Production of enzymes for application on animal feeds
Ruminants diets in most developing countries are based on fibrous feeds, mainly mature pastures and crop residues. These feeds are unbalanced and particularly deficient in protein, minerals and vitamins and are highly lignified with low digestibility. These characteristics result in low intake and productivity and only approximately 40% of energy in forage becomes available to the animal. Enzymes can be used as biological tool to enhance digestion through the action of cellulase, hemicellulase and lignase enzymes resulting in improved meat, milk and wool production. The development of feed additives holds great promise for the improvement of livestock growth and yield for both large commercial and smaller subsistence farmers. The aim of this study was to develop optimal media for the production of lignocellulolytic enzymes (laccases, xylanases, and cellulases) and to evaluate the application of these enzymes to improve the nutritional digestibility of high fibre feedstocks, such as veld grass.