Nutritional strategies to support the production of high quality, low cost and safe animal products are a must nowadays and the relationships between health, nutrition, welfare and the environment need to be taken into account.
Non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) degrading enzymes (NSPases), such as xylanase or xylanase-based enzymatic complexes, are therefore of special interest to optimise animal production, as their use will bring an economic advantage via increased zootechnical performance or via lower feed costs (due to the ability of the enzymes to improve the metabolisable energy content of the feed).
NSPase's mode of action includes the hydrolysis of soluble arabinoxylans, which minimises the negative impact of increased intestinal viscosity - an increase in intestinal viscosity can reduce the pancreatic enzyme activities and the digestibility of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Additionally, a slower feed transit can result in an increased proliferation of the gut microflora and poor absorption of nutrients.
Together with the efficient reduction in viscosity, NSPases will hydrolyse insoluble arabinoxylans - this action will unlock nutrients (mainly starch, proteins and lipids) which are trapped in the cell walls of the vegetable feed ingredients.
Different NSPases will have different efficiency rates in the hydrolysis steps depending on several factors, such as microbial origin of the enzyme, and type of enzyme substrate selectivity properties.
The most common use of NSPases is by feed reformulation strategy - ascribing a nutritional matrix to an enzymatic product, which will directly impact feed costs without compromising animal performance and may allow the use of alternative raw materials and less energy-dense diets.
In a study designed to test the efficacy of Hostazym® X in releasing nutrients and energy from different raw materials, 336 Ross 308 broilers were allocated to a digestibility trial. Treatment diets were formulated based on one target raw material (65% cereal combined with 35% base protein complementary feed or by-product combined with base wheat and maize complementary feed) with or without NSPase at 1500 EPU/kg. The broilers digestibility study was done from 18-22 days old. The results of the study are shown in Table 1 and Figure 1.
The results show that Hostazym® X can efficiently release nutrients (energy) from different raw materials and support its flexibility to be used over a wide range of diet formulations, being a reliable nutritional tool for feed costs reduction and consequently animal production optimisation.
This article originally appeared in International Poultry Production, Volume 26 Number 5