Aflatoxin: An Occasional Contaminant of Feed Grains
Allen Harper, Extension Animal Scientist and Swine and Junmei Zhao, Graduate Student - Animal & Poultry Sciences (Livestock Update, Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension)
Aflatoxins are toxic by-products produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. The Aspergillus fungus can germinate and grow on feed grains at moisture levels of 15 % or greater in the presence of warm (70 to 100° F) temperatures. Aflatoxin production by the fungus is optimal at moisture levels greater than 17.5 % and temperatures of 77 to 92° F. The toxin can infect a vari...