Cellulase is a complex enzyme mixture containing all three cellulolytic activities (endo- and exo-cellulases and -glucosidase) and a variety of hemicellulases. Adding Cellulase to animal feed potentially increases digestion by releasing more energy from grains and cellulosic fibers. Releasing greater amounts of energy from feed may result in improved feed conversion and faster weight gain . The main cellulolytic activities in Cellulase break the -1,4 glycosidic bond between glucose units in the cellulose molecule, releasing smaller oligosaccharides and free glucose.
The rising and more volatile feed raw material costs are driving animal producers to produce more protein faster while maintaining acceptable margins over feed costs, which creates a whole set of production challenges . To control costs, many animal producers are feeding agricultural by-products (lignocellulosic materials) directly to farm animals, but these are generally low in protein content, high in crude fiber, have low digestibility coefficients and contain anti-nutrient factors such as tannins and alkaloids . Thus, to increase digestibility of these agricultural residues, it is important to destroy the linkage between cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin .