July 30, 2015

30/07/2015: Anta®Ferm MT80: In vivo results - Improved nutrient digestibility and better performance

Should you use a mycotoxin binder? Of course, says Dr Eckel – but make the right choice! Mycotoxins have been strongly implicated as agents that cause acute and chronic diseases in humans and animals. Moreover, mycotoxins in feed account for huge economic losses by negatively affecting animal health and thus decreasing animal performance. Under practical conditions no poultry feed is completely free of mycotoxins. Furthermore, no feed can be expected to contain only one mycotoxin (Devegowda and Murthy, 2005).

Multi-toxin occurrence may be one important explanation for divergences in effect-levels described in the scientific literature; where defined, purified mycotoxins are most often used in the majority of the studies. In field outbreaks, naturally contaminated feeds may contain multiple mycotoxins and thus apparently lower contamination levels of a single specific mycotoxin can be associated with more severe effects (Binder et al., 2007).

The addition of mycotoxin binders to contaminated diets has been considered the most promising dietary approach to reduce effects of mycotoxins (Galvano et al., 2001). The theory is that the binder decontaminates mycotoxins in the feed by binding them strongly enough to prevent toxic interactions with the animal’s metabolism and to prevent mycotoxin absorption across the digestive tract. Under practical conditions the choice of the right mycotoxin binder is not easy to make, and therefore it is important to compare the efficacy of different binders not only in vitro, but in vivo.


To evaluate the effect of different mycotoxin binders on several parameters day-old broiler chicks (as-hatched, Cobb 500) were allocated into 4 groups, receiving 4 different diets over a period of 36 days. In addition to a control group (without mycotoxin binder), three different mycotoxin binders with the same dosage were tested (product 1: Anta®Ferm MT80, product 2: commercial mycotoxin binder based on yeast cell walls, product 3: commercial mycotoxin binder based on mineral clay). Feed was naturally contaminated with various mycotoxins (Table 1).

Broilers fed Anta®Ferm MT80 were shown to have the highest final live weight compared to control (- 4.4 percent), product 2 (- 3 percent) and product 3 (- 1.6 percent). Furthermore daily weight gain was highest for Anta®Ferm MT80-treated broilers and lowest in the control group. Feed conversion ratio was improved compared to other treatment groups and control group.

Be aware of nutrient interactions
The interaction of various mycotoxins, but especially aflatoxin, with various nutrients has been the topic of numerous experiments. Despite a long-standing recognition of this relationship, the interaction of mycotoxins with nutrients is complex and still not fully understood. Nevertheless it is known that impaired absorption, distribution, and utilisation of nutrients of practically all nutrient classes are common during mycotoxicoses. For example, Osborne and Hamilton (1981) demonstrated that aflatoxicosis results in low activities of pancreatic trypsin, lipase and amylase in broiler chicks. These low activities were apparently due to failure of enzyme synthesis rather than specific enzyme inhibition. In a review of Schaeffer and Hamilton (1991), interactions between fat soluble vitamins, water soluble vitamins, protein, fat, fibre and a wide range of mycotoxins in different animal species were discussed.

To quantify the effect of different mycotoxin binders on nutrient digestibility, digestibility of protein and fat as well as nitrogen, phosphorous and calcium utilisation were measured. Feeding Anta®Ferm MT80 led to higher digestibility and utilisation of all analysed nutrients (Fig.1). This indicates a lower interaction between mycotoxins and nutrients due to a higher binding capacity and therefore a lower impact of mycotoxins on animal health and digestion. Fat digestibility was deteriorated in broilers receiving the product based on yeast cell walls compared to control group and both treatment groups. Improved nutrient digestibility of Anta®Ferm MT80 here is in line with improved zootechnical performance. In addition to the fact that mycotoxins interact with nutrients, mycotoxin binders are assumed to possibly reduce animal performance due to nutrient binding. This is a valid concern because unselective binders might bind a broad range of mycotoxins but also a wide variety of nutrients. In this study digestibility and utilisation of Anta®Ferm MT80 treated animals were higher compared to animals in the control group, showing that there was no nutrient binding due to the used mycotoxin binder.


The specific composition of Anta®Ferm MT80 was shown to be most effective compared to two other commercial mycotoxin binders, in improving animal performance and nutrient digestibility when feed is contaminated with different mycotoxins.

Binder, E.M.; Tan, L.M.; Chin, L.J.; Handl, J.; and Richard, J., 2007. Worldwide occurrence of mycotoxins in commodities, feeds and feed ingredients. Anim Feed Sci Tech 137: 265–282
Devegowda, G.; and Murthy, T.N.K, 2005. Mycotoxins: their effects in poultry and some practical solutions. Ed. DE Diaz, Nottingham: Nottingham University Press. pp 25-56.
Galvano, F.; Piva, A.; Ritieni, A.; and Galvano, G., 2001. Dietary strategies to counteract the effects of mycotoxins: A review. J Food Prot. 64:120-131.
Osborne, D.J.; and Hamilton, P.B., 1981. Decreased pancreatic digestive enzymes during aflatoxicosis. Poul Sci 60: 1818-1820.
Schaeffer, J.L; and Hamilton, P.B., 1991. Interactions of mycotoxins with feed ingredients. Do safe levels exist? In: Mycotoxins and Animal Foods (J.E. Smith and R.S. Henderson, eds). CRC Press, Inc., Boca Ratom, FL USA pp. 827-8
These results were presented at the PSA Annual Meeting July 27-30, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

For further information or advice, please contact:
Monika Korzekwa
Product Management

Visit the Dr Eckel site HERE.

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