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J Anim Sci. 1997 Aug;75(8):2129-38.

The efficacy of Aspergillus niger phytase in rendering phytate phosphorus available for absorption in pigs is influenced by pig physiological status.

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Institute for Animal Science and Health (ID-DLO), Lelystad, The Netherlands.


We performed an experiment with 112 piglets, 32 growing-finishing pigs, and 12 sows during pregnancy and lactation to test the hypotheses that apparent total tract digestibilities of P and Ca as well as the efficacy of Aspergillus niger phytase in rendering phytate P available in pigs depend on pig physiological status. All pigs were fed diets with identical feedstuff composition either without or with added microbial phytase (Natuphos, 500 FTU/kg diet). The diets contained 6.2 g Ca, 4.8 g total P, and 3.7 g phytate P per kilogram, and intrinsic phytase activity of 120 FTU/kg. The digestibility of P increased by 8.3 percentage units when BW of pigs increased from 30 to 60 kg and then remained stable until 100 kg. Pregnant sows had a lower efficiency of P absorption than piglets and growing-finishing pigs. During lactation, the efficiency of P absorption was 3.4 percentage units higher than during pregnancy but was still 6.6 percentage units lower than for growing-finishing pigs. The efficacy of the phytase in generating digestible P decreased in the order or lactating sows, growing-finishing pigs, sows at the end of pregnancy, piglets, and sows at midpregnancy; the average amounts of generated digestible P were 1.03, .83, .74, .66, and .32 g/kg diet, respectively. The addition of phytase to the diet raised apparent Ca digestibility in the piglets and growing-finishing pigs (by 4.6 and 4.0 percentage units, respectively) but not in the sows. We conclude that in the formulation of swine diets the amount of phytase to be added should be tailored to the target category.

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