The laboratory at the Comazoo animal feed cooperative in Northern Italy is a busy place. Lorries with deliveries of corn and other raw materials line-up to unload, but first, each must be tested for the presence of mycotoxins.
This is particularly important in the case of corn destined for dairy feed. The feed plant is located close to the major cheese-producing areas of Gran Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano in Northern Italy. The presence of aflatoxins in the corn used in feed for dairy cows is therefore a major worry as it can lead to contamination of milk and ultimately the cheese made from it.
And since hot and humid weather tends to help the fungi causing the mycotoxins, the problem of aflatoxin contamination is only getting worse as the effects of climate change continue to reveal themselves.
In this video interview, laboratory manager Roberta Benini explains why Comazoo has set strict controls beyond those of industry standards and how a new fully-automated testing solution allows them to reliably and consistently test all incoming materials without causing a lorry traffic jam outside the plant. “We have internal limits that are even lower than the legal limits,” she says. “For dairy cows, we consider that the presence should not exceed two parts per billion.”