What is Phytase Superdosing? AB Vista Explains the Science

GLOBAL - In a recently released technical video, Mike Bedford, Research Director at AB Vista, highlights new research that more precisely identifies how phytases work in the animal. This helps explain where the performance benefits of phytase superdosing are really coming from and why important differences can be seen between commercial phytases.
calendar icon 28 January 2016
clock icon 3 minute read

Many end-users have now adopted the practice of superdosing, using higher phytase doses in feed to reduce the anti-nutritional effects of phytate (IP6) in pigs and poultry. This has proven to give additional animal performance benefits beyond standard phytases doses.

Recent publications have shown that it is not just phytate that has anti-nutritive effects; the breakdown products of phytate - IP5, IP4 and IP3 – can also have an anti-nutritive effect in the animal. These lower phytate esters have been shown to correlate with poor digestion of protein, energy and minerals, indicating that they have an anti-nutritive effect in the animal.

The key point is that, with standard phytase dosing, we may be degrading one anti-nutrient and simply replacing with another.

Despite this, confusion still exists in the market as to what superdosing is and how this should be defined. Ongoing research and customer experience has helped AB Vista go a step further in defining superdosing as; ‘feeding enough of an effective phytase to prevent the build-up of lower phytate esters such as IP3 and IP4 in the gut of the animal’.

“When we think about phytases, we should think about them as enzymes to effectively breakdown IP5, IP4, and IP3 as well as IP6. We want phytases not only to release the P we need, but to eliminate all inhibitors of digestion, and enable the animal to grow more efficiently. Superdosing phytase does exactly that.”

This also sheds light on why we see differences between commercial phytases, which differ significantly in their ability to break down phytate and the lower esters IP5, IP4, IP3, even when fed at high levels.

For animal producers to see a greater return from their phytase programme, they need to select an effective phytase, such as Quantum Blue which, when applied at superdosed levels, can break down IP6 and continue to destroy the anti-nutritive lower phytate esters, even at low concentrations of phytate, Dr. Bedford says.

“Choosing a phytase simply by determining how much phosphorus it releases does not give the full picture. Scientific data now allows us to better understand exactly what effect phytases have in the gut, and thus maximise the performance benefits that can be made through effective superdosing.”

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