Don't Let Mycotoxins Affect Milk Quality

Don't Let Mycotoxins Affect Milk Quality

It is well established that many nutritional factors can contribute to the presence of contaminants and undesired compounds in the milk. Feeding mycotoxins contaminated rations (mainly with aflatoxin B1 [AFB1]) can lead to the appearance of mycotoxins (mainly aflatoxin M1 [AFM1]) in milk. Although AFM1 is the main mycotoxin that is transferred from feed to milk, other mycotoxins can be transferred at lower rates and may contribute to reducing the milk quality. In addition, feeding mycotoxin contaminated rations may reduce fat and protein content, and increase somatic cell counts and bacterial load in milk; all of which contribute to significantly reducing the milk quality.

Evidence exists that prolonged consumption of mycotoxin contaminated diet by dairy cows can:

  • reduce feed consumption
  • reduce milk yield
  • result in chronic immune suppression
  • possibly reduced reproductive performance.

Management of all aspects of crop production, transport and storage can reduce but not totally prevent the occurrence of mycotoxins in dairy cow feed. Good agricultural practices, antifungal agents, genetic engineering (hybrid selection) and storage control can help reduce contamination. Controlling mycotoxins in dairy farming is essential to achieve the maximum genetic potential from the animals and is an integral part of strategies that aim to produce high quality milk for human consumption. Therefore, mycotoxin management is key in managing the peak performance of the dairy business.

To read the full article from Dairy Global, click here.

Tags: Milk Quality, Mycotoxins