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Animal Science

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Book Chapter

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The Value of Fibre: Engaging the Second Brain for Animal Nutrition

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Feed represents a very large portion of the cost of raising a pig to market; indeed, the cost of meeting the energy specifications of a diet is the largest single item in the cost of production budget. Within this context, fibre plays a significant role as it represents a substantial but poorly utilized portion of typical commercial diets. It is therefore not surprising that enzymes attract a great deal of attention as a vehicle by which fibre can be used more effectively. Interestingly the mode of action of enzymes within the diet is poorly understood. Indeed, enzymes are providing unexpected health benefits, including but not limited to reduced mortality in the grow-finish phase. In any event, enzymes improve energy and nutrient digestibility – not always translated into faster or more efficient gain – and also impact the microbiome, gut barrier function and possibly oxidative stress. Suggestions are provided for future research topics and applications.


This is a manuscript of a chapter published as Patience, J.F. and A.L. Petry. 2019. Susceptibility of fibre to exogenous carbohydrases and impact on performance in swine. Page 99-115 In: G. Gonzalez-Ortiz, M.R. Bedford, K. E. Bach Knudsen, C. Courtin and H.L. Classen, editors, The Value of Fibre. Engaging the Second Brain for Animal Nutrition. Wageningen Academic Press, Wageningen, The Netherlands. doi:10.3920/978-90-8686-893-3_5. Posted with permission

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Wageningen Academic Publishers



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Published Version