Most poultry producers are familiar with the harm that mycotoxins cause and recognize the need for monitoring and mitigation as part of a complete mycotoxin risk management program. Maize (corn) frequently contains harmful mycotoxins at levels that pose a known threat to poultry performance and health. Fumonisins (FUM), followed by deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEN) are mycotoxins also commonly found in corn. Soya bean meal is frequently contaminated with different mycotoxins, especially DON, ZEN, T-2 toxin and aflatoxin (Afla). Average contamination levels of corn and soya bean meal account for the majority of the total mycotoxin contamination of a finished poultry diet.
Find one, find many, find trouble
Extensive research into mycotoxins indicates that they tend to occur in groups. Co-exposure is not only common, but also more dangerous for birds. Samples can contain an average of 30 different mycotoxins and metabolites each. In the field, this can cause greater harm to birds due to their synergistic effects; when mycotoxins occur together, the adverse consequences of each mycotoxin can be amplified.
What’s new in protecting poultry
Due to the variety of mycotoxins that can impair poultry performance and health, a multi-pronged approach is needed. Mycofix® is an innovative, all-in-one feed additive that uses three modes of action – biotransformation, adsorption and bioprotection – to deliver absolute protection against mycotoxins. The fifth incarnation of the product introduces five new features.
1. Broader spectrum of mycotoxins
The components of Mycofix® work in ways that are both specific (target a single mycotoxin) and irreversible (cannot be undone) through biotransformation. In addition to components in Mycofix® that deactivate trichothecenes, ZEN, OTA and Afla, FUMzyme® is a patented, purified enzyme that specifically cleaves off the two tricarballylic acid side chains of FUM molecules (Figure 1).
Figure 1. FUMzyme® detoxifies FUM molecules by cleaving the two tricarballylic acid side chains.
Experimental work confirms that fumonisins in feed increase the percentage of intestinal lesions due to necrotic enteritis, and also increases the excretion of Eimeria oocysts in the feces and mucosa of poultry. FUMzyme® renders FUMs non-toxic, protecting poultry from FUM-related problems such as decreased performance, impaired gut health, liver damage and weakened immune systems.
2. Proven safety and effectiveness backed by three EU authorizations
Mycofix® contains the only three EU authorized feed additives for mycotoxin deactivation in feed for poultry proven to adsorb harmful mycotoxins or to biotransform mycotoxins into nontoxic metabolites (Regulation No 1016/2013, No 2017/913 and No 2017/930).
Identifying and including the best binder
Bentonite is a natural clay with varying properties depending on its origin. Not all minerals on the market sold as binders are bentonite. Only very few bentonites fulfill the strict and selective EU requirement (Regulation (EU) No 1060/2013) installed in cooperation with the BIOMIN Research Center.
Many of the most common products making Afla-binding claims, including inorganic, organic and mixed binders, were tested using the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) method for effectiveness. Only products from the BIOMIN Mycofix® range achieved the 90% aflatoxin adsorption level required to claim EU authorization (Figure 2).
3. Enhanced bioprotection
Mycotoxins affect immune cells, damage the liver, and also negatively affect the intestinal barrier function. The bioprotection mix in Mycofix® not only supports the liver and immune system but also improves the integrity of the intestinal barrier function. Mycotoxins reduce the barrier function of these cell layers by opening them up, making them more “leaky” and thus allowing pathogens to enter the bloodstream more easily. Mycofix® reduces leakage, supporting the cell layer and the animal’s intestinal barrier function.
4. Protection against endotoxins
Endotoxins are part of the outer membrane of the cell wall of all Gram-negative bacteria (e.g. E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Pseudomonas). They can elicit strong immune responses, weakening animals’ immune systems and impairing performance. Results show that 500g/ton of feed of Mycofix® adsorbed more than 90% of 500 Endotoxin Unit/ml. Furthermore, the interlayer sheet structure of the bentonite contains enough binding sites to achieve a similar level of binding capacity in the presence of 4000 ppb of aflatoxin B1 (Figure 3). The bioprotection strategy provides further support.
5. Optimized formulation
Mycofix® is a fully revamped formulation of the Mycofix® product line, optimized to boost effectiveness in the field. A broiler trial (Figure 4) and a layer trial (Figure 5) prove a very positive impact on performance when Mycofix® is added to the diet.