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Asian Journal of Poultry Science
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 4  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 122 - 134

The Growing Problems of Mycotoxins in Animal Feed Industry in West Africa: A Review

O.K. Chukwuka, I.C. Okoli, M.N. Opara, A.A. Omede, I.P. Ogbuewu and O.O.M. Iheshiulor    

Abstract: This review was developed to help those who might have experience financial loss to better understand mycotoxin problems and their control. Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by certain toxigenic fungi while growing on organic substances. Scores of compounds produced by fungi have been identified and many are capable of accumulating in certain feed and food commodities. The feed/ingredient contamination with toxins may occur anywhere in the supply chain, starting from the harvest of the feedstuffs, to storage, processing and feeding channels in the farm. Mycotoxin contamination of feed is recurring problem in livestock feed industry. These mycotoxins when gets into the system of the animals or humans consuming them may cause moderate to severe toxicity symptoms. Low levels of prolonged ingestion of mycotoxins can be more hazardous than what it was thought about. The economic impacts associated with mycotoxins go far beyond the losses incurred by the feedstuff producer. They will be spread throughout the system to handlers, distributors, processors, livestock and dairy operators, consumers, national and state governments. If exports or other markets are lost due to questionable feedstuffs quality, the overall price level for the commodity could fall and result in even greater losses throughout the agricultural sector. Hence, a rational approach has to be adopted for effective control of mycotoxins.

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