Woyengo, T. A. and Nyachoti, C. M. 2011. Review: Supplementation of phytase and carbohydrases to diets for poultry. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 91: 177-192. Feedstuffs of plant origin contain anti-nutritional factors such as phytic acid (PA) and non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), which limit nutrient utilization in poultry. Phytic acid contains phosphorus, which is poorly digested by poultry, and has the capacity to bind to and reduce the utilisation of other nutrients, whereas NSP are indigestible and have the capacity to reduce nutrient utilisation by encapsulation. Supplemental phytase and NSP-degrading enzymes (carbohydrases) can, respectively, hydrolyze PA and NSP, alleviating the negative effects of these anti-nutritional factors. In feedstuffs of plant origin, PA is located within the cells, whereas NSP are located in cell walls, and hence it has been hypothesized that phytase and carbohydrases can act synergistically in improving nutrient utilization because the carbohydrases can hydrolyze the NSP in cell walls to increase the accessibility of phytase to PA. However, the response to supplementation of a combination of these enzymes is variable and dependent on several factors, including the type of carbohydrase supplement used, dietary NSP composition, calcium and non-phytate phosphorus contents, and endogenous phytase activity. These factors are discussed, and areas that need further research for optimising the use of a combination of phytase and carbohydrases in poultry diets are suggested.
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Vol. 91 • No. 2