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Are mycotoxins a concern in feeding DDGS to livestock?
Katia Pedrosa and Karin Naehrer


The production of co-products in the form of dried distillers' grain and soluble (DDGS) or wet distillers' grains (WDG) has rapidly increased over the last few years. DDGS is used as a source of protein, energy and available phosphorous to animal diets and replaces a portion of the grain, protein source(s) and supplemental phosphorous (2).


Crops are inevitably contaminated with mycotoxins and therefore, they occur in commodities entering the supply chain including grains used in ethanol production (6). During the corn-to-ethanol production process, approximately two-thirds of the grain, mainly starch, is fermented by yeast to produce ethanol and carbon dioxide (6). Nevertheless, as mycotoxins are not destroyed during the process, the remaining co-product DDGS potentially contains a higher concentration of any mycotoxin that was present in the grain prior to fermentation (6, 3).


Several reports indicate that animals are likely to be fed higher levels of mycotoxins, which are concentrated up to three times in DDGS compared to grain (4, 5, 6). This poses a risk to animal health and consequently human health due to metabolites of mycotoxins that can be transferred (6, 3). Therefore, to accurately detect mycotoxins and determine their level in DDGS a careful and methodical sampling procedure must be followed (3). 


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Article made possible through the contribution of Biomin.

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