Attapulgite, a rare aluminosilicate mineral, with a very high adsorption capacity, is used in feed formulation of productive animals (pigs, poultry, dairy) for binding and removing mycotoxins and bacterial toxinogens from feed,
The synergies of attapulgite with probiotics (yeast/yeast cell walls) for enhancing digestive health and with oregano essential oils for reinforcing immune system and antibacterial function, are leading to greater results in terms of performance even under difficult conditions
.Production of attapulgite in Grevena
Geohellas with a production capacity of 140,000 MT, is applying "dynamic processing techniques” (extrusion, thermal activation at temperatures > 200 ° C (photo 1) and jet milling under high air pressure), improving the surface characteristics of attapulgite, which are crucial for the development of strong bonding with bacterial enterotoxins of E. Coli and Cl. perfringens and mycotoxins produced by fungi due to poor storage conditions of feed (Table 1).
Table 1:Binding of toxins by Attapulgite (SANFED ULTRA) after mechanical and thermal activation.
Aflatoxin AFB1 (4000 ppb/200 g product) 96 %
Zearalenone (500 ppb / 2 Kg product) 96 %
Ochratoxin (500 ppb / 200 g product) 75 %
Synergies of attapulgite with probiotics and essential oils of oregano for the protection of intestinal epithelium of pigs and poultry against bacterial pathogens
An example of intestinal protection for piglets is given below: A series of E.Coli bacteria (serotype 0157:H7) was added at various concentrations: 10, 102, 104 and 106 to piglet intestinal cells (IPEC-J2), in the presence and absence of several types of Greek attapulgite (corresponding to an equivalent attapulgite dosage of 3 kg / MT of feed) (Table 2).
The attapulgite appears to have a protective action against toxinogenic bacteria in comparison to control group, increasing by +21% the number of surviving piglet intestinal cells in the presence of E.Coli at the lowest concentrations 10 / ml and by +13% at the highest ones (106 / ml). In similar way in the presence of Cl. perfringes the surviving cells have been increased by +13% at low concentrations (10 / ml) and 9% at the highest one (106 / ml). These results are correlating strongly with the optimization of the weaning mortality dropping from 1 to 0.7%, of the overall mortality (weaning to fattening) from 4.8 to 3.5%, as well as of the feed conversion ratio (FCR) from 2.65 to 2.57 and of the average daily weight gain (DWG) from 667 to 690 g, as a consequence of the attapulgite/probiotic synergetic blend use.
Similar zootechnical effects were observed in important integrated productive broiler units. The placements of week 42/2013 representing a number of 557,654 broilers (21 buildings) using an attapulgite/probiotic blend, were compared to placements of weeks 41/2013 (685,303 birds) and 43/2013 (500,586 birds) (without attapulgite/probiotic blend in feed). The mortality and the final weight of the birds were the critical parameters playing an important role in the improvement of EPEF index (European Production Efficiency Factor), that reaches for attapulgite/probiotic blend the 306 units, compared to 278 (placements week 41) and to 293 units (placements week 43) both without attapulgite/probiotic blend.
Antibacterial effects of essential oils
Special processes have been developed by Geohellas for the adsorption/stabilization of essential oils of oregano into granular attapulgite, that is protecting them over the passage through the digestive system, process that is followed by a “dynamic dispersion” of the granular mixture into a very fine grained attapulgite-probiotic matrix.
The antibacterial activity of the essential oils of oregano (the most biologically active in comparison to other phytobiotics) against a broad spectrum of microorganisms, is enhancing the action of the attapulgite based product even at high levels of contamination (Listeria, Proteus, Pseudomonas, Staph. Aureus, Salmonella spp., E. Coli, Brachyspira etc) during pig’s fattening phase, leading to improvements in the feed conversion ratio (FCR)-0.19 e.g. from 2.60 to 2.41 and in the final body weights +4 Kg e.g. from 96.6 to 100.6 kg at 167 days of age (photo 2). These values are contributing in a great extend to the economic benefit of the farm.
The use of attapulgite/probiotic/essential oil synergetic blends, in pig farms that arepresenting dysentery symptoms from Brachyspira (sensitive to oregano extract), is showing to stabilize in short period of time the health status of the pigs and offers very satisfactory results in terms of performance.
Attapulgite Commercial products:
SANFED® ULTRA: Toxin binder based on mechanically & thermally activated Attapulgite
ULTRAFED®: Intestinal protection based on Attapulgite / Probiotic synergetic blend
ULTRAFED®PREMIUM: Intestinal protection with antibacterial function based
Attapulgite / Probiotic / Essential oil synergetic blend