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TRAINING ▶▶▶


from the feed. The main problem of sampling is the fact that mycotoxins are heterogeneously distributed in the feed ma- terials. Santos: “To reduce sample variability it is recommend- ed to increase the sample size as well as the test portion size and reduce the grain size by grinding the grains.” Via a live video connection, the participants practiced taking a feed sample in the right way, which shows that it is important to comply with the three conditions listed by the trainer. Besides feed sampling, it is possible to obtain biological samples from animals. However, this is only useful to demonstrate the efficacy of decontamination, explains Santos.


Prevention and remediation A key topic in a programme like this is preventing mycotoxin contamination. In the training provided by Schothorst Feed Research several prevention strategies are addressed: at the field level, during storage and transport, and when process- ing the feed. Ploughing and crop rotation could be appro- praite measures at the field level and during storage addi- tives could help to reduce mycotoxin risks. Santos explains that before processing feed there are also actions that could be taken: “Mycotoxins are very stable over time, including during feed processing, so cleaning or sorting the feed in- gredients before processing can be an efficient method.” However, contamination with mycotoxins seems to be una- voidable and therefore mycotoxin decontamination with ad- sorbing agents or binders for example could be necessary at the animal level, according to Santos. “It’s important to be very critical and ask for scientific evidence of the effective- ness of these additives; for instance, in vitro efficiency does not guarantee success in vivo.” During this part of the course, it was discussed which addi-


38 ▶ ALL ABOUT FEED | Volume 29, No. 5/6, 2021


tive to use for which type of mycotoxin. DON, for example, has no binding ability and it is only possible to break it down with enzymes, while ZEN and OTA can bind. After a full day of information, the training closed off with a fun quiz. This showed that the participants had paid atten- tion and the concludion was that information had been pre- sented clearly, since they were able to answer many of the questions.


Zooming in on pigs and poultry The second day of the mycotoxin training zoomed in on the effects of mycotoxins on pigs and poultry. Regiane Santos started off with an important note: “The doses make the poi- son. The type of mycotoxin, the duration of any exposure and animals health all have an influence; however, it’s the the dose that determines the toxicity.” She then continued with a detailed overview and explanation of the most important mycotoxins and how these affect pigs and poultry. “Although pigs are the more sensitive than poultry to DON, this myco- toxin can also impair the performance of chickens. DON is called the vomitoxin, however only if present in high levels it can cause vomiting in pigs.” The in-depth overview provided by Santos gave the participants good insight into the prob- lems with mycotoxins for pigs and poultry. The online course ended with an explanation of various research studies and case studies, in which all the information learned was explained and applied once again.


This Feeds and Nutrition course is an annual event that covers the main aspects of feed production. Information about next year’s course can be found on the website of Schothorst Feed Research.


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