Potential adverse effects on animal health and performance caused by the addition of mineral adsorbents to feeds to reduce mycotoxin exposure

Christopher T. Elliott*, Lisa Connolly, Oluwatobi Kolawole

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
169 Downloads (Pure)


The contamination of feed with mycotoxins is a continuing feed quality and safety issue, leading to significant losses in livestock production and potential human health risks. Consequently, various methods have been developed to reduce the occurrence of mycotoxins in feed; however, feed supplementation with clay minerals or mineral adsorbents is the most prominent approach widely practiced by farmers and the feed industry. Due to a negatively charged and high surface area, pore volume, swelling ability, and high cation exchange capacity, mineral adsorbents including bentonite, zeolite, montmorillonite, and hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate can bind or adsorb mycotoxins to their interlayer spaces, external surface, and edges. Several studies have shown these substances to be partly or fully effective in counteracting toxic effects of mycotoxins in farm animals fed contaminated diets and thus are extensively used in livestock production to reduce the risk of mycotoxin exposure. Nevertheless, a considerable number of studies have indicated that these agents may also cause undesirable effects in farm animals. The current work aims to review published reports regarding adverse effects that may arise in farm animals (with a focus on pig and poultry) and potential interaction with veterinary substances and nutrients in feeds, when mineral adsorbents are utilized as a technological feed additive. Furthermore, results of in vitro toxicity studies of both natural and modified mineral adsorbents on different cell lines are reported. Supplementation of mycotoxin-contaminated feed with mineral adsorbents must be carefully considered by farmers and feed industry.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMycotoxin Research
Early online date13 Sep 2019
Publication statusEarly online date - 13 Sep 2019


  • Feed safety
  • Health effects
  • Mineral adsorbents
  • Mycotoxins
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Toxicology


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