Effects of Montmorillonite Nanocomposite on Mercury Residues in Growing/Finishing Pigs

  • Lin, Xianglin (Feed Science Institute, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Xu, Zirong (Feed Science Institute, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Zou, Xiaoting (Feed Science Institute, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Wang, Feng (Feed Science Institute, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Yan, Xianghua (Feed Science Institute, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Jiang, Junfang (Feed Science Institute, Zhejiang University)
  • Received : 2003.11.27
  • Accepted : 2004.05.15
  • Published : 2004.10.01


The study was conducted to evaluate the effects of montmorillonite anocomposite (MNC) on mercury residues in growing/finishing pigs. A total of 96 cross bred pigs ($Duroc{\times}Landrace{\times}large$ white, 48 barrows and gilts respectively), with similar initial weight (27.87${\pm}$1.15 kg), were used in this study. The animals were randomly assigned to two concentrations of mercury (0.1 and 0.3 ppm from $HgCl_2$) and two levels (0 and 0.3%) of MNC in a $2{\times}2$factorial arrangement of treatments. Each group has 3 pens (replications), and each pen has 8 pigs (4 barrows and 4 gilts). The experiment lasted for 90 days. The results showed that pig growth performances were not affected significantly by inclusion of Hg and addition of MNC (p$\geq$0.05). It indicated that the extent of intoxication in these pigs were not severe enough to impair growth performances. Both on the bases of 0.1 ppm and 0.3 ppm mercury supplementations, addition of 0.3% MNC markedly decreased mercury levels of blood, muscle, kidney and liver tissue (p<0.05). These results implied that the addition of non-nutritive sorptive material, MNC, could effectively reduce the gastrointestinal absorption of mercury via its specific adsorption, with a consequent reduction of mercury residues in body tissues. MNC had offered an encouraging solution to produce safe animal products with mercury contaminated feed.


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