Increased residues of the mycotoxin zearalenone (ZEA) have been detected in sugar beet pulp from the 2018 harvest. Dry sugar beet pulp is added to the feed as a source of dietary fibre, but the high ZEA content is problematic for sows and piglets in particular. Our bilacon experts recommend sugar beet to be monitored for ZEA in the future as well.

The maximum values of ZEA (derived from a moisture content of 12%) in animal feed are enclosed:

  • Cattle and pigs: 0.75 mg/kg
  • Young pigs: 0,3 mg/kg
  • Young cattle and dairy cattle: 1,5 mg/kg

At the moment, the contents vary between 0.08 and 10.69 mg/kg. Especially in animals, high ZEA levels could lead to fertility problems or embryonic death. A potential risk to humans from this mycotoxin, which can be ingested through food of plant and animal origin, is intensively discussed.

The essential meaning of the estrogenen effect of the mold fungus poison lies with the human being mainly in the changed hormonal balance. This could influence cancer-causing processes, since the hormone system has a large influence on the progression of tumors in thyroid gland, prostate and breast.

The contaminated batches were harvested in Germany between September 2018 and January 2019. The new harvest will only be available from November, until then the issue is very acute.

bilacon offers various analytical methods for the detection of zearalenone and also recommends a risk-based evaluation of sugar beet products from abroad. Contact our expert directly. 

About bilacon

bilacon GmbH is a company of the Tentamus Group GmbH and an accredited trade laboratory operating nationwide. bilacon GmbH carries out microbiological, chemical-physical and residue analysis analyses of food, feed, drinking water and tobacco products on behalf of its customers. In addition, sensory assessments and labelling tests are carried out as part of the marketability review. Hygiene audits, training courses and consultations in the food industry and in food retailing are also part of our range of services.

Über die Tentamus Group GmbH

Tentamus Group GmbH

Tentamus Group GmbH was founded in 2011. Tentamus is a global product and safety group with a core presence in Europe, UK, Israel, China and the USA. Accredited and licensed Tentamus Group tests, audits and consults on all products involving the human body (food & feed, pharmaceuticals & medical, agrochemicals, cosmetics, agriculture & environment and nutraceutical & supplements). Tentamus Group is represented in over 50 locations worldwide. More than 2,500 highly-trained staff members work in over 1 million square feet of laboratory and office spaces. For further information please visit

Tentamus Group
An der Industriebahn 5
13088 Berlin, Germany

Firmenkontakt und Herausgeber der Meldung:

Tentamus Group GmbH
An der Industriebahn 5
13088 Berlin
Telefon: +49 (30) 206038-230
Telefax: +49 (30) 206038-190

Roy Sperling
Leiter Instrumentelle Analytik bilacon GmbH
Telefon: +49 30 206 038 320
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