Broiler industry has been bridging the gap between the supply and demand of high quality protein foods such as meat for the ever increasing human population worldwide. However, the overall expenditure on broiler diets remains between 60-80 percent of the total cost of broiler production. Therefore, the broiler industry has been striving to reduce the cost of production through improved feed utilisation by the broilers. For this purpose, exogenous enzymes have been claimed to improve the utilization of feeds by maximising the conversion of dietary nutrients into broiler meat, for example. Enzymes not only help in formulating more balanced diets for broilers by increasing the choice of ingredients such as cereals and other agro-industrial by-products but also by increasing their efficiency of utilisation by enhancing the digestibility of fibrous materials. The enzymes can also be beneficial as growth promoters instead of antibiotics which are banned in the European Union. Enzymes have been tried alone and in combinations with other additives such as organic acids to maintain health and production of broilers. Although the role of enzymes in improving feed utilisation, growth, meat quality and economics has been well reported, their quality, consistency and reproducibility have been questioned by many researchers. This article reviews the role of enzymes alongside organic acids in broiler diets and their future potential to maintain bird health and efficient broiler production which has desirable impacts on the environment.
2010 by Japan Poultry Science Association