Importance

Mills often see mycotoxins as a problem coming from suppliers bringing contaminated ingredients in that are commonly used in the feed manufacturing process. While there is no question suppliers’ ingredients may be contaminated, there are other avenues mycotoxins can be introduced downstream from suppliers.


There are areas in mills such as storage equipment, legs, and drags that are ideal places for molds contaminating the feed mill and producing mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are not released until a mold is stressed, which can be caused by factors such as temperature, moisture, and the presence of other molds. Just because testing at receiving shows clean ingredients, it does not guarantee contamination cannot occur further within the system because of conditions inside the mill. To combat these issues, a suitable quality system is critical for mills to prevent a mycotoxin problem after receiving.

Receiving

At receiving, using a trusted supplier is critical to ensure a consistent quality of the products being delivered. Documentation at receiving, such as a supplier guarantee or previous load hauled form, is important to keep suppliers aware of your requirement for ingredients.


Physically inspecting ingredients before unloading for foreign material, smell, and off color should also be included in the process of receiving. Take a proper sample using proven techniques to produce a homogeneous sample.

Packaging

Bagged ingredients are often overlooked but should be included in your quality procedures. Check for torn bags and that ingredients have not changed before using. 


Liquids can be difficult to monitor because of the enclosed nature of the shipment containers. Having a trusted supplier ensures a quality product is being delivered. Take samples from the containers when the shipment is unloaded to examine the quality of the product.

Monitoring

Mycotoxin monitoring has become more important as new information on the effects they have on different species have been discovered. Have a testing schedule in place that represents the feed being milled. Watch for mycotoxin reports such as the Harvest Analysis that Alltech provides.


These reports provide an overview of the mycotoxin contamination that may be present in the different regions that you are buying grain from. Have a tool to analyze ingredients ready at the mill. Neogen's Raptor is a great option that is user friendly and provides accurate information in a timely manner. Even with a Raptor at the mill, samples should be sent periodically to an outside lab, such as Alltech's 37+ lab, to receive a more detailed mycotoxin analysis of the ingredients coming to the mill.

Equipment

Storage bins and equipment should be monitored and cleaned regularly.


These areas are often perfect environments for mycotoxins to be produced and are often overlooked. Empty ingredient storage bins on a regular basis and clean grain storage bins as often as possible.


Remove any molded grains from the bin and fix holes and leaks. Have the rest of the mill on a regular cleaning schedule to ensure the mill is clean and presentable.

Summary

Having a robust quality system that works for your mill is the key to keeping customers, employees, and auditors happy. It greatly reduces the risk of mycotoxin contamination in the feed chain and helps keep your customers safe, and their animals, from other harmful contaminates.


For more information on controlling mycotoxins in your mill please contact your mycotoxin representative.

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The importance of quality feed in mills 

Alltech Mycotoxin Management

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