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, 69 (1), 5-12

Incidence of Molds and Mycotoxins in Commercial Animal Feed Mills in Seven Midwestern States, 1988-1989

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Incidence of Molds and Mycotoxins in Commercial Animal Feed Mills in Seven Midwestern States, 1988-1989

L Russell et al. J Anim Sci.

Abstract

A total of 82 feed manufacturers located within seven midwestern states (Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan) participated in a survey of mold and mycotoxin contamination of corn. Samples were submitted from a composite of the grading samples taken from each incoming load of corn. The survey was initiated in July 1988. During the 12-mo period, moisture content of the corn samples upon receipt at the laboratory ranged from 10.5 to 13.3%. The greatest variation occurred in the springtime. Iowa's corn samples were driest (11.2%), and samples submitted from Ohio were wettest (12.8%). Mold counts averaged 2.63 x 10(4) per gram during the year. The predominant mold found was Fusarium sp. Samples were checked by black light and averaged 25.4% positive during the period. When assayed for mycotoxins, 19.5% of the samples were positive for at least one of the following: aflatoxin, zearalenone, T2 toxin and deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin). Aflatoxin and T2 toxin made up the majority of these samples containing toxin. The highest incidence of mycotoxin-contaminated corn (48%) occurred in samples submitted in July of 1988. Over the 12-mo period, the highest mycotoxin contamination occurred in Iowa, Illinois and Michigan. When samples were subjected to 90% relative humidity and 32 degrees C, an average of 3.9 d was required for mold growth to appear. After incubation, 24.7% of the samples contained one of the four toxins. The data indicate that mold and mycotoxin contamination of mixed samples of corn is widespread, even in the midwestern corn belt of the U.S.

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