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Innovative Fumonisin Deactivation Expands to Extruded Feeds

A breakthrough in mycotoxin risk management aims to help the feed and livestock sector successfully combat fumonisins, thereby protecting both animals and profits.

Verena Starkl

In Brief

- Fumonisins and mycotoxins in general are becoming a concern for the aqua industry.
- Fumonisins cannot be sufficiently counteracted by simply using binding minerals.
- The revolutionary FUMzyme® sol is the first water soluble, highly concentrated, purified enzyme that can be sprayed onto extruded feed after heat treatment.

Pile of animal feed pellets being sprayed with novel liquid enzyme solution from above

Mycotoxins, including fumonisins, are becoming more of a concern for the aqua industry as use of plant-based protein sources in diet formulations increases. Fumonisins can negatively affect performance unless they are adequately managed. The rigorous processing conditions used in the manufacture of aqua feeds means that applying enzyme products is not possible. A revolutionary new water-soluble, highly concentrated, purified enzyme that can be applied post-extrusion allows for the effective management of fumonisins in aqua feeds. 

FUMzyme® sol
FUMzyme® sol is the first water soluble, highly concentrated, purified enzyme that detoxifies fumonisins

The rise of fumonisins

Fumonisins (FUM) are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium fungi. They mainly affect corn (maize) and corn by-products but can also be found on other commodities. 

The Global BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey 2019 indicates that fumonisins occur in 88% of all corn samples analyzed globally (Figure 1). On average, a contamination level of 2733 ppb (µg/kg) and maximum levels of more than 150,000 ppb (µg/kg) were found. Global warming and the occurrence of extreme weather phenomena are playing a role in the rise of fumonisins, creating a more comfortable environment for the spread of Fusarium fungi. International trade of grain is then distributing fumonisins all around the globe. 

Fumonisins and mycotoxins in general are becoming a concern for the aqua industry, due to the higher inclusion level of plant protein sources in diet formulations. Fumonisins show a high prevalence in finished feeds, confirming that these mycotoxins are quite stable and resistant to feed processing methods. 

Ear of maize with 88% greyed out to represent percentage of global samples contaminated with the mycotoxin fumonisin
Figure 1. Fumonisins were found in 88% of all corn samples analyzed globally in the 2019 BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey
Source: BIOMIN

Fumonisins affect production results 

Fumonisins have detrimental effects on animals as they block the sphingolipid metabolism, a pathway that produces specific sphingolipids, essential components of cell membranes and nerve cells. In different species, fumonisins are associated with different diseases as shown in Table 1. 

Table 1. Disease associations of fumonisins by species 

SwinePorcine pulmonary edema (PPE) 
PoultryNecrotic enteritis (Antonissen et al., 2013)

Fumonisins in general are hepatotoxic but they are also known to impair the barrier function of the gastrointestinal tract by disrupting gut integrity. 

A leaky gut leads to higher absorption of undesired particles such as mycotoxins, but also a higher passage rate of pathogens, such as E. coli and Salmonella (Vandenbroucke et al., 2011; Pinton et al., 2009). In shrimp, a very low contamination of fumonisins (200-600 ppb) significantly impaired the muscle structure which consequently led to reduced storage stability of shrimp meat (Garcia-Morales et al., 2015). In tilapia (Claudino-Silva et al., 2017), weight gain of fingerlings was significantly reduced due to fumonisins in the feed. In seabream, 2000 ppb of fumonisin reduced body weight and increased feed conversion rate. 

How to counteract fumonisins efficiently 

Although fumonisins can be adsorbed by specific minerals in the acid environment of the stomach, they will be released again, causing damage to intestinal mucosa, entering the bloodstream and exerting their toxicity. Therefore, fumonisins cannot be sufficiently counteracted by simply using binding minerals (Figure 2). 

Figure 2. Summary of fumonisin adsorption % by different binder products
Figure 2. Summary of fumonisin adsorption % by different binder products (1, 2, 3…) at acid pH 3.0 (stomach) and neutral pH 6.5 (intestinal tract).

BIOMIN started researching a better alternative for the degradation of fumonisins many years ago and registered the first fumonisin purified degrading enzyme, FUMzyme®, in the European Union (No. 1115/2014) and globally in 2014. FUMzyme® cleaves off two tricarballyilic acid side chains and turns fumonisin B1,2,3 into non-toxic hydrolyzed fumonisin B1,2,3 + tricarballylic acids (Figure 3). 

Degradation of toxic fumonisin B1 into its hydrolyzed form plus two separate tricarballylic acid groups
Figure 3. Degradation of toxic fumonisin B1 by FUMzyme® sol into hydrolyzed fumonisin B1 and two tricarballylic acids.

Currently FUMzyme® is part of the BIOMIN Mycofix® product line and is therefore mixed directly into the feed prior to any heat treatment. 

What is so revolutionary now? 

Today, the feed industry and producers use physical methods to control food-borne pathogens or to fulfill needs for special characteristics (e.g. shapes), tending towards higher temperatures and prolonged conditioning times (Figure 4). Increased processing temperature may limit the activity of enzymes. As the world leader in mycotoxin deactivation, we at BIOMIN further developed our FUMzyme® product to overcome this challenge. 

Feed mill surrounded by ten labels of the processing conditions used during animal feed manufacture
Figure 4. Processes used in aquaculture feed manufacture

The revolutionary product FUMzyme® sol is the first water soluble, highly concentrated, purified enzyme that can be sprayed onto extruded feed after heat treatment. FUMzyme® sol is available as a powder in practical, resealable 50 g, 100 g and 250 g aluminium bags. The contents of the 50 g bag can be directly used to treat 10 tons of feed. Depending on the amount to be treated and the level of contamination, 5 g of FUMzyme® sol is measured and added to a minimum of 100 ml of tap water, mixed for 2 minutes and then sprayed on to 1 ton of feed. 

The amount of FUMzyme® sol used per ton of feed can vary between 5 and 15 g depending on the fumonisin contamination level. The amount of water can be increased according to the requirements of the spraying device/post-pellet liquid application system. Where emulsifiers are used, FUMzyme® sol can also be mixed with oil for specific applications. 

In vitro and in vivo efficacy

FUMzyme® sol has been tested for its fumonisin degrading capacity in different set-ups. Its efficacy was not only confirmed in post-pelleting applications but also its efficiency in chlorinated water up to 5 ppm and interaction with different phytases was successfully tested. FUMzyme® sol​​​​​​​ does not affect the efficacy of different commercially available phytases, nor is FUMzyme® sol​​​​​​​ activity affected when mixed and sprayed at the same time as different phytases. 

FUMzyme® has been extensively tested in pigs and poultry and results are available on request. 

In seabream, 5g FUMzyme® sol/ton of feed treatment was tested. Feed was contaminated with 2,000 ppb of fumonisin B1. After 60 days of trial, final bodyweight and consequently feed conversion rate were negatively impacted by the low contamination (2,000 ppb) of fumonisin B1 (Figure 5). Figure 3 also shows the positive impact that 5 g FUMzyme® sol/ton of feed had to counteract this. 

Figure 5. Feed conversion rate (FCR) on day 28 and day 60 of the trial.
Figure 5. Feed conversion rate (FCR) on day 28 and day 60 of the trial.

A shrimp trial was performed with 1,500 ppb of fumonisin B1 and treated with 10 g of FUMzyme® sol. After 50 days of experiment, mean body weight of the shrimp fed the diet contaminated with fumonisin B1 was significantly decreased. This detrimental effect was completely counteracted in the group that received the contaminated diet that was treated with 10 g of FUMzyme® sol (Figure 6). 

Figure 6. Mean bodyweight of shrimp after 50 days of experiment.
Figure 6. Mean bodyweight of shrimp after 50 days of experiment.

FUMzyme® sol

  • FUMzyme® sol, a simple and reliable solution for the complete management of fumonisins, is targeted for all post-pelleting liquid applications. Join the soluble revolution together with BIOMIN.


Antonissen, G., Van Immerseel, F., Pasmans, F., Ducatelle, R., Haesebrouck, F., Timbermont, L., Verlinden, M., Janssens, G., Eeckhout, M., De Saeger, S., Boeckx, P., Delezie, E., Hessenberger, S., Martel, A. and Croubels, S. 2013. Deoxynivalenol predisposes for necrotic enteritis by affecting the intestinal barrier in broilers. International Poultry Scientific Forum 2013. Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, Georgia. P9-10. 

Claudino-Silva, S.C., Lala, B., Mora, N.H.A.P., Schamber, C.R., Nascimento, C.S., Pereira, V.V., Hedler, D.L. and Gasparino, E. 2017. Challenge with fumonisins B1 and B2 changes IGF-1 and GHR mRNA expression in liver of Nile tilapia fingerlings. World Mycotoxin Journal. 11(2). 237-245. 

García-Morales, M-H., Pérez-Velázquez, M., González-Felix, M.L., Burgos-Hernández, A., Cortez-Rocha, M-O., Bringas-Alvarado, L. and Ezquerra-Brauer, J-M. 2015. Effects of fumonisin B1-containing feed on the muscle proteins and ice-storage life of white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei). Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology. 24(4). 340-353. 

Pinton, P., Nougayrède, J-P., Del Rio, J-C., Moreno, C., Marin, D.E., Ferrier, L., Bracarense, A-P., Kolf-Clauw, M. and Oswald, I.P. 2009. The food contaminant deoxynivalenol decreases intestinal barrier permeability and reduces claudin expression. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 237(1). 41-48. 

Vandenbroucke, V., Croubels, S., Martel, A., Verbrugghe, E., Goossens, J., Van Deun, K., Boyen, F., Thompson, A., Shearer, N., De Backer, P., Haesebrouck, F. and Pasmans, F. 2011. The mycotoxin deoxynivalenol potentiates intestinal inflammation by salmonella typhimurium in porcine ileal loops. PLoS One. 6(8). e23871. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0023871