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Functional Additives
Friday, December 21, 2018 2:51:21 PM
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Comprehensive Approach to Prevent Mold and Mycotoxicosis


William Chin and Chew Kin Ken – Animal Nutrition and Health, Asia Pacific


Volatile weather conditions across the AsiaPacific have caused grain farmers difficulty in predicting the best time to harvest. In many partsof Asia Pacific, the sun drying method is still the main method of choice to dry the harvest before keeping it in storage. A freshly harvested corn, forexample, has more than 20% of moisture. Corn needs to be dried to less than 14% to prevent mold growth. As mechanical drying remains out of reach in many poor farming communities within the Asia Pacific, sun drying remains the only method to achieve this.

However, sun drying is inefficient, inconsistent and may not reduce the low moisture in a uniformed manner. All it takes is just one improper dried kernel to be the waypoint for moldto grow. With time, it will spread to surrounding grain and form a moldycluster.


The fundamental step to prevent spoilage and reduce moldgrowth is to implement a moldinhibitor program in the storage silo. This representsthe most effective method in the preservationof quality and nutrient value while keeping the moldat bay.

Mold Prevention/Inhibition

Kemin's Myco CURB™ Extend Liquid contains uniquely formulated synergistic blend of propionic acid and other organic acids that can help achieve mold inhibition. The blend has low corrosivity and is friendly to the equipment and facilities.


In a trial to evaluate the efficacy of Myco CURB™ Extend Liquid in preventing mold growth, a batch of corn was treated with the product. This test measures the carbon dioxide released in a closed system where samples are incubated. As mold produces carbon dioxide during its metabolism, the carbon dioxide released serves as an indicator of moldactivity in the samples.

The CO2test results are shown in Figure 1. With a dose of 1 to 1.5 kg/ ton of Myco CURB™ Extend Liquid, corn is protected from moldgrowth for two months. A higher dosage may be required depending on the moisture and storage duration of the corn.


The formulation of Myco CURB™ Extend Liquid is optimized and buffered such that it has a near neutral pH level. This allows safe handling and prevents corrosion to silos and equipment. An experiment was done by partially submerging galvanized metal strips in unbuffered propionic acid-based mold inhibitor and Myco CURB™ Extend Liquid. Table 1 shows the percentage of weight loss due to accelerated corrosion at 65°C for 11 days.


                Table 1. Weight loss (%) of galvanized strips comparing Control and Myco CURB™ Extend Liquid



Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolite produced by mold. Till date, more than 500 types of mycotoxins have been identified. A few of them such as aflatoxin, trichothecene, zearalenone, fumonisin, deoxynivalenol, citrinin, andochratoxin were found to cause considerable deterioration of the animal's health which may result in high economic losses.


Mold themselves does not automatically producemycotoxin whenever grain becomes moldy. However, from a risk viewpoint, the likelihood of mycotoxin contamination is greater in sub-optimalstorage conditions. Mycotoxins are also relatively heat-stable. Aflatoxins, for example, are known to resist temperatures up to 260°C. Heating the feed to such temperature is impractical as this would destroy the nutrient content. Therefore, making it difficult to neutralise the mycotoxins once it is formed.

Broad Spectrum Mycotoxin Binder

The inclusion of a broad-spectrum toxin binder in the feed is one of the best solutions to prevent mycotoxicosis. TOXFIN™ contains proprietary activated minerals for the protection of all animal species. It is made up of a carefully selected blend of unique activated adsorbents that bind a broad range of mycotoxins. It reduces the bioavailability of feed mycotoxins in the gastrointestinal tract and promotes mycotoxin excretion from the animal's body.


In an in-vivo broiler trial, the birds were fed with contaminated feed and contamination feed mix with TOXFIN™ Dry. The fecal matter of the birds was later recovered and tested for mycotoxins. It was found that in the group mix with TOXFIN™ Dry, close to 80% of the mycotoxins were recovered.


The physical appearance of the birds' livers showed a remarkable difference. In the group fed with mycotoxin-contaminated feed, the livers exposed to mycotoxins showed abnormality. They were enlarged, pale and friable. In the group fed with contaminated feed mix with TOXFIN™ Dry, the livers had the same appearance as the livers from the healthy control group. Hence, this confirmed that the TOXFIN™ group successfully avoided mycotoxicosis. The mycotoxins were bound by TOXFIN™ and excreted, making them unavailable for absorption through the gut wall.


Vigilant Surveillance

Mold growth and mycotoxin contamination are unpredictable events. Therefore, vigilant surveys need to be constantly conducted. For this purpose, Kemin offer laboratory services to help producers better understand their raw materials. Upon receiving the samples from customers, Kemin's Customer Laboratory Services (CLS) will analyse for mycotoxins using either High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) or MYCOSCAN™. MYCOSCAN™is one of the latest innovation by Kemin. It leverages on lateral flow assay technology to quantify mycotoxins in the sample quickly.




Moisture in feed and mold form a complex interaction which can lead to detrimental effects ranging from diminishing of nutrient content to the formation of toxic mycotoxins compound. Mechanical drying of grains is still out of reach in many poor farming communities within the Asia Pacific, which makes, mold inhibitor foundation to prevent mold growth.

Mycotoxins formed cannot be removed easily. There are several types of mycotoxins which is detrimental to animal health. Judicious usage of broad-spectrum mycotoxin binder ensures maximum excretion of mycotoxins from the animals' bodies to avoid symptom of mycotoxicosis.

Risk assessments of mycotoxins are achieved through constant surveillance, utilizing advance laboratory methods. With the right data and information at hand, producers are empowered to make better management decisions and take remedial actions when needed.
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Article made possible through the contribution of William Chin, Chew Kin Ken and Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health, Asia Pacific
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