Phosphorus (P) is an important component of the diet formulation for poultry and pigs as it plays a vital role in skeletal development and bone strength.
Phosphorus included in a feed formulation comes from one of three sources:
- P which is present in the feed materials and not bound to phytate ('free P')
- P from phytate which has been made available through use of a phytase
- P from inorganic P sources where the P requirement in the feed is not met by free P and P released by phytase
Using OptiPhos® Plus is a very efficient strategy for replacing inorganic P in a diet because it liberates P from the phytate present in the plant-based feed ingredients. As the price of inorganic P sources, like monocalcium phosphate (MCP) skyrocketed in the past year, including OptiPhos Plus at levels above the single dose (500 FTU/kg) has resulted in feed cost savings.
Recently, MCP prices have dropped from around €1500/T to approximately €750/T om the EU. An obvious question results: is it still profitable to dose OptiPhos Plus at levels up to 2000 FTU/kg?
Tables 1 and 2 show the calculation of extra cost savings by adding OptiPhos Plus at 1000, 1500 and 2000 FTU/kg versus the single dose (500 FTU/kg) in broiler grower feed and piglet feed, respectively. The calculations are based on two prices for MCP: €1500/kg and €750/kg. The tables show that lowering the price of MCP reduces the cost savings vs the single dose. However, the cost savings are still substantial at increasing doses of OptiPhos Plus.
It should also be taking into consideration that increasing the dose of OptiPhos Plus will lead to faster degradation of the phytate. Phytate is an antinutritional factor because it reduces the digestibility of nutrients such as protein. Therefore, a positive effect on animal performance is to be expected when OptiPhos Plus is included at levels higher than 500 FTU/kg, adding an economic benefit on top of the cost savings indicated in Table 1 (broilers) and Table 2 (pigs).
Increasing the dose of OptiPhos Plus reduces the need for the inclusion of inorganic P sources, resulting in cost savings. A lower price of MCP reduces the financial benefit. However, the cost savings are still substantial and continue to support the high dose inclusion of OptiPhos Plus. In addition, the increased doses will also lead to a faster degradation of phytate, yielding further performance improvements.