er per metric tonne of feed is sufficient to cope with a myco- toxin contamination challenge. Other times, the same dosage based on the same mycotox- in analysis results may be insufficient because the real con- tamination level is much higher. While modern methods such as LC-MS/MS and HPLC show mycotoxins contamina- tion levels of feed materials sample with high accuracy, in- correct sampling can lead to non-representative results. In fact, nearly 80% of errors in determining the actual level of mycotoxin contamination come from sampling procedure mistakes. Figure 1 provides an overview of a proper sampling procedure.

3. Challenge and solution mismatch More than 500 mycotoxins and metabolites have been char-

acterised. Due to the frequency of occurrence and level of losses caused in animal production, five main groups of my- cotoxins are distinguished: aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, zearale- none, trichothecenes and fumonisins. The chemical structures of these mycotoxins are well-known. We also know that different strategies are needed to manage the challenge posed by these diverse chemical components. For polar and planar structures, like aflatoxin – binding ( adsorption) based on Van der Waals and ionic bonds works well and even more than 90% of mycotoxins can be bound in this way using a scientifically proven binder. However, peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown binders to be ineffective in binding non-adsorbable mycotoxins such as trichothecenes (e.g. deoxynivalenol) or zearalenone, see also

Figure 2. Only one method is scientifically proven and regis- tered in the EU for the mitigation of the risk posed by non-ad- sorbable mycotoxins: biotransformation. biotransformation uses enzymes to convert mycotoxins into non-toxic, environ- mentally-safe metabolites in the digestive tract of animals. The technology has been demonstrated to detoxify fumoni- sins, trichothecenes and zearalenone.

4. Antinutritional factors Well-known antinutritional factors include saponins, tannins,

protease inhibitors and phytic acid. Phytoestrogens, polyphe- nolic compounds produced by plants, are less well-known antinutritional factors that primarily occur in legumes such as soy, clover and alfalfa. Phytoestrogens are structurally similar to oestrogen, the pri- mary female sex hormone. Due to this similarity, phytoestro- gens bind to oestrogen-receptors and therefore exert oestro- genic effects in animals. The mycotoxin zearalenone is also an oestrogenic substance and well-known for its detrimental ef- fect on reproductive performance. Co-occurring phytoestro- gens may aggravate the effect of zearalenone. If this is sus- pected to be an issue, producers can test feed for the presence of phytoestrogens using a validated LC-MS/MS method. If phytoestrogens are present, it may be prudent to adjust the inclusion rate or source of certain feed materials.

5. Improper mixing Uniform distribution of an anti-mycotoxin additive in the ra-

tion is an important though often overlooked topic. While Figure 1 - Sampling procedure for mycotoxin testing.

• Collect an adequate number of incremental samples (1 kg)

according to lot weight.

• Mix incremental samples thoroughly to form the aggregate sample (no less than 3 kg)

• Prepare the laboratory

sample: Collect scoops from

different points in the aggregate (e.g. five 200 g samples for an aggregate of 1 kg)

Source: Biomin. ▶PIG PROGRESS | Volume 36, No. 4, 2020 39

• Place into an adequate container, label samples properly and store accordingly

• Send samples to laboratory for analysis

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