Low mycotoxin load in wheat in the UK and Ireland, finds survey

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

Low mycotoxin load in wheat in the UK and Ireland, finds survey

Related tags: Mycotoxin, Mycotoxins

The 2015 Nutriad wheat mycotoxin survey concludes that this year’s harvest of wheat in the UK and Ireland is of very good quality in terms of mycotoxin contamination.

Based on the results, the Belgian feed additive supplier said the wheat crop in those countries may be considered safe for inclusion into finished feed rations for all animal species.

There had been industry concerns the wet weather in June and July this year could have impacted the UK wheat crop in some growing areas in terms of mold growth.

Rainfall and humidity in the wheat field is said to contribute to infection by Fusarium sp which produce deoxynivalenol (DON) in grain.

Fusarium head blight in UK wheat harvest 2015
Fusarium head blight in wheat

Results

The Nutriad review aimed at providing an insight into the incidences of DON, aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, fumonisin B1​ (FB1​) and ochratoxin A (OTA) in all regions throughout the UK and Ireland.

The analysis involved the collection of 66 samples from farms or feed production sites located in the UK and Ireland, almost immediately after the harvest. So the probability that some storage mycotoxins will have developed (OTA) was low, said the firm.

The results show that only 4.5% of wheat samples were contaminated with DON and none of the samples contained AfB1​.

Only 3.03% of samples contained T-2 toxin and ZEN. ​The average concentrations of all recovered mycotoxins were low while the highest concentration of DON found reached only 107.14 μg/kg.

Although 12.12% of the samples contained HT-2 toxin, a mycotoxin extremely toxic for poultry, its maximum concentration reached only 24.7 μg/kg and "this level is negligible",​ said the Nutriad team.

None of the samples were contaminated with OTA or FB1​ but this result was expected as it is well known that ​OTA is a typical storage mycotoxin and FB1 ​is preferably produced on maize, said the feed additive producer.

Nutriad UK and Ireland Wheat Crop 2015 Mycotoxin Survey Results

AfB1

DON

ZEN

HT2-toxin

T2-toxin

OTA

FB1

Number of tests

66

66

66

66

66

66

66

% of positive

0

4.5

3.03

12.12

3.03

0

0

Average of positive   [μg/kg]

0

107.14

22

9.4

9.55

0

0

Maximum [μg/kg]

0

145.7

32.7

24.7

12.9

0

0

 

More than 460 analyzes were conducted to test for the occurrence of the seven mycotoxins most frequently found in agricultural commodities intended for animal production.

All seven mycotoxins were analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, said the company.

Radka borutova Nutriad
Radka Borutova, business development manager, Nutriad

EU wheat and corn sampling

While Nutriad found low levels of mycotoxin contamination in this year’s wheat crop in the UK and Ireland, it said feed users there should still be guard for mycotoxin related symptoms in livestock as cereals in feeds originate from many sources and some cereals harvested elsewhere in the EU in 2015 have been shown to be contaminated with medium concentrations of mycotoxins.

A heat wave in late June and early July broke monthly records, raising concerns about contaminants in grains in certain countries given that hot and dry weather has been linked to higher aflatoxin production by the fungus from the Aspergillus species.

Radka Borutova, business development manager at Nutriad, told FeedNavigator today the feed additive supplier has also been analysing corn samples from Spain, with initial results indicating significant mycotoxin contamination levels. The full Spanish corn survey will be released mid December. She said the team's sampling of Polish corn has just started.

"The predominant mycotoxins in national maize grown in Spain are fumonisin B1 (90% positive) and fumonisin B2 (80% positive). Exactly 55% of Spanish maize is contaminated with DON. We did not look at imported maize,"​ said Borutova.

She said Nutriad is also in the process of screening wheat samples from Poland, with final results due early next month.

"It would seem the wheat is of very good quality with low mycotoxin contamination,"​ said Borutova.  

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