Types and Origins

Types and Origins

The most extensively studied mytcotoxins are those produced by the moulds Aspergillus, Fusarium, Pennicillium and Claviceps. The key mycotoxins produced by these moulds are aflatoxins, ochratoxins, deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin), T-2 toxin, zearalone, fumoninsins and ergot toxins.

Pre-harvest origins

Fusariums are the most predominant moulds contaminating crops in the field. Fusarium moulds can produce mycotoxins on the growing plant. Whilst the moulds themselves may not survive the transition from field to feeding trough, the mycotoxins will remain intact, albeit invisible to the naked eye.


Post-harvest origins

Once a crop is harvested and stored (whether grain or forage) it can still become contaminated with mould. Grain storage moulds typically originate from Aspergillus and Penicillium. Penicillium moulds are key contaminants of fermented feed ingredients and are capable of producing mycotoxins such as roquefortine C, patulin and mycophenolic acid.


This bonding results in ‘masked mycotoxins’, which escape detection via conventional analytical mycotoxin detection methods. However these conjugated toxins can become active in the body as they lose the sugar molecule, causing toxicity to animals in the same way as free forms of mycotoxins

Mycotoxins fast facts:

  • There are approximately 500 known mycotoxins including Aflatoxins.