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PARTNER FEATURE ▶▶▶


How do raw materials affect animal production, and how can enzymes help?


Exogenous enzymes, which are used to improve the nutritional value of feed ingredients, are an effective solution for optimising feed efficiency.


BY KYLE MCKINNEY, PHD, GLOBAL DIRECTOR, ALLTECH ENZYME MANAGEMENT PLATFORM


O


One of the greatest chal- lenges for the animal nutrition industry is to es- tablish cost-ef- fective and effi- cient production of meat and eggs.


ne of the biggest challenges that producers of farm animals face is the rising cost of feed, which can account for up to 70% of total production ex- penses. Furthermore, around 25% of the available


nutrients in feed cannot be fully utilised by the animal due to the anti-nutritional factors of feed, aspects that negatively af- fect nutrition. What’s more, the variability and availability of raw materials also play an important role. The industry is cur- rently experiencing fluctuating grain prices. How much do these changes affect profitability? An increase of US$ 10 per tonne of soybean meal could repre- sent a 44-cent increase in the production cost of a dozen eggs, or a 25-cent increase per pound of live weight in the cost of broiler production, which has a significant impact on profitability. Moreover, the anti-nutritional factors and varia- bility of raw materials can also affect digestibility and animal


performance and can have an impact on the environmental footprint of the operation, as more nutrients could be excret- ed back into the environment if the nutrient utilisation of the diet is not optimised. Now, more than ever, one of the great- est challenges for the animal nutrition industry is to establish a cost-effective and efficient production of meat and eggs based on nutritional and economic factors, which often vary and can be unique to each production system.


Optimising nutrient utilisation The nutritional values of the raw materials used in animal feed are extremely variable. For example, plant-based ingre- dients include significant amounts of non-starch polysaccha- rides (NSPs), which contain anti-nutritional properties that in- crease the viscosity of the diet, limiting energy intake and digestibility. Indigestible fractions represent a loss for the producer and may vary based on their origin. The focus of the animal nutrition industry has always been on optimising health and performance through nutrient utilisa- tion. Advances in this area over the past several decades have revealed various applications that can help release trapped nutrients in order to meet the animals’ nutritional require- ments. One of these solutions — and perhaps the most im- portant and proven of them all — is the use of exogenous enzymes.


How can enzymes help animal nutrition? Enzymes play a key role in the animal’s digestive process. Al- though digestive enzymes are produced within the animal it- self, producers have used exogenous feed enzymes to opti- mise nutrient utilisation and improve performance in terms of animal feed. Exogenous enzymes are commonly added to animal diets to improve the nutritive value of feed ingredi- ents (especially phosphorus, calcium, amino acids and pro- teins); to optimize animal health, welfare and performance; to increase feed efficiency; and to reduce the excretion of nu- trients into the environment, which ultimately results in a sustainable reduction in feed costs. Feed enzymes also allow for the use of a broader range of feedstuffs, which can help increase flexibility in the formulation of the diet by using non-conventional sources or alternative raw materials.


20 ▶ ALL ABOUT FEED | Volume 29, No. 1, 2021


PHOTO: RONALD HISSINK


PHOTO: ALLTECH


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