Phytate cannot be utilized by monogastric animals, passes directly through the digestive track and winds up in manure and liquid effluent. Excretion of phytate can lead to accumulation of phosphorus in soil and water, and subsequently to eutrophication (excess of nutrients) of fresh water streams and near coastal seawaters.
Furthermore, phytate is considered an anti-nutritional factor (ANF). Phytate acts as chelating agent, negatively affecting the absorption of minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc). The negatively charged phosphate in phytate strongly binds to metallic cations making them insoluble and thus unavailable as nutrients.
Phytate also interacts with proteins and compromises the utilization of other dietary nutrients, including amino acids, starch and lipids. In addition, phytate can increase endogenous amino acid losses, due to increased secretion of digestive enzymes and mucins.
The use of phytase enzymes reduces feed costs (less inorganic phosphorus to be added to the diet) and increases the sustainability of animal production (less phytate excretion into the environment).
New generation 6-phytases of bacterial origin are more resistant to proteolytic degradation caused by endogenous or microbial proteases. They are superior in liberating phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca) and other nutrients from dietary phytate and reducing the anti-nutrional effects of phytate, generating even greater economic benefits in their use.