May 14, 2018

15/05/2018: Managing the unknown? Mycotoxin risk assessment in feed production

by Martina Bellasio, PhD, Product Manager, Romer Labs 
Traders and producers of raw materials and others in the feed industry now have a wide array of options and solutions at their disposal to measure mycotoxin contamination and assess the accompanying risk. How do they determine the methods that best fit their needs?

For an effective mycotoxin detection programme, feed producers should consider a combination of tools that best fit their needs.

For decades, taking samples and sending them to an analytical service provider was the chief – in some cases, only – method for determining the presence of mycotoxins. The advent of on-site rapid tests has disrupted this model, becoming widely available at less cost and greater simplicity and ease-of-use. The frequency and volume of testing, the business needs determining the acceptable time-to-result, and the degree of need for accredited results are all criteria to consider. These and other factors that influence testing decisions are broken down below.

On-site testing vs. analytical service
The first step in finding the right testing solution is to decide whether to conduct the test yourself on-site (e.g. in the field or at the storage or production facility), or to send the samples to an analytical service laboratory. This decision depends on three main considerations:

1. Required testing throughout - For frequent testing (high throughput), it might be worthwhile to conduct on-site tests, since costs are generally lower than those of analytical service labs. If you only perform occasional testing or have low throughput, sending your samples to a lab could be more convenient.

2. Acceptable time-to-result - On-site rapid tests will deliver results within a couple of minutes to an hour, depending on the technology being applied. This makes them a useful tool when decisions have to be made in a short amount of time, as in when deciding whether to accept a truck delivery. From start to finish, external analytical service results can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week.

3. Sensitivity - On-site testing can be categorised as a screening tool in that it quickly assesses the concentration of one analyte per test. Reference methods available at an analytical service laboratory are much more robust and allow testing at lower toxin levels for a larger number of analytes.

Read the full article, HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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