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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 #408025

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

Location: Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research

Title: Mycotoxin contamination and nutritional content of corn

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

Submitted to: World Mycotoxins Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/2/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Mycotoxin-contaminated corn can pose a feed safety risk to poultry health and decrease production performance. Although mycotoxin regulatory guidelines are based on individual mycotoxin-contamination, feed and feed ingredients are often contaminated with multiple mycotoxins. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the mycotoxin co-contamination and its impact on the nutrient content of corn samples intended for poultry feed. We received 319 corn samples from different geographical regions in the Southeastern United States. Corn samples were analyzed for aflatoxins (AFLA), fumonisins (FUM), deoxynivalenol (DON), and zearalenone (ZEA) using HPLC/MS and nutritional composition using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy. The statistical analysis of mycotoxins and nutritional values of samples was conducted by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) based on mycotoxin categories and the means were separated by Tukey's least-squares means comparison. Of the 319 samples analyzed, 16.9% contained AFLA; 71.5% contained DON; 44.7% had detectable levels of ZEA. All tested samples had detectable levels fumonisins, and over 80% were contaminated with multiple mycotoxins. On co-contamination, 4.5% of the tested samples had all four mycotoxins, 39.5% of the samples had three mycotoxins, 38.1% of the samples had two mycotoxins, and 18.0 % of the samples had only one mycotoxin. When mycotoxins were grouped (not detected vs. detected) samples contaminated with AFLA and FUM had significantly higher protein values when compared to noncontaminated samples, while those contaminated with DON and ZEA had significantly lower (p < 0.05) protein values when compared to noncontaminated samples. In terms of fat, AFLA contamination resulted in significantly lower (p < 0.05) fat values when compared to noncontaminated samples while DON and ZEA contamination resulted in significantly higher (p < 0.05) fat content. There was a significant increase (p < 0.05) in moisture content in AFLA and FUM contaminated positive samples, while significant decrease (p < 0.05) in moisture content in DON and ZEA contaminated samples. Both DON and ZEA- contaminated corn samples exhibited a significant increase (p < 0.05) in fiber content. In terms of starch, AFLA and FUM contaminated samples had significantly lower (p < 0.05) starch values, and DON and ZEA samples had significantly higher (p < 0.05) values. In conclusion, mycotoxin contaminated corn samples had altered nutritional profiles, which can be caused by factors such as storage conditions, weather events, the year of harvest, and presumably infection of the corn by fungi producing different mycotoxins.