The global population is forecast to surpass 9 billion people by 2050, and we must ensure every individual has access to nutritious food. Agriculture continues to make huge strides in producing more food with fewer inputs, such as land, water and energy.

This includes continuous improvements in animal nutrition and farm management, such as incorporating enzymes into diets and the science of genetics, to name a few. This includes continuous improvements in animal nutrition and farm management, such as incorporating enzymes into diets and the science of genetics, to name a few.

Produce more food with less land, water and energy


Enzymes are protein-based molecules that speed up specific chemical reactions. They break down a larger molecule into one or more smaller molecules, or they combine smaller molecules into a large molecule. Either way, enzymes help convert a less digestible component of feed (e.g., fiber) into a more easily absorbed form for animals to utilize. 

Feed enzymes extract more nutritional value from our existing feed resources and enable food and feed byproducts, which are inedible to humans, to be fed to animals. They enable us to convert inedible feed materials into meat, milk and eggs that nourish people. 

Reformulating diets with the addition of enzymes allows us to use local grain resources while reducing expensive inputs, without impacting animal performance. As a result, transportation emissions are reduced and fewer nutrients are wasted, saving producers money while providing sustainable benefits for the animal and the planet. 

The role of feed enzymes

Feed enzyme Function
  • Reduces phosphorus excretion
  • Reduces the level of added phosphorus needed
  • Reduces the needed chelation of minerals in the diet such as zinc and iron
  • Breaks down plant cell wall/fiber to be utilized by the animal
  • Turns carbohydrates into simple sugars for energy
  • Reduces supplemental energy needed
  • Improves protein digestibility and increases amino acid availability
  • Reduces negative effects of undigested protein in the hindgut
  • Reduces the need for soybean meal or other plant protein sources

The use of solid-state fermentation (SSF) provides a more efficient and consistent way of producing enzymes. Extensively researched over the past 20 years, benefits include: 

  • Optimized feed digestibility  
  • More flexible diet  
  • Better nutrient release 
  • Enhanced animal wellness and productivity (more meat, milk and eggs) 
  • Reduced variability 
  • Reduced environmental impact  
Cost savings circle

Proven enzyme solutions maximize nutrient availability, allowing for greater flexibility in animal diet formulation. Enzyme innovations through SSF reduce the amount of soybean meal (SBM) needed due to improved protein digestibility. In a 1-million broiler complex, this is a reduction of more than 200 tons. Another SSF innovation, a multi-enzyme complex of carbohydrases, breaks down fiber, releasing energy, which allows for a reduction in the amount of energy in the form of fat or oil added to the diet. Currently, this can be a savings of $25 per ton in energy alone, depending on the diet.  

These enzymes help increase the bioavailability of costly nutrients, decrease excess nutrient excretion into the environment and improve animal performance.  

As production costs increase and readily available resources decrease, it is increasingly important to reevaluate animal feed options. Improved utilization of available feed ingredients will be integral to satisfying the growing global demand for protein. When looking at feed options, the use of enzymes has emerged as an important contribution toward increased and sustainable animal production. 

Additional resources: 


While many producers can feed conventional diets such as corn and soybean meal, many around the world have been forced to become creative with diet composition, due to high cost or because a commonly used grain is not available. Regardless of the diet composition, all producers must maximize diet efficiency. This often requires multidimensional strategies, starting from understanding the supply availability and the nutrient composition of the ingredients to overcome nutritional challenges. 

For every $10 change in the price of soybean per ton, the cost of poultry production increases by: 

  • $0.44 cents per dozen eggs. 
  • $0.24 cents per pound liveweight in broilers. 
  • $0.32 cents per pound liveweight in turkeys