Massachusetts Patent of the Month – March 2022

Phytase is a chemical found in our digestive system as well as in plant food, bacteria, and yeast cells. This enzyme is used to kick off the hydrolysis of phytic acid to release a usable form of phosphorus. Phytase and forms of it are found in most animal feeds, however, most animals cannot efficiently digest phytic acid and then cannot absorb the phosphate. Without being absorbed, these compounds are just excreted from the animal and contribute to phosphate pollution in agricultural run off.

Agrivida, Inc. has developed engineered phytases to be used in animal feed. These phytases have increased thermal stability using targeted binding elements. With this technology, these enzymes can be grown directly within animal feed such as corn. This brings the enzymes which are produced outside of the food value chain into the chain with ease. This means there is no need for additional additive steps to incorporate the phytases into the feed. These feed enzymes also optimize nutritional performance, reducing the amount of phosphate excretion and reducing pollution in agricultural runoff. 

These engineering tactics have the potential to create incredible efficiencies in how animals receive dietary enzymes that help them utilize nutrients so they grow strong and healthy. This makes it possible to increase output of meat, eggs, and milk while using fewer resources. These types of innovations are essential to improving agricultural sustainability and reducing the sector’s footprint.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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