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Ultrabond: Optivite’s Ultimate Mycotoxin Binder

26 September 2012, at 9:06a.m.

UK - Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi belonging to Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium species growing in crops under unfavourable conditions.

The mycotoxins of greatest agriculture concerns include aflatoxin, ochratoxins, trichothecenes, zearalenone and fumonisins. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that approximately 25 per cent of world crops are contaminated by mycotoxins annually.

The succession of fungal contamination and mycotoxin bio-synthesis are influenced by environmental conditions. These include: crop health status pre-harvest, meteorological conditions, harvesting practices, post-harvest meteorological conditions before storage, and storage conditions. Furthermore, no region or country is immune from mycotoxin contamination because of the ubiquitous nature of fungus.

Ingestion of contaminated feed or forage presents numerous challenges throughout the digestive tract of the animal, affecting both health status and performance. Research indicates that mycotoxin contamination may reduce the energy content and nutrient digestibility of the feed. Furthermore, the presence of mycotoxins in feed may challenge the immune system, ultimately, growth performance may be compromised and disease susceptibility increased.

The major concern for poultry producers is that mycotoxins frequently occur together to produce synergistic toxicity, making subsequent clinical diagnosis rather difficult. For example, one mycotoxin, like aflatoxin affecting liver function can lead to the liver being unable to detoxify the other mycotoxins present. Studies in poultry demonstrate that mycotoxin contamination can reduce feed intake, reduce growth performance, lower egg production, cause poor feathering, create liver and kidney problems, lead to pale bird syndrome and compromise the immune response. High levels can also cause acute effects including hepatitis, paralysis and death while low levels cause the greatest economic loss, chronic effects and low performance.

Farmers throughout the United Kingdom risk the threat of mycotoxin contaminated feed because of heavy rainfall and delayed harvest conditions this year. Additionally, a recent DEFRA survey reported that approximately 97 per cent of wheat samples displayed symptoms of fusarium head blight (FHB) infection, with Fusarium graminearum responsible for 45 per cent of infected crops.

Furthermore, the recent drought and extreme heat experienced in North America created ideal conditions for Aspergillus ear rot in corn. Therefore, producers are strongly recommended to adapt control measures to prevent potential mycotoxin contaminated feed and associated animal infections, thus incurring no economic losses.

Mycotoxin binders recognised as being highly valuable in preventing them from being absorbed throughout the gut and subsequent blood circulation. Optivite, one of Britain’s foremost animal nutrition companies, has formulated a unique mycotoxin binder that has been demonstrated to bind more toxins per gram than other products.

Ultrabond is a synergistic blend of selected natural minerals designated to ensure broad spectrum activity against multiple mycotoxins and natural bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are power natural antioxidants which are able to assist the bird in the detoxification process, by aiding health and liver function.

Ultrabond also provides the widest possible spectrum of mycotoxin control both against common mycotoxins including aflatoxins, ochratoxins, and fumonisins in addition to successfully binding the dangerous T-2 Toxin. In addition, it also effectively binds zearalenone and deoxynivalenol as well as effectively binding mycotoxins permanently thus not affecting key nutrients such as vitamins and trace elements that are required for bird growth. The recommended usage is 1–5kg per tonne of complete feed, depending on individual circumstances.