoxin-G(1), aflatoxin-G(2), ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, fumonisin B(1), fumonisin B(2), fumonisin B(3), T2-toxin, HT2-toxin, nivalenol, 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol, 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol, diacetoxyscirpenol, fusarenon-X, neosolaniol, altenuene, alternariol, alternariol methyl ether, roquefortine-C, and sterigmatocystin) in feed.
The decision limits of the multimycotoxin method varied from 0.7 to 60.6 mug/kg. The apparent recovery and the results of the precision study fulfilled the performance criteria as set in Commission Decision 2002/657/EC. The analysis of three different feed matrices (sow feed, wheat, and maize) provided a good basis for the evaluation of the toxin exposure in animal production. In total, 67 samples out of 82 (82%) were contaminated; type B-trichothecenes and fumonisins occurred most often. The majority of the infected feed samples (75%) were contaminated with more than one type of mycotoxin.