With a growing population, feeding competition between human and animals is increasing. Because major ingredients used in animal feeds, especially in poultry diets are now being used in human nutrition, there is a decreased availability of quality feed resources and poultry feeds are becoming costly.
Guar meal is an easily available and economical feed ingredient and may be helpful in alleviating this problem. A large quantity of guar is processed in the world for gum extraction and residue left over from processing is converted into guar meal. It has a good amino acid profile with crude protein contents of about 33-45%. However, anti-nutritional components like guar gum (β-mannan), saponins and trypsin inhibitors limit the use of guar meal in broiler diets.
These anti-nutritional factors have been reported to depress growth in birds but at lower levels some of these (β-mannan and saponins) have positive effects on bird health and performance. β-mannan is considered a major anti-nutritional factor when higher levels of guar meal are used in poultry. To improve the utilisation of such feeds, β-mannanases are used. This paper reviews some benefits and drawbacks regarding the use of guar meal in poultry diets and how to improve its feeding value.
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