In today’s world, there is a heightened demand for high quality products. This, coupled with the fact that the demand for meat, milk and eggs has increased dramatically, has made livestock owners improve their line of business so that they can maximize production as much as possible. Certain improvements include:
- Better farm infrastructure,
- Better living conditions for the animals
- Targeted use of antibiotics
- Use of feed additives and vitamins.
Despite all these enhancements, livestock owners have found out in recent years that there is another big factor that severely impacts production - mycotoxins.
Mycotoxin prevalence in numbers
Analysis of grains harvested in Europe in 2023 has found an average percentage of contamination of almost 40%, with almost 38% of grain samples tested being above the safety threshold. The samples of corn kernels analysed were mostly contaminated with the mycotoxin Deoxynivalenol (DON), Fumonisin (FUM) and Zearalenone (ZEN), with a high percentage of them being above threshold.
The dangers of Mycotoxicosis
Mycotoxins, in general, cause a decrease in feed conversion rate (FCR), weight gain and production, as well as causing enteritis (and thus diarrhoea), liver damage and immunosuppression. While these problems are prevalent across all of the mycotoxin spectrum, it is important to look into the specific problems each of these mycotoxin groups can cause.
Certain mycotoxins, such as Aflatoxins, have increasingly been in the public eye for many years now due to their harmful effects on people if they are present in milk and milk by-products. Aflatoxins (AFLA) can cause reproductive problems in all animals, such as mastitis in cows, as well as respiratory and egg shell issues in poultry.
Ochratoxins (OTA) can cause intestinal bleeding and kidney damage in all animals, as well as problems in egg quality.
Fumonisins (FUM) can predispose to necrotic enteritis in all animals. This mycotoxin group mainly affects poultry and increases the incidence of gut issues, impairs feathering and affects the nervous system of birds.
Another prevalent mycotoxin, Trichothecenes (T-2), can cause oral and skin lesions, GI tract issues and respiratory issues. They can contaminate milk, affect milk production, cause mastitis and interfere with rumen functions in cows. In both pigs and cows, it can cause problems with reproduction such as irregular estrus, abortion, pseudopregnancy, decrease conception rate and embryonic death. In poultry, it can decrease hatchability, egg production, embryonic loss as well as eggs shell issues. These symptoms are also commonly caused by Deoxynivalenol (DON) mycotoxins. In addition to that, they can contaminate milk and cause laminitis and respiratory issues in cows. In swine, DON can cause kidney damage while in poultry it can lead to leaky gut and predispose to bacterial gut issues as well as the formation of fatty liver.
Zearalenone mostly causes problems with reproduction such as irregular cycling, abortion, pseudopregnancy, embryonic death, low testicular development and sperm production. In cows it can lead to impaired rumen function, diarrhoea, decrease in volatile fatty acid production and rumen PH. In poultry, Zearalenone affects egg quality, egg production and hatchability.
Counteracting the problem using Mycotoxin Binders
Many mycotoxin binders exist in the market nowadays. These products, which contain various types of clay binders, are mostly designed to deal with mycotoxins with polar structures such as Aflatoxins. They are able to bind to Aflatoxins in the gut and prevent them from entering the bloodstream where they can cause health issues. Despite this, mycotoxins are not the only substances in the feed that have polarity. Essential nutrients also have a polarity; therefore, these clay-based binders tend to absorb important nutrients in the feed which will interfere with the production potential of the animal affected. Furthermore, mycotoxins such as DON lack a strong sensitivity to the binder’s polarity which makes their removal from the gut difficult.
Our Solution: Mycofix® by DSM-Firmenich
There is only one product in the market which not only binds Aflatoxins but has the ability to bio-transform Fumonisins, Trichothecenes, DON and Zearalenone inactivating them and rendering them useless.
The wide product line Mycofix® by DSM-Firmenich offers provides versatility to the farmer, allowing them to choose the product most suitable based on the type of mycotoxin they are facing in their farm. Farmers can choose between Mycofix® Plus and Mycofix® Select if they are facing Zearalenone toxicosis in their farming unit, while a solution to provide protection against Fumonisins and Trichothecenes is provided by choosing Mycofix® 3.0 and/or Mycofix® 5.0.
Most products in the market have properties for Aflatoxin adsorption, but Mycofix® has a proven ability of more than 90% adsorption of Aflatoxin B1 at 4000 ppb with a dose of 0.02% at pH 5.
Mycofix® contains the only EU authorized and patented product ingredients proven to adsorb aflatoxins and bio-transform fumonisins into non-toxic metabolites according to the relative EU Regulations.
In addition, Mycofix® contains certain additives which protect the liver, GI tract and the immune system.
We have already mentioned the potential toxic effects of DON on many types of cells including hepatic cells, intestinal epithelial cells and immune cells. Studies have shown that Mycofix® 5.0, with its FUMzyme and Trichothecenes detoxification technology, can hinder the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of DON by preventing its capability of damaging cellular DNA thus decreasing its overall effects on the animal. In this way Mycofix® indirectly improves the organism’s immune system preventing DON from making animals vulnerable to different diseases that they’re periodically exposed to.
Mycofix® Plus also provides a faster and better zeralenone protection by including ZENzyme® in its formula. Mycofix® Plus contains ZENzyme® which reduces zearalenone 1000 times faster. In this way, Mycofix® has the ability to enhance reproductive performance and allows animals to keep their reproductive potential despite the mycotoxin contamination levels of feed nowadays.
Finally, as aforementioned, Ochratoxins can cause extensive kidney damage to animals. Studies have shown that histological changes in kidneys, liver, bursa and spleen were less pronounced in birds experimentally receiving ochratoxin and Mycofix® concomitantly.
In conclusion, Mycofix® by DSM-Firmenich stands out as a comprehensive solution for mycotoxin management in agriculture, delivering unparalleled bio-transformation capabilities and adsorption efficiency. Its differentiated product lines offer targeted protection against a spectrum of mycotoxins, underpinning healthy livestock, enhanced farm productivity, and overall economic benefits. By integrating Mycofix® into their operations, farmers gain a critical ally in safeguarding animal health and securing the quality of their produce in the persistent battle against mycotoxin contamination.