Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mycotoxins and Mycotoxin Test Kits


Mycotoxins are toxic substances produced by fungi (molds) growing on grain, feed, or food in the field or in storage. Mycotoxins may be detrimental to the health of both animals and humans. Although thousands of molds are capable of growing on stored grain, only a few mold species produce mycotoxins. There are many different mycotoxins, but most are rare in Midwest grain. In Indiana, the mycotoxins of concern are: aflatoxin, deoxynivalenol (DON or sometimes called vomitoxin), zearalenone, and fumonisin. All four of these mycotoxins are associated with ear rot diseases.

Fields affected with significant amounts of ear rot should be harvested and handled separately. Grain should be harvested as early as possible and dried to 15% moisture or lower. Usually, specific environmental conditions are required for mycotoxin production in pre-harvest grain. Being aware of these conditions and the amount of disease in the preharvest crop should help in judging the likelihood of a mycotoxin problem. Mycotoxins can be produced in storage; however, this situation is almost always associated with improper drying and/or storage conditions. Continue Reading >>

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