New Toxins Found in Chicken Feed and Eggs

Jim Crocker
17th May, 2024

New Toxins Found in Chicken Feed and Eggs

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study, conducted in Algeria, found that ENN B1 was the most common mycotoxin in poultry feed, detected in 9 out of 10 samples
  • BEA was found in only one feed sample, while no mycotoxins were detected in any of the egg samples
  • The absence of mycotoxins in eggs suggests that the mycotoxins in feed did not transfer to the eggs, possibly due to the use of mycotoxin binders in the feed
Poultry farming in Algeria has become a significant industry due to the increasing demand for protein sources. However, this sector faces challenges related to the contamination of poultry feed with molds and their secondary metabolites, known as mycotoxins. These mycotoxins can adversely affect the production and quality of eggs. A recent study conducted by the University of Biskra aimed to detect emerging mycotoxins, specifically enniatins (ENNs) and beauvericin (BEA), in poultry feed and eggs from various locations in Algeria[1]. Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by certain types of molds that can grow on agricultural commodities, especially under warm and humid conditions. These toxins pose significant health risks to both humans and animals. Previous studies have highlighted the global issue of food contamination by mycotoxins and their socio-economic and health implications[2]. In the Philippines, for example, various mycotoxins have been detected in agricultural crops, emphasizing the need for effective control measures[3]. The study from the University of Biskra involved the analysis of 10 chicken feed samples and 35 egg samples (each composed of a 10-egg pool) to detect the presence of ENNs and BEA. The researchers used two different QuEChERS-based extraction methods to isolate these mycotoxins from the feed and eggs. The detection was carried out using a UHPLC-MS/MS method, which is a highly sensitive technique that combines ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. This method allows for the precise quantification of mycotoxins, even at very low levels. The results showed that ENN B1 was the most commonly detected mycotoxin, found in 9 out of 10 feed samples, with contamination levels ranging from 3.6 to 41.5 µg/kg. BEA was detected in only one feed sample at a concentration of 12 µg/kg. Importantly, none of the egg samples showed contamination with these mycotoxins at the detection limit levels. This suggests that the mycotoxins present in the feed did not transfer to the eggs, possibly due to the application of a mycotoxin binder in the feed. The findings of this study are significant as they indicate that while mycotoxins are present in poultry feed, they do not necessarily contaminate the eggs, which are a direct source of protein for human consumption. This aligns with previous research that has identified the presence of mycotoxins in cereals and grain-based products, which are common components of poultry feed[4]. However, the absence of mycotoxins in eggs does not eliminate the need for continuous monitoring and regulation to prevent mycotoxin contamination. The study underscores the importance of implementing control measures to mitigate the risk of mycotoxin contamination. These measures include good agricultural practices, proper storage, and handling of feed, and the use of mycotoxin binders. Public education on the dangers of mycotoxin contamination and the implementation of regulatory controls are also crucial steps in ensuring food safety[2]. In conclusion, the research conducted by the University of Biskra provides valuable insights into the occurrence of emerging mycotoxins in poultry feed and their potential impact on egg production. Although the study found that mycotoxins were present in feed but not in eggs, it highlights the need for ongoing research and regulatory efforts to prevent mycotoxin contamination in the poultry industry.

HealthAnimal ScienceMycology


Main Study

1) Emerging mycotoxin occurrence in chicken feed and eggs from Algeria

Published 16th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Aflatoxigenic fungi and mycotoxins in food: a review.

3) Mycotoxigenic Fungi and Mycotoxins in Agricultural Crop Commodities in the Philippines: A Review.

4) Emerging mycotoxins and reproductive effects in animals: A short review.

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