Mycotoxin Determinations in Forages and Feeds

Quantitative determination of mycotoxins by LC-MS/MS
Parameters available: Aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, G2), Deoxynivalenol, Fumonisins (FB1, FB2), Ochratoxin, T-2 toxin & HT-2, Zearalenone
Aflatoxins are carcinogenic and potent liver toxins. Aflatoxin exposure causes rough hair, lethargy and immune suppression.
Deoxynivalenol causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea which leads to feed refusal, weight loss and colic. It is less toxic to horses than its relative T-2 toxin.
Fumonisins are carcinogenic and can cause head staggers in horses. It is highly toxic to horses and symptoms of exposure include lethargy, decreased feed intake and head pressing.
Ochratoxin is nephrotoxin and a carcinogen. Ochratoxin effects protein synthesis, and causes immune suppression and haemorrhaging. Symptoms include weight loss, feed refusal and dehydration.
Exposure to T-2 causes gut upset, vomiting, diarrhoea, bowel inflammation, immune suppression and weight loss. These toxins are heat resistant and therefore resistant to cooking processes.
Zearalenone causes fertility disruption and hyper-oestrogenic activity. It can also cause enlargement of the uterus, rectal and vaginal prolapse, abortions, infertility, foetal loss syndrome and poor foal growth.

Taking a representative sample:
The analytical result is only as good as the sample submitted for analysis. Collecting a representative sample is the first step of the analytical procedure.
Hay & Haylage: Different types, cuttings or lots should be analysed separately. Take at least a handful from at least 5 bales selected at random. Combine all the samples and submit as one sample for analysis. The sample should weigh at least 100g.
Grass: Randomly select between 15 –20 sites on a ‘W’ formation across the field where the animals have been grazing and clip at grazing height. Combine in a clean plastic bucket and mix. Take at least 500g and pack tightly in a plastic bag and submit sample as fresh as possible.
Grains & Mixed Feeds: Bulk loads: Randomly collect around 10 samples as the grain is discharged and combine in a clean plastic bucket. Submit at least 500 g for analysis. Bags: collect grab samples from as many different areas of the bag(s) as possible, mixing if possible to ensure a good representative sample is taken. Submit at least 100g for analysis

Sample Requirement Turnaround Time Price Sample Form Laboratory Species
Representative sample in a large ziplock bag 10 days €50 per toxin OR €40 per toxin when 3 toxins are requested OR €210 for full screen Nutrition Quality request form Environment & Nutrition All

Reference Ranges

Recommended upper limit for equines
Aflatoxins 5 µg/kg
Deoxynivalenol 500 µg/kg
Fumonisins 2000 µg/kg
Ochratoxin 50 µg/kg
T-2 & HT2 150 µg/kg
Zearalenone 100 µg/kg for breeding stock, 200 µg/kg for non-breeding stock
As per EU directives, EU Recommendations and Irish Equine Centre guidelines

Related test(s)

Fungal count and enumeration, Mycotoxin analysis, nutritional analysis, NOPS Screening

Related article(s)