The last few years have brought a vast amount of information about mycotoxin inactivation agents (mycotoxin binders) which are applied with the aim to reduce the toxic effects of mycotoxins in animals. The main mycotoxins present in the feed are well known: aflatoxin B1, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, fumonisins B1 + B2, T2 and HT2 toxins.
There is an increasing awareness of the hazards posed to both human and animal health by the presence of toxins produced by fungi in food and feed. Mycotoxins have a diversity of chemical structures which accounts for different biological effects. They can be carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, oestrogenic, neurotoxic, immunotoxic, etc. In farm animals, mycotoxins can cause, among others, decreased performance, feed refusal, poor feed conversion, diminished body weight gain, immune suppression, reproductive disorders, and residues in food products of animal origin.
However, the progression and diversity of symptoms are confusing, and diagnosis is difficult. Diagnosis is further complicated by a lack of research, by nonspecific symptoms and by interactions with other stress factors. Mycotoxin effects are also moderated by a number of factors, such as animal species, gender, age, diet, and duration of exposure.
Many mycotoxigenic fungi can grow and produce their toxic metabolites under similar conditions. Therefore, in animal feed, mycotoxins rarely occur as single contaminants. Apart from that, blends of various raw materials in compound feed can increase the risk of feed contamination with several mycotoxins. Several combinations of mycotoxins have been reported, such as the co-occurrence of aflatoxin B1 with ochratoxin A or that of deoxynivalenol with zearalenone, nivalenol, or other Fusarium toxins. Intake of combinations of mycotoxins may lead to interactive toxic effects. Furthermore, the toxic effect of any single mycotoxin may be amplified due to synergistic interactions with other substances.
Regardless of the difficulty of diagnosis, mycotoxins should be considered as a possible cause of production and health problems when such symptoms exist, and problems are not attributable to other typical causes.
Considering all the facts mentioned above, NUFOER constantly strives to obtain a product able to cover all the elements required both in the active “fight” and in the prevention against mycotoxins and their negative effects on the welfare and production of the animals.
During the investigation process to launch the right mycotoxin binder, NUFOER has studied the properties of different ingredients, and how they can be used to counter the effects of the mycotoxins within the animals. We have considered three main action mechanisms:
- Mycotoxin binding
- Mycotoxin biotransformation (conversion of “hard to bind” mycotoxins into simpler forms, easier to bind)
- Reinforcement of the animal’s immune system
How these 3 processes are achieved by NUFTOX PLUS:
For NUFOTOX PLUS, we use a top-quality clay, coming from one of the world’s largest deposit, located near Madrid, Spain.
This clay is classified in the group of Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminum Silicates (HSCAS). After its extraction, the clay undertakes a more complex refinement process that increases its mycotoxin adsorption capacity.
To choose an adequate adsorbent, we considered the following aspects:
- Specific surface area: depends of the structure of the clay. The higher the specific surface area, the higher the adsorption rate is, as there are more interactions between the clay and the mycotoxins.
- Pore size and distribution: it must be an adequate size to let the mycotoxins enter the structure.
- Electrical charge of the clay and Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC): influences its capacity to bind charged organic particles (such as mycotoxins). The CEC is the amount of ions that the clay is able to catch.
- pH of the media: the pH of the gastrointestinal tract of the animals is not a fixed value. We must ensure that the properties of the clay allow to adsorb the mycotoxins in different pH conditions.
We chose the clay’s properties carefully, so it presents the highest adsorption capacity and mycotoxin specificity, avoiding absorbance of essential nutrients present in the feed.
To reinforce the adsorbent properties and range of the clay, we add yeast cell walls. Using only yeast cell walls instead of whole cells, the adsorption of mycotoxins can be enhanced. The cell walls harboring polysaccharides (glucan, mannan), proteins, and lipids exhibit numerous different and easily accessible adsorption centers as well as different binding mechanisms, e.g. hydrogen bonds, ionic, or hydrophobic interactions. It has recently been demonstrated that the 10 β-d-glucan fraction of yeast cell wall is directly involved in the binding process with zearalenone, and that the structural organization of β-d-glucans modulates the binding strength. Hydrogen and Van Der Waals bonds have been evidenced in the glucans-mycotoxin complexes.
Some mycotoxins remain toxic even when attached to a binding agent, while some toxins do not bind efficiently at normal in vivo concentrations. Higher contamination levels are also an issue as the current recommended levels of binders may not be sufficient to remove all toxins present.
We propose alternative technique. Add to feedstuffs enzymes, that break down mycotoxins, to reduce toxicity.
The purpose of the enzymes in the composition are to modify several mycotoxins, to reduce they toxicity. The enzyme breaks down the toxin, partially or completely, thereby removing the toxicity of the toxin and may further induce a modification of a toxin so that binding to the binding agent is increased, pending further degradation.
NUFOTOX PLUS contains an enzymatic mixture, selected in such way to help improve the neutralization of mycotoxins. With this ingredient, we significantly increase the protective ability of NUFOTOX PLUS, in comparison with the similar aluminosilicates-based products.
The supportive role of enzymes as digestibility enhancer, improves overall welfare of animals and lids to a positive contribution to their productivity in general.
Reinforcement of the immune system
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as one of the most important microorganisms in food fermentation, have been shown to bind different mycotoxins strongly to cell wall components, as mentioned above.
Furthermore, the mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS) contained in the yeast cell wall has shown the capacity to provide a stimulation of the immune system, enhancing cell-mediated immunity, and activating the complement cascade.
MOS also helps in the bacteria competitive exclusion in the intestinal tract: the MOS binds to different pathogenic bacteria and blocks their adhesion site, rendering them unable to multiply, and letting the beneficial bacteria to competitively exclude them.
Combining an enzyme complex, a mycotoxin-binding agent and yeast cells walls is highly effective at reducing the toxicity of mycotoxins present in a feedstuff. These three components work in an advantageous complex synergy. NUFOTOX PLUS includes all the needed ingredients for the correct and proper binding of different types of mycotoxins and most importantly, at an adequate dosage of the product.