Wednesday, June 20, 2018

21/06/2018: Mycotoxin management in livestock production: A model for aquaculture?

By Rui A. Gonçalves, Scientist at Biomin

Increasing awareness of mycotoxin-related issues in aquaculture is confirmed with the trend toward using plant-based ingredients in feeds.

Future growth and sustainability of the industry depends on the ability of the sector to identify economically viable and environmentally friendly alternatives to marine-derived ingredients. The industry has been concentrating efforts on finding alternative sources of protein to substitute fishmeal in aquafeeds.

Consequently, many new alternatives are available, e.g. insect meal, macroalgae meal or single-cell protein.

However, high costs and limited availability are still challenges to overcome. Plant-based meals seem to be one of the most promising and viable solutions but a common problem that arises from the use of plant ingredients is the presence of mycotoxins.
 

Mycotoxin occurrence
The first big difference between livestock and aquaculture production is the level of knowledge about mycotoxin occurrence and co-occurrence in the plant feedstuffs used to make the diets. Only recently has interest about mycotoxin contamination in aquafeeds started to grow, so knowhow about mycotoxin occurrence in aquafeeds is still being accumulated.

In the past, small amounts of plant meals were included in the diets of carnivores and herbivores, which seems to have brought about some resistance to mycotoxins.

Due to the novelty of the topic, and contrary to the livestock industry, the contamination of aquaculture feedstuffs with mycotoxins is, in general, often neglected. There is a growing awareness of mycotoxin contamination in aquafeeds, however, we are still far from having solid knowledge of the mycotoxin contamination patterns in aquafeeds, and how the type of plant meal used influences it.

Tip #1: Survey your plant meals for mycotoxins to avoid any possible risk

Wrong information may lead to employing the wrong strategies
One of the main misconceptions deeply entrenched across the aquaculture industry is that the majority of mycotoxin issues result from poor storage conditions leading to aflatoxin contamination. It is true that poor storage conditions can lead to the growth of Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp., which can ultimately lead to the production of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A.

However, Biomin has observed that most of the mycotoxins found in aquaculture finished feeds are from Fusarium spp., i.e., resulting from field contamination of the raw materials used to produce aquafeeds. In this case, we are talking mainly about deoxynivalenol and fumonisins.

In some cases, aflatoxins continue to represent a challenge, especially in tropical countries and/or when storage conditions are inadequate.


Read the full article, HERE.

Visit the Biomin website, HERE.

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This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
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