Invited Review — Mineral composition and phosphorus digestibility in feed phosphates fed to pigs and poultry

Su A. Lee, Diego A. Lopez, Hans H. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phosphorus (P) is a macro mineral needed for bone mineralization and cell membrane structure and P is also involved in several fundamental pathways of metabolism in the body. Because of the low concentration and digestibility of P in plant ingredients that are the main components of diets for poultry and pigs, feed phosphates are usually included in diets in addition to the P contributed by plant ingredients. The most widely used feed phosphates in poultry and swine diets are dicalcium phosphate (DCP) and monocalcium phosphate (MCP), but tricalcium phosphate (TCP), monosodium phosphate (MSP), and magnesium phosphate (MgP) may be used as well. Because feed phosphates are mostly produced from rock phosphate, feed phosphates have impurities that contain minerals other than P. Concentrations of P in feed phosphates range from 14.8% (MgP) to 25.7% (MSP). The standardized total tract digestibility (STTD) of P in pigs ranges from 71% (TCP) to 95% (MSP). The STTD of Ca and the standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of P and Ca in feed phosphates fed to pigs and poultry have been determined only in a few experiments. Available data indicate that the STTD of Ca and SID of P in MCP are greater than in DCP in both poultry and pigs, but the SID of Ca is similar between DCP and MCP fed to broilers. Information on mineral concentrations and digestibility values in feed phosphates is needed in diet formulation for pigs and poultry, but if diets are formulated to contain equal concentrations of digestible P and Ca, it is unlikely that animal performance will be impacted by the source of feed phosphates used in the diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Bioscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Digestibility
  • Feed Phosphate
  • Impurity
  • Mineral
  • Pig
  • Poultry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • General Veterinary


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