Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 December 2007
Many feed ingredients in use in monogastric diets contain significant quantities of antinutritional factors (ANF) which limit both their feed value and their use. Almost all enzymes currently being used address such factors to varying degrees, allowing for more economic utilization of raw materials. However, animal response to xylanase, β-glucanase and even phytase utilization reported in the literature tends to vary. Factors such as enzyme source, ingredient variety and environment under which the ingredient was grown, stored and processed into animal feed, age of animal, interaction with other dietary ingredients, and health status are shown to affect significantly the response obtained. As a result, the mode of action of xylanases and β-glucanases is still debated due to too much emphasis being placed on interpretation of individual trial results without regard to the interactive factors or the literature dataset as a whole. Better understanding of such factors will improve data interpretation. While results with phytase are not subject to such extreme variation, they are nevertheless inconsistent in the degree to which inorganic phosphorus can be replaced by this enzyme. Greater understanding of the ANF and factors which interact to govern the response to added exogenous enzymes will undoubtedly improve the economic return and confidence in their use. Improved knowledge of ANF structure will result in development of enzymes directed towards far more specific targets, which enhances the likelihood of success and should reduce the overall enzyme usage.