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Digital Re-print - May | June 2012 Mould control in grain and feed preservation Grain
Digital Re-print - May | June 2012 Mould control in grain and feed preservation Grain
Digital Re-print - May | June 2012 Mould control in grain and feed preservation Grain

Digital Re-print - May | June 2012

Mould control in grain and feed preservation

Grain & Feed Milling Technology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2010 Perendale Publishers Ltd.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872




in grain and feed preservation

by André Meeusen, application manager and Yvonne van der Horst, technical manager, Kemira ChemSolutions b.v., The Netherlands

a threat to grain quality.

a widespread application, however, this is not an efficient way to tackle the problem as they damage the nutritional quality of feeds. These toxin binders, which usually contain different types of clay minerals, are not that efficient and may even compromise nutrient digestibility. Moreover, mycotoxin contaminated feeds can impair the animals’ health and productivity due to loss of appetite, feed refusal, allergic reactions, reproductive failure, suppression of the immune system and even mortality. Contamination by moulds and consequently, the production of mycotoxins, can be greatly reduced by using organic acids as inhibitors. Organic acids effectively inhibit the growth of moulds, yeast and bacteria in different types of feedstuffs and prevent recontamination after production of the compound feed. This extends

after production of the compound feed. This extends M oulds are ubiquitous and unavoida- ble contaminants

M oulds are ubiquitous and unavoida- ble contaminants in all animal feeds. Virtually all animal feeds contain


to pose

shelf life, maintains nutritional value, and prevents formation of mycotoxins.

Mould and moisture

Development of moulds in feed depends on the interaction of several factors, including the presence of spores, the availability of nutrients, storage time, temperature and moisture. Water activity, i.e. the presence of free water, is the most important factor in the growth of moulds. Indeed, microbial spoilage of food and feeds occurs at different levels of moisture and the water activity (a w ) concept describes the water available for microbial growth. Most feed mills optimise or maximise mois- ture levels during feed production to com- pensate for losses that occur during grinding, pelleting and cooling processes. Moreover, a sufficient moisture level reduces the

energy usage during the pelleting process and results in better pellet quality. The drawback of increasing moisture levels is that increasing levels of free water creates ideal condi- tions for rapid mould growth and the development of mycotoxins. Moulds and yeast grow at a w > 0.75 and a w > 0.85 respectively. Products that protect feeds against mould growth and at the same time lower the a w are based on calcium or sodium propionate. Propionic acid is reacted with calcium or sodium to produce a salt with high propionic acid level, 76-78 percent depending on the salt form. The acid is completely buffered, has a good solubility, is safe to use and easy to handle. Their efficiency in shelf life extension when used in feeds is dose related and can be easily demonstrated by an in vitro accelerated method, increasing mois- ture content and storage temperature, by measuring the CO 2 production over time. An efficient preservative effect is obtained up to the moment that CO 2 production starts to increase (Figure 1).

Grain preservation

Animal feeds generally contain

Moulds are fungi which are distinguished by the formation of mycelium (a network of filaments or threads), or by spore masses. Conditions that favour moulds include moisture levels higher than 12 percent, warm tempera- tures, the presence of oxygen, and prolonged storage time. Many moulds are toxigenic and produce mycotoxins, a secondary metabolite created by

moulds that is toxic to organisms other than the mould itself. The growth of moulds and produc- tion of mycotoxins by these moulds in feed ingredients can cause significant eco-

nomic losses. They consume valuable feed nutrients such as vitamins and amino acids and they convert energy into water and CO 2 and can cause temperature increase as a result of their carbohydrate metabolism (see below) C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6 O 2 => 6 CO 2 + 6 H 2 O + Heat Mould growth depletes the nutri- ent density and affects feed palatabil- ity and consequently decreases feed intake. Moulds cause lipid oxidation and pigment deterioration and are detrimental to animal health, perform- ance and reproduction. The most frequently found mycotoxins are afla- toxins and ochratoxin produced by Aspergillus, the latter are also produced by Penicillium and zearalenone and trichothecenes produced by Fusarium moulds.

Toxin binders vs. organic acids

Animal feed is susceptible to mould growth. The microbiological quality of feed is a comparatively unexplored area but is receiving more attention due to the recognition of mycotoxins as a widespread economic threat. The use of toxin binders in feed is

Fig 1: Assessing the activity of Kemira Mould Control SP1 (calcium propionate) using a CO

Fig 1: Assessing the activity of Kemira Mould Control SP1 (calcium propionate) using a CO 2 test on mash feed. (Kemira ChemSolutions, Tiel, The Netherlands).

Fig 2: Aspergillus niger growth inhibition efficacies of organic acids on ground whole wheat grains.

Fig 2: Aspergillus niger growth inhibition efficacies of organic acids on ground whole wheat grains.

18 | may - June 2012

Grain & feed millinG technoloGy


Table 1: Mould inhibiting and killing-off effect of Propionic acid (Kemira Mould Control LP1) and formic – propionic (Kemira Mould Control LF1) buffered products in highly challenged conditions (Wessling 2011)





Mould cfu/g

Mould cfu/g

Mould cfu/g

Positive control: ASPERGILLUS inoculated

3.5∙10 4

4.7∙10 5

2.0∙10 7

Kemira Mould Control LP1 nc 0,4

1.0∙10 3



Kemira Mould Control LF1 0,4

8.5∙10 2



Positive control: FUSARIUM inoculated

2.2∙10 5

3.6∙10 5

6.4∙10 6

Kemira Mould Control LP1nc 0,4

2.0∙10 4

1.0∙10 2


Kemira Mould Control LF1 0,4

1.0∙10 2



Negative control




mould spores which originate from raw materials used. The three genera of moulds - Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium cause most cases of mycotoxin contamination in many grains and their byproducts and in vegetable proteins. Their optimal growth is mostly influenced by tempera- ture and this determines their global presence. Aspergillus and Penicillium species will grow better in warmer-tropical climates whereas Fusarium moulds prefer cooler temperate cli- mates. Moulds are obligate aerobe and their proliferation can thus be controlled by oxygen free storage, such as silage. They consume carbohydrates and provoke fat hydrolysis leading to nutritionally low quality grains. Organic acids

Table 2: Mould counts in freshly harvest rolled wheat after three weeks storage with and without treatment (Aberystwyth University)


Mould count


(Aberystwyth University) Treatment Mould count (cfu/g) Kemira Mould Control LP 1 nc Kemira Mould Control LF

Kemira Mould Control LP1 nc

Kemira Mould Control LF1





are known in the feed industry as an effective and affordable tool to control mould growth

in grains and their byproducts during transport and storage. Anaerobic preservation of grains usually applies when moisture is very high, from 25 –

45 percent. Grains are crimped before ensiling

with formic acid based products.

Aerobic preservation is usually done with whole grains with moisture content between

15 – 25 percent. Typically, blends of different

acids or acids with other active compounds are used, with propionic acid being the principle active component. The level of propionic acid needed under local conditions depends on kernel quality, initial mould counts, storage con- ditions and time.

Straight vs. buffered acids

The mechanism of inhibition of growth of moulds by organic acids is generally not considered a pH phenomenon. It is the propi- onate ion or radical (CH 3 CH 3 CO 0 -) that is the active mould inhibiting ingredient in propionic acid, so attempts have been made to use salts

of propionic acid to overcome the odour and corro- sion problems. To enter into the mould cell, the acids have to pass a double barrier, the cell membrane and the outer cell wall of these moulds. Inside the moulds the organic acids dissoci- ate decreasing the intracellular pH and compromising the cell metabolism. The

three-dimensional structure and the lipophilic character of propi- onic acid seems to play an important role for the acids to pass through this double barrier. Kemira has developed several mould con- trol products containing appropriately buffered acids avoiding the typical drawbacks of straight acids. The organic acids in the liquid Kemira Mould Control product range are buffered with ammonium or sodium, ensuring reduced corrosivity and volatility and a long lasting pres- ervation effect. Ammonium buffering has the advantage of delivering a proton H + supporting a more effective mould inhibitory effect. The inclusion of a lipophilic compound assures a better surface contact with grains and an easier penetration into meals and feeds. It will also improve the water binding capacity of feed materials and lower the water activity of feeds. This extends the shelf life, maintains the nutritional quality, and prevents the formation of mycotoxins in feeds and feedstuffs.

Formic acid based mould inhibitor

Traditionally propionic acid is used against mould and mycotoxin formation. The relative shelf life depends to a great extent on the pro- pionic acid content. Indeed, the lowest survival rates for Fusarium spp. and Aspergillus niger were achieved with the highest actual propionic acid contribution, irrespective of the type of mould inhibitors tested. As the leading global producer of formic acid-based products for the animal feed industry, Kemira has developed a new liquid mould inhibi- tor for grain preservation based on formic and propionic acid with an excellent ammonium- sodium buffering system to minimise volatility and corrosivity and ensuring proper handling properties. It is activated by lipophilic com- pounds. Formic acid does not have this lipophilic characteristic but it contains the highest antimi- crobial properties as this is the smallest molecule of all the organic acids and has a > 60 percent higher number of active organic radicals per kilogram of pure substance. The efficacy of such a novel ammonium- sodium buffered formic acid based product (Kemira Mould Control LF1) on reduction of Aspergillus niger in grinded whole wheat grains was assessed in a laboratory study done in the Kemira R&D center in Espoo-

20 | may - June 2012

Finland and compared to ammonium buff- ered propionic acid (Kemira Mould Control LP1 NC). Figure 2 shows that the initial inoculation with Aspergillus niger in grains without preservatives resulted in significant growth during the first week. Both Kemira Mould Control LP1 NC and Kemira Mould Control LF1 at 0.2 w/w-%, inhibited growth of Aspergillus niger in grinded whole wheat grains over a 2 weeks period and total kill off was obtained with both products at 0.4 w/w-%. The same laboratory tests have been repeated in Wessling Laboratories. Also here the inclusion of 0.4 percent with both products showed to be efficient in killing off both types of moulds during a two weeks incubation period. The Fusarium moulds seemed somewhat more sensitive to the formic acid based mould inhibitor with total kill off at seven days already (Table 1). The efficacy of Kemira Mould Control LF1 was further assessed in a simulated field trial at Wageningen UR, The Netherlands. The trial measured mould and temperature develop- ment of fresh harvested grains during a four month storage period at ambient temperature and results were compared to Kemira Mould Control LP1nc. The treatment with the formic acid based Kemira Mould Control LF1 at 0.7 percent showed the biggest effect in preventing the temperature to increase. It was significantly (P<0.05) lower than both the positive control (propionic acid based) and negative control. Moreover, results showed that Kemira Mould Control LF1 at 0.4 percent is as effective in inhibiting mould growth and preventing tem- perature increase in freshly harvested grains with high moisture content (17.6%) as the propionic acid based Kemira Mould Control LP1nc. Mould growth was reduced from 5 log platable fungal colonies per gram in the non-treated grains down to 1.34 log/gram and 1.15 log/gram respectively. This was also confirmed in a field trial in UK, monitored by Aberystwyth University in which freshly harvested wheat with a moisture content of 17.9 percent was rolled and treated with different dosages of the ammonium-sodium buffered formic-propionic acid based product or with the ammonium buffered propionic acid only and stored for eight months in 10 ton bins. At nine litres per ton of grains, both products allowed easy storage without any temperature increase in the bins during the eight months. Initial mould counts at three weeks showed both products to be effective, compared to an untreated sample. This makes Kemira Mould Control LF1, a for- mic acid based blend with a novel ammonium – sodium buffering and activated by lipophilic compounds, an interesting alternative to the traditional propionic acid based products, assur- ing the fast killing of any mould that appears on grains and assuring a save and long preservation.

More inforMation:

Kemira ChemSolutions b.v.


Grain & feed millinG technoloGy

N ews

May - June 2012

Top-class grain cleaning within the smallest space

Premiere of the new Bühler Vega High Performance Grain Classifier MTVA at Ipack-Ima 2012 in Milan, Italy

F rom February 27 – March 2, 2012, the new Bühler Vega High Performance

Grain Classifier MTVA was presented to the specialist public at Ipack-Ima in Milan, Italy.

design and the high kinetic



momentum acting upon the

adaptable to

screen carrier. The outstanding

specific needs

separation of impurities ensures

Depending on the

optimal results for further


p e c i f i c

d e s i g n

processing and storage of grain.

version, the new Vega

Performance Grain Classifier MTVA can be applied for cleaning or grading grain. A total of three different cleaner versions have been designed to process

a wide range of grain

varieties at throughput rates varying between 15 and 200 metric tons per hour. In the product inlet,

an optional air-recycling

aspirator separates low- density matter and fines from the accept material.

The screens can be

selected from the screen

module to suit a wide range of requirements.

A total screen area as

high as 28 square meters

is available thanks to the

horizontal staggering of the screens.

Whether wheat, rye, oats, rice, corn/maize, or barley – the new Performance Grain Classifier MTVA promises an exceptional level of performance with minimized energy consumption and a very low space requirement. It owes this performance to its special screen

Amazing energy savings

The new Bühler Vega Performance Grain Classifier MTVA convinces by its high

throughput capacities and low energy consumption – up to 50 percent energy savings over comparable machines are possible. But Vega is also distinguished in many other respects by its exemplary efficiency. The use of high-grade components results in long maintenance

i n t e r v a l s . E ve n

c o n t i n u o u s

maintenance i n t e r v a l s . E ve n c o
maintenance i n t e r v a l s . E ve n c o

i n

operation, this keeps maintenance costs low. You can also save time and money when changing its screens, with quick and easy screen changes being possible by one person.

More inforMation :

SKF launches new SE bearing housing series

S KF has launched new SE bearing housings. The housings are an upgrade

of the SNL housing series, which have been used in many industries for many years.

SKF claim the SE housing is a

reliable, versatile solution for mounted bearing applications

The new design makes it unlikely for the housing to

become distorted by over- tightening the attachment bolts A grease guiding system, for relubrication from the side, applies grease directly to the bearing during relubrication. This greases the bearing more reliably,

Compared to SNL housings, the SE housing improves heat transfer from the bearing outer ring to the support surface, reducing the temperature in the bearing. This makes it possible to extend relubrication intervals while increasing the

and is designed to to meet meet the the

needs of customers mers across across virtually all industrial dustrial and and

processing sectors. ors.

The housings, which ich range range from from

size SE 507-606 to to SE SE 532, 532,

making making it it possible possible to to reduce reduce grease grease quantities quantities during
making making it it possible possible to to reduce reduce
grease grease quantities quantities during during
and and lubricant. lubricant
relubrication. relubrication.
These These

high hi

service service life life of o the bearing


housings housings provide pro improved

rust rust protection protect that is in

accordance accordance with the C3

are designed to exploit exploit the the

with the C3 are designed to exploit exploit the the full service life potential potential of

full service life potential potential of of

the incorporated d bearings, bearings,


reduce maintenance ance

costs and related ed downtime.

signif icantly antly

corrosivity corrosivity class (ISO

12944). 12944).

More inforMation:

More infor Website: ww
More infor
Website: ww



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LINKS This digital Re-print is part of the May | June 2012 edition of Grain


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May - June 2012 • LC-MS/MS: The New Reference Method for Mycotoxin Analysis • Mould
May - June
The New Reference
Method for Mycotoxin
• Mould control
in grain and feed preservation
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• Rice and
• Fast, reliable
and flexible:
the world of modern bulk
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