The enzyme phytase not only improves the digestibility of phosphorus, but also has a favourable effect on the calcium and amino acid digestibility, and on the digestibility of magnesium, sodium, potassium, and zinc.
Nutrition experts came to this conslusion during an international symposium on phosphorus in pig and poultry feeding on 14 June, organized by the Centre for Animal Nutrition in Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Phosphorus is an important mineral for livestock. An adequate supply of phosphorus from the diet is essential for optimal production, health and welfare of the animal.
An excess of phosphorus uptake, however, leads to a high phosphorus excretion in the manure and thus to an impact on the environment.
Phosphorus is provided by both the conventional feed ingredients, but also by inorganic phosphorus sources.
These inorganic phosphorus sources are easy to digest, but part of the phosphorus in plant materials is not available to the animal because it is stored as phytate. This enclosed phosphorus can be made available to the animal by use of the enzyme phytase.
Ephasis on intrynsic phytase
At the symposium national and international nutrition experts concluded that more attention should be given to intrinsic phytase.
This is phytase which is already naturally present in vegetable raw materials. Superdosing of phytase to make phytate-phosphorus even more available to the animal can be an interesting strategy for the future.
Also, the phosphorus valuation in poultry diets needs to be standardized.
Finally, it was concluded that the efficacy of phytase in combination with other enzymes is not yet sufficiently studied.
Phytase improves not only the digestibility of phosphorus, but also has a favourable effect on the calcium and amino acid digestibility, and on the digestibility of magnesium, sodium, potassium, and zinc.
On 14 June, over 200 people participated in an international symposium of the Centre for Animal Nutrition in Wageningen. The Nutrition Center is a collaboration between Wageningen UR Livestock Research, Animal Nutrition Group of Wageningen University and the Nutrition Division of the Veterinary Faculty of Utrecht University.
During the symposium the importance of phosphorus in pig and poultry nutrition was evaluated, while the role of phytase in relation to environmental, animal protein sources was discussed by a total of seven international recognized speakers.
The symposium was sponsored by AB Vista, BASF, Danisco, DSM and Huvepharma.