The growing demand for healthier food products has to lead to the innovation of zeolite additives in animal feed. According to recent studies, all animal feed is contaminated by more than one mycotoxin. According to Gowda, N. K. S, in his book Aflatoxins, it is estimated about 25% of the world’s livestock is affected by mycotoxins annually.
Mycotoxins cause harm to animals and humans. Recent studies on Zeolite have successfully found many great benefits as an additive in animal feed. Clinoptilolite is naturally organic, non-toxic, and absorbs odor. The use of zeolite in stored animal feed acts as an anti-clumping agent and reduces the risk of mold. Additionally, zeolite selectively captures ammonia molecules, heavy metals, toxins, and ammonia. The binding of ammonia, which reduces nitrogen excretion in feces, can lower concentrations in livestock farms and in the environment (Amon et al. 1997)
Mixing zeolite in animal feed has produced positive performance results including; metabolic utilization of nutrients and basic health improvements for broilers.
In one study of 2%, 4%, and a control group of zeolite mixed in animal feed, the 2% group had significantly higher egg weight of 64.68g. This shows that at 2% of zeolite the growth of the egg is healthier. The 4% group decreased the egg weight to 62.20g and the control group egg weight stayed at a 63.73g. (Macháček 2010).
Additionally, the study found that the 2% group decreased its feed consumption to 114g, and the control group was at a 118g. (Macháček 2010). With a lower feed consumption rate, the chicken in the 2% group increased metabolic utilization of fat, nitrogen-free extracts, starch, and gross energy compared to the control group.
Another study shows how 2% of zeolite mixed in with feed for poultry has had positive
effects of broiler growth and litter quality. (Karamanlis 2008). By adding zeolite to sawdust the broiler chicken’s quality of litter improved. Another effect of zeolite introduced to animal feed is disease prevention. A 2011 study produced positive results when using different concentrations of zeolite as a feed additive for broilers; it was able to control Salmonella at the broiler farm. (Al-Nasser 2011).
Results from a study done on protecting animal feed from pathogens showed that zeolite added to chicken feed reduced flora levels. Compared to the controlled group in the chicken body, the experiment was successful with amounts at a level of 0,5% or 1%. Another finding indicated that the additive zeolite helped with performance levels and production of organs, specifically omega 3 fatty acids.
- Effects of the feed additive ZeoFeed on Nutrient Metabolism and
2 . Karamanlis_The Effect of Natural Zeolite on the Performance of Broiler Chickens
- Fendri, I., Khannous, L., Mallek, Z., Traore, A. I., Gharsallah, N., & Gdoura, R. (2012). Influence of Zeolite on fatty acid composition and egg quality in Tunisian Laying Hens. Lipids in health and disease, 11(1), 71.
- Vila-Donat, P., Marín, S., Sanchis, V., & Ramos, A. J. (2018). A review of the mycotoxin adsorbing agents, with an emphasis on their multi-binding capacity, for animal feed decontamination. Food and chemical toxicology.
- Abas, İ., Bilal, T., Ercag, E., & Keser, O. (2011). The effect of organic acid and zeolite addition alone and in combination on the bone mineral value in broilers fed different dietary phosphorus levels. Asian J. Anim. Vet. Adv, 6, 678-687.
- Gowda, N. K. S., Swamy, H. V. L. N., & Mahajan, P. (2013). Recent advances for control, counteraction and amelioration of potential aflatoxins in animal feeds. In Aflatoxins-Recent Advances and Future Prospects. InTech.
A curative measure for honeybees, against Nosema ceranae
Nosema Ceranae is a microsporidian, a small, unicellular parasite. Along with Nosema apis, it causes the disease nosemosis, the most widespread of the diseases of adult honey bees. N. ceranae can remain dormant as a long-lived spore which is resistant to temperature extremes and dehydration.
This fungus has been shown to act in a synergistic fashion with diverse insecticides such as fipronil or neonicotinoids, by increasing the toxicity of pesticides for bees, leading to higher bee mortality. It may thus play an indirect role in colony collapse disorder. In addition, the interaction between fipronil and Nosema ceranae induces changes in male physiology leading to sterility (Wikepedia.org)
Recent declines in honey bee populations including colony collapse syndrome, and an increasing demand for insect pollinated crops raise concerns about pollinator shortages. At the same time pesticide use and its subsequent exposure to pollinating bees has led to research suggesting that high levels of pesticides are building up in these honey bee colonies. (1)
Sub-lethal levels of pesticides may be interacting with the honey bee’s natural immune system to increase susceptibility to common pathogens. These finding are of great concern due to the high levels of pesticides found in honey bee colonies and the large amount of pesticides and their growing use. (1)
Research suggests that diet, parasites, disease and pesticides interact to have a stronger negative effect on managed bee colonies. Studies of managed bee colony wax show high levels and diversity of chemicals. Exposure to these chemicals increases susceptibility to and mortality from diseases including Nosema, a gut parasite. (1)
“The endoparasitic fungal infections of N. apis and N. ceranae adversely affect honey bee colony health, and can result in complete colony collapse.” (1)
Nosemosis type C is a disease caused by the microsporidium Nosema ceranae, a dominant and prevalent honeybee disease worldwide. Control of this disease is difficult. Fumagillin is an antimicrobial agent and has been the only widely used treatment for decades. However, fumagillin may actually exacerbate, rather than suppress the N. ceranae infection. (2)
There are many concerns about the potential use of antibiotics in the treatment of this type of disease in honey bees, due to the potential of formulating a resistance to the antibiotics, disease disassembly, possible relapses, and harmful antibiotic residues and metabolites in the honey. (2)
Control of this parasite is of great concern to beekeepers and farmers alike. For these reasons the need arises for natural remedies or antibiotic alternatives to help combat this problem.
The naturally occurring mineral clinoptilolite zeolite, taken as a dietary supplement, has already been proven to be a powerful antioxidant, to enhance general health and immune system conditions in humans and animals, improve the bio-efficiency of food and essential minerals, promote healing of skin damage, and may have anti-cancer & antimicrobial effects. (2)
An experiment was performed to examine the effects of adding dietary grade clinoptilolite zeolite, as a fine powder, to the development of N. ceranae in the honeybee midgut. Honeybees fed with sugar syrup supplemented with clinoptilolite had a reduced number of spores compared to the initial spore count. (2)
On average, Nosema Ceranae spore counts were reduced by up to 58% in under 40 days with just one feeding supplemented with clinoptilolite. (2)
Crop Pollination Exposes Honey Bees to Pesticides Which Alters Their Susceptibility to the Gut Pathogen Nosema ceranae
Jeffery S. Pettis, Elinor M. Lichtenberg, Michael Andree, Jennie Stitzinger, Robyn Rose, Dennis vanEngelsdorp
Zeolite clinoptilolite as a dietary supplement and remedy for honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies
Tlak Gajger1, J. Ribaric2, M. Matak1, L. Svecnjak3, Z. Kozaric1, S. Nejedli1, I.M. Smodis Skerl, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia 2Ministry of Agriculture, Zagreb, Croatia Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia 4Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Veterinarni Medicina, 60, 2015 (12): 696–705
Since the discovery of Zeolite, its potential properties have been used in many different beneficial applications. Clinoptilolite zeolite has been studied as a foliar application and has shown success in reducing infestation by several common pests including: maize weevil (Sitophilus Zeamais), wheat weevil (R. dominica), cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne), sawtoothed grain beetle (O. surinamensis), rice weevil (S. oryzae), polen beetle (Meligethes spp), and red flour beetle (T. Castaneum). In this study, powdered zeolite is applied as a foliar insecticide and its effects were measured.
Clinoptilolite zeolite was most successful in reducing the number of rice weevil (S. oryzae) and red flour beetle (T. Castasuem). Results after 21 days of contact with all zeolite dosages of (0.25, 0.50, 075 g/kg) showed highest mortality rates with rice weevil (S. oryzae) at 97-100% and red flour beetle (T. Castasuem) at 94-100%. Another study showed similar results in the success of reducing the emergence of beetles in organic agriculture. Clinoptilolite zeolite was used to control pollen beetle (Meligethes spp), after two or three treatments the reduction of the beetle reached 50 to 80%. Additionally, studies showed success using zeolite as a foliar application on chickpea grains, with a 16% reduction of cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne).
In conclusion, the benefits of using natural zeolite as a foliar pest control include thermal stability, zero chemical residue, and increased pest mortality rate. As a consequence zeolite has also been recognized as safe for human consumption. Specifically, it can be used on crops and agriculture safely (FDA GRAS Listings, 2006). Additional environmental conditions have an impact on the insecticidal effect of zeolite. The insecticidal potential of zeolite, therefore, merits further study.
1. (PDF) wholepaper. ResearchGate Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283298307_wholepaper. (Accessed: 1st January 2019)
Green compost is an amazing way to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste. A common problem that compost faces are the traces of heavy metals, which limit land application. In findings by Singh, J., & Kalamdhad, a year ago, they assessed the bioavailability of heavy metals using cattle manure, with and without natural zeolite.
They now take their research further, seeking to find the optimum dose of natural zeolite in composting that leads to a better composting product suitable for agricultural or other purposes. In green waste compost the application of natural zeolite is studied, they record the temperature, pH and organic matter degradations on speciation of heavy metals.
The compost of the water hyacinth is contained in a rotary drum. Using the Tessier sequential extraction method, and ratios of 6:3:1 was mixed with 5, 10, and 15% natural zeolite by weight. The addition of natural zeolite increased the pH in the feed mixture and organic matter, and consequently, the heavy metals were influenced. Results showed the success in reducing the bioavailability of heavy metals significantly due to the combined effects of the best quantity of natural zeolite mixed with cattle manure and sawdust used in the rotary drum.
Singh, J., & Kalamdhad, A. S. (2013). Assessment of bioavailability and leachability of heavy metals during rotary drum composting of green waste (Water hyacinth). Ecological engineering, 52, 59-69.
Singh, J., & Kalamdhad, A. S. (2014). Influences of natural zeolite on speciation of heavy metals during rotary drum composting of green waste. Chemical Speciation & Bioavailability, 26(2), 65-75.
Food waste is a substantial part of municipal solid waste. The average American is throwing way more than 38 million tons of food per year, and most of it is not reused. Composting provides an environmental technology to reuse food waste, turning it into valuable fertilizer-rich soil.
This study highlights how zeolite used in composting helps reduce the loss of nutrients and eliminates odor at the same time. Struite composting is a technique in composting that is used to eliminate nitrogen loss. When you compost food waste, intense acidification becomes a problem, which is commonly fixed with alkaline materials, for example, a lime. However what is actually happening when using these methods, is 50% of initial nitrogen is lost as ammonia and reduces nutritional value for organic fertilizer (Xuan 2015).
What scientists are finding is that nitrogen loss can be reduced up to 18% through the addition of zeolite in the struvite composting process.
Chan, M. T., Selvam, A., & Wong, J. W. C. (2016). Reducing nitrogen loss and salinity during ‘struvite’ food waste composting by zeolite amendment. Bioresource Technology, 200, 838–844. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2015.10.093
How Much Food is Wasted in America? (2017, September 18). Retrieved November 9, 2018, from https://foodforward.org/2017/09/how-much-food-is-wasted-in-america/
Wang, X. (n.d.). Nitrogen conservation by struvite formation during the composting process with food wastes, 258. https://repository.hkbu.edu.hk/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1200&context=etd_oa
Of all the air pollutants, the agricultural industry is the most “Ideally positioned to fight climate change,” and here is how. Check out this very informative illustration of how interconnected agricultural practices are to our environment.