Phytate is the main storage of phosphorus in feed ingredients derived from plants. Phosphorus is an essential mineral that must be supplied by the diet to meet the requirements for maintenance, growth, and bone development.
However, the phytate-bound phosphorus is largely unavailable to pigs, with digestibility in the range of 20 to 30%. Phytate enzymes also forms complexes with proteins and minerals, preventing the absorption of nutrients.
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Phytase is an enzyme that works on phytate to release phosphorus in the form provided for pork. The use of phytase in pig diets increases the digestibility of phosphorus and phytate reduces antinutritional effects.
Moreover, the improvement in the use of phytate-bound phosphorus reduces the environmental impact of phosphorus excretion in pig waste and minimizes the use of inorganic phosphorus.
Inorganic phosphorus sources are used in swine diets, but resources are expensive and non-renewable. Therefore, the strategic use of phytases in pig diets has the potential to deliver economic and environmental benefits.
Phytic acid is the main storage of phosphorus in plants, usually in the form of phytate, and contributes to 60 to 80% of the phosphorus in feed ingredients derived from plants.
Corn-soybean-meal based on a diet of pigs usually contain 1% phytate or 0.28% of phytate-bound phosphorus, but the level varies with the ingredients in the food.
Phytate is regarded as an antinutritional factor for pork because it reduces the digestibility of phosphorus, energy, and other nutrients in pigs.