Discussion created on 09/08/2010

hscas toxin binder

Forum: Importance of HSCAS (zeolite powder) in Toxin Binders

I would like to discuss the role that HSCAS (zeolite powder) plays in Toxin Binders. I welcome your candid opinions on this topic.

Anuj Arora
Executive Director
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September 8, 2010

HSCASs, zeolite powders, can be good binders however, there is variability within the family as to their binding ability. Many binders are good at low pH (pH 3.0 for example), but may not be effective at a higher pH such as found in the gut where bile salts raise the pH.

Mycotoxins that were bound at the lower pH may disassociate from the binder when introduced into an environment with a higher pH.

Also, binders are only effective for binding mycotoxins with polar sites exposed and available to sites on the binder. A large amount of Aflatoxin can be bound because of the molecular configuration of the aflatoxin molecules. Fumonisins, ochratoxins and zearalanone may also be bound but only in lesser and lesser degrees than aflatoxins. Of the mycotoxins of most concern, trichothecenes are virtually nonbindable. The maximum amount of DON that may be bound is less than 10[percent] for some 40+ binders tested at both pH 3.0 and 6.5.

Binders can be good at managing the risk when aflatoxins are they should not be expected to effectively protect animals from other mycotoxins, especially trichothecenes.

September 9, 2010

Natural soil minerals (Zeolite and bentonite) are crystalline alumino-silicates characterized by their ably to exchange cations without major changes in structure. Natural soil minerals can be used as feed binders hi feed manufacturing. Natural clays can adsorb toxic products of digestion and decrease the accumulation of toxic substance in rabbit tissues, thus decreasing the incidence of internal disorders. Natural soil minerals may stimulate the lining of the intestinal tract that increases the production of antibodies, which could then inhibit the onset of enteritis. Addition of natural clays in rabbit diets improves growth rate, feed conversion and increases return from body gain and final margin. Nutrient digestibility increases by natural clay supplementation in rabbi diets, due to its low rate of passage.

M.S. Ayyat
Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt.

Nguyen Quang Thieu Nguyen Quang Thieu
Animal Nutritionist
September 9, 2010

Well, HSCAS (zeolite powders) or any kinds of binders belong to smectile group, which is only strongly binding to aflatoxins but not much to the other mycotoxins. Until to now, these products have not much varied in the capacity to absorb aflatoxins. The difference, perhaps due to the processing in each product. For example, the absorption capacity is belonging to surface area of product so that it will be good if the particle of product smaller 100 nanometre.
However, HSCAS is the most binder which was studied very carefully on many species such as poultry, swine and cattle.

Saikim Gimbang Saikim Gimbang
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
September 9, 2010

Thank you, a very good discussion,no doubt zeolite podwer is not a good toxin binder due to its molucular structure in a gut pH however they do bind some 10[percent] or even less but it can be a good cosmetic for the treatment for wet feces or diarrhea for its ablities to absorb and retain excess water or fluids.

R Kannan R Kannan
Marketing Manager
September 13, 2010

As rightly pointed out in this article, HSCAS (zeolite powder) can effectively bind Aflatoxin contamination. We need to have multi clay formulation which is activated by physical and chemical process. The activation process brings the charge particles to the surface of the clay mineral which in turn freely available for the adsorption of mycotoxins. The structure (Porosity) of the clay mineral has to match the mycotoxin structure so that it will effectively adsorb the mycotoxins.
Secondly, mycotoxin binder should be an inert material which should not get disturbed by the digestive enzymes or pH changes in the poultry gut.
Last but not least any mycotoxin binder should be a broad spectrum of toxin binding and should not affect the nutrients presence in the feed.
R Kannan
Product Manager - Kemin

Dennis Tranquil Dennis Tranquil
Feed additives
September 28, 2010

We have modified the in-vitro testing conditions for binder evaluation for our own purposes. Instead of adsorbing small amounts of mycotoxins (0.05 - 0.01 mg/L) we use realistic mycotoxin concentrations, where they start to cause economic damages (1 mg/L). We also do not use pH 3, because this is a very little to ask from a good binder. We use pH 6.5 from the very beginning and all the way through testing. What good is your binder if it binds toxins in the stomich, where transfer into the blood stream is minimized, and gives them back in the thin intestine, where actual nutrient and myxotoxin adsorption by the animal takes place? We also feel that this way we could find more usiversal binder candidates, also useful for ruminants (there is no acidic pH during the ruminant digestion).

Under these conditions the commercial mineral binders (we tried several from Belgium, Netherlands and Russia, also generic zeolite) perform quite poorly: they adsorb about 10[percent] of DON, 10[percent] of ochratoxin, 0[percent] of T-2 and 30[percent] of zearalenone.

Organic binders based on microbial and plant biomass look much better under our assay. We do not test for aflatoxins, because this type of toxins is studied in detail in literature. Yeast cell wall and its components are an adequate solution for it, though it has its own deficiences as far as other toxins.

This is why we are using biomass-based binders. We have an option to add HSCAS as a backup component, but in most cases we see no benefit to do this: HSCAS binds too little persentage of DON, OTA, T-2 and ZEN, most part of these mycotoxins still left unbound. And you have to add really a lot of HSCAS to the diet (5 kg/ton of feed) to make sure that you are fighting mycotoxins at economically troubling levels, not just analytically detectible levels, which cause no economic damages. For example, in broiler diets these economically significant mycotoxin levels are approxinately: DON - 5 mg/kg, OTA - 0.2 mg/kg, T-2 - 0.5 mg/kg, ZEN - 100 mg/kg.

February 4, 2018
Dennis Tranquil
very well, informative issue, plz let me know -what is different between HSCAS & Organic binder on the basis of Mode of action & physically function ?
September 29, 2010
Dennis Tranquil did a very good comment, and i learned much from it, thank you!
January 27, 2011

Hydrated Sodium Calcium Alumino Silicate (also known as Zeolite) formed million years ago. It is a vulcanic rock. There are many types of zeolites but only two types can be used for agriculture or for incorporation of the feeds namely MORDENITE and CLINOPTILLOLITE. Only these two kinds of zeolite has the standard porosity ranging from 3- 8 amstrong. It does not bind Vitamins and minerals. The smallest molecular size of a vitamin is 8.45 amstrong which is vitamin b2. By dividing the silica- alumina ratio in the chemical analysis (by percentage) you can see if the sample can bind vitamin minerals or not. Here in the Philippines we are mining this material and sell it to the consumers. The finer the materials,the bigger the surface area for binding and adsorption and the lower the inclussion rate. We expose it to heat from 105 - 300 degree celcius 3x to remove the moisture,but we make sure to retain atleast 4-6[percent] moisture for it to adsorv. At 400 - 450 mesh the inclussion rate can lower up to 2-5 kilos per tonne. We make sure that no clays can be incorporated in the materials by manually separating the clays from the ore. The molecular structures of the clays are lamellar sheets when expose to water or extreme heat it will expand like a plywood that creates big porosities. The zeolite (mordenite and clinoptillolite) structures are porous crystal that cant be affected by water or extreme heat. To make sure of the purity, the process to be done is x-ray diffraction. Is there any process of improving the capacity of an hscas? what are the chemicals to be used without altering the natural structure of this minerals? i am very much interested for the innovations. I want to specialize in selling toxin binders.In addition to this my company wants to sell a hi end toxin binders for enteric and systemic. As we all know, most of the toxinbinders function in the market is for enteric only, what if the toxin goes to the system? is there any combination? thankyou so much. :-)

Fernando Tamames Fernando Tamames
Special Nutrients Special Nutrients
Miami, Florida, United States
April 5, 2011

I have been involved in with mycotoxins and Anti- Mycotoxin Adittives AMA since 1987. In thsi 25 years of experience I have seen that In vitro testing it is not the correct way to look at the efficay of a AMA.

AMA must be tested In Vivo for each mycotoxin for each speices and most critical it must have statitical results in Target Organ Protection (TOP).

Thera are products that can work in one species and not in another.

Also there are products that only diminish the secondary effects of the mycotoxin and do not ptotect the target organ such as immunomodulators, probiotics, enzymes, yeast that in many cases are sold as Mycotoxin Binders

Below you will find links to several presentations that will go into more detials and also on the subject of ENDOTOXINS






October 17, 2013
Can anyone share the difference between Bentonite (Sodium & Calcium ) & HSCAS. Importance of HSCAS over Bentonite as Feed Binder
Kabir Ahmed Chohan Kabir Ahmed Chohan
November 17, 2013
Do anyone have reference article in the effect of supplementation of HSCAS/Activated carbon on availability of Ca/P in the serum of lactating cattle, buffalo, Please.

Email me at:
Dr. Reajul Islam (dvm) Dr. Reajul Islam (dvm)
Doctor of veterinary medicine
November 19, 2013
HSCAS is specially bind with aflatoxin but same result does not match for other toxin s like ochratoxin, T 2, zearralenone etc.In such case if HSCAS with acidifying are combined then get the optimum result.Its true HSCAS (Zeolite powder) itself a good toxin binding agent for aflatoxin.
Fernando Tamames Fernando Tamames
Special Nutrients Special Nutrients
Miami, Florida, United States
January 22, 2014
The myth of the 20th century that clays (HSCAS) only bind aflatoxin has proven to be wrong by numerous the 21st century scientific publications in Poultry Science and Animal Science that have proven that a few clays (HSCAS) have Target Organ Protection (TOP) results against: T-2, Ochratoxin, DON, Fumonisin and Zearalenone.

Also in Brazil the first country to legislate the scientific approval of Anti-Mycotoxin Adsorbents (AMA), since 2005, has seen that a few clays are capable of absorbing a variety of mycotoxins.

The first approved AMA with TOP results by LAMIC against Fumonisin and Zearalenone were clay products.

Also LAMIC research has seen two key factors that most of the world is beginning to be aware of:

a) A product that works in poultry may have no effect in dairy and/or other species. This is the importance of a product to have TOP results for each mycotoxin and each species. Until now there is only one product aproved by LAMIC with TOP results in all 5 species tested.

b) There is no relation of in vitro % of adsorption and in vivo TOP results. There is a large % of products that have in vitro adsorption <90% BUT when tested in vivo had no TOP results.

When it comes to aflatoxin binding of a clays (HSCAS) a NEW parameter to be focused in is in the % of smectite in the clay. The research has shown that clays with <70% smectite (bentonites) and with an in vitro adsorption <90% with 4000 ppb of aflatoxin will most probably also have a TOP result in vivo.

Zeolites, Cliptolinolites, vermicilites, Caolinites the content of smectite is below 70%. This clays are good to absorb water and/or amonia and/or improving pelltization but have little efectivens in adsorbing mycotoxins.

When it comes to activated charcoal it has been known since 1987 when the fist studies were publieshed that the effectivenes in vitro <90% BUT that in vivo does not work. (See above comets of findings by LAMIC)). In vivo use of charcoal it is not recommended since it can have the same effect as your charcoal water filters that adsorb minerals in water. You do not want charcoal to absorb the minerals in the feed that are necesary for the development of the animal.
Dave Albin, Ph.D. Dave Albin, Ph.D.
VP, Nutrition & Extrusion Technologies
March 5, 2014
The comments on here do a nice job of outlining the doubt associated with in vitro testing, the effectiveness of toxin binders in different parts of the gut, in different species, etc.

Might I suggest that all of you consider toxin deactivation with dry extrusion, especially with excessive contamination and in countries without feed ingredient alternatives? Dry extruders are relatively low cost, easy to operate, and inexpensive to maintain. In addition, they enhance nutrition by liberating protein and energy.
Muhammad Salman Akram Muhammad Salman Akram
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
February 15, 2015
Well deae only hscas can not stop all type of mycotoxin. We in Pakistan make one toxin plus growth promotor
giving us a great results.
June 27, 2015
Do zeolites bind vitamins and minerals in feeds if fed at the same time for horses?
December 5, 2015
Can we mix a toxin binder (zeolites) in cattle premix concentrate containing vitamins & mineral??

Dr Arun Pilani
reynaldo azupardo reynaldo azupardo
Technical Manager
August 21, 2016

I am impressed by the knowledge and what Ray Valencia shared. We are among the pioneers of the zeolite industry in the Philippines. I started using zeolite (imported) in aquaculture in Negros in 1986 with very good results. Since then, I ventured to its other uses. 

Thanks, and God bless!

August 22, 2016

Mr. Fernando Tamames, could you please share your experience and comment the difference between Bentonite (Sodium & Calcium ) & HSCAS. Importance of HSCAS over Bentonite as Feed Binder. Which is more effective as mycotoxin binder?

July 12, 2018

Dear Reynaldo Azupardo

Can you send your email address to sales@blashland.com?


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