Recent advances in enzyme technology benefit the global pig industry

Date of publication : 3/3/2008
Source : Danisco Animal Nutrition press release
New generation E. Coli phytases, the latest in thermoprotection technology, enzyme solutions to optimise both piglet and grower/finisher performance and the use of enzymes in antibiotic growth promoter free nutrition were just some of the recent advances in enzyme technology reported by Dr Gary Partridge at the Pig Focus Asia conference, Bangkok, Thailand.

Presenting a paper entitled "Profitable use of new enzymes",  Dr Gary Partridge, Technical Services Director for Danisco Animal Nutrition, explained how with feed prices at an all time high and pig prices constantly under pressure, feed enzyme technology has gained increasing acceptance over the past 15 years and is now seen as one important weapon in the armory required to feed the modern pig, in a cost-efficient and environmentally-responsible way.

More effective new generation E. Coli phytases provide pig feed producers with opportunities to further reduce feed costs by replacing around 20% more inorganic phosphate from the feed than when using traditional fungal phytases.

Dr Partridge also explained that with the recent surge in feed phosphate prices, increasing the amount of phytase added to the feed provides a cost effective means of minimising feed costs.

He went on to explain how thermo-tolerance of enzyme products is conventionally achieved by the use of various coating techniques to ensure the enzyme survives the feed conditioning and pelleting process.

Once the enzyme is consumed in the feed, the coating system must break down rapidly to release the enzyme in the stomach of the pig so that it can exert its effects on the phytate substrate – releasing bound phosphorus and quickly reducing the anti-nutritional effects of dietary phytate.

Coating systems can vary substantially in their ability to dissociate in the gut and this, together with variations in the characteristics of enzymes, can underlie substantial differences in relative bio-efficacy.

The use of fibre degrading feed enzymes, such as xylanases, are growing in importance as more fibrous raw materials, such as DDGS, enter the feed formulation. But, he warned, consider critically and objectively what other enzyme ‘side activities’ some products are claimed to contain, as these additional enzyme activities almost invariably are not subjected to routine Quality Control.

In addition, the contribution of these ‘side activities’  to the bio-efficacy of the product frequently remain totally unproven to discerning, independent regulatory authorities.

Going on to explain how to optimise piglet performance, Dr Partridge discussed the use of amylase, used in conjunction with fibre degrading xylanase, to aid the breakdown of starch in the diet. This appears to be particularly pertinent where a low feed intake post-weaning is associated with a slow maturation of α-amylase secretion by the pancreas and compromised digestibility.

Amylase supplementation also allows the use of less cooked grain in the diet, with resultant benefits in feed cost reduction, without compromising young pig performance after weaning.

For producers wanting to achieve antibiotic growth promoter free nutrition, there appears to be a clear interaction between disease challenge and diet digestibility.

Certain anti-nutrients in feed have been shown to be provocative to pigs under certain chronic or acute disease challenges, so the addition of appropriate enzymes to target these anti-nutrients has been found to be particularly beneficial. Future focus and development in this area is expected, especially in conjunction with formulation changes that incorporate more fibrous raw materials.

Looking to the future, he concluded that well-researched feed enzymes can help reduce the maintenance energy and protein costs of the animal, effectively freeing more nutrients to fuel lean growth and thereby improving the efficiency of lean meat production in the pig industry.

Danisco Animal Nutrition, a business unit of leading global food ingredient specialist Danisco A/S (Denmark), pioneered the development and use of enzymes and betaine in animal nutrition.

Its products are now widely used by poultry and pig producers throughout the world. The company’s mission is to deliver innovative, sustainable solutions that increase efficiency and safety of the food production chain in an environmentally sensitive way.
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