Effect of graded doses and a high dose of microbial phytase on the digestibility of various minerals in weaner pigs

A.K. Kies, P.A. Kemme, L.B.J. Sebek, J.T.M. van Diepen, A.W. Jongbloed

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90 Citations (Scopus)


An experiment with 224 weaner pigs (initial BW of 7.8 kg) was conducted to determine the effect of dose of dietary phytase supplementation on apparent fecal digestibility of minerals (P, Ca, Mg, Na, K, and Cu) and on performance. Four blocks, each with 8 pens of 7 pigs, were formed. Eight dietary treatments were applied to each block in the 43-d experiment: supplementation of 0 (basal diet), 100, 250, 500, 750, 1,500, or 15,000 phytase units (FTU) or of 1.5 g of digestible P (dP; monocalcium phosphate; positive control) per kilogram of feed. The basal diet, with corn, barley, soybean meal, and sunflower seed meal as the main components, contained 1.2 g of dP per kilogram of feed. Fresh fecal grab samples were collected in wk 4 and 5 of the experiment. Average daily feed intake, ADG, G:F, and digestibility of all of the minerals increased (P <0.001) with increasing Phytase dose. Digestibility of P increased from 34% in the basal diet to a maximum of 84% in the diet supplemented with 15,000 FTU, generating 1.76 g of dP per kilogram of feed. At this level, 85% of the phytate phosphorus was digested, compared with 15% in the basal diet. Compared with the basal diet, digestibility of the monovalent minerals increased maximally at 15,000 FTU, from 81 to 92% (Na) and from 76 to 86% (K). In conclusion, phytase supplementation up to a level of 15,000 FTU/kg of a dP-deficient diet improved performance of weaner pigs and digestibility of minerals, including monovalent minerals. Up to 85% of the phytate-P was digested. Thus, dietary phytase supplementation beyond present day standards (500 FTU/kg) could further improve mineral use and consequently reduce mineral output to the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1169-1175
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • aspergillus-niger phytase
  • soybean-meal diet
  • apparent digestibility
  • phytic acid
  • young-pigs
  • phosphorus utilization
  • supplemented diets
  • weanling pigs
  • absorption
  • efficacy


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