November 15, 2016
BIOMIN: Positive EFSA opinion of Mycofix® ingredient FUMzyme® in poultry
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a positive scientific opinion on the safety and efficacy of BIOMIN's FUMzyme® for the application in poultry feed.
"This marks a major step in achieving an additional EU authorisation for FUMzyme®. For the poultry industry, it means a new, innovative tool for mycotoxin risk management proven to deactivate fumonisins safely and effectively," said Ursula Hofstetter, director of Competence Center Mycotoxins at BIOMIN.
EFSA acknowledged the efficacy of FUMzyme® in safely degrading fumonisins to non-toxic compounds in the gastrointestinal tract of poultry, as demonstrated in numerous feeding trials, stating "FUMzyme® has the capacity to degrade fumonisins in feed, at concentrations below the guidance limits operating in the EU in chickens and turkeys for fattening and laying hens at the minimum recommended dose of 15 U/kg complete feed".
Mycotoxin Survey results of 3065 samples taken in the first half of 2016 indicate that fumonisins were detected in 80% of corn, 27% of wheat, 66% of finished feed and 40% of soybean meal samples.
"We know that fumonisins impair the health and performance of poultry," remarked Hofstetter. Recent research revealed that the ingestion of fumonisins at levels below the EU recommended value (20 parts per million) can affect the expression of proteins related to pro- and anti-inflammatory responses in the intestinal tract of broilers.
Levels of 20 ppb of fumonisins induce a higher excretion of Eimeria, the parasites responsible for coccidiosis. "In large-scale farms, this may promote parasite transmission between birds due to the high density of the animals," she explained.
Due to the molecular structure of fumonisins, adsorptive substances, or binders, are not suitable to fully counteract fumonisins. FUMzyme®, the first purified enzyme authorised by the EU to biotransform fumonisins specifically and irreversibly into non-toxic metabolites.
"Biotransformation is the most cutting-edge strategy to detoxify mycotoxins," said Hofstetter. Biotransformation works by transforming non-adsorbable mycotoxins into harmless substances without any side effects for livestock. "It's the future of mycotoxin risk management," she added.
Demonstrating the effectiveness of FUMzyme® involved evidence using the serum sphinganine/sphingosine ratio, a key biomarker that indicates fumonisin exposure in animals.
"This ratio was significantly reduced by the addition of FUMzyme® at the minimum proposed dose when added to diets contaminated with fumonisins," according to the EFSA opinion.
FUMzyme®, the result of years of intensive scientific research from the BIOMIN Research Center, achieved its initial EU authorisation in 2014. It was originally isolated from the fumonisin degrading soil bacterium Sphingopyxis sp. MTA 144 and identified as fumonisin esterase by the BIOMIN Research Center. The purified-enzyme that specifically biotransforms fumonisins exemplifies the pioneering role of BIOMIN in developing advanced strategies to counteract mycotoxins.