Health, nutrition and bioscience company, Royal DSM, recently unveiled the results of its annual mycotoxin survey – the largest such survey in the world.

The survey results comprise data from 112,000 analyses conducted on more than 24,000 samples of animal-feed ingredients collected from 75 countries in 2021.

Among the findings, it revealed that mycotoxin-related threats to animal protein remain high when compared to last year.

Product manager, mycotoxins, DSM Animal Nutrition and Health, Anneliese Mueller said that the presence of mycotoxins compromises animal-health and gut integrity, and increases the probability of lower health status, poor performance and inefficient use of resources.

“Having a clear and accurate view of feed contaminants enables the industry to take appropriate countermeasures and improve profitability, animal health, welfare and sustainability,” she said.

Overall, mycotoxin-related threats to animal-protein production remain high compared to last year, explained Mueller.

“Globally, the average risk level was 62%, meaning that nearly two-thirds of samples had at least one mycotoxin above recommended levels.

“On a regional basis, calculated risk levels ranged from a moderate 44% in the whole of Europe to a high of 79% in Asia.”

DSM’s mycotoxin survey results provide insights to the incidence of the six major mycotoxins in the agricultural commodities including corn (maize), wheat, soy, barley, rye, oats, rice, sorghum, millet and their by-products that are used to feed farm animals, notably poultry, swine, ruminants and aquaculture.

Main regional trends:

  • North American corn (maize) shows slightly increased concentrations of deoxynivalenol and fumonisins while showing the same high prevalence as in 2020;
  • Deoxynivalenol levels are the main potential threat in the European cereal harvest;
  • Western and southern Europe are the most affected areas. The prevalence of T-2 toxin increased in northern Europe as did the prevalence of aflatoxins in southern Europe;
  • Asia Pacific faces a heightened risk of mycotoxins overall and aflatoxins remain a problem in this region. An increase in the abundance of Ochratoxin A and T-2 toxin has been observed;
  • In Latin America, fumonisins are still the most prevalent mycotoxin in corn. While a slight decrease in concentration levels of fumonisins in South American corn was observed, deoxynivalenol levels increased;
  • In Middle East and North Africa fusarium mycotoxins are highly prevalent;
  • Deoxynivalenol is a main concern in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Risk levels conveyed in the findings indicate the likelihood that farmers confront mycotoxin contamination in the feed.

“Looking at the latest results, it would be wise for producers everywhere to vigilantly monitor raw commodities and feed for mycotoxin contamination, and to adopt a robust mycotoxin risk-management programme,” Mueller said.