Hostname: page-component-7d684dbfc8-4nnqn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-09-30T07:15:57.673Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Enzymes for the feed industry: past, present and future

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2007

M. Choct
Australian Poultry Cooperative Research Centre, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia E-mail:
Get access


The commercial application of enzymes as a feed additive has a history of less than 20 years. During this period, the feed enzyme industry came into existence and it has gone through several phases of development. The first phase was the use of enzymes to enhance nutrient digestibility, focusing primarily on removing the anti-nutritive effects of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), such as arabinoxylans and β-glucans, from broiler diets based on viscous grains like wheat, rye, barley or triticale. During the early 1990s, the scope of enzyme application expanded to consider nutrients other than NSP and benefits other than digestibility enhancement. Phytase is a prime example, where not only was it used to increase the utilisation of phtate P, but also to alleviate environmental burdens by reducing P excretion in the excreta. The industry then started to advocate enzyme addition to poultry diets based on non-viscous grains, such as sorghum and corn. Although such a use is not uncommon in some parts of the world, the industry is still in search for highly efficacious enzymes for non-viscous cereal grains. The next phase is the application of enzymes to non-cereal grain components of the diet. These vegetable protein sources are often high in NSP, which are poorly characterised in regard to their molecular structures. Significant progress has been made on characterisation of the NSP in soyabean, but the industry has not been able to produce commercially viable products that consistently improve the digestibility of vegetable protiens. The enzyme industry today is constantly searching for new areas of application. Some recent data demonstrate the role of glycanases (charbohydrate degrading enzymes) as an alternative to in-feed antibiotics. It is possible to produce enzymes tailored for (a) the generation of specific low molecular weight carbohydrates in vivo, which, in turn, produce specific health outcomes in birds; (b) de-activation of anti-nutrients other than NSP and phtate, and (c) degrading of non-conventional feed resources to yield ME. The development of enzyme technology needs to go hand in hand with better characterisation of substrate structures, the gut microflora, and the immune system.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2006

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Annison, G. (1991) Relationship between the levels of soluble non-starch polysaccharides and the apparent metabolizable energy of wheats assayed in broiler chickens. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 39: 12521256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Annison, G., Hughes, R.J. and Choct, M. (1996) Effects of enzyme on the nutritive value of lupins for poultry. British Poultry Science 37: 157172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Antoniou, T., Marquardt, R.R. and Cansfield, E. (1981) Isolation, Partial characterization, and antinutritional activity of a factor (pentosans) in rye grain. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 28: 12401247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Austin, S.C., Wiseman, J. and Chesson, A. (1999) Influence of non-starch polysaccharide structure on the metabolisable energy of UK wheat fed to poultry. Journal of Cereal Science 29: 7788.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bedford, M.R. and Classen, H.L. (1992) Reduction of intestinal viscosity through manipulation of dietary rye and pentosanase concentration is effected through changes in the carbohydrate composition of the intestinal aqueous phase and results in improved growth rate and food conversion efficiency of broiler chicks. Journal of Nutrition 122: 560569.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bedford, M.R. and Apajalahti, J. (2002) Microbial interactions in the response to exogenous enzyme utilization. Enzymes in Farm Animal Nutrition, (Bedford, M.R. and Partridge, G.G., eds.), pp. 299314. CABI Publishing, London.Google Scholar
Bedford, M.R. (2002) The role of carbohydrases in feedstuff digestion. Poultry Feedstuffs: Supply, composition and nutritive value (McNab, J.M. and Boorman, K.N., eds.), pp. 319336, CABI Publishing, London.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bhat, M.K. and Hazlewood, G.P. (2001) Enzymology and other characteristics of cellulases and xylanases. Enzymes in Farm Animal Nutrition, (Bedford, M.R. and Partridge, G.G., eds.), pp. 1160. CABI Publishing, London.Google Scholar
Broz, J. and Firgg, M. (1986) Effects of beta-glucanase on the feeding value of broiler diets based on barley or oats. Archiv für Geflügelkunde 50: 4147.Google Scholar
Burnett, G.S. (1966) Studies of viscosity as the probable factor involved in the improvement of certain barleys for chickens by enzyme supplementation. British Poultry Science 7: 5575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Campbell, G.L., Rossnagel, B.F., Classen, H.L. and Thacker, P.A. (1989) Genotypic and environmental differences in extract viscosity of barley and their relationship to its nutritive value for broiler chickens. Animal Feed Science and Technology 26: 221230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cheetham, N.W.H., Cheung, P.C.K. and Evans, A.J. (1993) Structure of the principal non-starch polysaccharide from the cotyledons of Lupinus angustifolius (cultivar Gungurru). Carbohydrate Polymers 22: 3747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Choct, M. (1998) The effect of different xylanases on carbohydrate digestion and viscosity along the intestinal tract in broilers. Australian Poultry Science Symposium 10: 111115.Google Scholar
Choct, M. and Annison, G. (1990) Anti-nutritive activity of wheat pentosans in broiler diets. British Poultry Science 31: 811822.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Choct, M. and Annison, G. (1992) Anti-nutritive effect of wheat pentosans in broiler chickens: roles of viscosity and gut microflora. British Poultry Science 33: 821834.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Choct, M., Kocher, A., Waters, D.L.E., Pettersson, D. and Ross, G. (2004) A comparison of three xylanases on the nutritive value of two wheats for broiler chickens. British Journal of Nutrition (in press).CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Clicker, F.H. and Follwell, E.H. (1925) Application of “protozyme” by Aspergillus Orizae to poultry feeding. Poultry Science 5: 241247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cooper, C., Schafer, D. and Gregg, K. (1995) Use of engineered rumen bacteria to degrade fluoroacetate. Proceedings of the Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition in Australia 1995. pp. 104107. (Rowe, J.B. and Nolan, J.V., eds.), University of New EnglandArmidale NSW 2351 Australia.Google Scholar
Cowieson, A.J. (2005) Factors that affect the nutritional value of maize for broilers. Animal Feed Science and Technology 119: 293305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cowan, W.D. (1995) The relevance of intestinal viscosity on performance of practical broiler diets. Proceedings of the Australian Poultry Science Symposium 7: 116120.Google Scholar
D'Alfonso, T.H. (2003) Factors affecting ileal digestible energy of corn in poultry diets. Proceedings of the Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition in Australia 14: 151156. (Corbett, J.L., ed.), University of New EnglandArmidale, NSW 2351, Australia.Google Scholar
Danicke, S.Simon, O. and Jeroch, H. (1999) Effects of supplementation of xylanase or β-glucanase containing enzyme preparations to either rye- or barley-based diets on performance and nutrient digestibility. Archiv für Geflügelkunde 63: 252259.Google Scholar
Fengler, A.I. and Marquardt, R.R. (1988b) Water-soluble arabinoxylans from rye: II. Effects of rate of dialysis and on the retention of nutrients by the chick. Cereal Chemistry 65: 298302.Google Scholar
Fengler, A.I. and Marquardt, R.R. (1988a) Water-soluble pentosans from rye: I. Isolation, partial purification, and characterisation. Cereal Chemistry 65: 291297.Google Scholar
Fernandez, R., Lucas, E. and McGinnis, J. (1973) Fractionation of a chick growth depressing factor from rye. Poultry Science 52: 22522259.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fry, R.E., Allred, J.B., Jensen, L.S. and McGinnis, J. (1957) Influence of cereal grain components of the diet on the response of chicks and poults to dietary enzyme supplements. Poultry Science 36: 1120.Google Scholar
Hastings, W.H. (1946) Enzyme supplements for poultry feeds. Poultry Science 25: 584586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hesselman, K. and Åman, P. (1986) The effect of β-glucanase on the utilization of starch and nitrogen by broiler chickens fed on barley of low or high viscosity. Animal Feed Science and Technology 15: 8393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huo, G.C., Fowler, V.R., Inborr, J. and Bedford, M.R. (1993) The use of enzymes to denature antinutritive factors in soybean. Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on ANFs in Legume Seed p.60 WageningenThe Netherlands.Google Scholar
Kocher, A., Choct, M., Porter, M.D. and Broz, J. (2002) Effects of feed enzymes on nutritive value of soybean meal fed to broilers. British Poultry Science 43: 5463.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kornegay, E.T. (2001) Digestion of phosphorus and other nutrients: the role of phytases and factors influencing their activity. Enzymes in Farm Animal Nutrition, (Bedford, M.R. and Partridge, G.G., eds.), pp. 237271. CABI Publishing, London.Google Scholar
Lawrence, T.L.J., Rowan, T.G., Preston, M.R. and Turtle, L.P. (1995) Effect of total intact glucosinolate intake from rapeseed meals with or without thioglucosidase (EC or copper additions to the diet on the concentrations of 1-cyano-2-hydroxy-3-butene in the ileal digesta and faeces of growing pigs. Animal Feed Science and Technology 51: 183192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Newman, R.K. and Newman, C.W. (1987) Beta-glucanase effect on the performance of broiler chicks fed covered and hulless barley isotypes having normal and waxy starch. Nutrition Reports International 36: 693699.Google Scholar
Petterson, D. and ÅMan, P. (1989) Enzyme supplementation of a poultry diet containing rye and wheat. British Journal of Nutrition 62: 139149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pettersson, D. and ÅMan, P. (1988) Effects of enzyme supplementation of diets based on wheat, rye or triticale on their productive value for broiler chickens. Animal Feed Science and Technology 20: 313324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ravindran, V., Cabahug, S., Ravindran, G., Selle, P.H. and Bryden, W.L. (1999) Influence of microbial phytase on apparent ileal amino acid digestibility of feedstuffs for broilers. Poultry Science 78: 677706.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ravindran, V., Cabahug, S., Ravindran, G., Selle, P.H. and Bryden, W.L. (1999) Response of broiler chickens to microbial phytase supplementation as influenced by dietary phutic acid and non-phytate bphopophorus levels: II. Effects on apparent metabolisable energy, nutrient digestibility and nutrient reteneiton. British Poultry Science 41: 193200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saunders, R.M. (1986) Rice bran: composition and potential food uses. Food Reviews International 1: 465495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sinlae, M. and Choct, M. (2000) Xylanase supplementation affects the gut microflora of broilers. Australian Poultry Science Symposium 12: 209.Google Scholar
Spiehs, M.J., Whitney, M.H. and Shurson, G.C. (2002) Nutrient database for distiller's dried grains with solubles produced from new ethanol plants in Minnesota and South Dakota. Journal of Animal Science 80: 26392645.Google ScholarPubMed
Spring, P., Wenk, C., Dawson, K.A. and Newman, K.E. (2000) The effects of dietary mannaoligosaccharides on cecal parameters and the concentrations of enteric bacteria in the ceca of salmonella-challenged broiler chicks. Poultry Science 79: 205211.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Vahjen, W., GläSer, K., SchäFer, K. and Simon, O. (1998) Influence of xylanase-supplemented feed on the development of selected bacterial groups in the intestinal tract of broiler chicks. Journal of Agricultural Science 130: 489500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wiseman, J. and Mcnab, J.M. (1998) Nutritive value of wheat varieties fed to non-ruminants. HGCA Project Report No. 111. Home Grown Cereals Authority.Google Scholar