Nutritional Articles

Examination of the use of exogenous alpha-amylase and amyloglucosidase to enhance starch digestion in the small intestine of the horse.

Published: 2004-10-18

Brief content of the article
Complete digestion of starch in the equine small intestine is vital for the prevention of hindgut acidosis and laminitis. Earlier reports propose that a deficiency of glycanases in the equine small intestinelimits the horse’s ability to digest starch pre-caecally. To study this proposition a trial was designed to evaluate the effect of the addition of exogenous glycanases to equine diets, on starch digestion in the small intestine. The horses were fed a steam-rolled triticale (control) diet or the control diet plus α-amylase or the control diet plus amyloglucosidase (AMG) or the control diet plus alpha-amylase and AMG. The authors concluded that the addition of alpha-amylase or a combination of alpha-amylase and AMG improved the digestion of starch in the equine small intestine. They also concluded that further research is needed to determine whether exogenous enzymes are still needed for horses well adapted to grain based diets.
Keywords: concentrates; enzymes; starch digestion; acidosis; pH.

Reference
Richards, N., Choct, M., Hinch, G.N. Rowe, J.B. 2004. Examination of the use of exogenous alpha-amylase and amyloglucosidase to enhance starch digestion in the small intestine of the horse. Animal Feed Science and Technology 114: 295-305.

Website and publisher
http://www.elsevier.com