Smectite clay adsorbents of aflatoxin B1 to amend animal feed
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Smectite clay has been shown in studies over the past 20 years to sorb aflatoxin B1 (AfB1) in animal feed and thereby reduce its toxic influence on animals. In this study, 20 smectite samples were selected from industrial products or reference minerals. In the initial steps, it was shown that AfB1 entered the interlayer galleries of smectites and a 10-fold range in sorption ability was observed in a set of 20 smectite samples. Yet, it was not clear which clay properties (CEC, pH, base saturation) influenced this variation. In an effort to further explore properties that might influence the sorption of AfB1, three good sorbent samples were chosen from our set of 20 samples along with one sample of low sorption capacity. Those samples were fractionated into sand, silt, coarse clay (CC), and fine clay (FC) fractions. From all sample fractions, sorption isotherms and X-ray diffraction patterns were obtained. Additionally, a vermiculite and a palygorskite were examined with regard to sorption capacity. Concentration of smectite and their adsorption test suggest that differences in smectite composition are responsible for difference in sorption, not so much their relative abundance or other mineral phases. Initial infrared analysis indicates that weathered aluminous smectites, which have no octahedral iron or magnesium, belong to the poor AfB1 sorbents. Palygorskite and vermiculite are not effective sorbents. Based on the findings in this study, tentative quality criteria of sorbent selection for their use in animal feed were established. These criteria are: pH between 6.5 and 8.5, CEC > 75cmolc/kg, organic carbon < 2.5 g/kg, expression of XRD smectite peak and AlFeOHbending in FTIR and Langmuir adsorption capacity for AfB1 > 0.40 mol/kg.
Kannewischer, Ines (2006). Smectite clay adsorbents of aflatoxin B1 to amend animal feed. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from