DuPont subsidiary files patent for stable enzyme feed granules


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© istock/Aquir
© istock/Aquir
Genencor International has developed feed granules to protect active ingredients from process and storage impacts, reducing costs and improving efficacy for manufacturers.

The US-headquartered biotech firm and DuPont subsidiary said it had developed thermostable and durable granules containing active ingredients suited to the manufacture of pellet animal feed. 

“The stable, durable granules have dissolution profiles suitable to release the active agent to provide efficacy for its intended purpose. The activity of the active agents is retained following storage in unpelleted mixtures and steam treatment,” ​it wrote in its Australian patent filing. 

Genencor said the active ingredient could retain as much as 80% efficacy after extreme heat processing, compression and storage. 

Enzyme issues – heavy processing and lengthy storage 

The enzyme specialist said certain feed production processes were “detrimental to active ingredients”​ – an issue needed to be addressed given the widespread use of active ingredients like enzymes to improve animal productivity, nutrition and digestibility of feed.  

Feed pelleting deserved particular focus, it said, because it was a favored medium. It allows good handling, decreased pathogens and uniform dosing. However, process temperatures typically reach heights of 95°C and compression forces are significant. 

As a result, Genencor said enzymes are often supplied in liquid form to add post-process or premixes had higher doses to account for losses – both of which made it hard to ensure homogeneous dosing and drove up costs. 

In addition to processing, storage of enzymes was also problematic, it said, because oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions could occur between oxidizing and reducing compounds in premixes if exposed to water. Activity of active agents can, therefore, be reduced over time, it said. 

“Currently, some manufacturers of enzymes for the feed industry recommend that enzymes be protected with barrier packaging if they are to be stored in premixes, or that they be stored separately from the premixes, or that they be stored in premixes for only a short period of time,”​ it said.

Clever coating

Genencor said its invention, thus, enabled regular storage and processing of feed granules containing active ingredients, like enzymes, without any adverse effects to the agent.

It said the development relied on protective coatings around the active ingredient: a moisture-hydrating layer to retard or reduce water migration into the active ingredient and a moisture-barrier layer to exclude water. 

The hydrating layer represented between 25-60% of the granule and could be made from inorganic salts, for example. The moisture barrier layer represented anywhere between 2-10% and could be made from polymers, proteins, lipids, oils or gums, for example.

“In some embodiments of the present invention, moisture barrier materials are used that oxidize only under extreme conditions, thereby in combination with moisture hydrating materials, the granules are chemically stable because it is believed that redox reactions are reduced during storage of the granules in unpelleted materials​.”

In addition to protective coatings, Genencor said the active agent could also mixed with choline chloride at the premix stage.

With all the above, it said the granule could retain at least 80% activity of the enzyme after steam-heated pelleting at temperatures between 85°C and 95°C for several minutes and also be stored the same as regular premixes with little to no impact on the enzyme.

Source: WIPO Publication No. AU2017202595

Published: May 11, 2017. Filed: April 19, 2017.

Title: “Stable, durable granules with active ingredients”

Authors: Genencor International


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