TOXO® helps livestock producers to cope with moulded and mycotoxin contaminated feeds and raw materials. TOXO is available in different product varieties, with multiple mechanisms and levels of protection. TOXO-MX is a mycotoxine binder that effectively binds mycotoxins in the gastrointestinal tract. TOXO-MX has a high ability to bind Aflatoxins in particular, but also other mycotoxins such as Ergot alkaloids. This makes TOXO-MX especially suitable in warm and humid climates, where Aflatoxins are the most dominant problem. The product can also be used in areas with more moderate temperatures, in case of imported Aflotoxin contaminated raw materials, in combination with other mycotoxins such as Fumonisins, T2, Zearalenone and Ergot alkaloids.
Effects of Alflatoxins on animal health
Aflatoxins can cause severe health problems and even
death in all animal species. They are produced by the Aspergillus flavus mould as higly toxic metabolites,
under adverse conditions such as drought stress and insect damage. Aflatoxins can occur on crops during the growing season, but also during storage, especially at moisture content above 12% and temperatures greater than 21oC. The four main Aflatoxins that are generally produced are B1, B2, G1 and G2, but the most frequent and toxic is Aflatoxin B1.
All animals are sensitive to Aflatoxins, but their susceptibility varies with species and age. Young animals are more affected than adult animals. Low levels of Aflatoxins in feeds can cause poor growth, interfere with the immune system and result in liver damage and bleeding. High dosages cause acute loss of appetite, depression, haemorrhage, diarrhoea and death. In dairy cows Aflatoxin B1 is metabolized into M1, which can lead to human health risks in case of contaminated milk consumption.
Since the late 70’s it has been known that certain clay minerals bind Aflatoxins. Smectite clays have the best binding efficacy, due to their specific composition and structure. The interlayers of the smectite clays bind the Aflatoxins through a process called chemisorption. This protects animals against the harmful effects in the intestinal tract.
The binding efficacy of TOXO-MX has been tested in
several assays by specialized and independent, external laboratories. To mimick the conditions in the gastrointestinaltract, the binding capacity was determined at different pH levels. Firstly the binding efficacy was measured at to ±7 to simulate intestinal conditions. The binding efficiency is the adsorption at pH 3 minus desorption at intestinal pH level.
The tests were conducted with several TOXO-MX inclusion levels, as well as different Aflatoxin (AFB1) concentrations. The figure below demonstrates the main results of those binding tests, carried out by independent U.S. – and EU-based laboratories, showing an AFB1 binding efficiency of min. 98%.
Binding Ergots akaloids
Ergot alkaloids are produced by the Claviceps fungus are less known, but can also be harmful to all animal species, particularly ruminants. At high levels, Ergot alkaloids can cause a.o. vasoconstriction and gangrene, but also impaired reproductive performance and lower milk production in dairy cows. The smectites in TOXO-MX efficiently bind many of the Ergot alkaloid varieties, as shown in below graph.
No binding with nutrients
The properties of the interlayers of calcium smectite clay allow only mycotoxin molecules to bind. For that reason a nutrient binding test has been conducted at a specialized laboratory. TOXO-MX (20% and 50% resp.) was added to a commercial broiler premix, containing high levels of vitamins and minerals. All samples were extracted with HCl, to simulate gastric conditions. The results showed that TOXO-MX does not bind nutrients and can safely be used in animal feed and premixes. It also has excellent free-flowing properties and can be applied as an anti-caking agent in premixes.
Improved performance of broiler chickens
The effects of TOXO-MX were also tested in an in-vivo, Aflatoxin (AFB1) challenge study with broiler chickens,in collaboration between Selko Feed Additives and Nutreco R&D. The study was conducted with one-day-old broiler chickens at Nutreco’s Poultry Research Center (PRC). Three experimental groups were included, one control group without Aflatoxins and the other two groups were fed a diet including 3 ppm AFB1 with or without TOXO-MX. Body weight and feed consumption were measured, as well as relative organ weight. After 21 days the technical performance was compared resulting in significantly increased average daily gain (ADG), feed Intake (FI) and also improved feed conversion ratio (FCR), for the group receiving TOXO-MX. Additionally TOXO-MX reduced the relative liver and kidneys weights significantly
TOXO reduces the negative effects of mycotoxin contamination and improves animal health and performance. The carefully selected ingredients have an synergistic mode of action and are effective against a broad spectrum of mycotoxins. The TOXO range includes multiple products with different levels and mechanism of protection.