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The Role of Enzyme Feed Additives



Enzyme feed additives directly break down nutrients and improve feed utilization


Feeding with enzyme feed additives can hydrolyze large molecular substances in the feed into easily absorbable small molecular substances in the animal's digestive tract, reducing the amount of nutrients excreted in feces and thus providing supplementary assistance to endogenous enzymes.


Except for lactase, the secretion of digestive enzymes in piglets' gastrointestinal tracts increases with age, reaching its peak at about five weeks. Only pepsin can reach its maximum at about three weeks. Early weaning or even super-early weaning is widely used in pig production to shorten the sow's reproductive cycle and to facilitate piglets' adaptation to plant protein diets. However, early weaning causes obvious stress and adverse effects on digestive system development and digestive enzyme secretion, which sharply decreases and gradually recovers two weeks after weaning. Insufficient digestive enzyme secretion during the two weeks after weaning is one of the main factors that hinder piglet growth. Adding enzyme preparations to the diet of weaned piglets is a necessary and effective way to alleviate weaning stress, prevent growth retardation, and improve the growth performance of piglets.


Most of the digestive enzymes in chicks reach their peak at about two weeks of age, and individual enzymes (such as lipase) may not reach their maximum until about 21 days of age. Research has shown that the duodenum of 21-day-old chicks secretes 50 times more pancreatic protease than that of four-day-old chicks. From four days to 21 days of age, the nitrogen digestion rate in the small intestine increases from 78% to 92%, and the amylase activity increases 100-fold, while the starch digestion rate increases from 82% at four days of age to 89% at 21 days of age. Therefore, insufficient digestive enzyme secretion is one of the main limiting factors in chicks' feed utilization.


Supplementing exogenous digestive enzymes can compensate for endogenous enzyme deficiencies, enhance animals' ability to digest and absorb feed nutrients, and thus improve livestock and poultry productivity and feed conversion rate.


Enzyme feed additives eliminate anti-nutritional factors and improve digestive function


Cereal endosperm cell walls contain soluble non-starch sugars, pectins, phytic acid, cellulose polymers, and other anti-nutrients, while bean meal feed contains various anti-nutritional factors. These soluble non-starch polysaccharides increase the viscosity of the chyme, slow down its flow and digestive rate, and hence these grains are also called sticky grains. Slow flow and sticky chyme also favor microbial growth, which consumes nutrients, especially in the hindgut of mature livestock and poultry. Adding non-starch polysaccharide enzymes, especially β-glucanase, phytase enzyme, pectinase, and cellulase, to the diet can break down the cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin in the cell wall, fully expose feed nutrients to digestive enzymes, improve nutrient utilization, and accelerate nutrient absorption in the digestive tract, and reduce the available nutrient content in hindgut chyme, thus controlling microbial growth and promoting livestock and poultry health, especially without using antibiotics.


Corn and sorghum belong to non-sticky or low-sticky grains, with low non-starch polysaccharide content. Adding non-starch polysaccharide enzymes to diets mainly consisted of these grains can reduce the variation in nutritional value, improve feeding effect and the uniformity of livestock and poultry populations, and increase economic benefits.


Enzyme feed additives activate endogenous enzyme secretion and increase digestive enzyme concentration


The use of enzyme preparations can provide more substrates suitable for various enzymes, thus stimulating the secretion of various digestive enzymes in the animal body, increasing the effective content of digestive enzymes, accelerating nutrient digestion and absorption, improving feed utilization rate, accelerating the animal's metabolism, and promoting animal growth.


Enzyme feed additives reduce environmental pollution caused by animal husbandry production


Modern intensive animal husbandry is characterized by large-scale production that increasingly pollutes the environment, such as nitrogen and phosphorus causing eutrophication of water bodies. Adding enzyme preparations to feed, such as proteases and phytase enzymes, can increase feed utilization, reduce the excretion of organic matter, nitrogen, and phosphorus in feces, and thus reduce environmental pollution. Adding non-starch polysaccharide enzymes to diets that contain sticky grains can lower the viscosity of chyme and excreta, improving eggshell cleanliness, avoiding excessive litter moisture, reducing the excessive proliferation of harmful bacteria, and improving the ambient environment in poultry rearing sheds. Adding phytase can reduce phosphorus content in excreta by 20% to 50% and improve nitrogen utilization.



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