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Types and Functions of Cellulase



Cellulase is a general term for a group of enzymes that degrade cellulose to produce glucose. It is not a single enzyme, but a multi-component enzyme system with a synergistic effect, which is a compound enzyme. Cellulase is mainly composed of Exo-β-glucanase, endo-β-glucanase, and β-glucosidase, as well as high-activity xylanase. It is a product that acts on cellulose and is derived from cellulose. Microbial cellulase converts insoluble cellulose into glucose and destroys cell walls in fruit and vegetable juices, thereby increasing the yield of juice.


1. Classifications of cellulase


(1) Endo-glucanase: It can break the β-1,4 glycosidic bond arbitrarily in the cellulase molecule.


(2) Exo-glucanase or cellobiase: it can sequentially cleave β-1,4 glycosidic bonds from the non-reducing end of fiber molecules to release cellobiose molecules.


(3) β-Glucosidase: It can decompose cellobiose and other low-molecular-weight cellodextrins into glucose.


2. The working principles of cellulase


(1) Cellulase can promote the dissolution of plant cell walls while improving the decomposition of cellulose and hemicellulose, so that more lysate in plant cells can be dissolved out, and can dissolve the indigestible macromolecular polysaccharides, proteins, and lipids. It is degraded into small molecular substances, which is conducive to the digestion and absorption of the animal gastrointestinal tract.


(2) Cellulase preparations can activate the secretion of endogenous enzymes, supplement the deficiencies of endogenous enzymes, and adjust endogenous enzymes to ensure the normal digestion and absorption functions of animals, and play a role in disease prevention and growth promotion.


(3) Eliminate anti-nutritional factors and promote the healthy growth of organisms. Hemicellulose and pectin will partially dissolve in water to produce a viscous solution, increase the viscosity of the digested product, and cause obstacles to endogenous enzymes. The addition of cellulase can reduce viscosity, increase the diffusion of endogenous enzymes, and increase the contact area between enzymes and nutrients to promote the good digestion of feed.


(4) The cellulase preparation itself is a multi-enzyme complex composed of protease, amylase, pectinase, and cellulase. In this multi-enzyme complex system, the product of one enzyme can become the substrate of another enzyme, so that the digestion in the digestive tract can proceed smoothly. In other words, in addition to directly degrading cellulose and promoting its decomposition into low-molecular compounds that are easily digested and absorbed by animals, cellulase can also work with other enzymes to improve the decomposition and digestion of feed nutrients by dairy cows.


(5) Cellulase also has the function of maintaining the integrity of the small intestinal villi and promoting the absorption of nutrients.


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