Enzymes can be a beneficial additive to animal feeds and in human dietary supplements. Their use as digestive aids and metabolic catalysts is becoming increasingly more common in a variety of applications.
Enzymes are relatively sensitive to environmental and manufacturing processes, including temperature, moisture, and interactions with other ingredients. It is important to verify the actual enzyme activity in the final product, rather than relying on the formulated concentration. As functional bio active molecules, enzymes may experience degradation or loss of activity during their storage. It is therefore very important that the appropriate analytical method is used. It is also a special characteristic of enzymes that their optimal working conditions (e.g. pH, temperature, metals, cofactors, and specific substrates) vary depending on the source and type of enzyme. In order to enable our laboratory to perform the appropriate assay, please provide us with information about the type and source (or manufacturer) of the enzyme when possible.
Eurofins offers testing services for a variety of enzymes, including phytase, xylanase, amylase, protease, and mammalian protein.
In the feed industry, several enzymes are commonly used.
- Phytase is used to improve phosphorus availability in plant-based feed materials and other ingredients. First introduced in the late 1980s, benefits of phytase use include reduction of added inorganic phosphorus and minimizing the anti-nutrient effect of phytate that is present in feeds.
- Xylanase is added to feeds to assist in the breakdown of arabinoxylans in dietary fiber, a pervasive anti-nutrient in plant-based feedstuffs.
- Amylase is the enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of starch into sugar.
- Proteases are utilized to break down proteins, both simple and complex, making the energy from these proteins easier to digest.
Eurofins offers the following enzyme assays:
- Pancreatin amylase and protease activity measurements using USP methods
- Commercial phytase using methods publicized by ISO or AOAC. These assays can be conducted on enzyme concentrates, premixes or finished feeds.
- Xylanase using published methods by Megazyme.
- Mammalian protein qualification via a FeedCheck Kit.
Eurofins also has proficiency in setting up proprietary assays from client supplied methods or published peer-reviewed methods.