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Xylanase: A way to curb menacing effect of NSPs

News & Blog


The poultry industry is one of the most dynamic industries in world of agri-business, and feed is the backbone of this industry. But, with rising feed ingredients cost, making a good quality feed at low price has become a challenge for the poultry industry. To minimize the impact of rising prices of conventional feed ingredients, the other option is the use of unconventional raw materials. Many of these products contain high levels of plant cell wall(non-starch polysaccharides)(NSPs), which cannot be digested by the endogenous enzymes, but we can overcome this problem by supplementing exogenous NSPase as per the raw material in poultry feed.

 NSP and Bird Health

 Digestion of energy rich feed stuff

In poultry, NSPs degradation mainly occurs in the crop or gizzard. The degree of NSP degradation in monogastric animals is related to their solubility and depends on the type of polymers and their structural associations with other cell wall components. Solubilization of NSP enzymes in poultry is facilitated by a decreasing chain length, change in polysaccharide structures, low degree of substitution, or weak linkages with other polysaccharides and cell wall components. Poultry, have a relatively short colon with a rapid digesta transit due to which the fermentative capacity of this species is limited almost exclusively to the soluble NSP fraction.

Table 1: NSP content of some cereals on % DM basis

NSP content of some cereals on % DM basis


Table 2: Dominant NSPs present in feed and fodders

Dominant NSPs present in feed and fodders


Dominant NSPs present in feed and fodders

  Antinutritive property of NSP

  • Surface activity of NSP results in binding to the surface of feed particles after ingestion, reducing the accessibility and absorption of nutrients from the diet.
  • NSP contribute to the physical properties of the digesta, such as viscosity and hydration properties, thereby influencing digesta transit time, bulking properties, microbial activity, gut physiology function and endogenous losses, again potentially reducing nutrient digestion and absorption. The impact of these antinutritive properties on nutrient digestion can be significant.

Utilization of NSP rich feed stuff: Improving feed quality and feed cost

By combination of processing technologies and NSPs degrading enzyme(Xylanase) we can improve feed quality. The processing technologies if used without NSPase, result in different fraction of soluble NSP, which increases the viscosity; but when used with enzymes it improves feed value.

Xylanase, NSPase need of an hour?

Xylanaseis a class of enzyme that degrade the linear polysaccharide, xylan into xylose thus breaking down into hemicellulose. Commercially, xylanasesare produced by filamentous fungi and bacteria.

For any xylanase to deliver maximum result it needs to work optimally at the pH 5.7-7.0(but have wide range of activity) and should not be digested by body enzymes in poultry feed. It should also be able to bear a pelleting temperature. 

A. Action of xylanase on NSPs.

Action of xylanase on NSPs.

Importance of Xylanase

  • Energy is usually the most expensive nutrient, and research confirms that 450-500 kcal/kgof valuable energy in a typical poultry dietis not digestible. The addition of Xylanase enzyme has been shown to release upto 120 kcal/kg of energy
  • Xylanase also reduces the nutrient availability for cecal pathogen.

NSP in different feed formulation 


 feed formulation







As the inclusion of unconventional diet is increased, so does the content of NSP also increased and it affect the energy content of the feed in a negative way. As the unconventional ingredient is increased there is a depression in growth performance and overall FCR will increase leading to subsequent economic loss.

What’s the Solution?

The logical solution is to somehow degrade NSP, this is done by adding NSPase enzyme especially Xylanase enzyme. The xylanase enzyme degrades the arabinoxylan component of feed and releases energy.(80-120Kcal ME/kg)

XylaOpt, is an intrinsically thermostable, pepsin resistant, xylanase enzyme with optimal pH activity (5.6-7.0 pH) profile that targets the arabinoxylan fraction of NSP which is an endo-1,4-β-xylanase, improves digestion and reduces production costs by releasing nutrients, reducing digesta viscosity and the production of excessive secretion into the gut.

XylaOptinclusion @100g/tonprovides up to 105-115 Kcal ME/kg in corn SBM based diet. Depending upon the feed composition higher energy release might also be possible.

XylaOpt and Nutri-economics

As discussed earlier, about the presence of NSP’s in feed and its effect on the digestibility of nutrient and loss of energy (in the form of undigested feed) that culminates in loss of health and economic loss.

The cost of producing pre-starter feed of energy value 2950kcal/kg is ₹ 43.

 The cost of producing starter feed of energy value 3100kcal/kg is ₹ 42.

The cost of producing finisher feed of energy value 3200kcal/kg is ₹ 41.

*For the sake of calculation, mean value is taken

The intangible benefit of adding  XylaOpt  is that it has prebiotic effect and maintains gut health.

XylaOpt and Nutri-economics

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