converting website visitors - news, features, articles and disease information for the poultry industry

Poultry News

Understanding Dietary Fibre to Boost Animal Feed and Digestion

11 October 2016
AB Vista

GLOBAL - The addition of fibre-degrading enzymes to feed delivers significant benefits for animal digestion, explains Dr Hadden Graham, Global Technical Director at AB Vista.

Dietary fibre is commonly known as the part of the diet which is not broken down by the animal’s digestive enzymes. But in the latest of AB Vista’s Extraordinary Science Brought to Life videos, Dr Graham explains how a greater understanding of dietary fibre can help to optimise feed.

“The major carbohydrate in any feed is generally the polysaccharides – this includes starch, as well as cellulose, hemicellulose, pectins and fructans: these last four make up the dietary fibre. For the purposes of analysis, dietary fibre can be defined as the sum of the non-starch polysaccharides and the lignin.”

According to Dr Graham, the fibre fraction between different feedstuffs varies significantly, with levels of starch, oligosaccharides, non-starch polysaccharides and lignin varying considerably between corn and soyabean meal.

“Fibre can be both soluble and insoluble – and can be both a nutrient (in that it can be degraded, to provide energy) and an anti-nutrient – in that it can increase gut viscosity and encapsulate nutrients - thus reducing digestibility.

“There are three main mechanisms at play when looking at how fibre-degrading enzymes can be used to optimise feed: their ability to break down insoluble fibres and open up the cell walls, reduce viscosity (allowing the animal’s own enzymes to move quickly in the gut), and the subsequent production of oligosaccharides, providing energy for the animal.”

Dr Graham explains that these mechanisms result in better digestion of nutrients (starch, protein and fat); greater degradation of fibre and increased levels of good bacteria in the gut.

These findings will be presented at the CLANA academic conference, to be held from October 10-14 in Cancun, Mexico. Guests are invited to join AB Vista and Tryadd for a ‘Technical Breakfast’ on October 13th from 07:00 – 09:00 – seats are limited and can be reserved by emailing or

The new video (‘Understanding the fibre fraction of the diet to optimise digestion’) can be viewed on the AB Vista website -

For more information, contact AB Vista on +44(0)1672 517 650 or

ThePoultrySite News Desk

Related News

Our Sponsors


Seasonal Picks

Poultry Breeds and Management