Yasir Bashir, Partha Das, Venket M Shelke, R Chanthirasekaran, Rahul Kapse, and Tarjan K
Kemin Industries South Asia Pvt. Ltd.


A remarkable increase in the cost of protein and energy sources has led to drastic reduction of profitability for broiler producers. Feed cost has increased by more than 35% in past few months in India because of an increase in maize and soya leading broiler producers to explore new alternates to maize and soya. However, inclusion of alternate protein and energy sources like bajra (millet), meat and bone meal (MBM), dried distillers’ grains with solubles (DDGS), etc. can lead to performance reduction because of low digestibility and some anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) like non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs), phytate, etc. found in such materials that can impact the performance seriously. Although some nutrients in animal feed cannot be digested fully by endogenous digestive enzymes, and thus, essential nutrients will not be available to the animal. In addition, birds fed with a typical corn-soy ration, approximately 400-450 kcal of energy per kg of diet remain undigested. Addition of enzymes to poultry feed is one of the successful ways to solve this issue. Inclusion of exogenous enzymes like NSPases or proteases are used to correct the lack of specific endogenous enzymes in various feedstuffs to digest certain nutrients or to hydrolyze antinutritional factors in feed ingredients. Hence, exogenous enzymes in the diet improve nutrient utilization and absorption along with nutrients in gastrointestinal tract (GIT).

To help broiler producers optimize feed cost by incorporating more alternate raw materials (RMs) and increase the digestibility, a study was designed to evaluate the effect of a multi-enzyme, namely, NUTRIEKM XL Pro on performance parameters (body weight, feed conversion ratio- FCR, European efficiency factor- EEF), economic returns and gut health in commercial broilers.  NUTRIKEM XL Pro is a unique combination of NSP enzymes and multi protease embedded in a matrix of lysophospholipids. These help to improve the nutrient utilization from poorly digested raw materials maintaining the productive performance of birds, and at the same time providing definite economic advantage to broiler producers.


The experiment was conducted at a registered trial facility in Northern part of India. A random allocation of a total of 600 straight run broiler chicks to two dietary treatments was done. Each dietary treatment had 10 replicates of 20 birds per replicate. The treatments used were (Table 1): a positive control (PC) diet formulated for a typical premium broiler performance as suggested by breeding company (Vencobb-430); a negative control (NC) diet formulated by reducing 150 kcal of metabolic energy (ME) & 8% of digestible (dig.) amino acids from PC. Considering the matrix of product, reduction of ME and amino acids from PC was done 25% higher than the recommended matrix to evaluate if the enzyme system is able to maintain the performance of NC even when matrix was stretched beyond recommendation. A treatment group was formulated by adding 500g/MT of NUTRIKEM XL Pro enzyme system to NC. Table 2 represents the ingredients used and the nutritional composition of experimental diets.

Table 1: Details of the experimental groups.

Positive Control (PC)Premium basal diet as per industry recommendations
Negative Control (NC)Positive Control minus 150 kcal ME/kg & 8% dig. amino acids
NUTRIKEM XL ProNC + NUTRIKEM XL Pro at 500g/MT of feed

Table 2: Ingredients and chemical compositions of experimental diets.

Ingredients (kg/ MT)Prestarter (PC)Prestarter (NC)Starter (PC)Starter (NC)Finisher (PC)Finisher (NC)
MBM 44354535453545
MDOC (37%)203025303035
Crude Soya Oil3554585423
DL- Methionine3.32.852.912.462.52.1
L Threonine0.650.710.640.880.50.4
Choline Chloride111111
Toxin Binder111111
CTC Powder0.
Liver powder0.
Trace mineral0.
Betaine HCl0.
Nutrients (%)Prestarter (PC)Prestarter (NC)Starter (PC)Starter (NC)Finisher (PC)Finisher (NC)
Energy (Kcal/kg)295028003050290031503000
Dig. Lysine1.
Dig. Methionine0.60.550.550.520.50.45
Dig. Arginine1.431.311.
Dig. Threonine0.810.750.750.690.70.65
Dig. Tryptophan0.
Dig. M+C 0.910.840.840.780.770.72
Dig. Isoleucine0.840.750.760.690.710.66
Dig. Valine0.950.870.870.820.810.78
Available Phosphorous0.450.450.430.430.40.4
Na+K-Cl (Meq/L)2482.5228235234226

Note: DORB- De-oiled rice bran; MDOC- Mustard oil cake; CP- Crude Protein; Dig- Digestible; M- Methionine; C- Cysteine; Na- Sodium; K- Potassium; Cl- Chlorine; DCP- Dicalcium phosphate; HCl- Hydrochloric acid; CTC- Chlortetracycline.

All birds were reared on deep litter floor pens and given a pre-starter diet from 1 to 14 days, starter diets from 15 to 28 days, and from 29 to 35 days, finisher diets were fed to birds. Weekly parameters pertaining to average body weight and cumulative feed intake was noted. Weekly body weight was taken for each replicate at the end of every week till 5th week. Birds had ad libitum clean drinking water containing sanitizer and acidifier. Birds were vaccinated for New Castle disease and Gumboro disease at 5th and 13th day, respectively. At the end of trial, three birds from each experimental group were sacrificed by cervical dislocation following ethical practices, and gut was assessed for dysbacteriosis as per Kemin standardized method adapted from Teirlynck, et. al. 20116

Statistical analysis of the cumulative data pertaining to body weight, feed intake and feed conversion was performed using Statgraphics Centurion XVI.II Software. Data was analyzed by one-way ANOVA. P value of P≥0.05 was considered statistically non-significant.


Table 3 represents the observations regarding the zootechnical performance of birds at the end of 35 days. There was no statistically significant (P≥0.05) difference between the groups in terms of cumulative feed intake. However, body weight of treatment group containing NC with addition of NUTRIKEM XL Pro was statistically comparable to positive control and higher than the NC. Furthermore, no significant difference (P≥0.05) was observed in NUTRIKEM XL Pro group and PC in terms of FCR but was statistically (P≤0.05) better than the NC. Mortality was lowest in the group fed with NUTRIKEM XL Pro with higher EEF, and lowest production cost was noticed in NUTRIKEM XL Pro supplemented group. A detailed return on investment (RoI) was carried out for all the treatment groups (Table-4), which depicted that supplementation of NUTRIKEM XL Pro provided an RoI of 17:1, indicating the economic benefits of using this enzyme program in broiler feed.

Table 3: Effect of NUTRIKEM XL Pro on productive performance of broilers.

Positive ControlNegative ControlNUTRIKEM XL Pro
Body Weight (g)2280a2173b2263a
Feed intake (g)3386a3440a3407a
Feed conversion ratio1.49a1.59b1.51a
Mortality (%)
European Efficiency Factor428380423
Cost of Production- CoP (INR/kg)70.6566.7164.08

Table 4: Economic benefits and return on investment.

ParametersPositive ControlNegative ControlNUTRIKEM XL Pro
Number of birds200200200
Mortality (Number)563
Trial Period (Days)353535
Average Body Weight (kg)
Feed intake (kg)3.393.443.41
Average Feed Cost (INR)39.0933.7534.22
Chick Cost (INR)282828
Birds sold195194197
Kgs Sold444.60421.56445.81
Feed Consumed (kg)660.27667.36671.18
CoP/ kg live weight (INR)70.6566.7164.08
Price/kg live weight (INR)959595
Live kg/MT feed673.36631.69664.22
Gross Income per MT of feed (INR)63,969.2960,010.1763,100.97
Net Income per MT of feed (INR)24,877.9526,259.7428,879.80
Extra Income per MT of feed (INR)4,001.86
Product Inclusion Cost per MT (INR)235
Return on Investment17

Gut health analysis of three birds per treatment at the end of trial revealed that inclusion of NUTRIKEM XL Pro to NC diet provided a definite advantage for dysbacteriosis than PC with lowest score for dysbacteriosis among all the groups (Table-5).

Table 5: Dysbacteriosis & Total Mean Lesion Score (TMLS) of experimental groups.

E. acervulina0.000.330.00
E. maxima1.000.330.33
E. tenella0.670.330.67
Bacterial enteritis (Dysbacteriosis)1.331.330.67


Exorbitant increase in the cost of protein and energy sources for poultry feed has resulted in severe reduction in profitability. One of the most important means to reduce feed cost is using alternative raw materials and increasing nutrient utilization in poultry diets by producers, to maintain profitability and optimize feed cost. However, their inclusion in broiler diets may have a negative impact on the performance because of variation in digestibility and some ANFs’ associated with such alternate raw materials. Inclusion of exogenous enzymes can be helpful in combatting the anti-nutritive factors of NSP and allow utilization of nutrients that would otherwise be unavailable. In addition, present nutrient level variation in alternate raw material poses a problem in ensuring uniform flock performance. Results of the present study indicated that inclusion of enzymes in nutrient reduced diets was able to maintain performance comparable to the positive control. Inclusion of enzyme combination to NC significantly reduced (P≤0.05) FCR when compared to NC, to a level similar to PC. Also, body weight of the treatment group with supplemented enzymes was statistically higher than NC and comparable to PC. There was no significant difference (P≥0.05) in the feed consumption among the groups. The cumulative mortality was lowest in the group supplemented with NUTRIKEM XL Pro over all other groups. Among all treatment groups, highest EEF and lowest production cost was observed in NUTRIKEM XL Pro supplemented group.

Dietary incorporation of enzyme systems into broiler diets have led to improved feed conversion in nutrient reduced diets as per previous studies. Addition of various NSPase, proteases and lysophospholipids in the NC group improved growth performance (increased BW and decreased FCR) of broilers to levels that were similar to the PC. This improvement in broiler performance supplements the idea about ability of exogenous enzymes to eliminate negative effects from dietary nutrient reduction and can be attributed to improved diet density after enzyme addition and improvement in the nutrient utilization. Furthermore, addition of NUTRIKEM XL Pro resulted in better gut health scenario when compared to PC and NC as reflected by superior gut health scores for dysbacteriosis. Improvement on gut health by addition of enzymes can be related to the effect of enzymes on reduction of net undigested substrate presence in the hind gut which can lead to more pathogen proliferation and cause gut microbiota imbalances.


Dietary inclusion of a combination of various NSP enzymes and proteases in broilers is an effective tool to combat rising feed costs by broiler producers. This provides an opportunity to incorporate less digestible raw materials and by effective nutrient utilization. In the current study, multi-enzyme products namely NUTRIKEM XL Pro was able to maintain the productive performance similar to PC in a nutrient reduced diet which was having 150 kcal/kg of energy & 8% digestible amino acid reduction from the PC. Addition of  enzyme combination had a positive impact on nutrient utilization as reflected by improved feed conversion, which was comparable to PC. NUTRIKEM XL Pro enzyme combination provided a definite economic advantage, as it optimized the feed cost and resulted in lowest cost of production per kg broiler live weight. An analysis of RoI revealed that inclusion of  NUTRIKEM XL Pro provided a good return on investment of 17:1, proving the economic viability of this product in broiler diets.

NOTE: References available on request.