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IPSF Presentations Further Support Phylox® Feed as Natural Alternative to Anticoccidial Drugs

Phylox® logo with microbiology background.

Coccidiosis is the most significant disease affecting poultry production, costing the global poultry industry approximately US$3 billion annually. Not only does coccidiosis damage the gut, resulting in reduced efficiency and profitability, but it also contributes to the development of other enteric diseases like necrotic enteritis. Traditionally, antibiotics or synthetic chemicals were used to control coccidiosis; however, consumer concerns over chemicals and drugs in the food chain have reduced their use in recent years. Therefore, poultry producers need a natural, research-backed alternative to chemical coccidiostats and antibiotics — like Phylox® Feed.

Phylox (available in select international markets) is a synthetic blend of bioactive phytochemicals that decreases the negative production and health effects of a coccidia challenge. The ingredients in Phylox contribute to its multiple modes of action which include damaging the coccidia cell structure, boosting anticoccidial immunity and improving general gut health.

Multiple studies have proven Phylox decreases gut damage in Eimeria-challenged broilers, resulting in improved growth and efficiency. Further analysis of some of these trials was presented at the 2022 International Poultry Scientific Forum (IPSF) in Atlanta, Georgia, as a six-trial meta-analysis comparing Phylox to a control diet in Eimeria-challenged broilers. Research was also presented at the 2022 IPSF on how Phylox affects the immune response and gut microbiome of broilers during a coccidia challenge. Summaries of these two IPSF presentations and links to the abstracts are below.

 

A Research-Backed Alternative to Anticoccidial Drugs

A meta-analysis of six in vivo trials that compared the performance and health effects of broilers challenged with experimental coccidiosis and fed either Phylox or a non-supplemented control diet was conducted. Persistent effects of Phylox on growth performance, fecal oocyst shedding and intestinal lesion score were examined.

Phylox improved gut health and performance while also decreasing coccidial lesion scores and oocyst shedding. Less gut damage means improved nutrient use — supporting greater weight gain and feed conversion. Two of the experiments included treatment groups that contained ionophores or anticoccidial chemicals for comparison. In these studies, Phylox delivered gut health results similar to salinomycin, nicarbazin, and Maxiban™ (narasin and nicarbazin), as determined by coccidial lesion scores and feed conversion.

This study supports previous research that shows the potential of Phylox as an alternative to the traditional coccidiostats in poultry production. The results are particularly noteworthy in an era when use of these traditional products continues to be reduced in favor of natural non-antibiotic and non-chemical solutions.

 

A Novel Approach to Coccidiosis Control

This research explored the potential effects of Phylox on host coccidial immunity, the composition and structure of the gut microbiome, and intestinal integrity of broilers challenged with experimental coccidiosis. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell phenotype, ceca-cecal tonsil cytokine mRNA expression, gut microbiome of cecal content and duodenal/jejunum histopathology were examined.

Phylox Maintains Intestinal Immune System Protection

Most of a chicken’s immune tissue is in the gastrointestinal tract, helping to keep pathogenic substances out while allowing nutrients in. IL-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine with potent immunosuppressive effects. Coccidia can exploit these immunosuppressive properties, to help them survive in a relatively hostile environment, by increasing IL-10 during a challenge. This decreases the bird’s immune response just when it is needed. However, in this study, Phylox kept IL-10 from increasing during a coccidia challenge, stopping the coccidia from interfering with the bird’s immune response.

Preserved Microbiome Diversity

A disruption to the balance of the gut microbial community is often associated with a loss of microbiota diversity (Mosca et al., 2016). In the Phylox study, Eimeria challenge decreased the α-diversity (the mean species diversity at a local site) of the cecal microbiome, but Phylox returned it to its normal, unchallenged state. This result was for both richness (the total number of species) and evenness (the amount of each species). Additionally, feeding Phylox increased the relative amount of Blautia and L-Ruminococcus — producers of short-chain fatty acids that help the gut and the immune system maintain consistency regardless of challenges.

This study demonstrated that, in addition to damaging Eimeria cell structure and functional integrity, Phylox helps host defense mechanisms by boosting protective immunity against coccidial infection. This multimodal mechanism of action of Phylox contributes to an enhanced resistance to coccidial infection and improved bird productivity.

For more information on these studies or to trial Phylox Feed yourself, contact us at info@amlan.com.

Varium® Rivals Zinc Bacitracin in Maintaining Broiler Intestinal Health

Varium® logo with broilers in the background.

In some countries, the use of zinc bacitracin as an antibiotic growth promoter (AGP) in poultry is restricted due to concern over the increase in multi-drug-resistant bacteria that do not respond to traditional antibiotic treatments. Restrictions in the use of AGPs in animal feeds like zinc bacitracin has spurred the development of natural AGP alternatives that keep birds healthy and growing efficiently.

Natural Performance Promotion

Varium® is a patented natural mineral-based feed additive that promotes efficiency and productivity in poultry. Unlike antibiotics that kill bacteria, the patented technology in Varium includes a synergistic formulation of ingredients that binds pathogenic bacteria and their toxins, provides an energy source for the growth of healthy and strong enterocytes and gently stimulates immunity cells. With multiple modes of action, Varium adds value for producers by replacing the need for multiple feed additives; it can provide the same benefits in one product thereby simplifying diet formulations and reducing costs.

Comparing Varium with Zinc Bacitracin

To demonstrate its effectiveness, Varium was directly compared to zinc bacitracin in a broiler study conducted by a university in Pakistan. In the trial, 180 Ross 308 chicks (10 chicks per pen, 6 pens per treatment) were randomly allocated to one of three treatment groups: control (0.01% zinc bacitracin), Varium 0.1 (0.1%) or Varium 0.15 (0.15%). The broilers were raised under normal production conditions, with the trial ending on day 35. Newcastle disease vaccine was administered to all birds on day 6 (intraocular and subcutaneous) and a booster (oral) was administered on day 21. Newcastle disease titers were measured on days 20 and 35 from 18 birds per treatment. Three birds per pen (18 total per treatment), randomly selected on day 35, and had small intestine morphology and bacterial counts in the small intestine and digesta measured.

Varium Protects Intestinal Health

The study showed that Varium was able to protect intestinal morphology better than zinc bacitracin. In Varium-fed broilers, a significant dose-response effect was observed for intestinal (jejunum) villus height and villi index (villus height to crypt depth) on day 35, with all Varium treatments significantly higher than the zinc bacitracin control (Figure 1). A similar dose response was observed with intestinal (jejunum) crypt depth; all Varium treatments were significantly lower than the control, and Varium 0.15 was significantly lower than Varium 0.1 (Figure 1).

Villus Height, Villi Index, Crypt Depth of broilers information.
Figure 1: Villus height, villi index and crypt depth of broilers fed either 0.01% zinc bacitracin (control) or Varium at 0.1 or 0.15%. Varium demonstrated a dose-response effect that indicated better ability to protect intestinal morphology than zinc bacitracin.

 

Varium was also able to protect the birds from necrotic enteritis to the same extent as zinc bacitracin. Necrotic enteritis was not found among any of the sampled birds on day 35. Lesion scores (0 to 4 scale) for the entire length of the small intestine were not different between treatments; however, Varium 0.1 had a better effect on intestinal elasticity than the other treatments.

Beneficial Bacteria Increase with Varium

Varium was able to promote colonization of beneficial bacteria while decreasing the population of pathogenic bacteria. Varium 0.1 had significantly more beneficial Lactobacilli than zinc bacitracin and Varium 0.15 had significantly more than all treatments (Figure 2). All Varium treatments decreased the population of Salmonella in the small intestine and digesta compared to zinc bacitracin (Figure 3).

Lactobacilli colonization of the small intestine and digesta information.
Figure 2: Lactobacilli colonization of the small intestine and digesta was improved when the broiler diet was supplemented with Varium.
Salmonella colonization of the small intestine and digesta information.
Figure 3: Salmonella colonization of the small intestine and digesta was significantly reduced when the broiler diet was supplemented with Varium.

A Better Immune Response

Varium also improved the immune response to vaccination. On day 20 and 35, Newcastle disease antibody titer (hemagglutination inhibition test) was significantly higher in all Varium treatments compared to zinc bacitracin. Previous research (contact Amlan for more details, info@amlan.com) has shown that feeding Varium during disease challenge can restore the expression of immune cells that are responsible for stimulation of an antigen-specific immune response and also increase phagocytic activity compared to the control group. This increased immune response, as well as the removal of bacterial toxins that can cause immunosuppression, are thought to be the reasons behind the increase in Newcastle disease antibody titers observed in the present study.

This study confirmed that Varium can be as effective as zinc bacitracin in promoting intestinal health. The doses of Varium at 0.1 and 0.15% performed equal to or better than zinc bacitracin for the parameters tested. For more information on how Varium can improve health, production efficiency and value, visit the Varium product page.

Calibrin®-Z Improves Dairy Cattle Health and Performance in Four Commercial Case Studies

Calibrin Z logo over feeding cows

If there’s one goal dairy cattle producers strive to achieve, it’s production efficiency. Reproductive efficiency, feed efficiency or overall milk production — dairy producers want their cows performing to their maximum potential. But for a cow to be efficient, she also needs to be healthy.

Dairy farmers around the world face a multitude of potential health challenges in their herds; from heat stress to bacterial disease to mycotoxin-contaminated feed, it’s a lot to manage. It’s unlikely that some of these health challenges can be completely avoided but mitigating them with a natural feed additive like Calibrin®-Z can go a long way to keeping cows healthier and more likely to achieve their production potential.

A Proven Biotoxin Binder

Calibrin-Z is a mineral-based feed additive that binds bacterial pathogens and their toxins, as well as mycotoxins, protecting dairy cattle from a broad spectrum of biotoxins that reduce performance and cause morbidity or mortality. A one-ingredient feed additive, Calibrin-Z is made from our single-source calcium montmorillonite with opal-CT lepispheres that undergoes proprietary thermal processing (tailored to the product) to promote the binding of multiple biotoxins in the intestine of dairy cattle. A healthy gastrointestinal tract means a healthier, more productive cow.

Commercial Dairy Farms Recognize the Benefits of Calibrin-Z

In four commercial-based case studies, Calibrin-Z increased dairy herd performance for several key performance indicators against a wide variety of challenges and in diverse environmental conditions. In Mexico, two dairy farms, approximately 1,200 lactating cows each, were used in a four-month side-by-side study. The two farms shared silage, used the same diet formulation and feed ingredients, and the age, lactation period and condition of the cows were evenly distributed between the two farms. Mycotoxin analysis showed low mycotoxin concentrations during the trial, however, the potential to improve performance of the herd was still evident.

Adding Calibrin-Z to the ration increased milk production, enhanced feed efficiency, decreased somatic cell count and reduced death and abortion loss (Figures 1 and 2).

Milk production before and after Calibrin-Z info graphic.
Figure 1: Milk production was greater in dairy cows fed Calibrin-Z (P < 0.01)

 

Somatic cell count info graphic.
Figure 2: Somatic cell count was lower in dairy cows fed Calibrin-Z (P < 0.001)

 

Calibrin-Z also improved the health of cows from two farms in Mexico that were experiencing other kinds of health challenges. One farm had high levels of mycotoxin contamination (T-2 and DON) and a high incidence of Clostridium in the region. Calibrin-Z was able to improve the general health and production of the herd and reduce death loss. Another farm had medium levels of mycotoxin contamination and was experiencing abnormally high abortions. Heat stress was also a factor on this farm. Calibrin-Z was able to reduce abortion loss, decrease cull numbers and improve the general health of the herd.

The fourth case study was conducted on two dairy farms located in the Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, where data collected over the 88-day study was compared to the previous year’s data. Feed samples showed medium levels of mycotoxin contamination at these farms. Calibrin-Z increased milk production, improved reproductive performance and decreased disease incidence (Figures 3 and 4).

Year over year milk production info graphic.
Figure 3: Calibrin-Z improved milk production in dairy cows compared to the previous year (P < 0.05).

 

Mastitis and enteritis info graphic.
Figure 4: Calibrin-Z reduced the incidence of mastitis and enteritis in dairy cows compared to the previous year.

 

These commercial case studies demonstrate the benefits Calibrin-Z can bring to a dairy cattle herd, no matter the level of disease or environmental challenges the farm is facing. To start your own Calibrin-Z trial or for more information about the benefits of using biotoxin-binding Calibrin-Z, contact us at info@amlan.com.

 

The Culture Behind Our Mineral Science

The culture behind our mineral science.

We’re innovators of natural mineral-based feed additives that optimize intestinal health and add value for animal protein producers. But that’s not the entire Amlan story. We’re grounded by our family roots, backed by vertically integrated mineral expertise and we bring mineral-based solutions to the animal production industry that are distinctly ours.

About Amlan info graphic.

Poultry Science Study Shows NeutraPath® Targets Salmonella Isolate Using Multiple Methods

NeutraPath® logo with packaged poultry in background.

Source: Xue H, Wang D, Hargis BM, Tellez-Isaias G. Research Note: Virulence gene downregulation and reduced intestinal colonization of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium PHL2020 isolate in broilers by a natural antimicrobial (NeutraPath™). Poultry Science. 2022 Mar 7:101822. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2022.101822.

Reducing intestinal Salmonella colonization in poultry is a key strategy in controlling Salmonella contamination of poultry products and, in turn, lowering the incidence of salmonellosis in people. Subtherapeutic levels of antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) can help control enteric pathogens like Salmonella, but restrictions in AGP use have created the need for antibiotic-free methods of reducing enteric pathogens in poultry.

A natural mineral-based feed additive that has previously shown action against Salmonella prevalence is NeutraPath® — a select blend of essential oils, fatty acids and a thermally processed enterosorbent mineral. A recent Poultry Science study investigated the antimicrobial effects of NeutraPath against Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain PHL2020 (ST-PHL2020) and the effects of NeutraPath on ST-PHL2020 virulence gene expression.

The study showed that NeutraPath exhibited a potent antimicrobial effect against ST-PHL2020 and reduced its intestinal colonization. NeutraPath also modulated ST-PHL2020 virulence network development by downregulating mRNA expression of key virulence genes and blocking expression of downstream effectors involved in Salmonella invasion. Together, the results show that NeutraPath has the potential to reduce ST-PHL2020 intestinal colonization in broilers and downregulate key ST-PHL2020 virulence genes.

Read the full article

Mycotoxicosis: The Cause and the Natural Solution

Mycotoxin with Calibrin-Z.

Mycotoxicosis in production animals can range from mild to severe, depending on the animal species, the mycotoxins present, their concentration, the exposure duration, the animal’s health status and environmental factors. When multiple mycotoxins contaminate feed, they create a synergistic or additive effect, which amplifies the negative effects of each mycotoxin.

In most cases, the effects of mycotoxicosis can be insidious, resulting from long-term exposure to low levels of mycotoxins, which eventually leaves animals susceptible to disease. All mycotoxins can cause mortality in severe cases.

Natural Mycotoxin Defense Is Possible

The best way to help protect animals from the negative health and production effects of mycotoxicosis is to stop the absorption of mycotoxins in the animal’s gut. All-natural, mineral-based Calibrin®-Z protects poultry and livestock from mycotoxins (and bacterial toxins), ensuring healthier animals, more efficient nutrient absorption, better animal performance, and improved yields.

Calibrin-Z is made from a single-source mineral produced in the USA, providing consistent quality and product traceability. The unique physical and chemical properties of Calibrin-Z, together with Amlan’s proprietary thermal-processing method, promote the binding of multiple biotoxins, including polar and nonpolar mycotoxins. Calibrin-Z also binds multiple bacterial exotoxins (e.g., Shiga-like toxin and NetB toxin) and endotoxins (e.g., LPS). Calibrin-Z is commercially available in select international markets and can be used alone or in combination with product from Amlan’s comprehensive range of feed additives.

Here we summarize the origin of the most significant mycotoxins affecting production animals and the health and costly production losses they can cause.

Aflatoxin

Aflatoxin is a polar (hydrophilic) mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. There are multiple aflatoxin metabolites, including B1, B2, G1 and G2, with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) the most potent and frequent cause of aflatoxin toxicity. Aspergillus targets crops like corn, wheat, cereal grains and cottonseed; and under the right temperature and moisture conditions (particularly hot and humid conditions) can produce aflatoxin in the field, during harvest or during storage.

Aflatoxin targets the liver and can cause liver damage and tumors in clinical cases. Sub-clinical cases usually present with reductions in feed intake, weight gain and productivity. More severe cases in poultry and swine can result in gastrointestinal tract dysfunction, immune system suppression or hemorrhaging.

Zearalenone

One of the most common mycotoxins in poultry feed, zearalenone is a nonpolar (hydrophobic) mycotoxin produced by Fusarium. Zearalenone is found in crops like corn, barley and wheat and is often produced when temperatures alternate during grain maturation. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is regularly seen in combination with zearalenone in contaminated feed.

Zearalenone targets the reproductive organs of production animals (it mimics estrogen), causing severe reproductive dysfunction. Clinical cases in broilers will show comb and wattle enlargement and cloaca prolapse. Layers can have decreased egg production and quality, vent enlargement and cystic oviducts. Swine clinical cases can have reduced reproductive efficiency, increased abortion, fetal malformation and atrophy of the ovaries or testes.

Fumonisin

Fumonisin is also produced by Fusarium, but it targets different organs, including the lungs and liver. Fumonisin primarily affects corn and is produced by Fusarium under a variety of environmental conditions (not just hot and humid conditions).

Sub-clinical symptoms of fumonisin contamination may not be seen in poultry, but clinical signs include reduced feed intake and body weight, lower egg weight, poor shell quality and abnormal pigmentation. Swine have reduced feed intake and weight gain in sub-clinical cases and can develop lung edema, liver damage, kidney damage and heart enlargement in clinical cases.

Deoxynivalenol (DON)

Also called vomitoxin, DON is another mycotoxin produced by Fusarium. DON is one of the most common mycotoxins to contaminate crops like wheat, corn and barley. As its alternate name suggests, DON targets the gastrointestinal tract, causing vomiting, feed refusal and diarrhea in swine, all contributing to reduced weight gain and poor feed efficiency. Severe cases can result in organ hemorrhage.

T-2/HT-2

Trichothecene (T-2) and its metabolite HT-2 are produced by certain Fusarium strains in cereal grains. Unlike some of the other mycotoxins, Fusarium produces T-2 under moist and cold conditions (not hot conditions). T-2/HT-2 target the skin and epithelial cells, producing oral lesions that reduce both feed intake and weight gain. These mycotoxins can also suppress immunity and damage the pancreas, liver and heart.

Ochratoxin

Produced by both Penicillium and Aspergillus, ochratoxin contaminates crops like barley and wheat during storage more often than in the field. Sub-clinical symptoms of ochratoxin contamination include reduced feed intake and weight gain, while clinical signs include immunosuppression, liver damage (fatty liver) and kidney dysfunction, particularly in swine.

Why Choose Calibrin-Z?

Mycotoxicosis can reduce productivity and cause serious health effects, including mortality in severe cases. Mitigate mycotoxicosis with performance enhancing Calibrin-Z — a proven biotoxin binder that optimizes gut health, improves feed efficiency and boosts your bottom line, while meeting the social demands of consumers. For more information on mycotoxicosis or to view Calibrin-Z data from independent third-party trials, contact info@amlan.com.

Amlan Brings Value-Added Mineral Alternatives to Livestock Industry

Amlan team with Rural Radio Network logo graphic.

Source: Susan Littlefield, Rural Radio Network/KRVN, January 27, 2022

Oil-Dri® Corporation of America launched their first mineral-based product in 1941, and since then the range of unique minerals mined and processed by Oil-Dri have been used for many applications across diverse industries, including animal health. In an interview with Susan Littlefield from Rural Radio Network/KRVN, Amlan teammates Reagan Culbertson, Director of Strategic Branding and Communications, and Dr. Wade Robey, VP of Marketing and Product Development, discuss the history of the mineral technology that is the core of Amlan products. They also describe how Amlan’s mineral-based feed additives optimize gut health in poultry and livestock and improve production economics.

Listen to the interview here.

Poultry Producers’ Important Role in Reducing the Global Salmonellosis Challenge

Microscopic salmonella with Varium logo text graphic.

Salmonella is one of the most prevalent foodborne zoonotic pathogens worldwide. However, by using strategies that reduce the contamination of poultry products at the farm and processing plant levels, poultry producers and processors can play an important role in reducing the incidence of salmonellosis and the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella strains.

Poultry-Related Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is a common human foodborne illness and one of four key global causes of diarrheal diseases in people according to the World Health Organization. Poultry-related salmonellosis is typically caused by Salmonella spp. passing from poultry to people through contaminated eggs and meat. Poultry are often asymptomatic carriers, and their intestinal tracts serve as pathogen reservoirs, potentially leading to contamination of food products.

Salmonella Transmission

To enter the human food chain, Salmonella must first colonize the bird’s intestinal tract. After colonization, Salmonella can spread via horizontal transmission (bird to bird), contaminating the environment and the carcass during slaughter. Salmonella colonization of the cecum can also result in vertical transmission (parent to progeny) through contamination of the yolk, albumen and eggshell membranes.

Reducing Salmonella Contamination

Salmonella can contaminate meat products during processing, causing contaminated poultry carcasses to serve as a source of infection in consumers. Innovative technology provides processors with methods to reduce contamination at the poultry plant; however, control of Salmonella at the farm level is also an important step in reducing the risk of salmonellosis in people.

Antimicrobial-Resistant Salmonella Strains

Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens, which include strains of Salmonella, are a major concern for public health care worldwide. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that over a three-year period, an average of 16% of all nontyphoidal Salmonella were resistant to at least one essential antibiotic.

The concern over antimicrobial resistance (in all pathogens, not just Salmonella) has led to a global effort to reduce the use of in-feed antibiotics in poultry production in an effort to slow the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. This presents a challenge for poultry producers since they are still being urged to control Salmonella in the poultry barn to reduce contamination of meat during processing.

Reduce Salmonella with a Non-Pharmaceutical Solution

A natural  feed additive that producers can use to help limit Salmonella in poultry is Varium® — a patented mineral-based product sold in Amlan’s international markets. Varium enhances multiple aspects of the intestinal environment, creating production results consistent with those observed with antibiotic growth promoter use. The patented technology in Varium includes a synergistic formulation of three ingredients with distinct modes of action: Varium reduces levels of pathogenic bacteria and their toxins in the intestinal lumen, acts as an enterocyte energy source, and stimulates the intestinal immune system to help birds naturally defend against pathogens.

Varium has been shown to agglutinate (adsorb) Salmonella spp., which can help prevent colonization of the intestinal wall and subsequent proliferation (Figure 1).

First Salmonella Close-Up Stage 8 Info Graphic | Amlan International
Second Salmonella Close-Up Stage 8 Info Graphic | Amlan International
Figure 1: Agglutination (adsorption) of Salmonella spp. by Varium. The scanning electron microscopy images were taken at 4 μ (top) and 20 μ (bottom). Images courtesy of the University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Supporting the in vitro agglutination results, Varium also reduced Salmonella colonization in vivo in a 28-day broiler trial conducted at Imunova Análises Biológicas (Curitiba, Brazil). In this study, broilers challenged with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis and supplemented with Varium had a 5-log reduction in cecal Salmonella levels on day 14, compared to the challenged control, and reduced overall Salmonella levels (Figure 2).

Salmonella and Public Health Concerns info graphic.
Figure 2. Compared to the challenged control, treatment with Varium rapidly reduced the bacterial load in the cecum as indicated by the Salmonella most probable number (MPN). Different letters indicate a significant difference between groups on day 14, and a main treatment effect of P = 0.0526 was also observed.

Salmonellosis and antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella strains are important global public health concerns. However, with the assistance of natural mineral-based feed additives like Varium, poultry producers can help reduce the Salmonella risks for consumers at the farming stage. To learn more about Varium, click here.

The Distinctive Properties of Our Biotoxin Binder Calibrin®-Z

Calibrin-Z binding with Amlan logo info graphic.

Proprietary mineral technology is the foundation for Amlan’s innovative value-added products for animal protein producers. In this article, we take an in-depth look into the mineral technology used in our all-natural feed additive Calibrin®-Z and its unique properties that are the Amlan difference.

Consistent, Controlled Mineral Supply

The physical and chemical properties of a mineral can differ depending on where it is mined. That is why — to ensure consistent quality — Amlan only uses a single-source mineral in our products. Amlan is vertically integrated as the animal health business of Oil-Dri® Corporation of America, allowing Amlan and Oil-Dri to control every step of the production process and reliably deliver safe, high-quality products.

Calibrin-Z: Our All-Natural Broad-Spectrum Biotoxin Control Product

Calibrin-Z protects poultry and livestock health and performance by binding intestinal pathogens, bacterial exotoxins and endotoxins and polar and nonpolar mycotoxins. It is composed of a single ingredient — our proprietary mineral technology, thermally processed to create the specific physical and chemical properties that give Calibrin-Z its powerful mode of action.

A Network of Interconnected Pores

The distinctive properties of Calibrin-Z include a high surface area and extensive porosity. More than 99% of Calibrin-Z’s total surface area is internal due to the product’s structural properties. This means that targeted molecules can migrate via interconnected networks of capillary channels towards internal binding sites. These physical features provide Calibrin-Z with a high adsorption capacity for binding a broad range of mycotoxins, bacterial pathogens and their toxins.

Layers Within Layers

The mineral in Calibrin-Z is a particular type of phyllosilicate (“phyllo” meaning sheet) and is primarily calcium montmorillonite with amorphous opal-CT lepispheres and other minor and trace minerals.

Phyllosilicates consist of silicon, oxygen, magnesium and water molecules, and either aluminum or iron atoms. The aluminum, iron or magnesium atoms form octahedron structures, whereas the silicon forms tetrahedrons. These formations give the mineral a nano-scale structure of a 2:1 layer of octahedrons between tetrahedrons. Between the 2:1 layers are interlayers of water molecules and cations (Figure 1). Various positively charged sites in the mineral structure — interlayer cations and broken edge octahedral units — provide the adsorption sites.

Structure of Mineral in Calibrin-Z Binding Info Graphic | Amlan International
Figure 1: A progressive view of the structure of the mineral in Calibrin-Z down to the nano-scale layers.

Proprietary Thermal Processing

Typical montmorillonites have water molecules between the mineral layers that make the pores and surfaces hydrophilic for adsorbing hydrophilic (polar) molecules (e.g., aflatoxins) but do not bind hydrophobic (nonpolar) molecules (e.g., zearalenone and fumonisin). However, the montmorillonite used in Calibrin-Z undergoes proprietary thermal processing that uses an optimized temperature and time to allow adsorption of hydrophilic and hydrophobic toxins (Figure 2).

Thermal Processing of Calibrin-Z Info Graphic | Amlan International
Figure 2: Thermal processing of Calibrin-Z allows binding of hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules.

Thermal processing eliminates most of the water molecules from the mineral in Calibrin-Z, making it more hydrophobic. The process is carefully controlled since excessive heat that completely dries the mineral — removal of the interlayer water molecules — would destroy Calibrin-Z’s binding capabilities. The naturally occurring opal-CT lepispheres help maintain the layered sheet structure of the mineral during processing and provide Calibrin-Z’s high binding capacity (Figure 3). Amlan’s proprietary processing method also avoids the use of harmful chemicals typically used by other companies preserving a natural composition.

Structure and Processing of Calibrin-Z Info Graphic | Amlan International
Figure 3: Naturally occurring opal-CT lepispheres maintain Calibrin-Z’s structure during thermal processing (removal of a controlled amount of interlayer water molecules).

A Variety of Binding Mechanisms

Calibrin-Z’s binding forces include hydrophobic interactions, chelation, electrostatic attractions, hydrogen bonding and van der Waals forces. Thermal processing allows an interaction between both polar hydrophilic molecules and non-polar hydrophobic molecules and the inter-mineral layer. This is the method used to adsorb mycotoxins to Calibrin-Z.

Bacterial exotoxin binding to Calibrin-Z occurs through molecular ion exchange mechanisms. For example, a part of the Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin electrostatically anchors (tethers) to either the positively charged broken-edge sites (exposed alumina octahedra) or the positively charged interlayer cations of Calibrin-Z.

Molecular conformation change mechanisms are also possible binding methods. Large exotoxins can distort their molecular structures or conformations to adsorb themselves onto macro-surfaces within the pore spaces.

Compatible With Nutrient Availability

While Calibrin-Z excels at binding biotoxins, its binding abilities do not interfere with the absorption of important nutrients in the diet. It is possible that some minor quantity of nutrients could temporarily be absorbed into Calibrin-Z’s pores. However, this is via weak thermodynamic and kinetic interactions that are readily reversible. Therefore, nutrients can travel in to and out of Calibrin-Z particles based on concentration gradients in the gastrointestinal tract.

A 42-day swine study conducted by SAMITEC in Brazil, examined the performance of pigs fed a common basal diet (Control) and Calibrin-Z included at 5 kg/MT, a level that is 10 times the recommended dose. Even at this very high inclusion rate, Calibrin-Z had no adverse effects on nutrient availability, supporting equivalent weight gain and feed conversion.

Body Weight and Calibrin-Z Info Graphic | Amlan International

The proprietary mineral technology used in Calibrin-Z is what sets it apart from other companies’ mineral-based products. For more information about Calibrin-Z and how it can help protect your animals from the deleterious effects of biotoxins, contact us at info@amlan.com.

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