Biological control against aflatoxins - Nigeria-based scientists develop biological control against aflatoxins - After more than a decade, scientists at the Ibadan-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have developed a biological control product named aflasafeTM that is used to control aflatoxins in grains, according to a statement from the organisation made available to PANA in Lagos on Monday.
The study carried out in conjunction with scientists from University of Ibadan showed that poultry fed with maize that had been treated with aflasafeTM, experienced reduced mortality in addition to other benefits.
“To unravel the benefits of aflasafeTM in the poultry industry, researchers set up a feeding experiment involving 1,020 broilers that used the following feed formulations: aflasafeTM maize without binders, host farm’s feed with binders, contaminated feed with binders, and contaminated feed without binders. The broilers were fed for 8 weeks. Results showed that the use of maize from aflasafeTM-treated feeds reduced mortality rate by 43.9%, feed intake dropped by 10.4%, and there was an increase of 3.3% in feed conversion ratio”, the statement said.
Aflatoxin is produced by toxigenic strains of aspergillus flavus. It has become a menace in developing countries, contaminating about 25% of grains produced in the region.
The aftermath effects of consuming aflatoxin-contaminated grains include stunting growth in children, liver cancer and even death.
IITA pathologist, Dr Ranajit Bandyopadhyay, said the results demonstrated the impact of aflasafeTM as a control mechanism against aflatoxins.
The impact of aflasafeTM on the poultry industry has been hailed by stakeholders.
“We are excited with these results because the use of aflasafeTM is a cheaper and safer solution for the poultry sector,” said Dr Emmanuel Ewuola of the Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, who supervised the animal feeding experiment.
Also commenting , Dr Ayoola Odutan, Chairman of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, commended IITA for the work, stressing that the future is bright for the poultry industry because science-led outputs such as the discovery of aflasafeTM, have come to the rescue of the industry.