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How to increase hot carcass weight by 15 pounds

March 13, 2020

Amaize fractions starch to change the volatile fatty acid profile in the rumen, which leads to physiological changes in the animal, breaking down feed ingredients to enhance cattle metabolism, maximizing carcass gain and optimizing overall performance.

Research shows that, in order to increase hot carcass weight in beef cattle, farmers need to work toward producing healthier animals by increasing feed efficiency.

Feedlot cattle use high-energy feed ingredients to reach their potential for meat production. With high production costs, animals must be as efficient as possible at utilizing the nutrients released from feeds in order to increase profitability at the feedlot. 

Cattle rely on the rumen to break down fiber; however, some undigested ingredients can bypass the rumen and cause:

  1. Hindgut fermentation
  2. Indigestion
  3. Less effective use of nutrients

Identify the problem

Scientists at the Alltech Center for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition continuously analyze how specific food and diet formulations can change gene expression and alter performance. Research into the finishing stage has focused on aspects such as hot carcass weight and feed efficiency in beef cattle. Scientists have even discovered a way to predict responses to certain feed ingredients. Among the top 10 breakthroughs at the research center is a product whose name says it all: Amaize®.

Amaize, an extract of Aspergillus oryzae fermentation, contains alpha-amylase enzymes that modify starch digestion, maximizing feed efficiency and increasing production. Amaize fractions starch to change the volatile fatty acid profile in the rumen, which leads to physiological changes in the animal, breaking down feed ingredients to enhance cattle metabolism. Using traditional techniques, researchers were successful in demonstrating that adding Amaize to the diet resulted in carcass weight gain for beef cattle.

Conduct research in the lab

Examining rumen fermentation patterns and tissue samples using gene expression, however, showed that the mode of action for Amaize was much more complex than it originally appeared. The enzyme’s impact on the animal’s metabolic system showed that Amaize optimizes animal growth not by increasing digestion; rather, Amaize promotes specific rumen microbial populations that would typically be associated with fiber digestion. Modification in microbial populations resulted in changes in rumen fermentation patterns and end products, including increased butyrate concentrations and other metabolites.

The downstream effects of this shift include changes to the blood metabolites and genes related to energy utilization for growth. Gene expression evaluations have shown that genes related to the expression of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), insulin receptors and growth hormone receptors were affected positively in muscle tissue. Changes in gene expression suggest a correlation to improved energy balance, increased metabolic activity and, therefore, muscle growth.

Nutrigenomics has allowed scientists to more precisely understand the mechanism of action of Amaize, making it possible to issue specific recommendations to farmers regarding when and how to incorporate Amaize into their cattle’s diets, increasing growth efficiency in beef cattle.

Get out of the lab and into the field

While nutrigenomic studies have proven that an increase in hot carcass weight and dressing percentage were possible, field research confirmed the phenomenon of higher carcass weight in finished beef cattle, correlating to an increase in ROI. Since the discovery of the Amaize enzyme, numerous studies have been conducted in both university and commercial settings. These studies confirmed that the ideal dose rate for Amaize is 5 grams per head per day for feedlot cattle; there are no additional benefits associated with providing it at higher levels. 

While, individually, each of these studies showed the positive effects of feeding Amaize, it was when they were examined as a whole that the real value for the producer was uncovered. These studies included a variety of breeds, diets (including steam-flaked, rolled and high-moisture corn-based diets), locations and weather conditions — proving the consistency of Amaize in diverse conditions. The studies showed that, on average, the product has the ability to increase dressing percentage by 0.5% units and hot carcass weight by 15.5 pounds. In today’s cattle market, that extra 15.5 pounds of hot carcass weight means that Amaize achieved a 10:1 return on investment.

Encourages ruminal digestion Maximizes performance *Based on an average comparison of 14 trials


Using enzymes like Amaize to alter rumen fermentation and metabolism proves that it is a key component for optimizing finishing diets, driving carcass weight gain and maximizing return on investment. Find out how Amaize can help you increase your ROI.


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