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Aflatoxin B1 in maize : Let’s remain vigilant !

The systematic monitoring of maize batches originating from risk countries remains a necessity. In December 2015, we have announced the modification of document  ‘BT-16 : Temporary monitoring’ with an adaptation of the classification for Italy and Serbia going from « Medium » to « high risk » (see newsletter No. 75).


The maize batches from Serbia containing very high levels of Aflatoxin B1 (more than twice the legal European Standard), have recently been observed in the Netherlands.

Therefore, the control has borne fruit, but it is important to remain vigilant.


Aflatoxin B1 is a mycotoxin which can be present in a very heterogeneous manner in a same batch. This is the reason why the taking of samples and their representativeness are essential. The verification as regards the tracebility of the analysis results and its relationship with the purchased batch are also essential.


The batch may also have transited through intermediaries located in a country other than where the maize was cultivated. One must be mindful of that.


The maximum admissible levels for Aflatoxin B1 are as follows :

  • Feed materials (such as maize) : 20 ppb
  • Complete and complementary feed for dairy animals (cattle, sheep and goats) and young animals (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry: 5 ppb
  • Complete and complementary feed for cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry (other than dairy animals and young animals) : 20 ppb
  • Other complete and complementary feed : 10 ppb


Remember, stricter standards are in force in the FCA Standard. That way, all FCA certified companies, delivering maize directly to dairy farmers, are compliant with the standards of 5 ppb (instead of 20 ppb required by the European Legislation– cf. document FCA BT-01).

04 Jan 2016


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