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Mycotoxins 2: Best Practices in Handling and Testing Module
Erin Bowers, Charles R. Hurburgh, Jr., Alison Robertson
This module will focus on sampling and analysis of grains for mycotoxins, factors that influence the contamination of stored grains with mycotoxins, and options for handling and use of contaminated grain. This grain module is brought to you by the
Iowa Grain Quality Initiative
, and was produced by the former Crop Adviser Institute.
Click here to access the Mycotoxins 2 Module
Understand the best management practices for mycotoxin testing, for preventing the further production of mycotoxins, and for handling contaminated grain.
Mycotoxins are chemical compounds produced by some fungi that contaminate crops worldwide. There are five mycotoxins typically of concern in US grain; aflatoxins, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin), and zearalenone. Mycotoxins are difficult to manage in harvested grain.
Sampling and analysis:
Sampling, sample preparation, and analysis are the primary components of a mycotoxin testing procedure. The collected sample must be representative of the lot being tested. Samples are prepared by grinding and mixing the sample, followed by representative subdivision to an analysis sample. Analyses are made using a variety of methods, some examples include high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), rapid test kits, or thin-layer chromatography (TLC).
Handling contaminated grains:
Grain handling and processing facilities should have an informed strategy that is proactively preventing excessive mycotoxin contamination in the food and feed chain. It should be an organized plan that is communicated to, and understood by, the relevant employees at the facility.
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Mycotoxins 1: Mycotoxin Development Module
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