In vitro screening of 14 adsorbent materials, including some commercial products used to detoxify Fusarium-mycotoxins, were tested in the pH range of 3-8 for deoxynivalenol (DON)- and nivalenol (NIV)-binding ability. Only activated carbon showed to be effective with binding capacities of 35.1 μmol and 8.8 μmol DON and NIV/g adsorbent, respectively, calculated from the adsorption isotherms. A dynamic laboratory model simulating the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of healthy pigs (TIM system) was used to evaluate the small-intestinal absorption of DON and NIV and the efficacy of activated carbon in reducing the relevant absorption. The in vitro intestinal absorptions of DON and NIV were 51% and 21%, respectively, as referred to 170 μg DON and 230 μg NIV ingested through contaminated (spiked) wheat. Most absorption occurred in the jejunal compartment for both mycotoxins. The inclusion of activated carbon produced a significant reduction in the intestinal mycotoxin absorption. At 2% inclusion level the absorption with respect to the intake was lowered from 51% to 28% for DON and from 21% to 12% for NIV. The binding activity of activated carbon for these trichothecenes was lower than that observed for zearalenone, a mycotoxin frequently co-occurring with them in naturally contaminated cereals. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.