Nutrition Research Reviews

Research Article

The impact of low concentrations of aflatoxin, deoxynivalenol or fumonisin in diets on growing pigs and poultry

Yueming Dersjant-Lia1, Martin W.A. Verstegena1 and Walter J.J. Gerritsa1 c1

a1 Animal Nutrition Group, Department of Animal Science, Wageningen UniversityPO Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands


In the present review, the quantitative impact of dietary aflatoxin, deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisin concentrations on performance of pigs and broilers is evaluated, with special emphasis on low concentrations of these toxins. Also, responses in performance of pigs and broilers to these three toxins are related to their absorption and elimination kinetics. By applying simple linear regression, information from many literature sources is integrated and condensed into, for example, estimates of depression in rates of weight gain, relative to non-contaminated diets, with increasing toxin concentrations. It was estimated that with each mg/kg increase of aflatoxin in the diet, the growth rate would be depressed by 16 % for pigs and 5 % for broilers. For DON, with each mg/kg increase in the diet, the growth depression was estimated at about 8 % for pigs, while broilers showed no response to DON concentrations below 16 mg/kg. Fumonisin showed the lowest impact on growth performance; with each mg/kg increase, the depression in growth rate was estimated at 0·4 and 0·0 % for pigs and broilers, respectively. Dietary concentrations that cause a 5 % reduction in growth rate were estimated at 0·3 and 1·0 mg/kg for aflatoxin for pigs and broilers, respectively; 1·8 and 0·6 mg/kg for pure and naturally contaminated DON for pigs, respectively; 21 and 251 mg/kg for fumonisin for pigs and broilers, respectively.


c1 *Corresponding author: Dr Walter J. J. Gerrits, fax +31 317 484260, email