Up to 15 percent of the nutrients in a poultry diets are trapped in NSPs and therefore are wasted. The largest portion of these NSPs are xylans, which is why xylanases are of crucial importance. Xylanases are classified into glycoside hydrolase (GH) families according to structure and properties. Within the different GH families, GH10 and GH11 are the most efficient xylanases for use in the animal feed. However, xylanase activities highly depend on environmental conditions and most natural xylanases perform poorly in high temperature and high pH environments.
Xylamax, a modified GH11 xylanase enzyme, is uniquely designed to break down non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs) effectively at the temperature and various pH levels in monogastric animals’ gut environment. To demonstrate the characteristic of Xylamax, BRI performed two in vitro studies. The first study tested Xylamax activities mimicking the pH fluctuation which naturally occur in the animal. The second study aimed to test Xylamax activities under different temperatures, imitating that of a birds body temperature. In both studies, two competitor products, a single GH11 xylanase and a cocktail GH10 xylanase, were tested alongside with Xylamax for activity comparison.
The results of xylanase activity under different pH are shown in Figure 1. The feed enters a bird’s digestive system, then make its way into the upper digestive system of crop, proventriculus, and gizzard where a low gastric pH of 3 to 5 is present to initiate nutrient degradation and exogenous enzyme activity. The cocktail GH10 xylanase had the highest activity, while Xylamax and the single GH11 xylanase have minimum activity in the in lower pH environment.
As the consumed feed enters the small intestine, the pH increases to allow endogenous enzymes from liver and pancreas to activate and continue nutrient degradation, while absorption takes place in the small intestines. Thus, the small intestines are the most beneficial for xylanase to be active. Xylamax performed exceedingly well with an activity of 80 to 90% at this pH range, where the degradation and absorption occur. As a result, more nutrients are absorbed for optimum performance.
The results of xylanase activity under different temperatures are shown in Figure 2. The normal body temperature of swine ranges between 38.7 to 40.0°C, while chicken body temperature varies between 40.6° to 43.0°C depending on the animal’s activity level and breed. In this temperature study, Xylamax had the highest activities of 70 to 90% in the normal body temperature range of swine and poultry.
Figure 3 displays the summary of both studies and compares the enzyme activities of the three products. Xylamax delivers over 80% of xylanase activity in the small intestine pH range, with over 70% activities at 40°C. The true level of enzyme activity provided while experiencing the drastic pH changes and temperature in the animal’s digestive tract is a critical component to considered when comparing enzyme products. It is vital for xylanase to deliver high activities at the correct pH and temperature to deliver an effective xylan degradation. These studies show Xylamax provides high activities in both pH and temperature conditions present in the animal’s phisological state where nutrient absorption occurs.
Figure 1. Enzyme activities under different pH.
Figure 2. Enzyme activities under different temperatures.
Figure 3. Summary enzyme activities under different pH and temperatures.