Amino acid utilisation and the value of phytase highlighted as the International Phytate Summit comes to a close

Published Thursday, 10th November 2016

The third International Phytate Summit (IPS3) concluded today with industry leaders discussing the anti-nutritional impact that phytate can have on protein digestibility, and the positive influence of phytase on amino acids.

The event, themed The Value Chain of Phytate Destruction, has seen feed and nutrition experts from around the world share the latest research into how combatting phytate can improve feed efficiency, nutrient utilisation, sustainability and ultimately profitability. 

Phytase superdosing and amino acid availability

On the final day, Professor Hank Classen, University of Saskatchewan, highlighted the impact of phytate and phytate esters on protein digestibility and the influence of superdoses of phytase on amino acid digestibility, specifically non-essential amino acids.

“The use of high levels of phytase is promising in young birds because we did see a more consistent response in phytate hydrolysis and so the availability of amino acids and energy is also more predictable.”

Professor Layi Adeola of Purdue University discussed the fate of amino acids in the gastrointestinal tract, a very complex system of endogenous enzymes and transporters. 

A role in sustainable feed production

This research was followed by that of Dr Sami Dridi, University of Arkansas, and Dr Gabriel Morales, University of Buenos Aires, who highlighted the need to better understand the nutrient requirements of the animals, particularly environmentally interesting nutrients such as amino acids and phosphorus in monogastrics and aquaculture.  

Dr Morales stated “Phytase use can play a significant role in sustainable aquaculture production. Research has demonstrated that superdoses of phytase supplied in a plant-based diet for rainbow trout increased dietary phosphorus retention from 36 to 67% and reduced the excretion of nitrogen into the environment by 7%.”

Current understanding - and future trends

The summit concluded with a presentation from Dr Mike Kidd from the University of Arkansas highlighting the historical understanding of phytate and amino acids, current understanding and future trends in amino acid formulations and implications for phytate and phytase.

“Additional research is warranted to assess amino acid digestibility as improved by dietary phytase,” Dr Kidd stated. “Variation exists in amino acid digestibility studies in the literature and it is difficult to realise an amino acid response near the asymptote of the biological response, particularly less limiting amino acids and in environmental conditions producing different gut health challenges.”

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