Continuous higher threat for DON and FUM in Asia: 2017 BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey Results for Asia

Table 1. BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey statistics

201520162017
Number of analyses31,00063,63073,692
Number of samples8,27116,51118,757

Overall, 2017 was another high-risk year for mycotoxins in Asia, similar to 2016. The infographic (Figure 1) and graph (Figure 2) show where the major mycotoxins were found throughout Asia in 2017. The most severely contaminated sub region was East Asia, including China, Korea and Japan. In East Asia, deoxynivalenol (DON) was the most prevalent mycotoxin, followed by fumonisin (FUM) and zearalenone (ZEN). All are produced by Fusarium species of fungi, normally abundant in cooler climates but prevalent in East Asia because of trading. Over 90% of the raw feed materials used in Korea and Japan are imported. The 2017 figures look different in South East Asia where Aflatoxin (Afla) as well as FUM were both a problem. ZEN and DON were found in 52% and 50% of the samples respectively. The trend shows that a large percentage of integrators and feed mills are using imported raw materials so the contamination levels of Fusarium mycotoxins are reflecting trends from North and South America. Taking a closer look at the results from South Asia, Afla is still the biggest threat if we also consider the percentage contamination above the risk threshold. The prevalence of FUM and Ochratoxin A (OTA) in South Asia was the highest of all the Asian sub regions.

Figure 1. Mycotoxin contamination throughout Asia

Figure 1. Mycotoxin contamination throughout Asia

Figure 2. Prevalence of mycotoxins detected in all samples from Asia (risk threshold determined for the most sensitive species)

Figure 2. Prevalence of mycotoxins detected in all samples from Asia (risk threshold determined for the most sensitive species)

The majority of samples analyzed contained at least one mycotoxin type above the risk level (Figure 3), which would have an effect on most animals. The main mycotoxins are identified by each region, and more detail of each mycotoxin type is given in Table 2. This is based on the following risk thresholds for the six main mycotoxin types analyzed; Afla at 2 ppb, ZEN at 50 ppb, type B trichothecenes (e.g. DON) at 150 ppb, type A trichothecenes (e.g. T-2 toxin) at 50 ppb, FUM at 500 ppb and OTA at 10 ppb.

Figure 3. Co-contamination of mycotoxins in all samples – samples tested for at least three mycotoxins

Figure 3. Co-contamination of mycotoxins in all samples – samples tested for at least three mycotoxins 

Table 2. Detailed Mycotoxin Survey results for Asian Sub regions in 2017

Table 2. Detailed Mycotoxin Survey results for Asian Sub regions in 2017

In addition, the 2017 North American Corn harvest had a high FUM risk (FUM was detected in 65% of samples with an average level of 2563 ppb) as well as a significant DON risk (DON was detected in 74% of samples with an average level of 893 ppb). Soybeans are usually considered cleaner than corn, but wet weather conditions leading up to the 2017 harvest in South America resulted in a higher than normal risk level (83% of samples were found to be contaminated with DON at an average level of 1258ppb).

In conclusion, the 2017 BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey Program for Asia found three main trends:

  • East Asia was the most contaminated sub region in Asia, where up to 90% of the raw materials for feed included corn from North America and soybeans from Latin America.
  • South East Asia is becoming more contaminated with DON and ZEN, reflecting the fact that bigger feed mills use more imported raw materials.
  • In South Asia, Afla is still the biggest threat. However, the prevalence of FUM and OTA was the highest in the whole Asian region. 

This article originally appeared in Livestock & Feed Business.

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