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Functional Additives

 

Feed enzyme technology raises profitability, cuts risks

 
Dr Milan Hruby

Technical Services Manager, Danisco Animal Nutrition

 


Developments in feed enzyme technology can substantially increase the profitability of poultry and pig production while reducing related financial and health risks. Dr Milan Hruby, Technical Services Manager of Danisco Animal Nutrition, told delegates of these benefits at the VIV Asia conference in Bangkok from Mar 16-18, 2005.

 

Feed enzymes have been added to wheat and barley-based poultry and pig feeds for over 15 years, and more recently to those based on corn and sorghum. The benefits include reduced feed costs, improved feed conversion, greater uniformity, lower mortality, increased carcass yield and enhanced litter quality, together with reduced nitrogen, phosphorus and manure output.

 

"New developments in feed enzyme application build on the existing benefits and respond to recent challenges faced by the feed and animal production industry, including pressures to produce high-quality products that satisfy customer needs in a cost-effective manner," said Dr Hruby.

 

"A good example of these challenges is the 2006 ban on the use of all antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) within the EU," he added. "This will also affect countries such as Thailand and Brazil which export to this region. Removing AGPs from feed typically reduces weight gain, lowers feed conversion efficiency and results in higher levels of mortality, all of which increase the costs of poultry and pig production. The incidence of poor litter quality may also rise, increasing the risk of carcass downgrades and microbial contamination of the poultry carcass with food-poisoning bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter.

 

"Commercial and scientific evidence demonstrates that combining the use of feed enzymes with changes in management may considerably improve the economics of poultry and pig production in the absence of AGPs. More specifically, feed enzymes influence gut microbial populations and can contribute significantly to providing a cost-effective replacement for AGPs in wheat and corn-based feeds.

 

"Improving nutrient digestibility with enzymes alters the amount and type of nutrients available to the intestinal microflora, and research has shown that the resulting change in nutrient profile tends to suppress the growth of disease-causing bacteria. Further, enzymes reduce feed costs and improve animal performance in AGP-free diets."

 

Another new development in feed enzyme application highlighted by Dr Hruby is the use of feed enzymes in corn-based diets and the ability to predict the enzyme response in broiler feeds based on sources of corn that vary in quality. Although corn has a relatively high potential nutritional value for broilers compared with many other grains, it is vital to recognise that its nutrient composition, starch structure and the digestibility of its starch and protein components can, and do, vary substantially between batches. This can result in wide variations in feed energy values from one batch to another, which contributes to unexplained fluctuations in broiler growth and feed conversion from apparently identical feed formulations.

 

Dr Hruby pointed out that recently published data and commercial experience show that feed enzymes can play an important role in improving the nutrient value of corn-based feeds. More specifically, a multi-enzyme product for poultry, based on amylase, protease and xylanase (Avizyme 1500, Danisco) has been shown to increase uniformity and the nutritional value of corn resulting in improved bird performance and flock uniformity. Recently, the value of this enzyme has been further increased through the introduction of Avicheck Corn, a unique service from Danisco which includes a laboratory assay that estimates how much Avizyme can improve the energy value (ME) of corn.

 

Danisco Animal Nutrition, a division of global food ingredient specialist Danisco A/S (Denmark), pioneered the development and use of enzymes and betaine in animal nutrition. Its products are widely used by pig and poultry producers throughout the world. The company aims to provide sustainable animal nutrition solutions to meet consumers' demands for safe, high quality, affordable food, while helping to protect the environment.

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