Animal Production

Research Article

Carry-over of aflatoxin from cows' food to milk

A. Veldmana1, J. A. C. Meijsa1 p1, G. J. Borggrevea1 and J. J. Heeres-van der Tola1

a1 CLO-Institute for Animal Nutrition ‘De Schothorst’, PO Box 533, 8200 AM Lelystad, The Netherlands


Two experiments were made. In experiment 1, dairy cows in early lactation (2 to 4 weeks) and dairy cows in late lactation (34 to 36 weeks) were given aflatoxin B, (AFBt)at a level of 34 to 39 fig/day by feeding them contaminated compound food. The aflatoxin Mrcontent(AFMj) of raw milk was determined four times during the experimental period of 14 days. The milk yield was measured daily.

The carry-over rate of aflatoxin was proportionately 0·062 and 0·018 for cows in early and late lactation respectively. This difference was not only due to milk production level but possibly also associated to AFB, liver metabolism.

In experiment 2, eight high (40 kg milk per day) and eight low (16 kg milk per day) milk yielding cows, carry-over of AFB1 from compound food into AFM, in milk was measured at different levels ofAFB7 intake ranging from 7 to 57 fig/day. Independent of AFBj-intake, high-producing dairy cows had a higher carry-over rate than low producing animals (proportionately 0·038 v. 0·025). Carry-over ofAFB1 to AFM, was linearly correlated with milk yield. Variations in the level of AFM1 in milk of individual cows were not due to variations in milk yield. The relationship between AFB2 intake per day and AFM^content in milk per kg could be described by the formula: AFMj (ng/kg milk) = 119 AFB, intake (fig per cow per day) + 1·9. This means that in order to produce milk with less than 0·05 fig AFM, per kg milk the average daily individual intake in a herd should be limited to 40 fig AFB7 per day.

As dairy cows in their early to mid lactation period consume large quantities of compound food, a maximum level of AFB3 in dairy foods has to be set at an acceptable daily intake (ADI) value to guarantee that AFM1 levels in milk do not exceed tolerable levels.

(Received December 10 1991)

(Accepted March 26 1992)


p1 Present address: Research Station for Cattle, Sheep and Horse Husbandry, Runderweg 6, 8219 PK Lelystad, The Netherlands.