Arabinoxylans are the major component of non starch polysaccharides in feed ingredients. They can be subdivided into water-extractable (WE-AX) and a water-unextractable (WU-AX). Both types contribute to the anti-nutritional effect: WE-AX increase the intestinal viscosity and WU-AX enclose digestible nutrients.
Arabinoxylans are enzymatic degraded by endo-xylanase. There seem to be large differences between commercial endo-xylanase preparation, in their selectivity towards the water-extractable and the water-unextractable fractions, leading to differences in application and efficacy.
The importance of water-unextractable arabinoxylans in animal feed is largely underestimated. They are abundantly present in animal feeds based on wheat, rye, but also corn and barley. A bacterial endo-xylanase (Nutrase Xyla) has a selective preference towards the WU-AX, liberating entrapped nutrients, and improving performance in a whole array of feed compositions, used in young and older animals, that are considered to be less sensitive to increased intestinal viscosity.
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