New research into optimizing piglet performance and trace mineral nutrition will be presented by AB Vista at this year’s Pig Focus Asia conference in Bangkok, March 21-23.

Delegates will be given an insight into how phytase superdosing can maximize the efficiency of a piglet’s diet by releasing vital minerals such as zinc, iron and copper through the complete breakdown of phytate.

Dr. Pete Wilcock, technical manager at AB Vista, will explain how the presence of phytate can significantly reduce mineral availability and how breaking down more of that phytate plays a vital role in optimizing diets.

“Trace minerals play a key role in enhancing piglet performance, but phytate (otherwise known as phytic acid) binds strongly to negatively-charged mineral ions within the diet, such as zinc, copper and iron,” says Dr. Wilcock.

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“Moreover, it has been found that the lower esters of phytate (IP6), such as IP5, IP4 and IP3 can have a similarly negative effect on nutrient digestibility as IP6,” he adds.

The research, to be presented in Bangkok, will show that targeting the rapid destruction of phytate with minimal accumulation of lower esters could greatly improve animal performance. This, Dr. Wilcock says, may be achieved by selecting a phytase with optimal characteristics for IP6, IP5, IP4 and IP3 breakdown at superdosed levels.

“With phytate having the ability to bind dietary cations (e.g. Ca2+, Zn2+, Fe2+ and Cu2+), the effect of superdosing phytase on mineral utilization has interest beyond improved digestibility or retention. It could also allow for a similar or even better performance at a lower dietary mineral level, saving feed cost and reducing mineral excretion.”

Dr. Wilcock’s presentation, “The effect of superdosing phytase on performance and mineral utilization,” will take place on March 21.