There are many types of feed additives on the market today that perform a variety of specific functions. Certain additives promote optimal growth and others improve palatability. Phytase is a feed additive that breaks down phytates to promote the release of inorganic phosphorus bound in plant-based feed ingredients.

Phytate is classified as an indigestible acid that is found in grains and oil seeds. It is the main storage form of phosphorus in plants and binds to other nutrients, including calcium, amino acids, and energy. Phytate must be acted upon by an enzyme to become effective and release necessary nutrients for the animal’s body to use.

Phytase is a feed additive that breaks down phytates to promote the release of inorganic phosphorus bound in plant-based feed ingredients.

Phytase is a powerful intestinal enzyme that breaks down phytate. Hogs and poultry have very little phytase in their intestinal tract, so it has to be introduced to the body through feed. Using phytase as a feed additive decreases the need for inorganic phosphorus supplementation, which decreases the phosphorus excretion in manure. Both the animal and the environment benefit from the use of phytase in feed.

There are different types of phytase that can be used in feeds. Traditionally, fungal-based phytase has been used in most products. Phytase products first used in the industry were all fungal based, but today there are other types. Wenger Feeds currently uses a bacterial-based phytase called Physyme XP.

There are many benefits to adding phytase to poultry and hog diets. One of the main benefits is feed cost reduction per ton. As mentioned before, the amount of inorganic phosphorus required in the feed goes down, so the feed costs go down. For example, with the phytase updates in pullet feed, research has shown there is a phosphorus reduction of about 3 percent and a savings per ton of approximately $2.

From an environmental standpoint, phytase has additional benefits. The decreased use of phosphorus in feed reduces the amount of phosphorus being added and, in turn, reduces the phosphorus content being released in manure. Phosphorus in manure can have an adverse effect on streams and rivers if there is storm water runoff. Adding phytase to livestock feeds can actually help protect drinking water.

Wenger Feeds aims to make all its feed as efficient as possible in order for the company’s customers to provide the proper nutrition to the animals they feed. The company has conducted a research trial on alternative phytase products, and the results of this research led to modifications in certain products, which led to reduced costs and reduced phosphorus and dicalcium phosphate inclusion in feeds. The research showed that the new product was more resistant to protease enzymes like trypsin and chymotrypsin, yielded more phytase activity early in the digestive tract, increased phosphorus release, and increased the release of other nutrients (calcium, amino acids, and energy.)

Obviously, the cost reduction per ton of feed and the improved environmental impact phytase has is significant. Wenger Feeds’ phytase research has proven that phytase is a worthwhile feed additive for its customers.

For more information about Wenger Feeds’ Products and Services, contact us.