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Improve protein digestibility for health and performance


Undigested protein is not only costly in terms of wasted resource, it is detrimental to gut health. Including a protease in feed strategies proves successful to tackle this complex issue and deliver positive results.


BY TINKE STORMINK, DUPONT ANIMAL NUTRITION D  


Control Axtra Pro


   60


ietary protein is one of the most variable nutrients in terms of digestibility. Although the issue is com- monly associated with cheaper feed ingredients, even premium soybean meals, which are consid-


ered a high-quality protein option, can be affected due to dif- ferences in harvest conditions, processing parameters and country of origin. In fact, up to 20% of protein is known to es- cape digestion and pass through the bird as waste. This not only impacts formulation costs, it also has serious implica- tions for the health and development of the bird and can lead to further increases in production costs. This is primarily because when high fractions of undigested protein reach the hind gut, it acts as a substrate (food); causing non-beneficial microorganisms to flourish and reducing gut health as a result. In other words, it creates an unfavourable nutribiotic state in the bird; where the


Figure 1 - Axtra Pro reduces the level of non- 


Clostridium perfringens (Log 10 CFU/g)


100 85.9% 86.0% 81.2% 69.3%


interaction between the three pillars of nutrition, the microbiome and the gut and immune function in the gastrointestinal tract is out of balance. Feed conversion and nutrient absorption are reduced, while susceptibility to disease is increased; meaning both the performance and welfare of the animal are compromised.


Negative effect on microbiome Studies have shown that higher levels of undigested crude protein negatively affect microbial communities in the distal part of the gastrointestinal tract. Of particular concern is the fact that an increase in dietary protein will result in a corre- sponding rise in levels of C. perfringens colonies – causative agents for necrotic enteritis – in the distal part of the intestinal tract. The goal for producers, therefore, is to implement an ef- fective feed strategy that boosts protein digestibility – irrespec- tive of the variability of the source – and prevents a suboptimal outcome. So rather than allowing conditions in the gut to de- velop that are detrimental to the animal’s health, this nutrition- al intervention will actively help to create a favourable nutribi- otic state and deliver the related performance benefits. This is the premise behind DuPont’s broad spectrum protease. It con- tains a single-activity enzyme that overcomes the limita- tions of the animal’s endogenous proteases to improve di- gestion and enhance gut health. Crucially, it is supported


Figure 2 - Axtra Pro is able to maintain the production standards even under challenged conditions in turkeys.


Liveability (%, 19 weeks of age)


Control Axtra Pro


  


Broilers (day 21)


Turkeys (week 19)


0


* In Farm B cellulitis was recorded in both treatment groups. Farm B*


Farm A 40


20


▶ GUT HEALTH | DECEMBER 2020


PHOTO: MORTEN LARSEN


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