Despite the recent proliferation of enzyme products containing multiple activities, the $450 million global non-starch polysaccharide (NSP)-degrading enzyme market remains dominated by xylanases.
Of the total products sold annually, more than 80% are xylanases or xylanase-based products, with single xylanases accounting for five of the top ten brands and other xylanase-based products another four.
The figures come from a recent study carried out by AB Vista using a 'bottom-up' analysis of the 500 biggest global users of feed enzymes across 33 countries. Combined with data from traditional 'top-down' analysis, the result is the most comprehensive examination of the NSP-degrading enzyme market yet carried out.
"The end-users surveyed also ranked xylanases as having the most supporting evidence amongst the NSP-degrading enzymes, and by a clear margin," states Richard Cooper, AB Vista's Managing Director.
"Overall, we estimate that 53% of all monogastric feed includes a xylanase-based enzyme, though the sector does face some substantial challenges. There's general frustration that no standardised assay has yet been developed for xylanases, for example, and this makes it very difficult for end-users to make direct comparisons between different products."
Assay of some xylanases can be 'blocked' by the xylanase inhibitors present in cereal grains, and effectively evaluating an enzyme's ability to withstand high temperature feed processing is virtually impossible without an accurate and reliable assay method.
"Fortunately, many of these problems are starting to be overcome thanks to the introduction of the latest generation xylanases, such as Econase XT, which are proven to be thermostable, are not affected by in-feed xylanase inhibitors and can be easily and accurately assayed on-site," Mr Cooper adds. "As these products replace older, less reliable ones, not only will end-users find comparisons easier, but they'll also benefit from the latest performance gains as well."