Poland is one of Europe’s biggest grain producers and the farming sector has changed dramatically since it joined the European Union (E.U.) more than 10 years ago. Poland is also known to be a major agricultural country with maize planted over approximately 700,000 hectares making it one of the main seed importing countries in Eastern Europe.
Mycotoxins are highly toxic secondary metabolic products of moulds. They are generally produced by Fusarium, Aspergillus and Penicillium species and found on common feedstuffs such as grains. The discussion about the potential risk of mycotoxins in companion animals has increased due to increased recalls of different pet food products in recent years. Mycotoxins certainly present a potential health threat to companion animals. Dry pet food is of particular concern because of its high cereal content.
A mycotoxin is a toxic secondary metabolite produced by organisms of the fungi kingdom, commonly known as moulds. The term 'mycotoxin' is usually reserved for the toxic chemical products produced by fungi that readily colonise crops.
Mycotoxins are highly toxic secondary metabolic products of moulds. Mycotoxin producing moulds damage crops and can cause great economic losses at all levels of food and feed production. Moreover, many of the mycotoxins impair health, cause diseases and may even result in death in humans and animals when contaminated food or feed products are consumed.
Weather is the most important factor in determining whether aflatoxin contamination will be a problem. Hot and dry weather is associated with increased aflatoxin production by the fungus from Aspergillus species. Extremely high temperatures and changing weather conditions (high humidity and drought, high precipitation, big difference between day and night temperatures) are ideal for aflatoxin formation.
NutriAd International The NutriAd Mycotoxin Survey covers 78 samples from all over Poland. More than 460 analyzes were conducted to test for the occurrence of the six mycotoxins most frequently found in agricultural commodities intended for animal production. The survey provides an insight into the incidences of aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin, fumonisin B1 (FB1) and ochratoxin A (OTA) across all regions of Poland. All analyzed samples were wheat. All samples were collected almost immediately after the harvest and the probability that some storage mycotoxins will have developed (OTA) was low. Wheat samples were sampled directly from farms or animal feed production sites.