10 commentsupdate:Sep 24, 2012

Feed enzymes: Where do we go?

As we all know, there have been many publications on the effects of enzyme products in poultry. As my colleague, Dr. Ioannis Mavromichalis, wrote his latest blog on a review article related to Salmonella, I also found a review paper on feed enzymes which was published in the October 2011 issue of the Journal of Animal Science. I thought to share with you some of the information included in this paper.


It is estimated that the enzyme market helps the feed industry to save 3 to 5 billion dollars every year on a global basis. Phytases and carbohydrases (mainly xylanase and glucanase) are the most commonly used enzymes in the industry. It seems that combined application of enzymes (e.g., multiple carbohydrases) is becoming more common as these combinations can affect a broader range of anti-nutritional factors present in feed ingredients.

Enzyme product effects are usually reflected as better utilisation of nutrients, enhanced production performance, and reduction in excretion of nutrients into the environment. However, it must be noted that these effects can be inconsistent due to several factors such as diet composition, enzyme characteristics, and bird age.

In spite of all the information available on feed enzymes, it seems that possible effects of these products on health and gene functions in poultry are interesting areas that will need further research.

• What do you think of the future of enzyme products in the poultry industry?



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    Dr Haroon Mushtaq

    I think that result of the enzymes of same nature (e.g. phytase) remain inconsistent. Half of the publications indicated their positive contribution towards better nutrient availability while rest showed non-significant contribution by these enzymes.

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    Hiren Pancholi

    Hi, Mojtaba,

    Feed is becoming costly and rich nutrition given to birds about 60% is excreated. If it is not utilised fully it is lost to farmers and sustainability will be difficult in competitive market. Multi Enzymes and Phytase are a must for the poultry. It is very important to select/buy enzymes from the manufacturers only and not from the formulators, to get desired results. Quality of enzymes plays important role in umlocking nutrients. Role of a nutrition is very important to balance the diet with enzymes and according to the strains and age of the birds.

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    Tariq Mushtaq

    If you review the literature you will find that most of the carbohydrases improved the ileal digestibility but did not improve the live performace like body weight or feed:gain.
    However, I disagree with Dr. Haroon as I believe that only phytase has consistent results but no other carbohydrases either alone or in combination.

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    I think we still in need to have much more data and abservation as these innovative industry later on will be the target for most company to deal with,so the variability in result might be affected with many other factor.

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    I have this enzyme product contains 3 bacteria and 2 yeasts. I have feedback that it's helping to improve health, growth rate and weight gain of chickens. Does anyone know where do I find more information about use of enzyme products in poultry?

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    Albert Chituka

    I hold an MSc in Applied Poultry Science with the University of Glasgow. My MSc thesis was on the Bioefficacy of phytase on the performance of young broilers fed low-phosphorus wheat-soya based diets. The addition of phytase to low-phosphorus diets significantly improved growth performance of the birds to levels comparable to and in most cases better than the positive control diet.

    In many reports, there are frequent instances where enzymes supplementation has failed to result in improved performance. However, it is incorrect to come to the general conclusion, as is often done, that a particular enzyme supplement adds little value to a particular ingredient. It is noteworthy that there are numerous instances when beneficial effects have been observed and various reasons can be propagated for the apparent complexity of actions and interactions leading to a range of positive or negative effects. One obvious reason for an apparent lack of response is the possibility that the diets fed were of extremely good quality and therefore allow the animals to perform close to their genetic potential. In such cases, enzyme supplementation would be likely to produce a negligible beneficial response. The other reason could be that the expected substrate may not have been present and/or was present at a lower concentration than predicted.

    With the pressure of soaring feed prices and the ever increasing scarcity of dietary ingredients such as inorganic phosphorus, the search is on to remain profitable in the animal production industry. This all has to do with being more efficient, and thus getting more out of feed by way of increasing availability and utilisation of dietary nutrients. This can be achieved by adding enzymes, which increase the bioavailability of the ingredients

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    Waseem Al-shible

    There are many problems about the feed stuff as myco-toxins and them effects on the feed value especial in corn (carbohydrates).
    And we must know the Economic feasibility when we use the enzymes.

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    Atul Patil


    It is nice information. But It would be great if author can give detail about individual enzyme requirement in chicken.

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    K B bohara

    The information made available to date related to effect of enzymes in animal feeds are divided -in strong favour and not supporting to manufecturers claims-confusing the nonprofessional general users.
    There is urgent need to accelarate research and development work to produce globally convincing information and increase proper use and share the benefits of enzyme uses.

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