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The Truth About Mycotoxin Binders

21 July 2016

GLOBAL - Binding, or adsorbing, specific mycotoxins to limit their negative effects in livestock is a well-established method for mycotoxin deactivation. While a large number of binder products containing clay minerals such as bentonites are commercially available, there is a certain amount of confusion in the market regarding claims authorized by the European Commission.

This matters to many feed and livestock producers, since it relates to product safety and effectiveness which in turn impacts animal performance and profitably.

What can be bound?

This can be answered on two levels: one, scientific and the other; purely legal. Starting from the chemistry, mycotoxins such as aflatoxins have a flat chemical structure and can be trapped between the layers of bentonites, in the same way a slice of meat sits between two slices of bread in a sandwich. Once the mycotoxin enters the binder layers, the electric force generated by the atoms of both compounds tightens the bond. The less flat chemical structure of other mycotoxins like deoxynivalenol (DON) or zearalenone (ZEN) results in less effective adsorption. Legally speaking, only aflatoxin binding claims are authorized in the EU.


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