Organic acids are used in animal nutrition for several decades in ensuring feed preservation and safety. The industry has made major breakthrough in developing effective solutions to control bacteria, fungi and moulds in order to improve livestock production. There are various types of organic acids, with different chemical properties and they exist in either liquid or solid state. Organic acids widely used in livestock feed industry worldwide are:
- Acetic acid
- Butyric acid
- Formic acid
- Fumaric acid
- Hydrochloric acid
- Lactic acid
- Sorbic acid
- Propionic acid
They all effective in prevention of different microbes in feeds i.e fungi, bacteria, mould and yeasts.
Globally organic acids are considered by animal nutritionists and scientists as the most cost-effective and eco-efficient performance-enhancing option available to the feed industry to date addressing food and feed hygiene issues. Organic acids are increasingly gaining worldwide acceptance in the animal nutrition industry.
The following are the economic importance of organic acids-
- It reduce bacterial growth and mould in feedstuffs and preserve hygienic quality;
- Organic acids are used as forage and grain preservatives and in livestock nutrition.
- They contribute to feed hygiene, as they suppress the growth of mould and bacterial pathogens, thus allowing better use of feed resources.
- They preserve feed and silages, they are also effective in reducing bacterial content;
- They maintain the nutritional value of the feed to ensure animal performance;
- Organic acids improving nutrients digestibility – which in turn leads to stable animal health and increased performance.
- Organic acids reduce pathogen intake, stabilises the gut microflora eubiosis,
- Protect feed against deterioration caused by micro-organisms
In animal husbandry, reduced feed conversion rates, improved daily gain and a reduced incidence of diarrhoea all contribute to enhanced , through lower feed costs and reduced time to market weight enhance profitability.
Experiences has shown that a blend of acids is efficient to fight against different pathogens, formic being the best for bacterias, propionic for moulds and yeasts, lactic to enhance lactic acid bacteria growth while phosphoric in poultry feed will generate extra acidification.
The use of organic acids at the right high doses in animal feed will increase the bodyweight, improves feed conversion ratio and reduces colonization of pathogens in the intestine.