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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 need to be analyzed. Mycotoxins contamination can be suspected by molds presence, or fermented grains, etc. But in most of the case, the contamination (even with high levels) cannot be suspected and detected by visual inspection (no particular alteration of the external aspect, no smell, no taste, no insects). It is not because there is no physical sign of contamination that there is no contamination at all. Even a good-looking raw material can have higher mycotoxin contamination than bad looking one. Only analysis can confirm the presence of mycotoxins.

To have representative analysis, you need to have the right sample. The main challenge is to collect a representative sample of your contamination knowing that mycotoxins have a heterogeneous mode of distribution. That is why it is crucial to use the proper sampling method to have a representative sample to be analyzed. Specific methodologies are developed per type of raw materials and types of delivery.

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, ammoniac etc.), fermentation, molds inhibitor during storage (such as organic acids which destroy only fungus and not the mycotoxins) and time (even long storage periods). To avoid the negative impacts of mycotoxins on animals’ performance, they need to be protected by a global insurance linking personalized raw materials control plan services and efficient product solutions. For that Wisium offers a global approach of the mycotoxins control which started by understanding your fields problematic and needs

Discover our mycotoxins solution T5X