Determination of farm animal exposure to multiple mycotoxins and assessment of novel mycotoxin binders

  • Oluwatobi Kolawole

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Fungal contamination of agricultural commodities, particularly by mycotoxigenic fungi, represents a huge concern for global food security in terms of feeding the world's growing population with sufficient and safe food. Not only do they reduce crop yield and quality, but also produce vast number of mycotoxins, which pose serious adverse health effects in human and animals. The overall aim of this thesis was to determine exposure of farm animals to multiple mycotoxins and to assess wide range of products, for their potential to bind mycotoxins.

A longitudinal feeding trial (between May 2017 and December 2019) was used to investigate the occurrence and performance-related effect of mycotoxins on broiler chickens. Feed samples given to birds were collected at the beginning of each trial and analysed for multi-mycotoxins using a validated LC-MS/MS method. Furthermore, parameters including feed intake, body weight and feed efficiency were recorded on a weekly basis. Results showed that deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEN), fumonisins (FBs), apicidin, enniatins, emodin, diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS) and beauvericin (BEV), were the most prevalent mycotoxins. Moreover, multiple linear regression analysis also revealed an interaction amongst mixtures of DON, ZEN, FBs, BEV, and DAS, which resulted in a significant impact on broiler chickens feed efficiency. The study clearly showed that prolonged exposure of farm animals to low doses of multiple mycotoxins, below European Union guidance limits can negatively influence performance. Furthermore, three novel natural products with potential to bind or inactivate aflatoxins, DON and ZEN have been identified and characterised. These products have the potential as future technological feed additives, to reduce farm animal exposure to mycotoxins.
Date of AwardDec 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsEC/Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions
SupervisorChristopher Elliott (Supervisor) & Lisa Connolly (Supervisor)


  • Mycotoxins
  • feed
  • animal health
  • feed additives
  • binders
  • fungal genetics
  • LC-MS/MS
  • toxicity
  • In vitro gastro-intestinal tract

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