Main Types and Classifications of Enzyme Preparations in Animal Feed

The classification method of using enzyme preparations is diverse. Based on the number of enzyme types contained in the enzyme preparations, they can be divided into single enzyme preparations and complex enzyme preparations. Due to the diversity of feed components, complex enzyme preparations are more effective and commonly used compared to single enzyme preparations.

Single enzyme preparations

Starch enzyme

Includes amylase, α-amylase, β-amylase, etc. α-amylase and β-amylase can hydrolyze both straight-chain and branched-chain starch into disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and dextrin, which are then decomposed into glucose by amylase. Amylase can further hydrolyze the medium-low molecular substances decomposed by α-amylase into glucose, which can be absorbed and utilized by animals passively.

Protease enzyme

Protease enzyme is a hydrolytic enzyme that degrades protein peptides, with acid, neutral and alkaline distinctions. The acid and neutral protease used in feed include gastric protease, pancreatic protease, papain protease, etc.

Phytase enzyme

Phytase can hydrolyze the phosphate groups in phytates in feed such as legumes, cereals, and other byproducts, as well as the ions such as calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, etc. chelated by phytate, allowing monogastric animals such as pigs and poultry to absorb and utilize them. Most of the phosphorus in grains exists in the form of phytic acid phosphorus. As animals do not secrete phytase, the utilization rate of this part of phosphorus in grain-based feed is low. By adding phytase secreted by microorganisms in the feed, this part of phosphorus can be decomposed and released, thereby reducing the amount of inorganic phosphorus added to the feed, reducing feed costs, and reducing the excretion of phosphorus in animal faeces, thereby reducing environmental pollution. It is currently the most widely used and promising green feed additive.

Cellulase enzymes

Cellulase enzymes includes C1 enzyme, Cx enzyme, and β-1,4-glucanase. With their joint action, they can decompose cellulose in feed into glucose, and release other nutrients (such as protein, fat, starch, etc.) for digestion and absorption by livestock and poultry.

Hemicellulase enzymes

It includes xylanase (pentosanase), polygalacturonase, which can hydrolyze hemicellulose in plant cells into pentoses and reduce the viscosity of hemicellulose dissolved in water.

β-glucanase enzyme

β-glucan is widely present in various plant materials and has higher viscosity. It is an important anti-nutritional factor that affects the transfer and absorption of nutrients. β-glucanase can hydrolyze large molecules such as β-glucan into reducing sugars, reduce the viscosity of substances in the digestive tract, and promote the absorption of nutrients. β-glucanase is an important and widely used enzyme preparation feed additive.

Pectinase enzyme

Pectin is an anti-nutritional factor in plant materials that affects feed utilization. Pectinase enzyme can break the glycosidic bonds between monosaccharides in the plant cell wall, decompose pectin on the plant surface, promote the decomposition of plant tissues, and promote the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Pectinase enzyme is also a commonly used feed enzyme preparation.

(8) Xylanase enzyme

Xylan is one of the main components of plant cell walls, a non-starch polysaccharide, and a xylose polymer connected by β-1,4-glycosidic bonds. Usually, xylan exists in a heteropolymer form and is combined with cellulose enzymeS. Xylanase is a specific hydrolytic enzyme for xylan, belonging to the hydrolytic enzyme class, including endo-xylanase, exo-xylanase, and xylosidase. Xylanase has good heat resistance, and its activity is not affected much by the temperature and pH value in the animal gut. It can tolerate the high temperature during pelleting process. This makes its application in animal feed have unique advantages.

(9) β-glucosidase enzyme

It can decompose disaccharides, trisaccharides, and other small molecules of cellulose into glucose, mainly by hydrolyzing the hemicellulose enzyme into various pentoses, and can reduce the viscosity of hemicellulose dissolved in water.

Complex enzymes

Complex enzyme preparations are mainly composed of one or several single enzyme preparations, plus other single enzyme preparations mixed, which can simultaneously degrade various nutrients and anti-nutritional factors in feed. The effect is better than that of single enzyme preparations. Complex enzyme preparations are formulated according to the characteristics of different animals and different growth stages. They have good effects and are the most commonly used feed additives. The following enzyme classes are mainly used for complex enzyme preparations at home and abroad.

(1) Complex enzyme preparations mainly composed of protease and amylase, which can supplement the insufficiency of endogenous digestive enzymes in small animals.

(2) Complex enzyme preparations mainly composed of xylanase, pectinase, and mannanase, which can eliminate the viscous anti-nutritional factors in feed such as corn-soybean meal and wheat-soybean meal, and are commonly used in feed production in China.

(3) Complex enzyme preparations mainly composed of β-glucanase, xylanase, etc., can eliminate the viscous anti-nutritional factors in barley and rye-based feed. They are widely used in European and American countries.

(4) Universal feed enzyme preparation with a combination of protease, amylase, xylanase, and pectinase.

The types and proportions of various enzymes in complex enzyme preparations are related to animal feed. Different feed contains different types and proportions of anti-nutritional factors, so the types and proportions of enzymes in enzyme preparations used also differ. In addition, it is also related to animal species and growth stages. Different animal species and growth stages require different types and proportions of enzymes in enzyme preparations.

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