Mycotoxins are toxic fungal substances that can occur in various types of commodities intended for food and feed. Results of the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey conducted from January to June 2017 indicate that deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FUM) are the most common mycotoxins found in feedstuffs.
About the survey
The BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey constitutes the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind, using advanced analytic tools. It details the incidence of the main mycotoxins occurring in agricultural commodities, which include: aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol, T-2 toxin (T-2), fumonisins and ochratoxin A (OTA).
Overall, deoxynivalenol and fumonisins were detected in 81% and 71% of all samples at average levels of 798 ppb and 1,840 ppb, respectively. Out of all samples, 52% were contaminated by zearalenone. Aflatoxins, T-2 and OTA were present in 26%, 19% and 18%% of samples, respectively (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Occurence of mycotoxins worldwide in January to June 2017. Average of all samples collected by BIOMIN.
A full 94% of all samples contained at least one mycotoxin, and 76% of all samples contained two or more mycotoxins (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Co-occurence of mycotoxins worldwide, January to June 2017. Average of all samples collected by BIOMIN.
With 5 mycotoxins above the risk threshold (Table 1), Europe faces a severe mycotoxin contamination risk. The most prevalent mycotoxin in this region was deoxynivalenol, detected in 77% of the samples, followed by zearalenone, detected in 58% of the samples. One finished feed sample from Spain had a maximum concentration of deoxynivalenol of 28,470 ppb and the highest maximum fumonisins concentration was detected in Russian sample (9,478 ppb).
Table 1. Risk thresholds for the main agriculturally-relevant mycotoxins
In Asia, the average concentration of 5 mycotoxins was above the risk threshold, indicating that the region faces a severe contamination risk. The most prevalent mycotoxin was fumonisins, detected in 81% of samples, followed by deoxynivalenol, detected in 79% of samples analyzed. Although the incidence of aflatoxins was rather low (34% of samples analyzed contaminated with this mycotoxin), the average concentration is worrisome and represents a threat to animals. The average concentration of fumonisins in this region represents a threat to the pig industry. A finished feed sample from Malaysia registered a maximum concentration of fumonisins of 46,515 ppb. The highest concentration of deoxynivalenol was 13,206 ppb, detected in a Chinese wheat bran sample. The highest maximum concentration of aflatoxins was 10,918 ppb, detected in a finished feed sample from Myanmar.
North America faces a severe risk of mycotoxin contamination with 5 mycotoxins above the risk threshold. Deoxynivalenol and fumonisins were the most prevalent mycotoxins in feed samples, detected in 80% and 65% of samples respectively. The average concentrations of fumonisins and deoxynivalenol in this region maybe a problem for the pig industry. Maximum concentrations of deoxynivalenol and fumonisins were very high in this region (11,274 and 28,605 ppb respectively).
South America faces a severe contamination risk, with 5 mycotoxins registering average concentrations above the risk threshold. Deoxynivalenol is the most prevalent mycotoxin, and was found in 86% of samples, followed by fumonisins and zearalenone, identified in 77% and 50% of samples respectively. Aflatoxins, T-2 and OTA were detected in 29%, 23% and 5% of samples respectively. South America showed the third highest average concentration of fumonisins worldwide (2,192 ppb) and the highest average concentration of OTA worldwide (22 ppb). The highest fumonisins concentration reported in South America came from a Brazilian corn sample (34,860 ppb).
With 4 mycotoxins average concentrations above the risk threshold, the Middle East faces a high contamination risk. The most prevalent mycotoxins in this region were deoxynivalenol and fumonisins and zearalenone detected in 62%, 58% and 43% of samples respectively. The highest maximum concentration detected in Middle East were 8,841 ppb fumonisins and 4,801 deoxynivalenol.
With 4 mycotoxins above the risk threshold, South Africa faces a high contamination risk. Deoxynivalenol, fumonisins and zearalenone were the most prevalent mycotoxins detected in 67%, 65% and 45% of samples respectively. South Africa shows the highest average concentration of zearalenone worldwide (9,805 ppb).
These BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey findings show that recent mycotoxin occurrence is high. The mycotoxin problem can be addressed through valid farm management strategies and the use of registered mycotoxin deactivators whose efficiency is scientifically proven.