Hostazym® X and the Meaning of "Stable at Normal Pelleting Conditions"

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Article | 05.12.2021
Using a fibre-degrading enzyme in feed formulations is techincally and strategically beneficial as it will help optimise animal performance cost-effectively. But the chosen enzyme needs the ability to withstand various processing challenges related to feed production, namely, stability during conditioning and pelleting steps.

Due to the number of parameters and variables that can affect product stability, on-site evaluation of Hostazym® X is key to understanding the full process at each production facility, ensuring that all variables have been considered. One pelleting test can be used as an initial indicator, but it will never give the full overview of a process and as such should not be used to make decisions. Data from long-term customers show that Hostazym® X consistently performs as a "stable product in standard processing conditions up to 85 oC," as claimed.

Fibre-degrading enzymes are a cost-effective way of optimising animal performance. The efficacy of Hostazym® X is widely proven through scientific data and its worldwide success (ranking as one of the top 3 carbohydrase enzymes in the biggest feed production markets). 

As well as being selected for nutritional reasons, the chosen enzyme needs to withstand the processing challenges related with feed production, namely, stability during the conditioning and pelleting steps. It is known that the processing stability of enzymes is influenced by numerous factors: 

  • sampling
  • temperature
  • time
  • moisture
  • pressure
  • die length and diameter
  • feed formulation

The multiple combinations of these factors are of critical importance to fully understand enzyme process stability.

Nevertheless, of utmost importance is understanding that each feed plant will influence enzyme stability differently. Each feed plant is different and its specific equipment, working processes and even personnel are variables which will affect enzyme stability. 

The standard recommendation for enzyme stability is "stable in standard conditions up to 85 oC with a minimum accepted recovery criteria of 80%". The microgranulated product Hostazym® X has been tested in multiple research trials to validate that claim. This does not apply to all enzymes which is why process stability and acceptance criteria need to be assessed case by case.

Results from pelleting stability trials with Hostazym® X in fully controlled conditions (university research facilities) show that stability is affected by temperature and conditioning time. Trial outcomes conform with standard criteria and follow expected behaviour. 

Hostazym® X and its competitors follow the same criteria recommendations and have equivalent results in fully controlled research trials. Unlike some competitor enzyme products, Hostazym® X is a non-coated product, which confirms that the xylanase in Hostazym® X is a very stable molecule on its own.

Hostazym® X in the real world

Establishing process stability and acceptance criteria for the recovery of enzymes requires thorough analysis of multiple factors. Conducting multi-factorial trials under industrial conditions is difficult and, in some cases, unfeasible. A better and more reliable method is to analyse data over time to establish specific conformity criteria to decide if an enzyme is suited for a specific production unit or not.

On-site evaluation of Hostazym® X is key to understanding the full process of each production facility and to ensure that all variables have been considered. One pelleting test can be used as an initial indicator, but it will never give the full overview of a process and should therefore not be used to make decisions.

Results will vary over time. Quality control tools should be used to evaluate and set conformity criteria to classify Hostazym® X as "thermostable" under normal process conditions at that specific production unit. 

To illustrate the importance of on-site testing, data from two different customers are showcased. Both customers use the Huvepharma laboratory for regular control of their process, using Hostazym® X recovery data to assess process trends and product stability.

Customer "Europe"

  • Multi-species feed producer with multiple production units
  • Broiler feed: Hostazym® X at 1,950 EPU/kg, pelleting temperature 82 - 85 oC, conditioning time 60 s. 
  • Layer feed: Hostazym® X at 1,500 EPU/kg, pelleting temperature 80 - 82 oC, conditioning time 60 s.
  • Hostazym® X recovery: acceptance criteria +/- 20% of target condition
  • Control charts per production unit created to follow conformity of recovery results over the year
Figure 1. Recovery results for broiler and layer feed samples (EPU/kg) in 2019 from Customer "Europe" (production unit 1)

Key notes: 

  • Quality control charts help to identify trends and take timely corrective actions: when broiler feed results started to decrease to "off specification", a corrective measure was taken to bring results back into specification. 
  • Overall, results follow the 80-20 rule, frequently seen in food industrial processes (80% of results on specification, 20% higher or lower than specification). 
  • The causes of "off specification" results were not related to Hostazym® X stability.


Customer "South America"

  • Multi-species integrator with multiple production sites
  • All feeds: Hostazym® X at 1,500 EPU/kg, pelleting temperature 80 oC for pig feed and up to 88 oC for broiler feed, conditioning time from 60 to 120 s. 
  • Hostazym® X recovery: acceptance criteria +/- 20% of target concentration
  • Control charts set per production unit to follow conformity, possible results trends and annual variance
Figure 2. Conformity control charts per year for broiler and pig feed formulations and only pelleted feed results

Key notes:

  • Control chart alert for "off specification" results in specific moments in time. An evaluation of the cause and any necessary corrective or preventative measures was assessed with the customer. Hostazym® X stability was not the root cause in any of the evaluations. 
  • Recovery results follow the 80-20 rule (80% of results "on specification", 20% higher or lower than specification). Analysis of available data throughout the years can help to identify improvement opportunities or to establish conformity criteria per production unit.
  • The conform - non-conform split and its criteria is a quality parameter for all industrial processes. Hostazym® X stability is part of the process but should not be accountable for all process and all possible parameters that can influence it, as illustrated by this example. 


Showcasing experience with Hostazym® X and its thermostability shown in these customer results does not aim to show a perfect outcome. Results vary widely and each production unit of each customer is a unique case. Understanding each customer is our key objective to make sure the right recommendations are given. Recovery results reflect a series of influences from production unit to laboratory, not only the product.

It is essential to understand that assessing a production unit and establishing quality control criteria requires time and cooperation.

As expected, Hostazym® X consistently shows that it is a "stable product under standard processing conditions up to 85 oC" as claimed.



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