When you leave a sandwich out for too long you’re bound to start noticing some mold on it. Would you eat it? Of course not, because we know that molds can make you sick. Mycotoxins are toxic substances produced by molds that are often found in feed and feed raw materials that have a proven negative effect on the health of people and animals. The FAO estimates that at least 25% of all food commodities are contaminated with mycotoxins, it is likely that this number is even higher for feed commodities. So what can be done to avoid mycotoxin formation in feed production?
Mycotoxins prevention strategies start at the source and look at the whole chain: from the producers of crops to the farmer who feeds the animals. We can break down the chain into two parts: pre- and post-harvest.
Pre-harvest management focuses on prevention of Fusarium species. The main topics here are: cultivations and crop residues, crop rotation, selection of resistant varieties, fungicide treatment and harvest. The most critical external factor here are weather conditions during the season and at harvest.
Post-harvest management focuses on preventing storage molds (the Penicillium and Aspergillus families). It is important to create the best possible environment to store the grain. Hygiene in and around the bin and the internal climate are the key to avoid problems. The moisture level of the grain itself is also a crucial factor. Ideally you want to start with the lowest possible moisture levels, but this is often out of your control. Under suboptimal harvest conditions grain enters the bin with higher moisture levels and a preservative should be used to store grain for several months without problems. This is the area where we fancy ourselves a bit of an expert. Organic acids have long been THE way to prevent molds in storage, and we have been in this field since the 1960’s. ProSid™ MI 700 is a unique formulation that is more effective against molds, and easier to handle than any other product available today. It minimizes the risk of mycotoxin formation during storage.