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Sunflower seeds are frequently contaminated with aflatoxins. This has been shown by researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) in the US.

Sunflower seeds often contain aflatoxins Sunflower seeds are frequently contaminated with aflatoxins. This has been shown by researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) in the US. Aflatoxins, toxins produced by Aspergillus moulds commonly infect corn, peanuts, pistachios and almonds. The US study (done in Tanzania) is one of the first studies to associate aflatoxin contamination with sunflower seeds. Samples of sunflower seeds (n = 90) and cakes (n = 92) were collected across 2 years, and analysed for total aflatoxin concentrations using a direct competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).For seed samples collected June-August 2014, the highest aflatoxin concentrations were from Dodoma (1.7–280.6 ng/g), Singida (1.4–261.8 ng/g), and Babati-Manyara (1.8–162.0 ng/g). The highest concentrations for cakes were from Mbeya (2.8–97.7 ng/g), Dodoma (1.9–88.2 ng/g), and Singida (2.0–34.3 ng/g). For seed samples collected August-October 2015, the highest concentrations were from Morogoro (2.8–662.7 ng/g), Singida (1.6–217.6 ng/g) and Mbeya (1.4–174.2 ng/g). The highest concentrations for cakes were from Morogoro (2.7–536.0 ng/g), Dodoma (1.4–598.4 ng/g) and Singida (3.2–52.8 ng/g). Juma Mmongoyo, a former MSU food science doctoral student and lead author of the study, analysed aflatoxin levels of seeds and cakes in 7 regions of Tanzania in 2014 and 2015. Nearly 60% of seed samples and 80% of cake samples were contaminated with aflatoxins. "These high aflatoxin levels, in a commodity frequently consumed by the Tanzanian population, indicate that local authorities must implement interventions to prevent and control aflatoxin contamination along the sunflower commodity value chain, to enhance food and feed safety in Tanzania," said Gale Strasburg, MSU food science and human nutrition professor and one of the study's co-authors.

Reference: All about feed

New world record for wheat yield New Zealand farmer Eric Watson has just harvested the highest yielding wheat crop ever.

ABC rural reports that the record, weighing in at 16.79 tonnes to the hectare, was grown near Ashburton in New Zealand, and has been certified by Guinness World Records. The record setting figure is eight times higher than the average Australian wheat yield.The wheat was an English variety called Oakley, and was grown on silty clay soil with a water holding capacity of 180mm. The crops were irrigated twice, and only received 285 kg of applied nitrogen, which Mr Watson said was 'quite low'. So what happens to the wheat? “Well, it doesn't face a particularly special future,” according to Mr Watson. "It's just gone into a big heap in the shed with my feed wheat."

Reference: All about feed

De Heus opens aquaculture research center in Vietnam

Production by the Vietnamese aquaculture sector is on target to reach 4.7 million metric tons by 2030, according to Nguyen Huu Dung, chairman of the Vietnam Seaculture Association (VSA). Speaking at an event in Ho Chi Minh City recently, Dung said the export earnings from the industry could be as much as US$30 billion to US$35 billion by that time, reports VietnamNet.The potential and present challenges of the Vietnamese aquaculture sector have been recognized by Netherlands-based feed company, De Heus, which has just opened a new fish research center in the Mekong Delta area. According to Vietnam Briefing, VSA puts the value of this trade at US$12 billion to US$13 billion by 2020. The sector is moving toward the production of more value-added products, supported by recent government support for a project to achieve this and investment from state and foreign sources. Between 2010 and 2016, marine fish aquaculture in Vietnam increased from 15,700 metric tons (mt) to 28,300 mt, largely due to the opportunities offered by the country’s 3,000-kilometer coastline. Among the challenges faced by the sector are the small scale of many aquaculture businesses, inefficient supply chains and a lack of technology. De Heus opens Aquaculture Research & Development Centre Dutch-based animal feed company, Royal De Heus officially opened its Aquaculture Research & Development Centre in Vinh Long this month. Reference: wattagnet


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