Dioxin / PCBs / Heavy Metals
Many of our products include trace minerals. In order to create an organic mineral supplement we must start out with inorganic minerals, like iron, zinc, manganese, copper, chromium and selenium. These are actually metals that serve critical functions in the body. Metals used as minerals in animal feed supplements must be very pure as not only are these products going to affect the health of our livestock, but they are also entering the food chain.
The Alltech Quality System demands that we sample and analyze raw materials that are received at all of our production facilities. If samples show unacceptable levels of contaminants like heavy metals, dioxins or PCBs, we reject those raw materials.
Mycotoxins are toxic compounds created by fungi, especially molds. Fungi are abundant throughout the world and are important in food webs, nutrient cycles and as decomposers. However, they can also create a wide variety of toxic compounds, often as a defensive reaction to stress.
It is difficult to determine whether feed ingredients are free of mycotoxin contamination. Hundreds of mycotoxins have been identified and it is not possible to test every batch of feed for every mycotoxin. Furthermore, mycotoxins can be present without any visible signs of mold.
Mycotoxins are more likely to be produced when plants are stressed by extreme temperature or moisture conditions, poor soil fertility or insect damage. Poor storage conditions or late harvesting can also increase mycotoxin levels. Animals can ingest mycotoxins in the pasture as well as the feed by consuming contaminated forage.