Analysing incoming feed materials for mycotoxin contamination is crucially important as feed can be affected by climate, agricultural practices and local legislation on mycotoxins.
In a survey of the 2017 corn harvest in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, high levels of Aflatoxin B1, Fumonisin B1, Fumonisin B2 were discovered.
- The global use of feed materials in the production of animal feed is increasing the risk of chemical and microbiological contaminants in food-producing animals.
- The feed can be contaminated with micro-organisms, mycotoxins, animal by-products, organic pollutants and toxic metals.
- This contamination of animal feeds has a negative effect on both animal and human health.
PATENT CO., Serbia
MycotoxinsVariations in mycotoxins are increasing the importance of analysing raw materials before they enter the feed chain. Mycotoxins are produced as secondary metabolites by various fungi.
The major fungus producing mycotoxins are Aspergillus, Fusarium and Penicillium.Many food and feed samples can become contaminated with mycotoxins before harvest, during transport and during their storage.
Aflatoxins, Ochratoxin A, Fumonisins, Deoxynivalenol, T-2 toxin and Zearalenone are the most common mycotoxins found in food and feed samples.
Commodities frequently contaminatedCommodities and products frequently contaminated with mycotoxins and used in animal feed include:
- Milk, Cheese, Peanuts, Cottonseed, etc.
Mycotoxins economic impactMycotoxins produce a wide range of adverse and toxic effects in animals affecting their overall health and productivity. Mycotoxins cause mycotoxicosis and cause significant economic losses in animals due to:
- Reduced productivity
- Increased disease incidence
- Decreased reproductive performance
Mycotoxins ToxicityThe mycotoxins of most concern due to their toxicity and occurrence are:
- Aflatoxin (AFB1)
- Deoxynivalenol (DON)
- Ochratoxin (Ochra A)
- Zearalenone (ZEA)
- Fumonisin (FB1 y FB2)
- T-2 toxins
Regulations for major mycotoxins in the food and feed commodities exist in at least 100 countries. Most of these regulations are related to Aflatoxins and the maximum tolerated levels differs greatly among countries.These variations in tolerated levels of mycotoxins and non-regulation of other mycotoxins in other countries are posing a big challenge for the animal feed industry and these variations are increasing the importance of mycotoxin analysis of incoming raw materials before they enter the food/feed chain.
Analysis of mycotoxins
To determine whether feed material and other commodities are contaminated with mycotoxins, it must be tested for mycotoxins. Proper sampling procedures are a pre-requisite for obtaining reliable results because of the heterogeneous distribution of mycotoxins in grains and other commodities.
Methods for detection of mycotoxinsThere are many methods available for detection of mycotoxins. Conventional methods for mycotoxins include:
- Chromatography (TLC)
- Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
- Gas Chromatography (GC).
Most of these methods employ a solid phase column clean-up of extracts and immunoaffinity techniques to remove interferences to improve the measurement of mycotoxins.ELISA is a method of choice where rapid analysis is required, but requires confirmatory analysis by LC-MS/MS. LC-MS/MS is the most sensitive and preferred method of analysis for mycotoxins in food and feed samples.
The method is based on a ‘dilute and shoot’ principle. It involves two step extraction and centrifugation of the extracts.
- Compound feed
- Soya meal
- Wheat bran
- Sunflower meal
ResultsThe blank samples were spiked with a mixture of 11 mycotoxin standards on two levels (LOQ and 10xLOQ) in 12 replicates. The RSDr of the method were between 2.5% and 13.4% and the apparent recoveries were between 62% and 115% for all analytes.
ConclusionsIt was therefore concluded that the ‘dilute and shoot’ method with addition of [13C] labelled internal standard is capable of determining all EU regulated mycotoxins in animal feed and compound feed.
Balkan corn survey 2017
- Aflatoxin B1: 0,59-5.644 ppb
- Toxin HT-2: 9-66 ppb
- Fumonisin B2: 53-2.540 ppb
- Fumonisin B1: 48-8.623
Temperature, humidity, insect attack, and stress conditions in the plants affects the ability of fungi to produce mycotoxins. Therefore, changes in temperature would directly affect the growth of mould and hence, the mycotoxin production capacity.
High temperatures and drought stress can increase the risk of Aflatoxin and Fumonisin contamination in the corn. Similar effects were seen in this survey as corn was found to be contaminated with Aflatoxins and Fumonisin B1 and B2.