Adisseo's holistic 3-Step approach to improve gut health in animals: Part I

Dr. Kevin Liu; Dr. Edwin Chow; Dr. Olga Averkieva


Gut health is a multi-factorial topic, which can be described as symbiotic relationship among feed quality, gut function and microbiota, including feed digestion, mucosal and barrier function, immune response and redox balance as proposed by van de Gutchte et al. (2018) for healthy, pre-disease and disease states (Figure 1).

Figure 1  Alternative stable states and critical transition in the gut microbiota-host symbiosis


Many factors can contribute to the symbiotic relationship. Adisseo has developed a broad portfolio of products and services to address gut health issues through a 3-step holistic approach: Step 1 is about feed hygiene, feed/water safety and quality preservation; Step 2 aims at overall feed digestibility and its impact to gut microbiota and health; till Step 3 about animal resilience at farms, and more importantly how to take advantages of better gut health to achieve profitability and sustainability of the animal industry. In this article, we will explain Step 1 and discuss important aspects.
Gut health starts from high quality of feed raw materials. Nowadays, various big data and prediction tools allow purchasers to assess true quality of major feed raw materials and additives, so to procure at prices reflecting their true value. On top of nutritional quality, feed hygiene, including microbial and mycotoxin contamination, as well as oxidative status, are closely related to gut health, therefore these important factors should also be in the decision-making process.
Feed quality: Microbial and oxidative deterioration
The quality of raw materials and final feeds is determined not only by its nutritive composition, but also its hygiene quality, namely, microbiological loads. The number of mold spores is a particularly important factor. In the field, before harvest, little can be done about mold contamination and its subsequent toxin production. However, post-harvest there are several strategies that can be adopted to control the growth and development of molds, in order to reduce their level and effects on raw material quality.
First, mold inhibitors can be applied to control mold growth hence mycotoxin contamination. Proper storage of raw materials in clean and well-ventilated silos is particularly important. Adisseo has cost-effective solutions for grain treatment and feed storage to prevent mold growth. Mold-Nil®, available in both liquid and dry form, is uniquely formulated with a synergistic buffered blend of propionic and other organic acids, for effective mold inhibition. The use of Mold-Nil® is well-established in preventing mold contamination in raw materials and feed, thereby preserving the nutritive value; as well as allowing safe-handling throughout short and long-term storage.
Second, preventing oxidative deterioration is necessary in feed raw materials and final feeds. Oxidized fats carry aldehydes and peroxides that are harmful to animal immunity and detrimental to gut health. Adisseo has developed efficient strategy to prevent oxidation of lipids or feeds, by combining various ingredients with different strengths and applications, with proven efficacy, to control different parts of an oxidation cycle. Using proprietary formulations and manufacturing processes, Adisseo provides OXY-NIL® program – Ethoxyquin-based and Ethoxyquin-free antioxidant solutions in both dry and liquid forms. The OXY-NIL® program, maximizing the synergism of selected antioxidant compounds, offers an ideal antioxidant solution for fat-rich raw materials and final feeds.
Mycotoxins harmful to gut health: T-2 toxin and deoxynivalenol
Determine occurrence and levels of mycotoxins in feed raw materials is a constant challenge. Among the six major categories of mycotoxins, trichothecenes T-2 toxin and deoxynivalenol are harmful to gut health by affecting the intestinal mucosa, intestinal secretions, nutrients absorption, bacteria population, pathogen colonization, and intestinal motility. In addition, even low levels of mycotoxins (trichothecenes, aflatoxins) could negatively impact vaccination efficacy by ingestion of contaminated feed, leaving animals more vulnerable to diseases.
According to Adisseo corn harvest report 2019 (Table 1), deoxynivalenol and T-2 toxins are widely detected in corn samples collected from North America and East Europe. Based on Adisseo’s risk estimations on mycotoxin levels, it is worth noting that:
    •  Deoxynivalenol level in all four origins of corn could potentially impose high risk to young animals such as piglets.
    •  Deoxynivalenol level in North America corn could potentially impose high risk for breeding poultry and pigs.
    •  T-2 toxin level in corn from North America and East Europe could potentially impose medium risk to piglets, breeding pigs, poultry breeders and layers.
Table 1: Summary of Adisseo corn harvest report 2019


Adisseo has established a comprehensive mycotoxin risk management program, to cover from raw material procurement until animal consumption (Figure 2). With above risk level estimations, it is recommended to supplement a more powerful broad-spectrum mycotoxin deactivator (e.g. Unike plus) to diets for breeding and long living animals. With multiple mode of actions beyond adsorption, Unike plus is also able to deactivate mycotoxins, improve immunity, reduce oxidative stress and provide support to essential gut and organ functions. For non-breeding animals, at presence of >3 types of mycotoxins with medium-high level, adequate protection by Toxy-Nil Plus is also encouraged. 

Figure 2  Adisseo comprehensive mycotoxin risk management program


Eliminating Salmonella in feed and drinking water
Salmonella control is a complexity, several measures should be taken, including both physical and chemical methods, to prevent or eliminate its contamination and proliferation. Physical methods include irradiation and thermal treatment such as pelleting. Although thermal treatment is effective in killing Salmonella, it is only a point-in-time strategy and does not eliminate the possibility of post-processing contamination.
The inclusion of chemical additives, like organic acids, either alone or in combination with other mitigation techniques, helps to decrease the risk of re-contamination. The efficacy of acids depends on numerous factors such as feed composition, moisture level, physical form, the composition and inclusion level of the acid blend and the chemical form of the active ingredients (e.g. pure acids or salts of acids). A novel development is to use a blend of essential oil components or medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) to work synergistically with organic acids.
Adisseo offers a complete range of Salmonella inhibitor products including powder and liquid formulations to control and eliminate Salmonella in feed raw materials and finished feed. In particular, Salmo-Nil® liquid utilizes a synergistic blend of buffered formic and propionic acid combined with lactic acid that can effectively reduce Salmonella and other pathogen contamination in feedstuffs by slowing down their proliferation or by killing the pathogen. In addition, in the Salmo-Nil Pro® liquid version, we combine organic acids with essential oil components and MCFA, to ensure effective inhibition of Salmonella at a much faster pace.
To treat unclean drinking water, Adisseo developed Evacide® S Liquid, a unique combination of four effective organic acids to acidify the drinking water, thereby further reducing the risk for contamination at the farm level. This results in lowering the incidence of gut challenges brought by unclean water.

In conclusion, the gut is a complex and dynamic ecosystem in which feed, microbiota and gut mucosa interact among each other. In this article we have discussed several feed quality parameters that influence gut integrity and function, including feed and water hygiene, mycotoxins and rancid fats in the feeds. As risks occur throughout the production process, it is difficult to clean up the contaminants in feed and water and to maintain their quality till animal consumption. Adisseo has supportive products such as antioxidants, mold and salmonella inhibitors as the best-suited solution for feed & water hygiene and feed quality preservation.


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Article made possible through the contribution of Dr. Kevin Liu and Dr. Edwin Chow, Adisseo Singapore; Dr. Olga Averkieva, Adisseo Belgium