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Pig feeds consisting mainly of corn have the highest risk of exposure to mycotoxins from field rot or maize storage. Mycotoxins develop in the presence of mold on the corn itself, so there is an increased risk of introducing mycotoxins in areas of higher humidity countries.
Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi that grow on plants during operation and storage. They enter the livestock system through feed (concentrated feed, silage, or feed) or bedding. Some toxins are more common in temperate or tropical regions, but most fungi and mycotoxins are found worldwide.
The best organic toxin binders have non-constructive effects on animal productivity, animal health, and product quality.
Mycotoxin control is very important for the production economy and product quality. Mycotoxins exert their effects in four different ways:
1. Reduced intake or rejection of food
2. Changing the nutritional content of feed with respect to nutrient absorption and metabolism
3. Effects on the endocrine and exocrine systems
4. Suppression of the immune system
Mycotoxins exhibit various biological effects:
1. Liver and kidney toxicity
2. Central nervous system dysfunction
3. Problems with fertility and reproduction
Long-term goals should be to reduce mycotoxin exposure through the use of mold inhibitors and reviewing food sources. It is important to remember that mold inhibitors cannot kill mycotoxins.