Pakistan poultry industry has made remarkable and tremendous progress for the past 20 years and is committed to provide good quality meat to the population. Poultry feed is one of the most important factor affecting the meat production and high cost of broiler.
The high cost of commercial feed for broiler chicks has drawn attention of farmers to use non-conventional feed including palm kernel, wheat, maize, rye, oat and barley based feeds.
The nutritional value of such diets is limited due to high amount of fibers in the form of non-starch polysaccharide (NSP). The NSP including mannans and xylan have cellulose about 12% of the total feed.
The digestion of these kinds of fractions in intestinal lumen is variable due to their tendency of creating more viscous environment and less availability of digestive enzyme. This constraint can be resolved by the supplementation of poultry feed with specific enzyme such as cellulase for proper hydrolysis of polysaccharides.
The previous study has also proved that addition of exogenous enzyme increases the nutrition value of diet by digesting the complex cellulose component into simple sugar which can stimulate growth performance of broiler chick.
The exogenous enzymes required for the supplementation of poultry diet are being imported till today and Pakistan is paying huge amount of money as foreign exchange.
This strategy ultimately contributes to high cost of poultry. There is a need to produce these enzymes at domestic level for the fulfillment of industrial demand in Pakistan.
The establishment of University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in 2002 played a vital role for the improvement of poultry industry by facilitating the use of modern technologies, by providing the trained personnel and by solving the disease issue.
We in our laboratory at Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore are working on the production of recombinant enzymes required for the poultry feed industry. We have previously produced recombinant thermostable phytase and now we have characterized the cellulase.
This enzyme is a thermostable protein and has ability to resist a high temperature of 90°C. High temperature is actually required during the feed palletization process where most of the mesophilic enzymes got denatured.
The poultry trial using this enzyme proved its potential to degrade cellulose in feed and played significant role in the enhancement of growth of poultry birds. Currently this enzyme was produced at laboratory scale, however, there is a need to optimize the production of this recombinant enzyme at large scale for the fulfillment of demand of local industry and to save huge foreign exchange.
This study is a foundation step for the domestic production of this enzyme and for the cheaper availability of poultry meat for the stabilization of economy of Pakistan.