Natural Zeolites are Used to
Control Aflatoxin in Ruminant Diets

ruminant diets, ruminant animals, ruminant sheep

Many years of research and development show that natural zeolites increase efficiency and cost effectiveness of ration assimilation.


Use of natural zeolites to control aflatoxin in ruminant diets is well accepted and well documented (Mumpton & Fishman, 1977 and Zeo-Agriculture, “Use of Natural Zeolites in Agriculture and Aquaculture,” Edited by Wilson G. Pond and Frederick A. Mumpton, Westview Press/Boulder, CO). Tests done by White & Ohlrogge (1974) with the diets of cattle, sheep and goats revealed additional benefits.

These research study results showed a reduction in the toxic effect of high ammonium content of ruminal fluids when non-protein nitrogen compounds (NPN), such as urea and diuret, were added to their rations. It was found that ammonium (NPN enzyme decomposition) was quickly taken into the zeolite structure.

Several hours after being fed a ration amended with natural zeolites, and during the after-feeding fermentation, ammonium was released due to the sodium content of saliva entering the rumen. These in vivo tests were confirmed by in vitro testing that showed up to 15% of the ammonium was taken up and held by the natural zeolites.

In a portion of these tests clinoptilolite (clino) natural zeolites were introduced by dispersion into the normal rations and by foraminous bolus. The amount of clino in the various ruminants’ rations varied according to the weight, e.g. 500 gram/50 liter rumen.

Possible Modes of Action:

  1. The gradual release of ammonium allowed microorganisms in the rumen to synthesize cellular protein continuously, thus providing easy assimilation into the ruminant animal’s digestive system.
  2. The production of toxic levels of ammonium was avoided because of the natural zeolite structure’s ability to reservoir ammonium ions.


Benefits of Zar-Min Natural Zeolite Feed Additive for Ruminants:

  • Mycotoxin control
  • More efficient/cost effective assimilation of rations—feed efficiency improvements (White & Ohlrogge, 1974)
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved growth rates via greater muscle mass—20% higher profit/higher quality meat (Watanabe, et al., 1971)
  • Increased milk production—younger cows provide greater volume, older cows are healthier and produce longer (Zar-Min research, 1996)
  • Improved natural resistance to disease via reduced use of antibiotics (Mumpton & Fishman, 1997)