Techniques have been developed to produce microbial phytase for addition to diets for simple-stomached animals, with the aim to improve phosphorus availability from phytate-P in plant sources. The activityof the crude microbial phytase showed pH optima at pH 5-5 and 2·5. The enzyme was able to degradephytate in vitro in soya-bean meal, maize and a liquid compound feed for pigs. When microbial phytasewas added to low-P diets for broilers the availability of P increased to over 60 % and the amount of Pin the droppings decreased by 50%. The growth rate and feed conversion ratio on the low-P dietscontaining microbial phytase were comparable to or even better than those obtained on control diets.Addition of microbial phytase to diets for growing pigs increased the apparent absorbability of P by24%. The amount of P in the faeces was 35% lower.