Progress made in tackling mycotoxins

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According to Phys.org, an EU initiative has made significant progress in combating poisonous substances that contaminate crops.

Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by different types of fungus that are an ongoing concern as they can grow on foodstuffs that can later be used in the production of biofuels. The Mycotoxins can lead to huge agricultural and industrial losses every year and can also pose a threat to human and animal health.

Phys.org state that the EU-funded project, MyToolBox has worked to reduce mycotoxins in DDGS (distillers’ dried grains with solubles). The project’s coordinator, Professor Rudolf Krska has said that it pursues a field-to-fork approach, “but beyond that we also consider safe use options for contaminated batches,” he adds.

Professor Krska added that in collaboration with project partner BIOMIN Holding, the MyToolBox team has been able to reduce the high occurrence of mycotoxins in the production of biofuels and fermentation by-products such as DDGS used in livestock feed.  

“Within the by-products of bioethanol production, DDGS represent a valuable feed ingredient, particularly replacing expensive protein feed at a competitive price for industry and farmers," Professor Krska told Phys.Org.

Higher quality DDGS could be a revenue boost for the bioethanol industry, if they were mycotoxin-free and livestock producers could see animal health and performance improvements, explained Professor Krska.