19/09/2023 Poultry

Lysophospholipids (LPLs) improve production performance in monogastric animals, due to their emulsifying properties and stimulation of pancreatic enzyme secretion. Supplementation of broiler diets with 500 g Elan®Digest/t improved the dietary energy value by 50 to 65 kcal/kg. Using this energy matrix will enable to lower the dietary energy concentration without loss of performance. The emulsifying capacity of LPL might also allow to use cheaper dietary fat sources. But what if the minimum dietary fat level is already reached and this level is essential for pellet quality? As in that case no energy matrix can be applied to reduce dietary fat level, would lysophospholipid supplementation still improve production performance? These questions need to be answered to justify LPL use irrespective of the dietary fat inclusion levels.

The effect of our lysophospholipids-based emulsifier Elan®Digest on broiler performance was tested when supplemented on top of the basal diet. In this trial, dietary fat originated from vegetable feedstuffs.

The key active ingredient in Elan®Digest is hydrolysed lecithin (lysolecithin), created through an enzymatic process involving soy lecithin’s transformation into lysophospholipids (LPLs). These lysophospholipids exhibit increased hydrophilicity and greater fluidity, significantly enhancing their capability to facilitate the formation of oil-in-water emulsions. The lysophospholipids in Elan®Digest have distinctive physical and chemical properties that have been observed to enhance nutrient absorption and optimise feed efficiency in various animal species. These benefits originat from the improved emulsification properties of lysolecithin over lecithin, leading to more efficient nutrient digestion, absorption, and utilisation by the animal. 

  • 400 male Ross 308 broilers (starter weight 45.6 g) were distributed over 16 floor pens (25 birds/pen) placed in the middle of a commercial broiler house to simulate health and climate challenges similar to commercial practice. Wood shavings were used as bedding material.
  • A 3-phase corn/wheat/soya diet was used: starter, 0-14 days; Grower, 15-28 days and Finisher, 29-35 days of age with salinomycin as anticoccidial in the starter and grower diet. All birds received the same basal diet.
  • Treatments: the control group received a diet in which dietary fat was originated from vegetable sources, whereas the treatment group received the same diet with 500 g Elan®Digest/t (or 32 g LPL/t) on top.
  • The dietary fat level was 4.0%, 4.7% and 6.0% by using full fat soybeans. Additionally, 0%, 0.5% and 1.0% soybean oil was added to the different phases.
  • Measurements: production performance parameters (body weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion ratio and mortality) were measured per phase.
  • Feed and water were ad libitum available.


Production performance during the 35-day production period is given in Table 1.





*FCRc: FCR corrected for the average body weight (0.02/100 g BW)

Broiler performance was high, reaching a final body weight of 2’700 g at 35 days of age, whereas feed intake was over 3’800 g. Dietary supplementation with Elan®Digest had only a slight positive effect of final body weight (NS), but resulted in a significant improvement of the FCRc. A lack of effect on body weight gain was also shown in previous trials, which is due to the high dietary contents of digestible amino acids in the experimental diets. Although lysolecithin potentially stimulates the production of pancreatic proteases, an increased protein digestibility would not results in an improved body weight gain as amino acids in this trial were not limiting for growth. Elan®Digest did significantly reduce FCRc by 2,8 points. This confirms that lysolecithin improves fat utilization, resulting in improved feed efficiency when added on top, also in diets where dietary fat originates from vegetable feedstuffs.


Our research has shown that dietary supplementation with 500 g Elan®Digest/t to a wheat/corn/soy diet significantly improved feed conversion ratio of broilers during a 35-day production period. In this trial, dietary fat originated from corn and full fat soybeans. Given the current grain and fat prices, it is worth noting that the ROI of Elan®Digest remains very high at 5.5:1.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Elan®Digest can benefit your livestock or have any questions about our products, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.



Jan Dirk van der Klis – Consultant Animal Nutrition

Jan Dirk van der Klis is a renowned poultry consultant with a PhD in Animal Nutrition from Wageningen University. Throughout his career, Jan Dirk has made noteworthy contributions to the industry. With his extensive expertise, he is offering valuable nutritional guidance to enhance the health and productivity of poultry. Jan Dirk’s profound knowledge and experience are pivotal in meeting the specific nutritional requirements of poultry and devising effective feeding strategies to yield optimal results. Since 2019, Jan Dirk has been working with Olus.