Multiple mycotoxins
detected in corn
harvested in 2019

The aim of the present study was to screen corn samples for mycotoxins, received from different countries and regions of the world, between September 2019 and February 2020.

Jog Raj*, Hunor Farkaš, Zdenka Jakovčević, Nemanja Todorović, Jasna Bošnjak-Neumüller y Marko Vasiljević

PATENT CO,. Mišićevo, Serbia

Mycotoxins are the biggest challenge for animal feed producers and therefore, regular monitoring of mycotoxins is necessary.

The aim of the present study was to screen corn samples for mycotoxins, received from different countries and regions of the world, between September 2019 and February 2020.

The corn samples were collected from North and South America (Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil) Asia (India, Iraq, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan) and Europe (Serbia, Spain, France, Italy, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Russia, Belarus, and Croatia).

These corn samples were analyzed by LC-MS/MS triple quad (Agilent 6460 series) based multi-mycotoxin method for quantification of all mycotoxins present (Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), B2, G1 and G2, Ochratoxin A (OTA), Zearalenone (ZON), Deoxynivalenol (DON), Fumonisin B1 and B2 (FB1 & FB2), T-2 & HT-2 toxins) that are regulated in the EU in feed by EU Directive 2002/32/EC, 2006/576/EC and 2013/165/EU.

RESULTS

  • Mycotoxins detected in the corn samples in each country in 2019 and the overall conclusions based on the integrated global data sets for this year.
  • Comparisons of the mycotoxins detected in 2018 v 2019.
  • Effects of detected mycotoxins on animals.
  • Overall Conclusions.

MYCOTOXINS DETECTED in corn per country in 2019

CHILE

In 2019, 93% of the corn samples received from Chile were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins (Fig 1).

Fig 1. Number (%) of mycotoxins detected in corn samples from Chile

Higher and co-occurrence of Fumonisins (93% of the samples) followed by DON in 20% and ZON in 7% samples was recorded (Table 1).

Table 1. Mycotoxin contamination levels (ppb) in corn samples from Chile in 2019

BRASIL

Fig 2. Number (%) of mycotoxins detected per corn sample from Brazil

The LC-MS/MS-based analysis showed that 91% of the corn samples received from Brazil were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins (Fig 2).

FB1 was detected in 91% of the samples, ZON in 6% and AFB1 in a low number of samples (3%). In the Brazilian samples, there was also a co-occurrence of Fusarium mycotoxins and AFB1 (Table 2).

Table 2. Mycotoxin contamination levels detected (ppb) in the corn samples from Brazil in 2019

COLOMBIA

The analysis of corn samples received from Colombia in 2019 showed that all the samples (100%) were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins (Fig 3).

Fig 3. Number (%) per mycotoxin detected in corn from Colombia

Co-occurrence of FB 1 in all the samples examined, DON in 61%, ZON in 22%, and AFB 1 in 5% of the samples was detected (Table 3).

Table 3. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Colombia in 2019

ARGENTINA

In 2019, 84% of the corn samples received from various regions of Argentina were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins as shown in Fig 4.

Fig 4. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample in 2019 in Argentina

The presence of FB 1 in many of the samples (84%), DON in 36%, ZON in 16%, HT-2 in 8% and AFB 1 in only 16% of the corn samples showed the trend of co-occurrence of Fusarium mycotoxins and AFB 1 in Argentina (Table 4).

Table 4. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Argentina in 2019

MÉXICO

In 2019, all the corn samples received from various regions of Mexico were contaminated with more than one mycotoxin (Fig 5).

Fig 5. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample from Mexico

Fumonisins (FB 1 & FB2 ) were detected in all the samples, DON and ZON in 23%, and AFB 1 in only 13% of the corn samples examined. These results again suggest that in Mexican corn for feed there is co-occurrence of Fusarium mycotoxins and AFB 1 (Table 5).

Table 5. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Mexico in 2019

PERÚ

Fig 6. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample in 2019

The analysis of corn samples from Peru in 2019 showed that all the corn samples received from animal feed producers were contaminated with more than one mycotoxin (Fig 6).

The fumonisins were again present in all the corn samples originating from Peru and the presence of DON and ZON in 50% of the samples showed that corn was predominantly contaminated with a mixture of Fusarium mycotoxins (Table 6).

Table 6. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Peru, in 2019

INDIA

The corn samples (97%) received from various regions of India in 2019 were found contaminated with multiple mycotoxins (Fig 7).

Fig 7. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample from India

Fumonisins were detected in almost all the samples (93 %), ZON in 30%, OTA in 3%. Interestingly, in India the presence of AFB1 in 53% of the samples demonstrated the co-occurrence of Fusarium mycotoxins and AFB 1 (Table 7).

Table 7. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from India in 2019

VIETNAM

Fig 8. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample in 2019

Corn samples obtained from Vietnam were all contaminated with multiple mycotoxins (Fig 8).

All the samples (100%) were contaminated with Fumonisins, 41% with DON and 28 % with ZON. For this country there was generally a co-occurrence of Fusarium mycotoxins in 2019 (Table 8).

Table 8. Mycotoxins levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Vietnam in 2019

TAIWÁN

The analysis of corn samples from Taiwan in 2019, showed that 100% of the corn samples were contaminated with one or more mycotoxin (Fig 9).

Fig 9. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample in 2019

Fumonisins were detected in all the samples, ZON in 13 %, and DON in about 7 % samples. The predominant co-occurrence was due to Fusarium mycotoxins in Taiwan (Table 9).

Table 9. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Taiwan in 2019

THAILAND

Fig 10. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample

In 2019, all the corn samples (100%) received were contaminated with more than one mycotoxin (Fig 10).

Fumonisins were detected in all the samples analyzed, ZON and DON in 11% and AFB1 was detected in only 5% of the corn samples. There was thus a co-occurrence of Fusarium mycotoxins and AFB1 in 2019 (Table 10).

Table 10. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Thailand in 2019

IRAQ

The analysis of corn samples using LC-MS/MS showed that 91% of the corn samples received from Iraq were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins (Fig 11).

Fig 11. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample

FB1 was detected in 82% samples, AFB1 in 18% and HT-2 in 36 % samples, demonstrating the co-occurrence of mycotoxins in Iraq (Table 11).

Table 11. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Iraq in 2019

RUSSIA

Fig 12. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample

The analysis of samples received from Russia demonstrated that 78% of the corn samples contained more than one mycotoxin (Fig 12)

Again, Fumonisins were found in 39% of the corn samples, ZON and DON in 5%, and AFB 1 in 2%. Interestingly type A trichothecenes were present in more than half of the samples (HT-2, 66%; T-2, 59%). These results again showed the presence of multiple mycotoxins in the Russian samples (Table 12).

Table 12. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Russia in 2019

ITALY

In 2019, all the corn samples (100%) received from Italy were found contaminated with more than one mycotoxin (Fig 13).

Fig 13. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample

Fumonisins were detected in all the corn samples, ZON in 57%, DON in 43% and AFB 1 in 14% of the samples. Fusarium mycotoxins (FB1 , FB2 , ZON, DON and sometimes AFB1 were the major co-occurring mycotoxins (Table 13).

Table 13. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Italy in 2019

CROATIA

Fig 14. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample

Overall, in 2019, 96% of the corn samples were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins (Fig 14)

In Croatian corn Fumonisins were present in 89% corn samples, DON in 78%, ZON in 35%, HT-2 in 24%, T-2 in 13% and only a few samples were contaminated with AFB1 (13%) (Table 14).

Table 14. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Croatia in 2019

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

Overall, in 2019, 88% of the corn samples received from Bosnia were found contaminated with more than one mycotoxin, with 12 % containing no mycotoxins at all (Fig 15).

Fig 15. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample

The predominant mycotoxin present was the Fumonisins (69%), DON in 44%, ZON in 19%, HT-2 in 19%, T-2 in 13% and AFB1 in only 6 % (Table 15).

Table 15. Mycotoxins levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2019

FRANCE

Fig 16. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample

In 2019, 71% of the feed corn samples received from France were found contaminated with more than one mycotoxin using LC-MS/MS-based analysis (Fig 16).

Fumonisins were predominant in the corn samples (71 %), ZON and DON in 57% and HT-2 and T-2 in 14% of the feed corn samples (Table 16).

Table 16. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from France in 2019

SPAIN

In 2019, 97% of the corn samples received from Spain were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins (Fig 17).

Fig 17. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample

Fumonisins were predominantly found in 94 % of the samples, HT-2 toxin in 14%, AFB1 in 11% and ZON in 3% (Table 17).

Table 17. Mycotoxins levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Spain in 2019

BELARUS

Fig 18. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample

In 2019, 93% of the corn samples received were found contaminated with one or more mycotoxins (Fig 18).

DON was present in 93% of the samples, HT-2 in 53% and T-2 in 47% of the samples (Table 18).

Table 18. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Belarus in 2019

SERBIA

The analysis of corn samples using LC-MS/MS showed that 49% of the corn samples received from Serbia were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins (Fig 19).

Fig 19. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample

FB1 was detected in 47% of the samples, AFB1 in 11% and ZON in 4 %, DON in 7%, HT-2 in 2 %, T-2 in 4% (Table 19).

Table 19. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples from Italy in 2019

GLOBAL CONCLUSIONS – CORN SURVEY 2019

A total of 1000+ samples were received for analysis at PATENT CO., and out of these, 92% of the samples (Fig 20) were found contaminated with one or more mycotoxins.

Fig 20. Number (%) of mycotoxins per corn sample

The predominant mycotoxins and their mean contamination levels in order of concentrations were: FB1 (1819 ppb), FB2 (601 ppb), DON (402 ppb), ZON (110 ppb), AFB1 (23 ppb), HT-2 (69 ppb), T-2 (41 ppb), Fumonisins were detected in 82% of all samples, DON in 27%, AFB 1 in 9%, T-2/HT-2 in 12% and ZON in 17% from the different countries in different Continents examined (Table 20 and Figure 20.1).

Table 20. Mycotoxin levels detected (ppb) in corn samples globally in 2019

Fig 20.1. Percentage of mycotoxins detected in corn samples in 2019

Comparison of MYCOTOXINS DETECTED in 2018 and 2019

A comparison has been made of the data obtained on a global level in 2018 with the results obtained in 2019 (Fig. 21).

  • In 2018, 95% of the samples were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins.
  • In 2019, 92 % of the corn samples were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins.

Fig 21. Comparison of the number (%) of mycotoxins in global corn samples in 2018 and 2019

The data in Fig 22 shows that the mean FB1 , FB2 , DON, ZON, were higher in 2019 when compared with those present in the corn samples in 2018.

Fig 22 data also shows that the mean contaminations of AFB1, OTA, T-2 and HT-2 were lower in the 2019 samples when compared with the 2018 survey. There was thus a reduction in AFB1 , OTA and type A trichothecenes in the 2019 survey.

Fig 22. Comparison of the mean contamination levels (ppb) for each mycotoxin in the corn samples examined in 2018 and 2019

The data in Fig 23 shows the higher occurrence of FB1 and of HT-2 toxins in the corn samples in 2019 when compared to those in 2018.

This contrasts with the predominant occurrence of the mycotoxins AFB1 , OTA, ZON, DON and T-2 toxins in the global corn samples in 2018v2019 samples received.

Fig 23. Percentage of toxins detected in corn samples in 2018 V 2019

Fig 24 shows a comparison between the maximum of positive samples for different mycotoxins in 2018 and 2019.

Fig 24. Comparison of the maximum of positives detected in corn in 2018 and 2019

In SUMMARY

When comparing the survey results in 2018 with the 2019 corn survey the following differences were found:

  • OTA was detected in corn samples in 2018, but not in 2019
  • There was a higher occurrence of Fumonisins, and with higher contamination levels in 2019
  • In the 2018 survey, there were more Aspergillus-related mycotoxins when compared to 2019

Effects of MYCOTOXINS DETECTED in 2019 in animals

Fig 25. Effects of mycotoxins on animals

CONCLUSIONS

  • Field mycotoxins such as Fumonisins, DON and ZON were detected in the highest concentrations in the corn samples received from various countries globally in 2019.
  • There were some differences between regions. For example, in South America and Asia (India), where in the former countries Fusarium mycotoxins, especially fumonisins, trichothecenes and ZON were predominantly present.
  • In the latter regions (India), Fumonisins and AFB 1 were predominant.
  • The co-occurrence of mycotoxins is important as they could lead to additive or more importantly synergistic impacts and influence the growth rate of different animal species. Thus, with the impact of future climate related environmental changes, mycotoxins will in the future remain very important contributors to having significant impacts on animal health. This requires effective remediation/minimisation strategies and regular effective monitoring to reduce impacts in animal feed chains.



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