Molds and mycotoxins: prevention is key

Molds and mycotoxins: prevention is key

Prevention of molds and mycotoxins is of major importance. The WHO estimates that yearly 25% of all crops produced worldwide are contaminated with mycotoxins caused by molds. Mycotoxins cause serious problems in modern animal husbandry. Performance is everything in animal husbandry. Genetics, nutrition, environmental circumstances are all well balanced to maximize efficiency. First sign of contaminated feed with molds and mycotoxins is reduced feed intake because of a loss of palatability. At a later stage there are of signs of lower fertility, lower immune responses and a decline in technical results.

Molds and mycotoxins
Molds and mycotoxins develop in the field and during storage. Prevention is the key to fight against molds. A multifactorial approach against molds and mycotoxins has proven to be most successful. Mold spores are very resistant to outdoor climate and are present in large numbers wherever you look. Once molds have developed on crops you are not able to remove them. Usually crops are classified “moldy” when the molds are visible on outer surfaces, but a lot of molds are in the crops themselves and as such are hidden from sight. Mycotoxins are completely invisible and only sophisticated analytical methods can give a final answer.

Crop rotation
Good management strategies enable you to prevent mold development in the field. Crop rotation, removing crop residue after harvesting and proper cultivation before sowing reduce the risk of recontamination with molds from the previous harvest. Choosing the right varieties of crops will help to reduce mold development and mycotoxin formation, mold- and lodge resistant grains are preferred. Even with all these precautions we are still dependent on weather conditions. Extreme droughts or heavy rainfalls are favorable conditions for mold development and mycotoxin formation during the various stages of the growing season.

Storage management
Large quantities of good quality raw materials are lost after harvest. Good storage management is important. Proper cleaning of storage silo’s and storage equipment is the first thing to do to prevent the new harvest from being contaminated with molds from debris. Cleaning of grains has beneficial effects on storage as small particles, which often contain molds spores, have been removed. In a trial in Germany piglets were fed with double cleaned grains. These piglets showed increased daily gain of 10%(!) and a 2% better feed conversion ratio.

Drying or acid based mold inhibitors?
Storage of raw materials for long periods needs proper management. Drying - to a safe moisture level - is a common method to preserve grains, but in practice it is an expensive and inflexible method. Acid based mold inhibitors such as ProSid™ MI allow you greater flexibility and lower costs. ProSid™ MI products enable you to store grains for long periods of time without deterioration because of mold. Grains with high moisture content are best preserved with crimping additives such as our ProMyr™ NT 570 and ProMyr™ NT 610.

ProSid mold and mycotoxin solutions
Perstorp’s ProSid™ MI products are based on organic acids which have a broad spectrum of activity against molds. Furthermore, most of our ProSid™ MI products are buffered to limit undesired properties of pure organic acids, such as stringent safety precautions and corroded equipment after use. Dosage levels depend mainly on the moisture level of the grain and the storage time. Of course good dispersion of the mold inhibitor through the grains is crucial.

Reducing the effects of mycotoxins
In several regions we offer ProSid™ TB as an alternative to reduce the negative effects of mycotoxins. ProSid™ TB products are able to adsorb different types of mycotoxins (and pathogens). The bound mycotoxins are inactivated and excreted with the animal’s feces and do not harm the microvilli in the gastrointestinal tract. Certain components in ProSid™ TB products are also able to stimulate the immune system.