Effects of milk yield, feed composition, and feed contamination with aflatoxin B1 on the aflatoxin M1 concentration in dairy cows’ milk investigated using Monte Carlo simulation modelling

Fels, Ine van der; Camenzuli, Louise


This study investigated the presence of aflatoxin M1 (AfM1) in dairy cows’ milk, given predefined scenarios for milk production, compound feed (CF) contamination with aflatoxin B1 (AfB1), and inclusion rates of ingredients, using Monte Carlo simulation modelling. The model simulated a typical dairy farm in the Netherlands. Six different scenarios were considered, based on two lactation and three CF composition scenarios. AfB1 contamination of the CF was based on results from the Dutch national monitoring programme for AfB1 in feed materials from 2000 until 2010. Monitoring data from feed materials used in CF production for dairy cattle in the Netherlands were used. Additionally, AfB1 contamination data from an incident in maize in 2013 were used. In each scenario, five different transfer equations of AfB1 from feed to AfM1 in the milk were used, and 1000 iterations were run for each scenario. The results showed that under these six scenarios, the weekly farm concentration of AfM1 in milk was above the EC threshold in less than 1% of the iterations, with all five transfer equations considered. However, this increased substantially in weeks when concentrations from the contaminated maize batch were included, and up to 28.5% of the iterations exceeded the EC threshold. It was also observed that an increase in the milk production had a minimal effect on the exceedance of the AfM1 threshold due to an apparent dilution effect. Feeding regimes, including the composition of CF and feeding roughages of dairy cows, should be carefully considered based on the potential AfM1 contamination of the farm’s milk.