With the high levels of vomitoxin (DON)-contaminated corn produced throughout crop-growing areas of the United States in 2009, 12 swine nutritionists collaborated to evaluate contaminated corn fed to weaned pigs and the value of three mycotoxin inhibitors.

A total of 904 weaned pigs were tested in 27 trials evaluating three commercial mycotoxin inhibitors on corn analyzed with 2.0 ppm DON and 7.0 ppm DON. The complete diet was calculated to contain 1.0 and 3.9 ppm DON, respectively. Pigs were placed on test from 10 to 31 days postweaning.

All research stations fed the same pretest diet using the same corn sources and diet mixtures, all mixed at one Ohio feedmill and formulated to meet or exceed National Research Council (NRC) swine nutrient requirements.

The products added to the 1.0 ppm diets were Defusion (Akey, Lewisburg, OH) at 10 lb./ton; Integral (Alltech, Lexington, KY) at 4 lb./ton; and Biofix Plus (BioMin, San Antonio, TX) at 8 lb./ton.

For the 3.9 ppm diets, Defusion was fed at 10 lb./ton, Integral at 6 lb./ton and Biofix Plus at 8 lb./ton.

Products and their intended functions include:

  • Biofix Plus contains yeast cell walls, natural microbials and diatomaceous earth (clay), which may be effective in reducing DON and other mycotoxins.
  • Defusion is a blend of preservatives, antioxidants, amino acids and direct-fed microbials, which are thought to decrease some of the toxic effects of vomitoxin in pigs.
  • Integral is a yeast cell wall that has been modified and may serve as an adsorbent of dietary mycotoxins.

Results of the 27 trials clearly showed that feeding the treatment test diets resulted in different performance responses to the two different corn sources. Pigs on the 7.0 ppm DON corn had reduced weight gains and feed intakes each week of the test period compared to the corn tested at 2.0 ppm.

Comparison of the three commercial mycotoxin inhibitor products for all research stations is shown in Table 1.

Only Defusion proved effective for the low DON-contaminated corn, increasing pig gains and feed intakes during weeks 1 and 3 of the test period, compared to the negative control diet. However, overall growth rate and feed intake did not differ significantly for most of the trial for Biofix Plus and Integral, while there was an apparent numerical advantage for Defusion.

In contrast, with the high DON-contaminated corn, pigs fed the diet with Defusion weighed more at the end of the trial, gained more weight and consumed more feed during each week of the trial than those pigs fed the control diet or the diets containing Integral or Biofix Plus mycotoxin inhibitors.

Pigs evaluated by weaning weight groups responded to the two corn sources and mycotoxin inhibitor products somewhat differently. Lighter-weight weaned pigs showed a more pronounced response to the DON-contaminated corn than the heavier weaned pig group.

In the lightweight group (Table 2), Defusion showed a clear benefit for both DON-contaminated corn sources, whereas there was no response to the two other products. The benefits of Defusion were seen throughout the trial period.

In the heavier weight group (Table 3), Defusion still proved to be the superior mycotoxin inhibitor in both growth rate and feed intake during each week of the trial, although the results were less dramatic.

Even though Defusion proved superior in these trials, the corn was contaminated primarily with DON and not the other fusarium molds. How the other mycotoxin inhibitor products would respond with corn that also contained zearalenone, T-2 Toxin or aflatoxin is unknown.

Because Defusion was added at a high level, it is not known what response a lower dietary inclusion rate would produce.

Researchers: James Nelssen, Kansas State University; Gretchen Hill, Michigan State University; Steve Moeller, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center; Don Mahan, Ohio State University; Layi Adeola, Purdue University; Chris Hostetler, South Dakota State University; Charles Maxwell, University of Arkansas; Merlin Lindemann, University of Kentucky; Hans Stein, University of Illinois; Sam Baidoo, University of Minnesota; Marcia Carlson, University of Missouri; and Mark Estienne, Virginia Tech. For more information, contact Mahan by phone (614) 292-6987 or (740) 548-5895, fax (614) 292-7116 or e-mail Mahan.3@osu.edu.