Reduce Mycotoxins to Keep it Clean!

Help maintain Canada’s reputation for quality cereals and protect your investments by keeping Ochratoxin A (OTA) out of your stored grain.

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OTA is a potent mycotoxin produced by Penicillium verrucosum, a naturally occurring soil fungus, that can form on stored grain. Unlike deoxynivalenol (also known as DON or vomitoxin) which is formed in the field, OTA forms exclusively in storage in wet grain or when water comes in contact with grain.

Prevention of even small pockets of OTA-contaminated grain during storage is the only way that it can be managed to protect health and prevent product recalls. Follow these Keep it Clean! safe storage protocols to mitigate the risk:

  • Keep bins and grain handling equipment clean, thoroughly cleaning dust and debris between grain lots.

  • Ensure crops are harvested or dried to a safe level for storage.

  • Cool the grain quickly to well below 10°C and keep it cool for as long as possible to minimize condensation in the bin. Even fine droplets of condensate can allow the fungus to grow.

Visit keepingitclean.ca/cereals/storage for further information on OTA and how it forms, along with visual examples of OTA formation at critical points of handling and storage.

By taking steps to prevent the formation of OTA in stored grain, you can protect your investments and help keep markets open for all.

Dallas Carpenter