5 Tips for On-site Mycotoxin Testing and Mitigation

5 Tips for On-site Mycotoxin Testing and Mitigation

Here we present 5 key takeaways from our recent webinar on mycotoxin testing and survey results, in cooperation with Romer Labs.

1. Mycotoxins are a common occurrence

All indicators suggest that feed and livestock industry professionals often encounter a mycotoxin challenge. More than 60% of those who attended the live session indicated during the in-session poll that they had encountered a problem with mycotoxins in the last year. These results are in line with what published in the latest BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey, where we observed an average risk level of 62%—meaning that nearly two-thirds of samples had at least one mycotoxin above the threshold levels. On a regional basis, risk levels ranged from a low of 46% in the Middle East to a high of 80% in Asia. Consequently, it’s a good idea to implement regular mycotoxin testing of crops and feed ingredients—which is why...

2. Proper sampling is key

A full 80% of webinar participants said they test for mycotoxins. Asked how they test for mycotoxins, 55% of the respondents use an external analytical service, and a further 25% test on-site. BIOMIN sister company, Romer Labs® offers both—you can find more on their mycotoxin detection solutions here.

No matter how you test, a correct sampling plan is the basis for achieving reliable results. Generally, 88% of total analytical error stems from improper sampling—so it’s important to do it correctly.

In the EU, there are guidelines for sampling where the full procedure is outlined step by step. Mycotoxins are heterogeneously distributed in the lot, and tend to accumulate in so-called ‘hot spots’ in response to the repartition of water, air and other factors that can accelerate fungal growth in some areas rather than others.

To get a representative sample, it’s important collect a great number of incremental samples from everywhere in the lot and at different heights, in order to have the complete picture of what is going on in the silo. Here’s a quick sampling guide from Romer Labs® to help you get started. Also, the FAO offers a mycotoxin sampling tool that you can use to check your sampling plan.

3. Low level combinations are common, potentially harmful

Multiple mycotoxin contamination of feed presents additional problems, as certain combinations of mycotoxins are known to have synergistic effects that aggravate the negative consequences for animals.

Dr. Timothy Jenkins explained several concerns related to mycotoxin occurrence below regulatory and guidance levels. He shared research showing that low levels of deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FUM) in poultry resulted in lesions in the liver and intestines, and that these signs of intestinal damage are not easily or immediately detected in flocks. Furthermore, the same combination of deoxynivalenol and fumonisins has been shown to reduce vaccine response.

Given that two-thirds of the over 16000 samples analyzed as part of the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey contained two or more mycotoxins, it’s important to consider mycotoxins that are not tested, or the presence of multiple mycotoxins and their effects on animals.

4. Think broad spectrum protection

A good binder is only a good start, unless your...

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