Feed additives

News 2570 views last update:14 Jan 2016

Impact of feed enzymes on intestinal health

Current thinking on how feed enzymes influence the nutrient supply and how this change can have an indirect effect on intestinal health to increase bird performance will be the topic of a presentation by Dr Mike Bedford, AB Vista’s Research Director, at the Avian Gut Health 2015 symposium on March 10 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The presentation will outline the findings from the latest research into the modes of action for each of the two main groups of feed enzymes currently used in poultry nutrition, namely phytases and non-starch polysaccharide (NSP)-degrading enzymes. The benefits of using optimised enzymes from both groups together will also be discussed, with a view to highlighting the factors that need to be considered to maximise the resulting performance response.

"Feed enzymes influence nutrient supply principally through one of two mechanisms – direct reduction of anti-nutritional factors or by indirectly changing the intestinal environment," Dr Bedford explains. "Both result in a greater proportion of the diet being digested and absorbed.

Incredibly complex

However, the processes involved and the numerous interactions that take place – between the enzymes and different substrates, between the substrates and the bird, and between the bird and end-products of enzyme action – are incredibly complex. "The effects of applying multiple enzymes are therefore rarely additive, and can even be detrimental to bird performance," he adds. "Though this is often the case with the application of multiple NSP-degrading enzyme activities, there are clear gains to be made by combining an optimised phytase with a compatible NSP-degrading enzyme.

"Effectively and accurately applying feed enzymes to a poultry feeding situation, and reaping consistent and reliable results, is only possible if the multitude of interactions taking place within the bird are understood and accounted for. This is also the key to maximising the financial returns from commercial feed enzyme use."

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