Economic impact of non-starch polysaccharides in broiler diets

University of New England

  • Project code: PRJ-011487

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Friday, July 12, 2019

  • Project completion date: Thursday, July 15, 2021

  • Journal Articles From Project: Dietary soluble non-starch polysaccharide level and composition influences grower and finisher phase performance, excreta moisture content and total tract nutrient digestibility in broilers British Poultry Science (Issue: 62 on 29/3/2021)

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 3-Contributing to efficient and secure chicken production systems


The aim of this study will be to determine optimum ranges of NSP in commercial meat chicken diets at different growth phases and evaluate the contribution of dietary NSP to health and performance, based on feed costs, meat output and litter quality. NSP also display anti-nutritional effects; insoluble NSP act as nutrient diluents and physical barriers to enzymes and soluble NSP increase digesta viscosity, thereby reducing efficient digestion and absorption of starch, protein and lipids. To overcome these anti-nutritional effects, NSP-degrading enzymes (NSP-ases) are readily supplemented into broiler diets. This project will investigate the potential of customising NSPase application to the specific polysaccharides in the diet, by evaluating the response of different diet combinations and ingredients to tailored NSPase cocktails, both in vitro and in situ.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

University of New England

Objective Summary

1) Develop a detailed understanding of the impact of dietary NSP level on performance and meat production, by feeding birds commercial diets with different base ingredients and a range of NSP contents. A survey will also be conducted with meat chicken integrator companies in Australia; the approximate NSP content of their diets will be calculated and correlated with the corresponding performance and meat production to assess the contribution of dietary NSP.

2) Explore the concept of tailoring NSPase application to the specific polymers in the diet, with particular focus on xylanase, beta-glucanase, cellulase, galactanase, mannanase and pectinase. This will involve looking at current common practices for NSP-ase application, and assessing the comparative advantages or disadvantages of applying tailored NSPase cocktails, from both an economic and practical viewpoint.

3) Explore the effect of bird age on response to NSP-ases and the anti-nutritional effect of NSP.