Surveillance of aflatoxin content in dairy cow feedstuff from Navarra (Spain)
Dairy cattle
Feed contamination
Feed crops
Feed analysis
High- 52 performance liquid chromatography
Issue Date: 
Hernandez-Martinez, R. (Raquel); Navarro-Blasco, I. (Íñigo). "Surveillance of aflatoxin content in dairy cow feedstuff from Navarra (Spain)". Animal feed science and technology. 200, 2015, 35 - 46
Aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1 and G2) are produced by the fungi Aspergillus (A. flavus and A. parasiticus) in substrates used in cattle feed manufacturing. Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is a major metabolite of Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) which may be present in milk from animals that consume contaminated feed. Levels of aflatoxins in 78 dairy cow feedstuff samples from 40 farms located in Navarra were determined by HPLC-FLD (High Performance Liquid Chromatography with fluorescence detection) and post-column derivatization. The influence of geographical location, season and type of feeding system on aflatoxin content was studied. The climatic profile of AFB1 pointed to spring as the season with the highest aflatoxin level (0.086 μg/kg), followed by winter and summer (0.075 and 0.030 μg/kg, respectively), and to a lesser degree, autumn (0.017 μg/kg). Moreover, wet and dry TMR (Total Mixed Ration) feeding systems (i.e. AFB1: 0.076 and 0.068 μg/kg; Aflatoxin G1 (AFG1): 0.050 and 0.011 μg/kg, respectively) showed a greater content of the analyzed aflatoxins in comparison with compound feed (i.e. AFB1: 0.039 μg/kg; AFG1: 0.007 μg/kg). The fact that the majority of the samples collected were based on compound feed shows that this type was preferred by most dairy farmers. The undetectable levels of aflatoxins in the organic homemade compound feedstuff are also worth mentioning. While none of the feedstuff samples contained amounts over those permitted under European legislation (5 μg/kg), the theoretical extrapolation of the carryover rate suggested in previously published experiments of AFB1 to AFM1 in secreted cow's milk predicts that only one of the feed samples studied had a positive aflatoxin level (53.4 ng/kg) higher than the legal limit for raw cow's milk.

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