FUMzyme®: Mitigating the Negative Impact of Fumonisins in Pigs

According to the most recent 2023 corn crop mycotoxin survey from dsm-firmenich, out of 220 corn samples tested, 94% of the samples tested positive for more than one mycotoxin.  The prevalence has increased compared to 79% in 2022 harvested corn. Year over year, the main mycotoxins present in US corn are those produced by Fusarium fungal species, such as Type B trichothecenes including deoxynivalenol, commonly known as vomitoxin, fumonisins, and zearalenone. The report says that 78% of the corn samples were contaminated with multiple mycotoxins. The co-contamination of multiple mycotoxins can result in additive or synergistic effects. Mycotoxin mitigation strategies can be added to the diet to prevent absorption of the mycotoxins as well as enzymes to detoxify mycotoxins.

A study was conducted at the University of Kentucky to understand how multiple mycotoxins impact nursery pigs’ performance and impact of FUMzyme as a mitigant.1 The data were partially presented at the Midwest ASAS 2023. A total of 150 crossbred pigs (Yorkshire x Landrace x Large White; initial BW: 14.2 ± 0.13 lb; n = 90 barrows and 60 gilts) were randomly allotted to six dietary treatments where mycotoxin contaminated corn fines were used at varying levels. The corn fines contained 20,334 ppb total fumonisin, 1,499 ppb zearalenone, and 5,075 ppb deoxynivalenol. The corn fines were added into a corn-soybean meal basal diet at 0, 20, 40, and 60% as fed (Diets 1-4, respectively). Boron was added to diet 4 to create Diet 5 (Results omitted from this summary because outside the scope of the article). Diet 6 was created by adding 5 lb per ton of Biofix® Plus with FUMzyme® (BPF; dsm-firmenich, Plainsboro, NJ) to Diet 4. Dietary treatments were fed for a total of 6 weeks followed by a corn-soybean meal basal diet without fines for 2 weeks.

Figure 1. Growth performance of pigs fed varying levels of mycotoxin containing corn fines and Biofix Plus FUMzyme (BPF). Five pens of five pigs/pen per treatment mean. Separation of means ran if fines P < 0.10. a,bMeans with different superscripts within rows differ (< 0.05). Diet 5 results are not shown (not differ from Diet 4). Graphs were adapted from Paczosa 2023.

The addition of BPF improved body weight compared to feeding Diet 4 at week 3 and increased ADG during the first three weeks (P < 0.05) with a tendency to be different during the 6-week feeding period (P = 0.099). The use of BPF helped to regain 5.2 lb of body weight lost due to feeding high mycotoxin diet and improved ADG by 6.8% and feed efficiency by 5.6% during the 6-week feeding period.

Furthermore, fumonisins disrupt the synthesis of sphingolipids-containing cell membrane because they have a similar chemical structure to sphingoid bases deoxysphinganine2, which are key enzymes involved in sphingolipid biosynthesis3. This dysregulation of sphingolipid biosynthesis causes accumulation of the sphingoid bases (sphinganine and sphingosine), and their metabolites4. Negative impact of fumonisins include porcine pulmonary edema, damages to gastrointestinal structure, and reduction in growth performance5,6. This study showed that the addition of BPF ameliorated 93% of the increased sphinganine and 12% of sphingosine caused by fumonisins.

Figure 2. Sphinganine and sphingosine levels in the serum, at week 6, of pigs fed varying levels of mycotoxin containing corn fines and Biofix Plus FUMzyme (BPF). Serum was analyzed at week 6 for selected pigs. a,b,c,dMeans with different superscripts within rows differ (P < 0.05). Graphs were adapted from Paczosa 2023.

In conclusion, the use of Biofix Plus with FUMzyme ameliorated negative effects of mycotoxins on performance and significantly reduced the fumonisin toxicity indicator, sphinganine: sphingosine ratio. Biofix Plus with FUMzyme may provide an option for producers to combat mycotoxin challenges and could alleviate negative effects of fumonisins include altering sphingolipid metabolism. 

The entire trial information can be found at: https://uknowledge.uky.edu/animalsci_etds/142


1.     Paczosa, DB., 2023 "Evaluation of increasing levels of mycotoxin-containing corn fines on diet choice and growth performance of nursery pigs". Theses and Dissertations--Animal and Food Sciences. 142. https://uknowledge.uky.edu/animalsci_etds/142

2.     Zitomer NC, Mitchell T, Voss KA, Bondy GS, Pruett ST, Garnier-Amblard EC, Liebeskind LS, Park H, Wang E, Sullards MC, Merrill AH Jr, Riley RT. 2009. Ceramide synthase inhibition by fumonisin B1 causes accumulation of 1-deoxysphinganine: a novel category of bioactive 1-deoxysphingoid bases and 1-deoxydihydroceramides biosynthesized by mammalian cell lines and animals. J Biol Chem. 284(8):4786-95. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M808798200.

3.     Merrill AHJ, Sullards MC, Wang E, Voss KA, Riley RT. 2001. Sphingolipid metabolism: roles in signal transduction and disruption by fumonisins. Environ Health Perspect. 109:283–9. 10.1289/ehp.01109s2283

4.     Wang E, Norred WP, Bacon CW, Riley RT, Merrill AHJ. 1991. Inhibition of sphingolipid biosynthesis by fumonisins. Food Chem Toxicol. (1991) 266:14486–90.

5.     Pinton P, Braicu C, Nougayrede J-P, Laffitte J, Taranu I, Oswald IP. 2010. Deoxynivalenol impairs porcine intestinal barrier function and decreases the protein expression of claudin-4 through a mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent mechanism. J Nutr.

6.     Haschek WM, Gumprecht LA, Smith G, Tumbleson ME, Constable PD. 2001. Fumonisin toxicosis in swine: an overview of porcine pulmonary edema and current perspectives. Environ Health Perspect. 109:251–7. 10.1289/ehp.01109s2251

Published on

18 March 2024


  • Mycotoxins
  • Swine

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