Conditioning of feed material prior to feeding : approaches for a sustainable phosphorus utilization
A circular phosphorus (P) bioeconomy is not only worthwhile for conserving limited mineral P reservoirs, but also for minimizing negative environmental impacts caused by human-made alterations. Although P is an essential nutrient, most of the P in concentrates based on cereals, legumes and oilseed byproducts is organically bound to phytate. The latter cannot be efficiently utilized by monogastric animals and is therefore diluted into the environment through the manure pathway. This review examines various strategies for improved P utilization in animals and reflects the respective limitations. The strategies considered include feeding of debranned feedstuffs, pre-germinated feed, co-feeding of phytase and feeding material with high native phytase activity. All these approaches contribute to an improved P bioavailability. However, about half of the organic P content continues to be excreted and therefore remains unused by the animals. Nevertheless, technologies for an efficient utilization of P from cereal-based feed already exist; however, these are not industrially established. Conditioning feed material prior to feeding fosters P-reduced feed; meanwhile, P bound to phytate can be recovered. Based on known techniques for P separation and solubilisation from cereal products and phytate conversion, potential designs for feed material conditioning processes are proposed and evaluated.