FUMONISIN, A MYCOTOXIN PRESENT IN CORN, CONSTITUTES THE GREATEST RISK FOR ANIMAL FEED, ACCORDING TO A GLOBAL SURVEY BY BIOMIN
Fumonisin (FUM) is currently the mycotoxin of greatest concern in Latin America, including Brazil. Of the 5,485 samples, 69% were contaminated, as shown by the 2020 edition of the Biomin Global Mycotoxin Survey, which has just been concluded. In the same period of 2019, the FUM contamination rate was 74%.
In global terms, the survey has included 74 countries from various continents. 15,544 samples of raw materials such as corn, wheat, soybeans, and their by-products, as well as animal feed, were collected, and 68,683 analyzes were carried out.
“The contamination of ingredients used in animal feed with mycotoxins is a global problem. Climate changes create a favorable environment for the spread of fungi, including those of the genus Fusarium, which contributes to increased contamination of crops. Currently, the largest source of contamination with fumonisins in Latin America is corn, which, in turn, is the main raw material used in animal feed in this region. This shows the need to establish monitoring and control programs for these substances”, says Tiago Birro, Biomin Product Manager for Latin America.
The consumption of quality raw materials is a decisive factor for the good productive performance of the animals. Constant attention must be paid to identify mycotoxins, which is a complex task. “The possibility of contamination is very high. The toxic compounds are produced by fungi which, in turn, proliferate rapidly in environments with excessive humidity”, warns the Biomin expert.
Another mycotoxin of concern in South America is deoxynivalenol (DON), which has been found in 53% of the samples analyzed. This mycotoxin is also produced by fungi of the genus Fusarium. According to the Biomin Global Mycotoxin Survey, this mycotoxin constitutes a great challenge in North America, where it is present in 79% of the samples analyzed, while fumonisins have been detected in 50% of the samples.
“The key to mycotoxin control is prevention according to the characteristics of each place. Based on this idea, we developed a unique technology to calculate the approximate degree of mycotoxin contamination in grains during harvest. Through robust algorithms, which are updated every hour from data obtained from 61,000 weather stations around the world, the Biomin Mycotoxin Prediction Tool is capable of predicting the risk of contamination in corn and wheat”, explains Tiago Birro.
The challenge of the occurrence of multiple mycotoxins in all the regions analyzed has become increasingly common and can cause great damage to the food production chain. In 84% of the samples, 10 or more mycotoxins and their metabolites were detected, with an average of 29 different substances.
“This is a real problem and special attention and new technologies are needed to combat it. The Biomin Mycotoxin Prediction Tool uses various parameters, such as the effect of weather on the crop, the fungus, the biochemistry of mycotoxin production, and the interaction between these factors. With all the information available, producers will be better prepared to face this terrible challenge and thus be able to provide safe and higher quality inputs to the animal production chain”, adds the Biomin manager for Latin America.