Zearalenone (ZEA) also known as F-2 toxin is a mycotoxin mainly produced by Fusarium fungi in foods and feeds which exists in warm and humid storage, contaminants of corn, wheat, barley or other cereal. ZEA has strong toxicity effect on animal reproduction and deformity causes growth retardation, weakened immunity and reproductive problems. Moreover, ZEA can induce the threat of tumour and destroy immune system, showing that this series of toxins to humans and animals produce harm, not only to animal husbandry and cause damage and loss, but also food safety concerns.
The reproductive system is the main target of ZEA, due to ZEA has a similar structure to estrogen. ZEA and its derivatives (Figure 1) competitively bind to estrogen receptors, resulting in abnormal estrus in pigs.
The occurrence of mycotoxins originates from before and after harvesting of crops, processing, transportation, or storage. The crops or raw materials suffers from mould infection and produce a large number of mycotoxins. Raw materials contaminated by mycotoxins will continue to pollute the final product and feed; therefore, mycotoxins also known as "silent killers".
Life Rainbow Biotech has fourteen years of theoretical research on mycotoxins and has developed new type detoxify mycotoxin product, mycotoxin degrading enzymes - Toxi-Free PLUS®, consists three different type enzymes in one product which specific activity to convert mycotoxins into nontoxic to reduce the toxicity caused to animals.
Life Rainbow Biotech and National Ilan University conducted an in vitro experiment, to determine ZEA effects on swine cumulus cells. Porcine oocytes were isolated from the ovary and divided into three groups: control group, zearalenone group and Toxi-Free PLUS® group. Each group added with green dye (SYBR Green) and red dye (Propidium Iodide, PI) and cultured for 48 hours. During 0, 4, 24, and 48 hours using confocal microscopy to identify the cell survival rate (Figure 2); green shows the cell alive and red means the cell apoptosis. After 48 hours of cultivation, we observed that the cumulus cells in the zearalenone group had undergone apoptosis. In contrast, Toxi-Free PLUS® group have a similar result with the control group, and the cumulus cells survived and showed diffusion effect.
Sows are the precious resource of the farm, which drives the production efficiency and profit of the entire farm. Only healthy sows can have healthy piglets. Therefore, the reproductive performance of sows has always been a hot topic on the farm. Due to mycotoxins have complicated patterns, different reaction times, interactions between toxins, and animals’ health conditions, cause the difficulty to anticipate specific effects on pigs. Therefore, suitable risk management methods with appropriate feeding management and long-term feeding with Toxi-Free PLUS® are able to reduce the impact of mycotoxins on the sow reproduction and effectively improve production efficiency.