Trouw’s 3-D approach for holistic mycotoxin risk management in Dairy Animals

By Dr. Amit Kumar, Manager Dairy Nutritionist, Trouw Nutrition South Asia

Mycotoxins are the secondary metabolites produced during fungal growth and mycotoxicosis is the condition which occurs when these mycotoxins are consumed by the animals and produce adverse effects. As it is well known that dairy animals are fed the most diversified diet including concentrates, forages and silages which makes dairy animals more vulnerable to mycotoxicosis. Also, the diagnosis of mycotoxicosis in ruminant animals is more difficult due to non-specific symptoms.

Production of mycotoxin starts from infield fungal growth on the plant, then subsequently added on by improper handling and management of feed raw material like cereal grains and seed cakes during transportation & storage. Various steps of feed production in feed milling operation are the critical points and may be responsible for further fungal growth. The finished feed storage and hygiene also play an important role in fungal growth since high moisture and temperature favours fungal growth.

Non-availability of conventional raw material and the rising cost of raw materials increases the demand for unconventional feed ingredients, which are relatively more contaminated with mycotoxins than their parent grains and oil seeds.

 More than 600 mycotoxins are being produced by various species & strains of fungus especially fungal species belonging to Aspergillus., Fusarium & Penicillium. Among these “Big 6” mycotoxins are studied extensively and more efforts should be made to understand the negative effects of other mycotoxins also. The “Big 6” are:

  1. Aflatoxins
  2. Ochratoxins
  3. Trichothecenes
  4. Zearalenone
  5. Fumonisin
  6. Ergot alkaloids

Recently conducted research has shown that more than 78% percent of animal feed samples were contaminated with more than one mycotoxin.

These mycotoxins after reaching the intestine damage the intestinal cells and then gets absorbed into the blood stream and reaches to various organs like liver, kidney and other immune organs and produces adverse effect and damage. Additionally, it also increases somatic cell counts which further predisposes dairy animals for subclinical & clinical mastitis.

Major impact of these mycotoxins starts from intestine because this is the organ which is responsible for nutrient absorption and immunity. They cause damage to intestinal cells; villi and the tight junctions present in-between two intestinal cells. This can further lead to enteritis, diarrhoea, poor nutrients absorption and ultimately loss of body condition and productivity. Increased translocation of pathogens via intestinal cells can also increase incidences of subclinical and clinical mastitis.

It is also known that mycotoxin binding approach alone is not sufficient for effective mycotoxin risk management. Although a good quality bentonite can bind aflatoxins, ergot toxins and bacterial toxins, their binding efficacy against T-2 toxin, zearalenone and ochratoxins is moderate. On top of this, bentonites are ineffective against DON and fumonisin, which are the major global challenge today. As a result, we believe in 3D approach for effective and holistic mycotoxin risk management.

Trouw’s 3-D approach includes:

  1. Potential binding of mycotoxins in the intestine to avoid damage to the intestinal integrity.
  2. Strategy to strengthen gut integrity & tight junctions which are responsible for extracellular nutrient absorption and prevents toxins & pathogen entry.
  3. Modulation of immune response against the mycotoxins.


Toxo-XL, a broad-spectrum mycotoxin binder from Trouw Nutrition, has been scientifically proven to protect animals against multiple mycotoxins through 3-D mechanisms. It has unique combination of highly effective smectite bentonites that can bind multiple mycotoxins and prevent their entry into the blood stream. As a result, it prevents the negative effects of mycotoxins on various organs. Glucose biopolymers of yeast origin helps in maintaining gut integrity and health of tight junction proteins, which are responsible for preventing the entry of toxins & pathogens into blood stream. This ultimately reduces the incidences of enteritis & diarrhoea. Third component, the patented purified beta glucans from selected strains of yeast, improve the innate immunity of animals ultimately leading to better protection against pathogens. Such an effect can also reduce somatic cell counts in milk, which is an important parameter of milk quality across the globe.


Latest research conducted on mycotoxins indicates that mycotoxin contamination of concentrates, forages and TMR of dairy cows is substantial and if proper attention is not given, the economic losses can be very high. Research has also shown that mycotoxin binding approach alone is not sufficient to manage multiple mycotoxin risk in animals.

It is important to adapt multiple mode of actions to effectively manage mycotoxins. We believe that combining an effective smectite bentonite with gut health and immunity modulators, called as 3-D approach, will provide a complete and sustainable protection against multiple mycotoxins. 3-D approach gives a more rational, scientific approach to negate the detrimental effects of multiple mycotoxin challenges in dairy operations.

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