Pig feed plays a key-role in maximizing the animal's genetic potential, representing 60-80 percent of total production cost. There are many substances that have to be considered as contaminants in animal feedstuffs. Mycotoxins are naturally occurring compounds in feedstuffs which can have deleterious health effects to animals and humans due to the consumption of animal products. They are a problematic issue in animal feed industry, since about 25 percent of world's food crops are contaminated with these toxic substances. Fusarium sp. mycotoxins are the most prevalent mycotoxin-producing fungi occurring in Europe due to their preference for the weather conditions existing in this region.
Fusariotoxins is the common name given to mycotoxins produced by fungi of the Fusarium sp. genus. These mycotoxins are produced mainly on the field before harvest by a large and complex mould family with species adapted to a wide range of habitats and, although having a special affinity for moderate climates, they contaminate crops all over the world. This fact makes fusariotoxins probably the most economically significant grain mycotoxins worldwide. The most important mycotoxins being produced by Fusarium sp. are trichothecenes (ex.: DON, T-2 toxin), zearalenone and fumonisins. The Fusarium species of most concern are those that produce mycotoxins in wheat, corn, rice, barley, oats and other cereal grains that are used in animal and human diets.
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