Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): J.D. House
Publication Date: May 2, 2014
Reference: Advances in Pork Production, Volume 22. 2011.
Country: Canada


Since swine feed is made of relatively few ingredients, a single contaminated ingredient can have a significant effect. For grains, fungal infections can result in the fungus producing mycotoxins. Some of the mycotoxins found in grains include DON, zearalenone, Ochratoxin-A (OA), and aflatoxins in the southern US. For every 1ppm of DON a pigs appetite decreases by 7.5%, zearalenone causes reproductive problems and decreases sex hormones, OA can lead to kidney damage and decreased appetite, and aflatoxins can cause liver damage. Given the potentially significant decrease in production due to mycotoxins, it is important to develop strategies to manage contaminations. Avoidance would be the best, but is not always possible. Sampling can help with avoidance and DON and aflatoxins can be easily detected; however, this is not always possible for other contaminants. Binders and detoxifiers could be another strategy. Although there has been little success with DON binders, alfatoxin absorbents, and enzymes and microorganisms to degrade toxins show some promise. Chemical detoxifying alfatoxins with heat and wet alkaline conditions is has shown to be efficient. This would likely not be practical for stored feed, but could be used while producing ethanol to prevent spreading contamination. Finally, physically detoxifying grains by removing hulls can remove the majority of contaminant, though the practicality of the method is yet to be seen.

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