Mycotoxins, toxic contaminants produced by molds, are a major challenge for Asian producers and are a serious risk to their livestock. Alltech, a global animal health and nutrition leader, has opened its first Asian 37+ mycotoxin analytical laboratory in Beijing. As part of the Alltech Research Alliance program, the lab uses a unique UPLC/MS/MS analytical technique that enables the company to investigate more than 30 different mycotoxins quantitatively and more than 50 others qualitatively in animal feed in less than 15 minutes per sample.

Mycotoxins can have serious negative effects on human health. They can cause acute toxicoses and immunosuppression as well as other chronic effects. In early 2013, several European countries including Romania, Serbia and Croatia reported nationwide contamination of milk for human consumption with aflatoxin -- one of nature's most carcinogenic substances. A high risk, toxic mycotoxin, aflatoxins were also found in Chinese milk and in cooking oil last year.

To assist producers in the identification and management of the risks associated with mycotoxins, Alltech launched its five-point Alltech Mycotoxin Management Program in 2012. Alltech's global mycotoxin management team of researchers and specialized consultants developed a five-point approach to manage the menace of multiple mycotoxins.


37+: A boarder analytical approach

Mycotoxin detection is the key platform upon which the Alltech Five-Point Plan is built. As such, Alltech developed proprietary methods with the mass spectrometry technique, UPLC/MS/MS, which utilizes the high sensitivity and selectivity of liquid chromatography to dramatically enhance the definition and quantification of mycotoxins in complex matrixes such as feedstuffs. This technique combines separation capabilities (LC) with the accurate detection of mass particles (MS). This approach allows the recording of the analyte's atomic mass or fragments and its unequivocal assignment with its fragmentation, enabling its specific fingerprinting.

"Animal producers in Asia are waking up now to realize that aflatoxins are not the only mycotoxins they need to be aware of but there are multiple mycotoxins including various Fusarium toxins in their feedstuff, which badly affect their animals' performance," said Dr. Mark Lyons, vice president, Alltech China. "Alltech understands these serious challenges, and we have joined forces with the Institute of Quality Standards and Technology in Agri Products (IQSTAP) in China to open a 37+ feed toxicology analytical lab in Beijing. We are now able to rapidly identify these hidden killers in feed, and the Mycotoxin Management Program then takes the results, incorporates a variety of different factors such as species and life cycle stage and provides the final report and recommendation to the producer. To have a dedicated center for this innovative technology now in China will have a significant impact on the traceability, profitability and efficiency of Asia's food production systems."

Earlier this month, Alltech earned a one-star innovation award for its Mycotoxin Management Program, 37+, from INNOV'SPACE, a distinction program that awards new product and service innovations in agriculture. These distinctions are recognized during SPACE, the 2nd largest international agriculture tradeshow in the world, attracting more than 110,000 spectators from 110 countries to Rennes, France, in its 27th edition from Sept. 10-13.