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Understanding Substrates Is Key to Optimising Exogenous Enzyme Efficacy for Poultry

26 September 2014, at 12:00am

Better understanding of the components in the feed that act as substrates is key to developing and better utilising feed enzymes, according to researchers from the US and Brazil speaking at a conference in California in 2013.

The use of exogenous enzymes in feeds for poultry has increased dramatically between 1990 and 2013, according to R. Angel of the University of Maryland in the US and J.O.B. Sorbara of DSM Nutritional Products in São Paulo, Brazil.

Their paper, published in Poultry Science, was presented as part of the symposium 'Possible Substrates for Exogenous Enzymes' at the Poultry Science Association’s annual meeting in San Diego, California from 22 to 25 July 2013.

The authors state that today, the use of enzymes is broad, going beyond phytases and β-glucanases and xylanases to include other carbohydrases and proteases as well as lipases.

The number of scientific articles and publications related to enzymes in feed clearly shows that this has been an area of intense and broad interest for scientists and nutritionists. However, knowledge of the different substrates available in the feed and how these substrates change depending on feed ingredient selection has not received the same level of attention.

Understanding substrates is key to better developing and implementing exogenous enzymes, according to Angel and Sorbara.

Of importance today is to potentiate endogenous digestive capabilities and use exogenous enzymes to optimise nutrient digestion and use.

The authors conclude that there are clearly limits in what we know about certain substrates that are poorly utilised in poultry diets and about what limits the digestion and absorption of others such as proteins and their constituent amino acids.

According to Angel and Sorbara, there is also limited understanding by poultry professionals, as shown in the responses to their survey, about not only the substrates themselves but also how to best improve their utilisation by poultry.


Angel R. and and J.O.B. Sorbara. 2014. Why is it important to understand substrates if we are to optimize exogenous enzyme efficacy? Poultry Science. 93: 2375-2379. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03869

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September 2014

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