Animal diets are composed primarily of a mixture of several feedstuffs such as cereal grains, soybean meal, animal by-product meals, fats, vitamin and mineral premixes. Out of these, cereal grains serve as the major source of toxic contaminants which when ingested by the animal may cause deleterious effects on health, performance and production. Most commonly known toxic contaminants are mycotoxins produced by toxic fungi which have ailed the industry since the beginning.
Fungi are ubiquitous, and formation of mycotoxins can occur in all agricultural commodities under appropriate field or storage conditions throughout the animal feed supply chain. Fungi are a normal part of the microflora of standing crops and stored feeds, but the production of mycotoxins depends upon the fungi present, agronomic practices, the composition of the commodity and the conditions of harvesting, handling, and storage. (Bryden, W. L. 2009).
Mycotoxin management is taking a 360-degree approach to prevent mycotoxicoses in animals. There is no one single practice that guarantees complete eradication of mycotoxins from the feed and food. It is a careful identification and check of all the critical points in raw material and feed value chain.
Major critical points are:
· Regular Raw Material Risk Assessment
· Profiling raw material suppliers based on lab test for multi toxins
· Proper storage, transportation practices
· Correct sampling for toxin analysis
· Monitoring organ health status in field through technical expertise
· Using a broad-spectrum toxin binder