Moderate UK risk: latest Biomin mycotoxins in feed analysis

The latest in the series of global surveys of mycotoxins in feed materials, run by feed additive manufacturer Biomin, concludes that 60% of the world’s livestock producing regions face a high threat from the contaminants. The Austrian multinational defines high risk as registering three or more of the six major mycotoxins in a sample, at concentrations known to cause harm in animals.

This year’s survey involved more than 31,000 analyses on 8,271 feed material samples collected from 75 countries across the world, compared to some 6,000 samples from 64 countries the year before. It tested for the six major mycotoxins - aflatoxins, zearalenone, deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin, fumonisins and ochratoxin A in feed materials such as maize, wheat, barley, soybean meal and dried distillers grains, as well as silage. Half of all the samples tested contained two or more mycotoxins.

The main findings of the report are that livestock production in North America and North Asia faces a severe threat from mycotoxin contamination, while there is a high threat in South America, Central and Southern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South-East Asia. The UK is rated as a moderate risk.

The DON mycotoxin was found to pose the most frequent threat to livestock, although levels of fumonisins and zearalenone were also a cause for concern.

“The Biomin Mycotoxin Survey continues to expand its geographic coverage and depth of analysis year after year,” notes Ursula Hofstetter, director competence center mycotoxins at the company.

“As we further incorporate cutting-edge mycotoxin detection technology into the survey program, a much clearer and detailed picture of mycotoxin contamination emerges,” she explains. ”For the second year, the survey includes results of our Spectrum 380 multiple mycotoxin analysis of more than 380 mycotoxins and metabolites, using state-of-the-art liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry in a single analysis step. These powerful tools are so sensitive that they detect even incredibly low levels of mycotoxins in raw materials and finished feed.

“Practically speaking, the food and feed industries need look beyond the prevalence (percent of samples testing positive) of mycotoxins, and focus on indicators that are meaningful for their operations. These include average concentration levels measured in parts per billion, sensitivity of livestock species, risk threshold levels, co-occurrence (multiple mycotoxins at once), masked mycotoxins not detected by conventional testing, and total mycotoxin load,” Mrs Hofstetter concludes.

The full report is available via:

Posted on March 16, 2016 and filed under Feed, Animal Health.