Drought and heat stress resulting in aflatoxin contaminated grain is having a serious impact on producers, grain sellers and buyers. The hot, dry conditions of the 2012 growing season were perfect for development of Aspergillus ear rot. Aspergillus is a fungal pathogen found on corn kernels in the field and in storage. Aflatoxin is a carcinogen produced by Aspergillus and is toxic when consumed by livestock or humans.
To maintain a safe and quality product, grain needs to be checked for aflatoxin. Because mycotoxin concentrations are often not consistent across a single field or stored grain, inadequate sampling may result in either a false positive or negative result. Samples should be taken at multiple times or sites and re-testing of grains that have been in long term storage should be considered. Aflatoxin is concentrated in the ethanol process, making it vital that DDG products be monitored for their aflatoxin levels.
FDA restrictions for corn grain or products are:
- Dairy animal feed or human consumption: 20 parts per billion
- Breeding cattle, swine and mature poultry: 100 parts per billion
- Finishing swine of 100 pounds or more: 200 parts per billion
- Finishing beef cattle: 300 parts per billion
The FDA generally does not allow blending of contaminated grain, but due to the widespread outbreak has relaxed this policy in certain states. Reliable quantification of the aflatoxin is important when determining the markets into which your product can move.
SGS Brookings can assist you with developing an aflatoxin monitoring program to manage your risk with this year’s product. Accurate determination of aflatoxin in grain, feed and milk products is available both by GIPSA approved ELISA method (two day turnaround) and LC/MS/MS (includes type of aflatoxin, five day turnaround or rush services).
Call or email today and let us assist you in your aflatoxin monitoring plan.
t: 605-692-7611, ext 5
SGS Brookings is ISO 17025 accredited and is an AOCS approved Chemist for aflatoxin testing.
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