Alfatoxin in grains

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Mr. Vern

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Something that is not discussed very much apparently. I was flipping through my poultry group (where I sometimes unload spent grain) and there is a grain hauler in the group. They say this year has been a problem with Alfatoxins and that they are testing more heavily than before for this contaminate. Heat and Drought promote damage to the plant where Alfatoxins like to thrive. It seems to be concentrated to corn but I would think N. American grains may be affected as well.

I say this because I know some in here are growing their own grain, or have a farm close by, for whatever reason that the grain may not be tested just be careful.

Most exposure is within what is considered safe. But if my math is right, 20-120 PPB of the stuff can be lethal. " an AFB1 dose of 20–120 μg/kg bw per day is acutely toxic and potentially lethal" (taken from a WHO article). Parts per Billion is not much volume. for reference: 120 PPB = 0.001 mL in a 5 gallon batch

I am not trying to start a paranoia campaign, just be aware if you are using grain that is not certified or otherwise regulated.
 

bkboiler

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What is the origin of this toxin? Is it related to pesticides or some other source (runoff issue)? Thanks!
 
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Mr. Vern

Mr. Vern

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Some trucker dude in a poultry group, as he mentioned.
Well, boots on the ground are the first to raise the flag in a lot of situations. It certainly will not be the supplier or USDA until there is a noticeable problem. Considering that some folks are having trouble with illness in their flock it was brought up as a possible source.

The WHO set a limit at 120 PPB however the FDA says 300 PPB is good for certain livestock. We know the FDA is relaxed with their limits compared to other parts of the world, FWIW

Most people brew with commercial grain which is likely tested, those who grow their own should have good practices and be aware of potential issues.
 
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Mr. Vern

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What is the origin of this toxin?
A naturally occurring byproduct of mold. Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus fungi specifically. Mostly a problem with corn but it can also be on barley and rice. more prevalent in warm and humid climates.
 

BrewerBrad82

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Well, boots on the ground are the first to raise the flag in a lot of situations. It certainly will not be the supplier or USDA until there is a noticeable problem. Considering that some folks are having trouble with illness in their flock it was brought up as a possible source.

The WHO set a limit at 120 PPB however the FDA says 300 PPB is good for certain livestock. We know the FDA is relaxed with their limits compared to other parts of the world, FWIW

Most people brew with commercial grain which is likely tested, those who grow their own should have good practices and be aware of potential issues.
This is not data, nor source. Try again.
 

MaxStout

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Perhaps OP can come up with something more reliable than "boots on the ground," some trucker dude, or somesuch? Perhaps some empirical data from someone qualified to make a scientific determination? Give us some facts. Where is this prevalent? What varieties are being susceptible? Etc. You know, some real science. Preferably from primary sources, not some screed from an internet rando.

I'll wait.

Many of us are aware of aflatoxins (not "alfatoxins") and what they can do, and I'm not doubting that the contamination can crop up (pun intentional). But posting some chicken little scare piece does us no good. Show us the data.
 

bracconiere

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fusarium is another real threat. happened to me, i think. i was warned not to drink gushers, but i keg, and though my keg was just over carbed. 2 days later, my liver hurt so bad, i could barely get out of bed...now when i'm malting everything gets a bleach soak, and scrub before the barley goes in.

(i manged to clear it up in a month though, with meticulous eating habits :thumbsup::cask:)
 

BrewerBrad82

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fusarium is another real threat. happened to me, i think. i was warned not to drink gushers, but i keg, and though my keg was just over carbed. 2 days later, my liver hurt so bad, i could barely get out of bed...now when i'm malting everything gets a bleach soak, and scrub before the barley goes in.

(i manged to clear it up in a month though, with meticulous eating habits :thumbsup::cask:)
This makes perfect sense. The shyte that you spout is so moldy.
 

MaxStout

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Man I love morels. @MaxStout I hunt around the Twin Cities, where do you find them?
I haven't had any in years. My father in law used to find them, as he was retired and had friends who gave him access to lots of private property in southern MN. We'd visit in the spring and he'd have a bag with several pounds of them--a small fortune's worth. He's been gone several years and I really don't have access to places that might have them. :(

I know morel hunters guard their locations with extreme fervor, and the mushrooms fetch pretty high prices. Maybe someone should do a reality show on it, something like Appalachian Outlaws.
 

BrewerBrad82

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I haven't had any in years. My father in law used to find them, as he was retired and had friends who gave him access to lots of private property in southern MN. We'd visit in the spring and he'd have a bag with several pounds of them--a small fortune's worth. He's been gone several years and I really don't have access to places that might have them. :(

I know morel hunters guard their locations with extreme fervor, and the mushrooms fetch pretty high prices. Maybe someone should do a reality show on it, something like Appalachian Outlaws.
Lets drink beers and find some in spring.
 
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I had always assumed that barley was relatively safe due to being dried in "industrial" settings versus corn which is often dried in a farmers corn crib. Peanuts often get alpha toxins as they are kept at higher moisture levels. In any case, if I die from bad barley, I will let you all know right away.
 

bracconiere

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(They're.) Hope you know your mushroom taxonomy.

hmmm, i did say clone them and plant as a novelty? i'm only have a 4th grade education, but i did learn how to grow mushrooms...back in NorCal, i was growing mushrooms. and even had good luck cloning wild shaggy manes. planted them all over the yard. popped up in the fall. i assume who ever lives there now, wonders why, there are hops plants and eddible mushrooms growing in the yard! lol
 
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Mr. Vern

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Don't erect the cross for me just yet.. Corn is the product that was brought up in the group. Any commercial product will be tested.

Good news is, the sky is certainly not falling. Spelling error aside, "I say this because I know some in here are growing their own grain, or have a farm close by, for whatever reason that the grain may not be tested just be careful. "

When a lowly delivery driver (aka internet rando with a little insight) brings up qualitative data I take note. There have been rejected batches of corn, increased testing, and some areas have been hit with drought. I can assume this was in Michigan but I did not ask.

If anything I hope to inspire any aspiring Maltster to learn about the bad stuff.


BTW.. Michigan is home to some wonderful Morel spots. I am patiently awaiting a handmade mushroom knife from my pal in Illinois. If we all survive the "Great 2021 Aflatoxin Scare" (THAT WAS A JOKE). Id be happy to compare notes in 2022.
 

bracconiere

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BTW.. Michigan is home to some wonderful Morel spots. I am patiently awaiting a handmade mushroom knife from my pal in Illinois.

hey man i always wanted a fresh morel to plant in my front yard, because passers by always left my tobacco alone. (only place i got enough sun to grow them)


you could next day me a fresh one, and i'll grow it out and send, some colonized wood/compost, forget what they like, back to you and you'll never have to 'go hunting' again! just burrie them in your yard!


other then that, not many people malt there're own here....so i'd imagine the malt they get is pretty safe. but people should remember it's not like beer and not just ask "how does it taste?"
 

MaxStout

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The few people I've met who do home-malting tend to make specialty grains, like toasted or smoked grain. The heat from that will usually kill any molds or other nasties. But low-temps in making base malts could leave it open to infection if not done right. YMMV

@bracconiere is kind of our in-house DIY malt guy. :mug:
 

bracconiere

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The heat from that will usually kill any molds or other nasties. But low-temps in making base malts could leave it open to infection if not done right. YMMV

actually the toxin is allready made...so killing the messanger doesn't get rid of the toxin....

but if a person is just getting base malt wet to stew for making crystal malt, i doubt it'd be wet and at a temp for the mold to grow long enough....
 

bracconiere

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Not home-malting, but I've always wanted to smoke malt. I loves me some Rauchbiers, especially Schlenkerla Eiche. Would do an oak smoke of some Pilsner.
@Schlenkerla has some good info on that.

i've done smoked malt...but to me it takes serious aging to be good....otherwise it tastes like a rash, smoked rash...but with like 4-5 months forgetting about it, it turned to beautiful, mild sweet smoke flavor....
 

Sammy86

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fusarium is another real threat. happened to me, i think. i was warned not to drink gushers, but i keg, and though my keg was just over carbed. 2 days later, my liver hurt so bad, i could barely get out of bed...now when i'm malting everything gets a bleach soak, and scrub before the barley goes in.

(i manged to clear it up in a month though, with meticulous eating habits :thumbsup::cask:)
Was this before or after you sent me grain that I've brewed two beers with? LoL...My family and I are still kicking so I'm going with after...:mug:
 

bracconiere

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Was this before or after you sent me grain that I've brewed two beers with? LoL...My family and I are still kicking so I'm going with after...:mug:


i assure you, your malt was soaked in a bleach soaked tub, scrubed. and the malt had plenty of free air while sprouting....


it's really not more dangerous then sprouting any grain....but something to keep in mind....

edit: and your naturaly carbed beers wern't gushers!


i consider it safer then eating chicken!
 

DuncB

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Relax it appears that boiling and a low pH will reduce aflatoxin to some extent.
Further fermenting with S.Cerevisae could reduce from a toxic level 20 ppB to a safe level after 3 days.

I think you'd need to drink a lot of beer to get poisoned by the aflatoxin and might get poisoned by the ethanol first.

Seems to be more lethal for children than adults.
Chronic exposure can cause liver cirrhosis where have I heard that before.
 

bracconiere

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For the record, my statements are what i consider the equivalent of a package of meat saying "be sure to cook thoroughly".....
 

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