Leading names from the scientific community agreed that there is a need for a common approach to phytase as a result of their coming together in Washington DC last week for the first International Phytase Summit.
All delegates participated in 2.5 days of meetings to discuss the area of phosphorus, phytate and phytase nutrition. The dynamic event was jointly hosted by AB Vista, Massey University, The University of Maryland and The University of Sydney.
Animal production, feed, human nutrition, analytical services and biochemistry sectors were all represented at the conference. Several topics were explored using presentations and vibrant debates including nutrient digestibility, the analysis of phytate, phytase efficacy, differentiating between phytases and the future of phytase use in animal nutrition.
Summarising the conference, Professor Colin Whitehead, Vice-President of the World’s Poultry Science Association and a delegate at the inaugural IPS, said: “The first IPS brought together a group of leading scientists and other experts from around the world to discuss issues related to the application of phytase as an aid to improving efficiency in the use of phosphorus in animal nutrition, with related benefits in productivity and environmental quality.
“The discussions were intense and wide ranging, raising many issues and posing a variety of questions. Approaches to solving existing problems and taking advantage of new possibilities were proposed. There was agreement that the meeting had been very fruitful and that continuation of the discussions within smaller working parties would be highly beneficial.”
Dr Mike Bedford from AB Vista, one of the co-sponsors of the symposium said: “The Summit created lively debate within the scientific community. Much has been written about phytate and phytase and we were keen to make sure that the Summit gave everyone an opportunity to better understand the position of others and facilitated the combination of efforts towards a common goal. The outcome of the conference was extremely positive and means that we have created a more informed direction for future work in the area of phytase. While we may not have ripped up the textbook, we did add another chapter.”
Commenting on the Summit, Richard Cooper, Managing Director, AB Vista said: “The introduction of phytase to the animal nutrition industry is one of the massive success stories of the last two decades. With an estimated market value in excess of $350 million, phytase enzymes are used in 60-70% of all monogastric feeds, generating a benefit to the animal feed industry worth $2bn globally. In the future, and based on topics discussed at this ground-breaking summit, the further development of phytases and their application could potentially be worth another $2bn to the industry.”
Also commenting on the summit, Associate Professor Aaron Cowieson from The University of Sydney, said: “The coalescence of ideas from delegates, diverse in both nationality and discipline, assembled at the first International Phytase Summit has laid a conceptual foundation for phytate free nutrition that will transform ecological and economic paradigms.”