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Activated zinc and copper oxide

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MAXACTIVAT products are innovative zinc and copper oxides, that have been activated in a special physical production process. MAXACTIVAT products assist in controlling post weaning diarrhea in piglets, even when supplemented according to progressive feed nutrient regulations. In dairy calves, MAXACTIVAT products can improve the immune status and performance parameters.

MAXACTIVAT/Zn is a completely new zinc oxide, that is a more active alternative compared to standard ZnO products. It shows excellent effects on the gut microbiota and the immune system of animals.


MAXACTIVAT/Cu is a completely new copper oxide, that is a more active alternative compared to standard CuO products. It shows excellent effects on the gut microbiota and the immune system of animals.


Mode of action


PROVITA SUPPLEMENTS has succeeded in activating feed grade zinc and copper oxide through a novel technology that modifies its functional properties, particle size, and surface area, causing an increase in the stored internal energy in the molecule (see F1). This, in turn, improves the physiochemical properties of MAXACTIVAT products, making them more reactive during ingestion by the animal. It’s simply a much more active and effective form of ZnO and CuO.

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Conventional Zinc and Copper sources have been added at therapeutic levels in young animal diets for years, as they have proven to reduce the incidence of diarrhea. However, metal concentration and source can affect the animal metabolism and performance negatively as well as increasing trace element contamination of the environment. Therefore, therapeutic levels of ZnO and CuO have been banned in the EU. Reducing trace mineral excretion and maintaining animal health could only be implemented by reconsidering diet formulation.

Due to its increased reactivity, MAXACTIVAT products offer sustainable alternatives as nutritional feed ingredients that make the difference with innovative feeding concepts. In-vitro research shows that when applied within the legal feed levels of ≤150 ppm Zn or Cu, MAXACTIVAT products suppress pathogens more effectively than commercial feed grade oxides at higher dosages (F2). Furthermore, specially activated metal oxides showed a clear impact on gut function and feed intake as well as improvement of zootechnical performance in piglets and calves.

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Trial results


Zinc plays an essential role in stabilizing molecular cell structures, also contributing to the maintenance of cell and gut integrity. It is known to promote the gene expression of tight junction proteins to reduce the permeability of mucus, thereby avoiding penetration of pathogens. A feeding trial with 200 piglets was carried out to assess the effect of MAXACTIVAT/Zn supplementation on the intestinal health status of piglets. 16 animals were sampled to quantitatively assess most relevant bacterial taxa in the distal intestine. Results in F3 show that E. coli counts were reduced by 76% when piglets were fed MAXACTIVAT/Zn compared to the control receiving feed grade ZnO. Total bacterial counts were slightly higher in the MAXACTIVAT/Zn group as the amount of desirable bacteria such as Bifidobacteria increased.

These findings are especially important as post-weaning diarrhea due to E.coli is an economically important disease in pig production worldwide. In another feeding trial we could further underline the importance of a highly effective zinc source by assessing the effect of MAXACTIVAT/Zn supplementation on the incidence of diarrhea in weaned piglets. A basal diet was fed with 160 ppm ZnO (feed grade) for the control and 160 ppm MAXACTIVAT/Zn for the treatment group. The consistency of the feces was assessed daily according to an defined evaluation scheme. As shown in F4, animals fed with MAXACTIVAT/Zn had a lower probability of suffering from diarrhea. Furthermore, daily weight gain was improved by 27% and FCR was about 17% lower.



In two trials with 40 calves each, the effect on MAXACTIVAT/Zn supplementation during suckling phase was tested in comparison to standard ZnO. For the first trial, the calves were allotted to two groups and fed a milk replacer supplemented with 100 ppm feed-grade ZnO (control) and 100 ppm ZnO MAXACTIVAT/Zn for the treatment group. In trial II, the dosage was in-creased to 135 ppm ZnO per group. As shown in F5, the calves that received MAXACTIVAT/Zn proved to be more robust, requiring fewer therapeutic treatments. In addition there was a positive effect on zootechnical parameters, such as daily weight gain and feed conversion.

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The effect of MAXACTIVAT/Zn on mortality related with White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) in white Shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) was assessed during a disease challenge trial under controlled conditions. WSSV is considered as one of the most common and most destructive diseases in shrimp production systems in many different regions of the world (e.g. Vietnam, India, Ecuador). Shrimps were housed in separate tanks and allocated to three different groups. First treatment group received 135 ppm of MAXACTIVAT/Zn while the second treatment group received 405 ppm, with the third group being the negative control. Application of MAXACTIVAT/Zn reduced the mortality by 40.0 points for the higher and 20.0 points for the lower inclusion rate (Figure 6). Furthermore, the onset of mortality was delayed by 18 hours (135 ppm MA) and 30 hours (405 ppm MA) in both treatment groups.