The 2014 Inspire: Non-starch Polysaccharide (NSP) Forum, drew to a close April 3 with the focus switching firmly to the impact of exogenous feed enzymes dietary NSPs. The session opened with a detailed look at how NSP enzymes vary in key characteristics relevant to animal feed by Dr. Kim Langfelder from AB Enzymes.

Langfelder's presentation highlighted the important differences between NSP enzymes - even those belonging to the same class - in terms of substrate specificity, conditions for optimal activity, extent of NSP hydrolysis and resistance to in-feed inhibitors, pepsin and feed processing.


A key theme to emerge during the day was the huge variation between potential substrates, species and even individual animals which can impact the efficacy in the animal. The latter was clearly demonstrated in broilers by Dr. Mingan Choct from the University of New England, who stated: "Reducing variability is an extremely important benefit from effective NSP enzyme application, and an important insurance policy."


The need to achieve the correct type and level of NSP hydrolysis was highlighted in successive presentations by Choct, Dr. Christophe Courtin of KU Leuven and AB Vista's Dr. Helen Masey O'Neill. Considering the potential pre-biotic effects of NSP fragments, Courtin showed that arabinoxylan oligosaccharides have quite varied physiological benefits.



Differences in caecal fermentation with different xylanases and substrates presented by Dr. Masey O'Neill was further evidence of end product variation following NSP hydrolysis. She also highlighted an increase in peptide YY hormone secretion with NSP enzyme addition that suggested a possible mechanism for improved whole diet digestibility through increased gizzard retention time.


Although the potential from NSP enzyme use was very obvious, according to AB Vista's Dr. Usama Aftab, he cautioned against maximizing NSP hydrolysis through the use of multi-component enzyme products, stating that their benefits had not yet been convincingly proven. This was followed by a call from Dr. Sanna Steenfeldt of Aarhus Universitat for greater research into NSP enzyme use in layer hens, and particularly non-GMO derived enzymes for organic production - 20 percent of Danish egg production is now organic.

The Forum was rounded off by presentations from AB Vista's Dr. Rob ten Doeschate and Dr. Mike Bedford, highlighting the importance of NSP enzyme interactions with cereal quality and other enzyme classes.


"A lot of NSP enzyme research is done in isolation, yet the vast majority of commercial diets also contain phytase," Bedford stated. "We need to more closely match commercial reality. There is some good data to support an additional benefit when an appropriate NSP enzyme is added on top of a phytase, even when superdosing, but the picture is much less clear with regard to the value of using other enzyme classes, such as protease, alongside an effective NSP enzyme."