Understanding the Science and Function of Tummyrite - Part 3

In Part 3 of this series on Tummyrite™, I further discuss the use of external enzymes to release the bound phosphorus in plant-based ingredients, the benefit of soaking and germinating grain with enzymes and the differences in the different types of beta-glucans present in food components. Finally I introduce an overview of objective 2, the supply of key nutrients from Tummyrite™ products and why they are needed for the health and wellbeing of birds.


Most plant ingredients contain phytate, inositol polyphosphate, which binds phosphorus rendering it unavailable to the bird. If fact, up to 70% of all phosphorus found in grains and other plant based ingredients can be bound by phytate. This phytate molecule can also bind valuable trace minerals found in these grains rendering them unavailable to the bird. Phytate also binds starch. Releasing the phosphorus from the grain and other plant based ingredients makes the phosphorus available to the bird instead of being excreted into the environment where it can be a major potential pollutant.

TUMMYRITE™ contains an enzyme called phytase which breaks the bond holding the phosphorus which now makes the phosphorus available to the bird. Again, the inclusion of Phytases in grain based poultry diets, has been practiced routinely for the last three decades in the commercial Poultry Industries.


For many years it has become common practice for bird keepers to either soak their seed or germinate it to improve their digestibility. Recent research has shown that soaking and germinating grain has the same effect as adding enzymes to feeds. An experiment was conducted by Svihus et al, (2013) with 2- to 4-week growing broilers fed a 70% whole barley diet. Barley is one grain that contains high levels of cereal β-glucans and can result a high degree of viscosity in the intestinal tract which impairs nutrient absorption.

The barley was treated in the following way:

  • Soaking at 0 0C
  • Soaking at room temperature
  • Germination
  • Enzyme treatment

Soaking or germination decreased the soluble and total β-glucan content (P<0.05) and, except for soaking at 0°C, the acid extract viscosity of the grain also decreased (P<0.05).

Germination and soaking in the presence of enzymes produced the lowest β-glucan content and viscosity. Except for soaking in cold water, the soaking, germination and enzyme treatments increased weight gain and decreased food: gain ratio (P< 0.05). Correspondingly, the digestibility of protein, fat and ash, and the digestible energy content, increased (P< 0.05) after enzyme treatment or germination. Chickens fed on enzyme-treated or germinated barley diets had intestinal contents with a greater proportion of dry matter and lower viscosity than chickens fed on untreated barley (P< 0.05). Consequently, the cages and chickens were cleaner (P<0.05) and the weight of digestive organs as proportion of live weight was lower. Particle size analysis of excreta revealed that whole barley was efficiently ground by the gizzards of 16-d-old chickens, and very few whole kernels were found.

If we apply these same conclusions to birds in general, the use of exogenous enzymes may work well with soaked sprouted grain. This author suggests that bird keepers should continue to sprout or germinate grains if time permits. If time does not permit then enzyme addition to grains will be a great advantage.


β-glucans are dietary fibre carbohydrates present in the cell wall of plants, yeasts, fungi and bacteria. The structure of the β-glucans vary among different sources and account for differences in their physiological function. β-glucans consist of β-ᴅ-glucose molecules joined by (1→3)- or (1→4)-glycosidic bonds.  

The structure of the chain depends on the relative number of (1→3)- and (1→4)-glycosidic bonds between the repeating glucose units.  β -glucans from yeast and fungi consist of a backbone of glycopyranosyl molecules joined by (1→3)-β-links. From this backbone are side chains joined with (1→6)-β-links (see Figure 1). This gives the (1→3)(1→6)-β-glucans of fungi and yeast a branched structure. Fungal β-glucans have short branches while they are long in yeast.  Bacterial β-glucans, on the other hand, are unbranched with only (1→3)-β-linkages between the glycopyranosyl molecules.

In barley, as with most cereal grains, the β-glucans are not branched. Barley β-glucans have (1→4)-β-links between the glycopyranosyl molecules (see Figure 2). It is this particular structure that is responsible for the development of viscosity in the GIT. Branched chained β-glucans (see Figure 1) do not produce this viscosity but have been shown to be responsible for producing favourable immune responses in the bird.

 Figure 1: Molecular structure of yeast (1→3)(1→6)-β-glucans


This structure is responsible for the favourable immune responses in birds from this type of β-glucan.


Figure 2: Molecular structure of cereal (1→3)(1→4)-β-glucans

This structure is responsible for the viscous consistency of the contents of the GIT.

OBJECTIVE 2 - To provide some key nutrients that are not provided in many of the main feed components fed to birds.

Many of the main food components fed to birds are deficient in one or more key nutrients essential for their maintenance, health and wellbeing, and for breeding:

These key nutrients include:

  • Key essential amino acids (methionine, lysine & other EAA)
  • Vitamins
  • Major minerals
  • Trace Minerals
  • Carotenoids
  • Nucleotides

The main food components are digested in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) but to use these major food components efficiently, and to avoid deficiencies or excesses, supplementation of these critical nutrients in the diet is important, even though many are only required in minute amounts.

Some noticeable changes that bird breeder have seen after using Tummyrite™ for while is the significant improvement in feather development and quality. This is particularly noticeable in birds going through the moult. Recovery after the moult is quicker and the strength of feathering is much improved. The feather colours are also more vivid.

Note: Tummyrite™, when fed at the recommended rate, provides a full complement of vitamins and trace mineral to meet the daily requirements of birds. No additional vitamins or trace minerals are required under normal conditions.

In the next part of this series on Tummyrite™, Part 4, I further discuss the use of key nutrients, provided in Tummyrite™, to help correct major nutrient deficiencies and enhance the health and wellbeing of birds.

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