Mycotoxins

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Positive EFSA opinion for Fumzyme

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a positive Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of a mycotoxin biotransforming enzyme from Biomin for the application in poultry feed.

EFSA acknowledged the efficacy of the enzyme (FUMzyme®) in safely degrading fumonisins to non-toxic compounds in the gastrointestinal tract of poultry, as demonstrated in numerous feeding trials, stating that the product 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.

Protecting flocks

Recent Biomin Mycotoxin Survey results of 3065 samples taken in the first half of 2016 indicate that fumonisins were detected in 80% of maize, 27% of wheat, 66% of finished feed and 40% of soybean meal samples. “We know that fumonisins impair the health and performance of poultry,” explains Ursula Hofstetter, Director Competence Center Mycotoxins at Biomin. 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 ppm 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.

Biotransformation

The enzyme 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 biotransforms fumonisins specifically and irreversibly into non-toxic metabolites. “Biotransformation is the most cutting-edge strategy to detoxify mycotoxins,” said Ms 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.

Biomarkers

Demonstrating the effectiveness of the enzyme 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 the enzyme at the minimum proposed dose when added to diets contaminated with fumonisins,” according to the EFSA opinion.

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