Latest research: Mycotoxins - Low levels, big impact

11th August 2020

Queens University Belfast and Devenish publish world's first longitudinal study to prove the negative effect of low levels of mycotoxins on broiler chicken health and performance

Published in 'Toxins' journal (July 2020), the longitudinal three-year study, a first of its kind in this field, was conducted by Oluwatobi Kolawole at the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queens University Belfast, in partnership with Devenish.

Key findings

  • The study demonstrated that even low levels of mycotoxins, below EU regulatory levels, have a direct negative impact on birds' performance
  • The research highlighted a specific mix of mycotoxins identified as relevant to poultry (DON, FBs, ZEN and DAS)
  • FCR performance across the crops varied by as much as 14 points, resulting in a significant impact on bird performance and profitability

What does this mean commercially?

  • Each additional point of FCR represents additional feed cost. Feeding a species-specific mycotoxin binder, such as SmartShieldAV at low levels all year and dialling up as required is likely to have significant financial benefits.
  • There are also sustainability benefits in reducing mycotoxin presence in a poultry flock. Improvement in this area would reduce raw material input such as soya and the land use change associated with its use.
  • Reduction in FCR would also have the potential to reduce nutrient excretion and its impact on the environment

How SmartShieldAV can help

SmartShieldAV delivers targeted, species-specific mycotoxin deactivation, in combination with anti-fungal technology, that helps to minimise the negative impact of the mycotoxins highlighted in this study. This is achieved through a four-action process:

  1. Binds - A blend of highly adsorbent materials to bind a wide range of mycotoxins and their derivatives to render them harmless to the animal
  2. Transforms - SmartShieldAV transforms the molecular structure of mycotoxins to improve binding efficiency
  3. Degrades - Biologically active ingredients degrade mycotoxins into smaller less toxic molecules making them easier to bind
  4. Anti-mould - A unique blend of essential oils create anti-fungal technology to reduce further growth of mould

What makes SmartShieldAV even more unique is that it takes into account the differing conditions within the gut including the pH level of the target species, ensuring a more targeted application of the product.

For more information on SmartShieldAV, please click here.

SmartShield is also available for pigs and ruminants.

Did you know?

Field crops and stored feed are highly susceptible to mould growth which creates highly toxic substances known as mycotoxins. They can significantly impact the performance of animals, resulting in:

  • Poor growth rates
  • Suppressed immunity
  • Reduced production of meat and eggs
  • Impaired fertility

For the full research paper, please visit

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