Mycotoxins are toxic secondary molecules produced by moulds causing a wide range of effects depending on the molecular family, combination of contaminants and rearing environment. Mycotoxins occur differently in each part of the world, according to climate and agricultural practices. Aflatoxins, Ochratoxins, Fumonisins, Zearalenones and Trichothecenes (DON, T2, H-T2, etc.) are the 5 main mycotoxins families identified causing a lot of zootechnical issues with or without clinical effects.
Mycotoxins contamination can occur in the field with molds such as the Fusarium species, producing mycotoxins such as Fumonisins, Trichotecens and Zearalenons on the crops, or during storage time with fungi, such as the Aspergillus and Penicillium. Those fungi are linked to Aflatoxins and Ochratoxins mycotoxins. Storage contamination is additional to the in-field contamination. One mycotoxin can be produced by several molds and one mold can produce several mycotoxins causing multi-contamination. Nowadays, about all the samples having a positive result for mycotoxin presence are in situation of multi-contamination.
Multi-contamination in feed increases the effects of mycotoxins and their impact on the performances of animals. With mycotoxins, both additive and synergic effects are possible, depending on many external factors. Mycotoxins toxicity will also depends on the species, animals’ age and mycotoxins families’ presence. On monogastrics species we mainly identified impacts on growth performances, reproduction, metabolism and immunity. On ruminant, we identified impacts on reproduction, milk production but also on milk quality.
Raw materials analysis is the starting point of mycotoxins contamination knowledge in each particular situation. Corn, barley, wheat and oats are important substrates for mycotoxins, but they are not the only raw materials that need to be analyzed. For ruminants, forages are the main source of contamination which also
In addition, mycotoxins are very stable and resistant metabolites. They are resistant to thermic treatments up to 250°C (such as extrusion, pelletizing, flacking etc.), physical and chemical treatments (such as cleaning,
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