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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #400363

Research Project: Strategies to Reduce Mycotoxin Contamination in Animal Feed and its Effect in Poultry Production Systems

Location: Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research

Title: The detection and co-occurrence of mycotoxins in feed corn using HPLC/MS analysis

item Pokoo-Aikins, Anthony
item McDonough, Callie
item Hawkins, Jaci
item Mitchell, Trevor
item Shanmugasundaram, Revathi
item Gold, Scott
item Glenn, Anthony - Tony

Submitted to: International Poultry Scientific Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/5/2022
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Feed safety is critical when formulating poultry diets. To assure safety, feed ingredients must be evaluated prior to formulation. The main feed ingredient, corn, accounts for about 60% of poultry diets. Corn is often contaminated with multiple mycotoxins in the field and during storage. Due to the detrimental effects that mycotoxins can have on poultry health and performance, particularly in multi-toxin combinations, it is critical to quantify the mycotoxin content in the corn. The objective of this study was to quantify the mycotoxin content of corn samples collected from three states in the United States. A total of 95 corn samples were analyzed for fumonisins (FUM), deoxynivalenol (DON), aflatoxins (AFLA), zearalenone [only 65 samples analyzed] (ZEA)), and ochratoxin A (OTA) content using HPLC/MS. Only one of the samples had no quantifiable mycotoxin contamination. All other samples (99%) had quantifiable levels of FUM, however, all analyzed samples were below the 100 ppm guidance level for poultry. Further, 87% of the samples had less than 5 ppm DON, while 6% of the samples had above 5 ppm DON. Of the total samples, approximately 43% had one, 52% two, and 3% three quantifiable levels of mycotoxins, with FUM and DON by far the most prevalent combination. Additionally, approximately 4% of the samples had detectable AFLA below and 2% above the actionable level of 20 ppb. Furthermore, 34% of the tested samples had less than the guidance level of 1 ppm ZEA and 15% had more than 1 ppm ZEA. Overall, 99%, 55%, 43%, and 4% of the samples were contaminated with quantifiable levels of FUM, DON, ZEA, and AFLA, respectively. We conclude that multiple mycotoxin contamination, particularly FUM and DON, is the rule in feed corn. The fact that combinations of mycotoxins may have dramatically different negative effects on poultry than do single mycotoxins, and that we have shown that combinations of FUM and DON at levels well below their individual guidance levels result in obvious performance drag, knowledge of their co-occurrence and combined action is imperative for maximal poultry productivity.