February 5, 2015
Mycotoxins have damaged Poland's corn and wheat: Nutriad survey

Nutriad had conducted more than 216 analysis on 36 corn samples in Poland, testing for the occurrences of the six most common mycotoxins in agricultural commodities used for animal production.

The company's mycotoxin survey provides an insight into the incidences of aflatoxin B1 (AfB1), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin, fumonisin B1 (FB1) and ochratoxin A (OTA) across the country.

These samples were collected almost immediately after harvest as the probability of development for some storage mycotoxins, such as OTA, were low. Corn samples were gathered directly from farms or animal feed production sites.

All six mycotoxins were analysed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC MS/MS). For the purpose of data analysis, non-detection levels were based on the limits of quantification (LOQ) of the test method for each mycotoxin: AfB1 < 0.5 μg/kg; ZEN < 10 μg/kg; DON < 75 μg/kg; FB1 < 125 μg/kg; OTA < 1 μg/kg and T-2 toxin < 4 μg/kg.



The results show that 100% of corn samples were contaminated with DON and ZEN.

However, none of the samples contained AfB1 and OTA.

Exactly 25% of samples contained FB1. The average concentrations of all recovered mycotoxins were medium to high while the highest concentration of DON found in one of the samples reached 7900 μg/kg.

T-2 toxin, a mycotoxin extremely toxic for poultry, was found in 63% of the samples; its maximum concentration reached 120 μg/kg and this level could be significant for poultry or other monogastric animal species.

Of even more interest was contamination by zearalenone; 100% of samples were contaminated and the highest analysed concentration was 2600 μg/kg. The average ZEN contamination was 291 μg/kg and this level can be considered medium to high risk for most animal species.


Table 1 – Mycotoxin contamination of corn harvested in 2014 in Poland

Figure 1 – Percentage of positive samples (>LOQ)


The Nutriad mycotoxin survey concludes that 2014's corns in Poland are of poor quality due to mycotoxin contamination.

Additionally, based on results from the survey conducted immediately after the 2014 harvest, the company believes that this year's wheat in the country should not be considered safe to be used in finished feed rations for all animal species.

Nutriad also advised that more attention should be given to corn contamination by DON and ZEN, and appropriate measures taken to reduce the effects of those mycotoxins in animal feeds.

It added that the final line of defense is possibly the detoxification of mycotoxins in vivo.

The addition of proven mycotoxin deactivators to animal feeds is a very common method to prevent mycotoxicosis and is an effective strategy to keep mycotoxin risk low under all conditions, said Nutriad.

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