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J Dairy Sci. 2008 Nov;91(11):4261-71. doi: 10.3168/jds.2008-1093.

Occurrence of mycotoxins in feedstuffs of dairy cows and estimation of total dietary intakes.

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Department of Health and Safety, NIZO Food Research, PO Box 20, NL-6710 BA Ede, the Netherlands.


A survey was conducted to determine the occurrence of mycotoxins in feedstuffs of dairy cows in the Netherlands and to estimate total dietary intakes of these compounds. Twenty-four dairy farms were visited twice and samples taken of all diet ingredients. Feed intake data were collected by means of questionnaires. A total of 169 feed samples were collected and analyzed for 20 mycotoxins using a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry multimethod. Silage and compound feed were the main diet ingredients, representing on average 67 and 23% of dry matter intake, respectively. Deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone, roquefortine C, and mycophenolic acid were the mycotoxins with the highest incidence. The incidence of DON in silage, compound feed, and feed commodity samples was 38 to 54%. The incidence of zearalenone in silage, compound feed, and feed commodity samples was 17 to 38%. The DON and zearalenone had a low incidence in forage samples and were not detected in ensiled by-product samples. Roquefortine C and mycophenolic acid were only detected in silage and ensiled by-product samples (incidence 7 to 19%). Fumonisins B(1) and B(2) were detected in 2 compound feed samples and one feed commodity sample. Aflatoxins B(1), B(2), G(1), and G(2), ochratoxin A, T-2 and HT-2 toxin, 3-acetyl-DON, 15-acetyl-DON, diacetoxyscirpenol, sterigmatocystin, fusarenon-X, ergotamine, and penicillinic acid were not detected in any of the samples. Average concentrations of DON, zearalenone, roquefortine C, and mycophenolic acid in complete diets were 273, 28, 114, and 54 microg/kg, respectively. Maximum concentrations were 969, 203, 2,211, and 1,840 microg/kg, respectively. Calculated average daily intakes of these mycotoxins were 5.0, 0.5, 2.0, and 0.9 mg/animal, respectively, and maximum daily intakes 19.3, 3.5, 38.9, and 32.3 mg/animal, respectively. Corn silage was the major source of all 4 of these mycotoxins in the diet. Extremely high concentrations of roquefortine C and mycophenolic acid (up to 45 and 25 mg/kg, respectively) were detected in visibly molded areas in surface layers of corn silage. These areas appeared to be the main source of roquefortine C and mycophenolic acid in the diet. Because carry-over of DON, zearale-none, roquefortine C, and mycophenolic acid into milk is negligible, their occurrence in feedstuffs is not considered of significant concern with respect to the safety of dairy products for consumers. Potential implications for animal health are discussed.

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