Reducing High Feed Costs And Improving Digestibility With Enzymes

reading time
Article | 08.02.2023
Lode Nollet PhD, Global Product Manager Poultry Enzymes

In animal production, increasing feed costs are putting pressure on profitability. Nutritionists are striving to reduce feed costs while maintaining animal performance, so improving the digestibility of the feed is key. Fibre-degrading enzymes and phytases are useful components to add to the feed to improve its digestibility.

Reformulating feeds with an NSPase

Non-starch polysaccharide degrading enzymes (NSPases) such as xylanase or xylanase-based enzymatic complexes (Hostazym® X), are of special interest in optimising animal production. The mode of action of an NSPase includes the hydrolysis of soluble fibres which minimises intestinal viscosity, and the hydrolysis of insoluble fibres which unlocks nutrients trapped in the cell walls of vegetable feed ingredients (the so called "cage effect"). 

Nutritionists can use NSPases in two ways:

  • "over-the-top" to improve animal performance
  • reformulating the feed to include the nutrient (energy) uplift delivered by the NSPase, reducing the feed cost by maintaining performance

In the latter case, nutritionists sometimes only use part of the energy uplift of thet NSPase because they want to be "safe". Table 1 shows an example comparing broiler feed prices. The difference between reformulating the diet with only a 50% uplift compared to using the full matrix value is demonstrated. The table shows that when this safety factor is applied, savings of €9/T of feed are achieved. However, if (in accordance with the matrix values) the full 100% uplift was used, an extra €9/T of feed would be saved (€18/T in total). 

Table 1. An increase in the dose of Hostazym® X combined with a larger energy uplift as an alternative to maintain performance safety will result in an extra feed cost reduction

A compromise could be to dose Hostazym® X at a higher dose rate (e.g., 1.5 times the standard dose) and to use a 75% uplift of the matrix value. This has the same level of safety while reducing the feed cost by another €4.3/T compared to using a 50% uplift and a single dose.


Elimination of more inorganic P by phytase

Using a phytase is a very efficient strategy for replacing inorganic phosphorus (P) in a diet as it liberates P from phytate present in grains and protein sources in the feed. As the prices of inorganic P sources, like monocalcium phosphate (MCP) are skyrocketing, increasing the inclusion rate of a phytase above the standard single dose (500 FTU/kg) should be considered. This liberates more P from phytate, enabling a reduction of inorganic P from MCP which saves more money than the extra inclusion cost of the phytase.

Table 2 shows a calculation on MCP savings (prices set at €1,000/T) by adding an intrinsically heat stable phytase (OptiPhos® Plus) at 500, 1,000, and 1,500 FTU/kg in broiler grower feed. It can be observed that the incorporation of phytase at a single dose (500 FTU/kg) has a cost saving of €9.8/T. Increasing the level to a double dose (1,000 FTU/kg) or triple dose (1,500 FTU/kg) reduces the feed price further by €0.80 and €1.10/T, respectively compared to the single dose.

Table 2. Double and triple dosing of OptiPhos® Plus reduces the feed cost by replacing expensive inorganic phosphorus

These savings do not only arise from the lower inclusion of MCP in the feed but also because lowering the MCP inclusion creates space for using other raw materials, enabling better feed formulation. It should also be noted that increasing the level of phytase will lead to faster and more profound degradation of phytate, which is a well-known anti-nutritional factor. This will improve performance (the so called "superdosing" effect). The financial impact of an increase in phytase levels is therefore more than just a financial calculation of the reduction of inorganic P in the feed. 



The most efficient tool to control feed costs without losing performance is the inclusion of enzymes in the feed. A more aggressive reformulation with higher doses of Hostazym® X, combined with triple dosing of OptiPhos® Plus will yield an extra €5.4/T feed cost reduction.


global presence

Local support from a global company

Huvepharma® has a distribution network which covers more than 90 countries in 6 continents. Find your nearest Huvepharma® representative today.
Find your local contact
about us


Huvepharma® is a fast-growing, global pharmaceutical company with a focus on developing, manufacturing and marketing human and animal health and nutrition products.
more about us

Change country

The Huvepharma® distribution network covers 90 countries in 6 continents. Please select a country from the list below to see the products and services available in that region.

To view all products and services, select Global from the dropdown menu or click .




North America


South America

Change language

Huvepharma has a remarkable distribution network which covers 90 countries in 6 continents. To offer you the best services, we ask you to select your country.


United States

Click here to visit the local website or close this popup to stay on the global website.

Your browser is out of date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now