Mycotoxins: a threat for animal production. Four keys to choose the best solution

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Mycotoxins: a threat for animal production. Four keys to choose the best solution

Biovet, S.A.


Mycotoxins and fungal toxins that, when ingested by animals, cause considerable negative effects on the tissues, and decrease productivity. Additionally, they can reach humans whether directly (through contaminated food) or indirectly (through the intake of animal products). They can be classified into five different groups according to their chemical structure, which is also related to their effects on animals (see table).

Table 1.  Mycotoxin classification according to their chemical structure into five different groups.


Mycotoxins are present worldwide and most of the grain samples are contaminated.  In addition, 45% of the contaminated grain contains two mycotoxins, and 5% of the samples contain three or more fungal toxins. This is important because mycotoxins act synergistically, which means that their combined toxicity is greater than the sum of their negative effects alone.

Since it is barely impossible to prevent the presence of mycotoxins in the grain and feed, it is essential to find an effective way to prevent the consequences of feeding the animals contaminated feed.


The addition of mycotoxin binders in feed has proved to be an effective method to avoid mycotoxins' negative effects. The target of these products is to bind mycotoxins and avoid their absorbance in the animal digestive tract.

There are several types of binders, and to decide which is the best one there are four key factors to consider: dose, spectrum of action, effectivity in all the digestive tract and the capacity to bind nutrients.

Fig. 1.  Four key factors to consider when choosing a mycotoxin binder



It can be hard to find a solution that complies with all these requirements and the structure and composition of the binder molecule plays a major role on the final efficacy of these binders.


Silicoglycidol was the first patented mycotoxin binding molecule in the world. It is a molecule that undergoes specific heat and ionic treatments to increase the binding surface and the spectrum of action.

 Thanks to this specific treatment, the molecule can bind a high number of mycotoxins at the lowest dose and is effective against the five different chemical groups that include all mycotoxins in the field.

A simulator of the GI tract, as well as some field trials with animals, showed that Silicoglycidol's efficacy does not vary throughout the digestive tract, which means that the molecule offers a full protection to the animals.

In addition, it is highly specific: it does not bind other feed components (such as vitamins, amino acids, or others). This has been tested in laboratory and field trials.

Multiple studies have documented an improvement on weight gain and feed conversion ratio in poultry, pigs and ruminants fed diets supplemented with this binder, thanks to the reduction of the toxic effects caused by the intake of mycotoxins.

Table 2.  Comparison of Silicoglycidol with other binders, classified according to their composition.




Mycotoxins are undesirable agents that are present in feed and have negative consequences on animal health and productive performance. Silicoglycidol is a mycotoxin-binding molecule that, when added to the diets, protects animals from mycotoxin negative effects and improves animal performance. It is a unique solution that is highly effective in mycotoxicosis prevention worldwide.


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Article made possible through the contribution of Biovet, S.A.