Since 2005, feed ingredient supplier Biomin has been conducting studies documenting the occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide. The Biomin Mycotoxin Survey Program 2012 details the distribution of mycotoxins according to their region of origin and commodity type.

From January 2012 until December 2012, a total of 4,023 samples collected worldwide were analyzed. In total, 14,468 analyses were carried out for the most important mycotoxins in terms of agriculture and animal production -  aflatoxins, zearalenone, deoxynivalenol, fumonisins and ochratoxin A. In addition to these mycotoxins, European samples were analyzed for T-2 toxin. Due to lab regulations in other parts of the world, the presence of this mycotoxin was not tested for in other regions.

Samples tested were diverse, ranging from cereals such as corn, wheat, barley and rice to processing by-products, namely soybean meal, corn gluten meal, dried distillers grains with soluble and other fodder such as straw, silage and finished feed.

In the more than 4,000 samples analyzed, aflatoxins were present in 25 percent; zearalenone, 46 percent; deoxynivalenol, 64 percent; fumonisins, 56 percent; and ochratoxin A, 31 percent. 

Average contamination levels of all samples were 34 parts per billion for aflatoxins, 251 parts per billion for zearalenone, 1088 parts per billion for deoxynivalenol, 1350 parts per billion for fumonisins and five parts per billion for ochratoxin A.

Compared with data from the previous year, an increase in the occurrence of fusariotoxins (including deoxynivalenol, fumonisins and zearalenone) was observed together with a slight decrease in aflatoxins.

The survey confirmed that mycotoxins are a ubiquitous problem as 82 percent of the analyzed samples show the presence of at least one mycotoxin. The presence of more than one mycotoxin in 50 percent of the samples raises attention to another problem -  the interactive effects caused by multiple mycotoxins in animal feeds.

For the full report, visit the Biomin website.