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November | December 2013 Prevalence of mycotoxins in aquafeed ingredients: an update
International Aquafeed is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2013 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1464-0058
The International magazine for the aquaculture feed industry
Prevalence of mycotoxins in aquafeed ingredients: an update
by Gonçalo Santos, technical manager - Aquaculture, Biomin Holding, Austria, Karin Naehrer, Product manager, Biomin Holding, Austria and Pedro Encarnacao, business development director, Biomin Singapore, Singapore
ver recent years several factors have led to an escalation of feed ingredient prices especially fishmeal. As a consequence, alternative commodities have been used, mainly plant protein sources. However, as a result of this trend, aquaculture feeds have a higher risk of being contaminated with mycotoxins. The effects of mycotoxins are in general associated with reduced growth and health status of fish, shrimp and other farmed animals. The most prevalent fungi responsible for the occurrence of mycotoxins are Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium sp. At the moment more than 400 different mycotoxins have been reported that can be clustered into five major classes: aflatoxins, ochratoxins, fumonisins, zearalenone and trichothecenes (CAST 2003). Mycotoxin contamination of aquafeeds occurs especially in countries with humid tropical climates owing to many factors, among which are permissive climatic conditions to mould growth and inappropriate methods of feed processing and storage. Despite this, the international trade of commodities makes it likely that contaminated products are imported in countries where traditionally tropical mycotoxins would not occur. Furthermore, due to the rising prices of feedstuffs feed manufacturers are looking for more economical raw materials to avoid increasing feed prices. The use of more affordable raw materials of lower quality might
increase the risk of mycotoxin contamination in the feeds. For example, DDGS is an economical source of energy and protein that can be used in animal feeds, but reports show that is highly contaminated with multiple mycotoxins (Rodrigues, 2012).
In contrast to terrestrial animals, in aquatic species, the absence of clear clinical signs that can be attributed to mycotoxicoses kept this topic away from the headlines. However, in recent years, the awareness
Figure 1: Occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide
Figure 2: Co-occurrence of mycotoxins in analysed samples
14 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | November-December 2013
Table 1: Soybean meal Soybean meal Number of tests Percentage of positive (%) Average (µg/kg) Maximum (µg/kg) Table 2: Corn Corn Number of tests Percentage of positive (%) Average (µg/kg) Maximum (µg/kg) Table 3: Corn gluten Corn gluten Number of tests Percentage of positive (%) Average (µg/kg) Maximum (µg/kg) Afla 41 32 32 1,224 ZEN 42 86 1,096 9,854 DON 44 95 3,049 15,408 FUM 41 90 2,559 13,456 OTA 31 81 9 103 Afla 746 25 10 818 ZEN 734 43 160 6,320 DON 772 64 668 30,200 FUM 712 86 1,666 42,120 OTA 532 10 1 169.7 Afla 71 18 0 3.4 ZEN 62 19 4 65.3 DON 65 14 25 840 FUM 69 6 22 866 OTA 61 26 1 11.7
of mycotoxin-related issues within the aqua industry has grown, supported by increasing scientific evidence of the negative impact of mycotoxins in aquatic species and by frequent reports on the prevalence of mycotoxins in many raw materials.
It is very difficult to guarantee the absence of mycotoxins in aquaculture feeds even when appropriate measures are taken, such as good screening programmes, selection of high quality raw materials and feed ingredients and good storage conditions.
Therefore, it is urgent to find suitable ways to face the problem through an effective management of the risks posed by mycotoxin contaminations. In general, the effects of mycotoxins are associated with reduced growth and health
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FEATURE An overview of the occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide is presented in Figure 1. It can be noted that aflatoxins are more prevalent in tropical and temperate regions compared to cold climates. However, the distribution is also related to the different commodities. Moreover, it was possible to verify that the occurrence of more than one mycotoxin represented 50 percent of the tested samples and only 18 percent were negative for mycotoxin presence (Figure 2). This means that in field conditions the presence of more than one mycotoxin is the reason for synergistic effects and thus, even at low mycotoxin concentration levels it is possible to verify a great negative impact on the performance and health of animals.
Contamination by commodity
Concerning commodities, soybean meal, corn, corn gluten, DDGS, rapeseed, wheat flower, rice bran are important ingredients of fish and shrimp diets in aquafeeds. Therefore, the following tables present an overview of the number of analysed samples, the percentage of positive samples, the average of positive results and the maximum contamination found of the above mentioned ingredients. An overview of the results of contamination by commodity is presented in tables 1 through 7. It is possible to verify that corn was one of the raw materials more contaminated with DON and FUM present in 64 percent and 86 percent of positive samples and 668 ppb and 1,666 ppb were the average levels, respectively. Corn gluten was highly contaminated with ZEN, DON and FUM (86 percent, 95 percent and 90 percent respectively). Levels were 1,096 ppb for ZEN, 3,049 ppb for DON and 2,559 for FUM. In regards to DDGS, the percentage of positive samples was also very high for ZEN (76 percent), DON (85 percent) and FUM (79 percent). Levels in DDGS were also high with 385, 4,241 and 1,426 ppb for ZEN, DON and FUM respectively. These levels
status of fish and other farmed animals. In terrestrial animals the toxic effects of mycotoxins are well known and can be of different nature such as carcinogenic (e.g. aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, fumonisins), estrogenic (zearalenone), neurotoxic (fumonisins), nephrotoxic (ochratoxin A), dermatoxic (trichothecenes) or immunosuppressive (e.g. aflatoxin B1, fumonisins and trichothecenes).
Determining mycotoxins in aquafeeds
As there are serious impacts of mycotoxins in fish, it is of extreme importance that the levels of mycotoxins in feed ingredients used are known. But to what extent can we find these dangerous metabolites in feed ingredients?
Table 4: DDGS DDGS Number of tests Percentage of positive (%) Average (µg/kg) Maximum (µg/kg) Table 5: Rapeseed Rapeseed Number of tests Percentage of positive (%) Average (µg/kg) Maximum (µg/kg) Afla 10 20 0 0 ZEN 15 20 2 13.5 Afla 64 31 5 105 ZEN 63 76 385 2,606
Every year BIOMIN conducts a mycotoxin survey to answer this question regarding contamination of the agricultural commodities in different regions worldwide. Between the period of January and December 2012 a total of 4,023 samples were analysed and 14,468 analyses were carried out for the most important mycotoxins in terms of agriculture and animal production - aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisins (FUM) and ochratoxin A (OTA). The analyses were performed at different certified labs and all samples were analysed by HPLC. For the purpose of data analysis, nondetection levels were based on the quantification limits of the test method for each mycotoxin - Afla (4 ppb), ZEN (32 ppb), DON (50 ppb), FUM (100 ppb), OTA (2 ppb).
DON 65 85 4,241 28,005
FUM 57 79 1,426 11,594
OTA 50 46 3 48.8
DON 15 47 121 685.2
FUM 10 0 0 0
OTA 10 30 0 3.1
16 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | November-December 2013
Table 6: Wheat flour Wheat flour Number of tests Percentage of positive (%) Average (µg/kg) Maximum (µg/kg) Table 7: Rice bran Rice bran Number of tests Percentage of positive (%) Average (µg/kg) Maximum (µg/kg) Afla 22 45 1.5 61 ZEN 22 41 56 165 DON 22 18 128.2 648 FUM 21 24 181 220 OTA 22 32 1.3 1.7 Afla 172 5 0 11.1 ZEN 341 31 38 2,991 DON 434 70 842 12,000 FUM 189 10 33 2,273 OTA 186 13 0 30
indicated that processed products are increasing the risk of mycotoxin contamination in the feeds. Afla, ZEN and OTA presented higher contaminations (18 percent, 19 percent, and 26 percent, respectively) in soybean meal. In regards to wheat flour, ZEN and DON were the most prevalent mycotoxins with 31 percent and 70 percent of positive samples and average levels of 38 ppb and 842 ppb, respectively. Finally, rice bran was mostly contaminated with Afla, ZEN and OTA testing positive at 45 percent, 41 percent and 32 percent, respectively. Levels of 100 ppb of DON have been reported to cause harmful effects in
trout and shrimp. Similar or even higher levels were found in several ingredients. 60 ppb of Afla in most fish species such as trout, pangasius, tilapia, shrimp, catfish, European seabass represents a risk of low to medium.
The available studies on the effects of mycotoxins in fish and shrimp show that performance and health status are negatively affected. The analysed concentrations of mycotoxins in feed ingredients used in aquafeeds, shows the importance of management strategies for the mycotoxins problem. The awareness of mycotoxin problems in
aquaculture farms must be developed to minimize the negative impact of mycotoxins on the performance and health of exposed fish. Moreover, the risk for consumers needs to be addressed as mycotoxin residues were found in fish muscle beyond acceptable levels. For that, further research is needed in this topic and of course, an effective mycotoxins risk management must be taken into account. References available upon request
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