Prevalence of mycotoxigenic fungi and assessment of aflatoxin contamination: a multiple case study along the integrated corn-based poultry feed supply chain in Malaysia

J Sci Food Agric. 2021 Mar 30;101(5):1812-1821. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.10795. Epub 2020 Oct 1.


Background: Corn, a main feed ingredient in the livestock industry, is one of the most susceptible crops to fungal infection and aflatoxin contamination. Livestock feeding on aflatoxin (AF)-contaminated feed have been shown to experience feed refusal, and decreased growth rate, milk production, and feed efficiency. In poultry, AF poisoning causes weight loss, poor feed efficiency, and reduced egg production and egg weight. The present work therefore aimed to determine the prevalence of mycotoxigenic fungi and the occurrence of AF contamination along the integrated corn-based poultry feed supply chain in Malaysia. A total of 51 samples were collected from different points along the feed supply chain from integrated poultry feed companies. The samples were subjected to mycological analyses (fungal isolation, enumeration, identification), and AFs were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography equipped with a fluorescence detector (HPLC-FLD).

Results: Samples collected from sampling point 1 (company A) and sampling point 9 (company B) yielded the highest total fungal load (>log 4 CFU g-1 ). The prevalent fungal genera isolated were Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium spp. Aflatoxin B1 was detected in 8.3% of corn samples, and 7.4% of corn-based poultry feed samples along the feed supply chain, whereas AFs B2 , G1 , and G2 were not detected.

Conclusion: The incidence of mycotoxigenic fungi along the integrated poultry feed supply chain warrant continuous monitoring of mycotoxin contamination to reduce the exposure risk of mycotoxin intake in poultry. © 2020 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: aflatoxins; corn; feed supply chain; mycotoxigenic fungi; poultry.

MeSH terms

  • Aflatoxins / analysis*
  • Aflatoxins / metabolism
  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animal Feed / microbiology*
  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Food Supply / statistics & numerical data
  • Fungi / classification
  • Fungi / isolation & purification
  • Fungi / metabolism
  • Malaysia
  • Poultry / metabolism*
  • Zea mays / chemistry*
  • Zea mays / microbiology


  • Aflatoxins