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Thursday, April 13, 2017

13/04/2017: The current mycotoxin threat in Southeast Asia

By Rui Gonçalves, Scientist Aquaculture and Michele Muccio, Product Manager Mycotoxins at BIOMIN

The global aquaculture industry’s rapid growth has been accompanied by a tandem rise in aquafeed production. In 2016, 39.9 million tons were produced (Reus, 2017)
 

The future growth and sustainability of the industry depends on the ability of the sector to identify economically viable and environmentally friendly alternatives to marine derived ingredients, such as fishmeal and fish oil.

A higher inclusion level of plant-based meals has been successfully achieved in several farmed species.

Recently, Gonçalves et al. (2016) reported that mycotoxin levels in aquaculture-finished feeds, sampled in 2014, were high enough to present a danger to several important aquaculture species.

The same was observed for samples sourced in Southeast Asia in 2015, even though contamination levels were lower compared to 2014. From 2014 to 2015, the number of detected mycotoxins per sample increased.

This co-occurrence can be problematic, since certain combinations of mycotoxins can magnify the harm caused to animals.

Aflatoxins are not the only threat
A deeply entrenched belief across the aquaculture industry is that majority of mycotoxin issues are the result of poor on-farm storage conditions leading to aflatoxin contamination.

While it remains true that the poor storage conditions can lead to the growth of Aspergillus sp. and Penicillium sp., which ultimately can lead to the production of aflatoxins (Afla) and ochratoxin A (OTA), the reality is that most of the mycotoxins found in finished feeds occur before storage.

The main source of mycotoxin contamination is the raw materials used to produce aquafeeds. This was exactly what was shown by Gonçalves et al., (2017), which reported that in Asian samples, soybean meal, wheat, wheat bran, corn, corn gluten meal, rapeseed/canola meal and rice bran were mostly contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins: zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FUM).

The only exception was cottonseed meal, which was mainly contaminated by aflatoxins together with Fusarium toxins (ZEN and DON) in considerable amounts.

These results are extremely important and confirm that mycotoxin contamination found in finished feeds is related to the plant-based raw materials used to formulate these compound feeds.


Read the full article HERE.

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