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Animal Health

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Functional Additives
Monday, July 12, 2004 12:00:00 AM
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Piglets Benefit from Versatile Enzyme

Y.G. Liu, Ph.D.



Applying enzyme products in pig feeds has become a general practice globally, with simple enzyme blends typically containing a few activities. However, these conventional enzyme blends characterized by "grain-specific" plus "animal-specific", bring a great deal of complicity in practical application.


Research in Adisseo confirms the value of several main activities such as xylanase and ß -glucanase for piglets. It has also identified that a number of ancillary enzymes in low concentrations, can supplement the main enzymes, to hydrolyse anti-nutritional factors across a wide spectrum of grains and protein sources present in pig diets. Hence, an enzyme product carrying a wide spectrum of activity becomes feasible that has many special advantages in applications.


1. The enzyme profile


A non-GMO fungus Penicillium funiculosum produces several xylanases, ß -glucanases and cellulases plus more than ten ancillary enzymatic activities (Table 1). This natural combination of enzymes appears to work synergistically for optimal degradation of a broad range of non-digestible compounds present in various feedstuffs.


Table 1. Enzyme activities present in a natural enzyme combination

        * Activity in µmol/min/mg protein, in Rovabio Excel, liquid and powder



The ancillary enzymes may either de-branch main backbones or act in concert with a variety of poorly understood factors that assist enzyme binding to their respective substrates, being critical for the degradation of the intact substrates. This feature does not exist in those blended enzymes from GMO origins. 



2. Improving nutrients' digestibility across grains


Results in Table 2 clearly show the versatile enzyme product improved digestibility of energy and protein across three different grains as energy source, with a scope of increase from DE 72 to 91 kcal/kg diet (P<0.05) and reduced standard deviation in energy digestibility. The digestibility of protein increased by 3.5 to 4.0 percentage units (P<0.05).  


Table 2. The versatile enzyme improves digestibility in piglets across grains*


      * Test with 12 replicates by total excreta collection. Different shoulder letter indicates P<0.05.



3. Improving daily gain of piglets


It is common for an enzyme product to be added "on-top" of piglet diets without changing feed formulation. Enzyme efficacy will be reflected by increased feed intake, weight gain, and better feed conversion. This strategy of supplementation assumes that the diets are already well balanced in terms of energy and amino acid content and that the addition of the enzyme is not only improving energy yield, but also limiting the impact of the variability of nutrient content of raw materials.


Examples of Rovabio results obtained with the "on-top" strategy are presented in Table 3.  The improvements are similar for corn-, wheat-, and barley-based diets.


Table 3.  Response of the versatile enzyme over different diets in piglets


P.W.: post-weaning



4. More homogeneous piglets


In addition to the improved daily gain, a better homogeneity of live weight can be observed following addition of Rovabio. Piglets will spend less time in the post-weaning facility and the turn-over of the farm is improved. An example is presented in Table 4, based on the minimum growth improvement reported in Table 3 (i.e. 5% increase of average daily gain for corn-soybean based diets) and a lower variability in live weight as observed in these conditions.


Table 4. Examples of impact of Rovabio Excel on days spent on-farm after weaning




As shown in Table 4, based on the benefits of Rovabio in growth rate and reduced variation, applying the enzyme can facilitate piglets to reach 30 kg live weight 2-6 days earlier.


5. Conclusion


Differing from the conventional enzyme blends, Rovabio Excel carries a broad spectrum of enzyme activity that can be applied to pig diets regardless grains used, such application contributes DE 70-90 kcal/kg diets, 3-4 percentage units of digestible protein and a valuable flexibility in feed formulation. Growth performance and piglet homogeneity are improved accordingly.


References are available on request.


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