Your shield against mycotoxins

Anta®Ferm MT80 field study shows performance and digestibility benefits


Mycotoxin binders – make the right choice

Mycotoxins account for huge economic losses. It is estimated that 25% of crops worldwide are affected, leading to annual losses of up to 1 billion tonnes and billions of euro. These economic losses derive from:

a) reduced plant yield and crop value;

b) lower livestock productivity;

c) sampling, analysis and prevention; and

d) animal and human health problems.

No poultry feed is completely free of mycotoxins and, in contrast to the majority of scientific trials, more than one mycotoxin is present in practice. Since multiple mycotoxins have a mutually reinforcing effect, they have a more severe impact on the health and performance of the animal under practical compared to laboratory conditions. Therefore, to make the right choice of mycotoxin binder, it is crucial to also evaluate binders’ effectiveness in field trials using naturally contaminated feed.

Mycotoxin binders assessed under practical conditions

To compare the effect of different mycotoxin binders, day-old broiler chicks (as hatched, Cobb 500, starting weight: 37 g) were allocated in four groups receiving four different diets over a period of 36 days. In addition to a control group (without a mycotoxin binder), three different commercial mycotoxin binders were tested at the same dosage: Anta®Ferm MT80; product 1 based on yeast cell walls; and product 2 based on mineral clay. As expected, analysis of the feed shows the occurrence of multiple mycotoxins (Table 1).


Table 1: Mycotoxin levels in the naturally contaminated feed

Mycotoxin First Phase Feed

Contamination (mg/kg)

Second Phase Feed

Contamination (mg/kg)

T-2 0.3820 0.6200
Deoxynivalenol 0.3780 0.3100
Aflatoxin 0.0057 0.0085
Zearalenone 0.0260 0.0410
Ochratoxin A 0.0320 0.0290
Fumonisin 0.9200 0.2800
Total 1.7437 1.2885


The trial showed that broilers fed Anta®Ferm MT80 performed best. The final live weight and live weight gain were higher compared to the control (+4.7%), product 1 (+3.1%) and product 2 (+1.7%). In addition, the feed conversion ratio (FCR) was improved with Anta®Ferm MT80 compared to the control group (-3.5%), product 1 (-2.4%) and product 2 (-1.2%).


Figure 1: Live weight gain (starting weight: 37 g for all groups) and FCR over the whole trial


Be aware of nutrient interactions

Mycotoxins have a detrimental effect on the utilisation of nutrients: impacts on vitamins, proteins, fat and fibre have been described for various animal species. For example, aflatoxicosis leads to low activities of pancreatic trypsin, lipase and amylase in broiler chicks. In addition to the effect of mycotoxins on digestibility, mycotoxin binders are assumed to interact with nutrients. This is a valid concern, as unselective binders might not only bind a broad range of mycotoxins but also a large variety of valuable nutrients.

To quantify the effect of the different mycotoxin binders, protein and fat digestibility, as well as nitrogen, phosphorous and calcium utilisation were measured. Feeding Anta®Ferm MT80 led to higher digestibility and utilisation of all analysed nutrients compared to the control group and the competitor products (Fig. 2). The better nutrient digestibility using Anta®Ferm MT80 is in line with the observed improvement in performance.

Figure 2: Digestibility and nutrient utilisation in the trial


The higher digestibility values indicate a lower interaction between nutrients and mycotoxins due to a higher mycotoxin binding capacity, which ameliorates their impact on animal health and digestion. Furthermore, the observed parameters demonstrate that Anta®Ferm MT 80 does not bind nutrients and thus has no negative effect on their availability.


Anta®Ferm MT80: superior performance and digestibility

In a field trial using naturally contaminated feed containing multiple mycotoxins, Anta®Ferm MT80 was the most effective mycotoxin binder compared to two competitor products. Broiler performance (live weight, weight gain and FCR) and nutrient (fat, protein, N, Ca and P) digestibility were improved. This shows that Anta®Ferm MT80 exhibits a high mycotoxin binding capacity without simultaneously binding nutrients.