UF researchers discovered the enzyme, a naturally occurring thermotolerant phytase. It is one of the most heat-tolerant phytase enzymes known today. It is reportedly able to retain activity at temperatures up to 100°C.
The exclusive license will allow BioTork to utilize its strain development expertise to maximize the efficiency of the production of this heat-tolerant enzyme, with the ultimate goal of providing an accessible source of thermotolerant phytase to the feed industry around the world.
Phytase enzymes are used for processing animal feed and food in order to increase nutrient availability. Adding phytase to animal feed allows nutrients likephosphorus, iron, zinc and calcium to become more bioavailable, and less inorganic mineral additions to feed are needed. The use of phytase can shrink the costs of processing animal feed and decrease environmental eutrophication.
Like most enzymes, many phytase enzymes are deactivated by the high temperatures used in the processing of animal feed, which poses challenges that often increase the costs of production. A low-cost source of heat-tolerant phytase enzymes that may be unaffected by processing conditions, as UF and BioTork are working to create, will have a huge beneficial impact on the production of animal feed, and consequently, our planet.
“Access to the most heat-tolerant enzyme of this kind, combined with our expertise, is an extraordinary opportunity to greatly advance the feed industry and is a step forward in creating a more sustainable world,” said BioTork CEO Eudes de Crecy.