Effects of climate change on elevated levels of mycotoxins in feed®


Current research suggests that climate change may be part of the reason for the increase in mycotoxins in the global animal feed industry. It is expected that this trend will continue to increase or even accelerate over the next five years.

According to the 2021 annual survey report from animal feed companies, 70% of the feed samples analyzed showed that the crops were contaminated with mycotoxins. However, with close to 40% of contamination levels below the risk threshold. Active analytical monitoring is still a must.

The 2021 study analyzed nearly 330,000 samples from more than 150 feed companies, farm sampling and storage locations in 54 countries around the world. Among them were contaminated feed, mostly corn (210,000 samples), grains (80,000 samples) and oilseeds (30,000 samples). The study also found that 70% of the feed was contaminated with at least one mycotoxin species. Mycotoxins are produced by molds in response to the natural defense response of environmental factors, so the occurrence of mycotoxins is closely related to climatic conditions.


The four major mycotoxins

The feed analyzed data indicated that the four main mycotoxins that contaminated feed were DON (80%), fumonisin (78%), zearalenone (72%) and aflatoxin (64%). These four mycotoxins are still the most prevalent mycotoxins worldwide. Ochratoxins and T2 toxins had lower contamination rates, with contamination rates below 60%.However, research continues to observe that the rate of mycotoxin contamination has increased over the past few years, and this trend is predicted to continue for many years.The incidence of mycotoxins is only low in Russia and the Middle East, and all other major crops producing areas have high incidence. Such outcomes may be caused by a variety of factors, including seasonal weather changes, improvements in technology to detect contamination, rising commodity prices, and changes in agricultural practices (eg, crop rotation, reduced tillage, and reduced use of chemicals such as fungicides).
The above factors are the reasons for the high levels of mycotoxins.


The role of climate change

Changes in weather patterns can lead to significant changes in the distribution, frequency and transmission of mycotoxins. Mold is more likely to produce mycotoxins in response to changes in the environment. In the case of climate change, mycotoxins will contaminate new geographic areas and crops. The trend of mycotoxin increase in crops is foreseeable in the future, mycotoxins in crops will only intensify. 


Solutions to mycotoxin contamination

Purecare Innovation Co. Ltd. is actively seeking and developing methods that can reduce or remove mycotoxins in feed. Currently, it is developing with partner company. The preliminary results are encouraging, so stay tuned.