Nutritionists seek to reduce feed costs, while maintaining animal performance and the improved digestibility of the feed, which is key. Fibre degrading enzymes and phytases are the first choices when considering what to add to feed to improve digestibility.
Reformulating feeds with an NSPase
NSPases, such as xylanase-based enzymatic complexes, are of interest if you want to optimise animal performance as they do not only hydrolyse soluble fibres, which minimises intestinal viscosity, but also insoluble fibres, unlocking nutrients which are trapped in the cell wall of plants (the so called 'cage effect').
Nutritionists can use NSPses in two ways:
- they can be added to improve animal performance
- reformulating the feed with the nutrient (energy) uplift of the NSPase to maintain performance, but to reduce the cost of the feed
In the latter case, nutritionists sometimes only use part of the energy uplift of the NSPase because they prefer to play it safe. Table 1 shows an example where broiler feed prices are compared to show this safety factor.
The table shows that when this safety factor (50% of the energy matrix of Hostazym X) is applied, savings are €9/T of feed. However, if 100% of the uplift was used, an extra €9/T could be saved - €18/T in total). A compromise could be to dose Hostazym X at e.g., a 1.5 x dose, and use a 75% uplift of the matrix value. This has the same safety level while reducing the feed cost by an extra €4.3/T (reducing the cost of the feed by €13.3/T in total).
Elimination of more inorganic P by phytase
Using a phytase is a very efficient strategy for replacing inorganic P in a diet as it liberates P from phytate. As the prices of inorganic P sources are skyrocketing, it should be considered to increase the inclusion of a phytase above a single dose (500 FTU/kg). This liberates more P from phytate, enabling a further reduction of inorganic P.
Table 1 shows calculated savings by adding the novel thermostable phytase OptiPhos Plus at single, double and triple dose in broiler feed. It can be observed that the incorporation at single dose has a cost saving of €9.8/T, while a double or triple dose reduces the feed price by a further €0.8 and €1.1/T, respectively.
It should also be noted that increasing the level of phytase will lead to more profound degradation of phytate, which is a well-known anti-nutritional factor. This will further improve performance (superdosing). It also creates more space during formulation by removal of inorganic P. The financial impact of an increase in phytase levels is therefore more than just a financial calculation of the reduction of inorganic P in the feed.
The most efficient tool to control feed costs without losing performance is the inclusion of enzymes in feed. A more aggressive reformulation with higher doses of xylanase-based enzyme, combined with triple dosing of phytate will yield an extra €5.4/T feed cost reduction.