The survey covered 36 samples from across the country. More than 216 analyses were conducted to test for the occurrence of the six most frequently found mycotoxins in agricultural commodities intended for animal production.
The survey provides an insight into the incidences of aflatoxin B1 (AfB1), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin, fumonisin B1 (FB1) and ochratoxin A (OTA) across all regions of Poland. All analyzed samples were maize. All samples were collected almost immediately after the harvest and the probability that some storage mycotoxins will have developed (OTA) was low. Maize samples were sampled directly from farms or animal feed production sites.
The results show that 100 percent of maize samples were contaminated with DON and ZEN. None of the samples contained AfB1 and OTA. Exactly 25 percent of samples contained FB1. The average concentrations of all recovered mycotoxins were medium to high while the highest concentration of DON found in one of the samples reached 7900 μg/kg. T-2 toxin, a mycotoxin extremely toxic for poultry was found in 63 percent of the samples; its maximum concentration reached 120 μg/kg and this level could be significant for poultry or other monogastric animal species. Of even more interest was contamination by zearalenone; 100 percent of samples were contaminated and the highest analyzed concentration was 2600 μg/kg. The average ZEN contamination was 291 μg/kg and this level can be considered medium to high risk for most animal species.
Nutriad concludes that the 2014 harvest of maize in Poland is of poor quality in terms of mycotoxin contamination. Based on the results of this survey conducted immediately after the 2014 harvest, this year’s wheat crop in Poland should not be considered safe for inclusion into finished feed rations for all animal species. Special attention should be paid to contamination of maize by DON and ZEN and appropriate measures taken to mitigate against the effects of their presence in animal feeds. The last possible line of defense is the detoxification of mycotoxins in vivo. The addition of proven mycotoxin deactivators to animal feeds is a very common method to prevent mycotoxicosis and is an effective strategy to keep mycotoxin risk low under any and all conditions.
All six mycotoxins were analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC MS/MS). For the purpose of data analysis, non-detection levels were based on the limits of quantification (LOQ) of the test method for each mycotoxin: AfB1 < 0.5 μg/kg; ZEN < 10 μg/kg; DON < 75 μg/kg; FB1 < 125 μg/kg; OTA < 1 μg/kg and T-2 toxin < 4 μg/kg.