Organic Acids - A Review

Published on: 08/02/2017
Author/s : Hafiz Usama Rasheed DVM, Technical Manager Mian Group Of Companies.

Due to the vast expansion of poultry industry challenges also increases. One of them is the control of microbial population which is done by excessive use of therapeutics antibiotics and AGP’s. The indiscriminate use of these products results in the emergence of antibiotic resistance. Apart from resistance it also leads to public health concern. Due to this EU has banned the use of AGP&rsquo...

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August 2, 2017
Thanks for the review. Do you have any comments or data regarding the compatibility of organic acids with commonly used in-feed probiotics?
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Joshua Jendza Joshua Jendza
Animal Nutritionist
October 2, 2020

Kevin Watkins - The hardier, spore-forming probiotics (ie bacillus) are generally resistant to acidification of feed or water. The spore form exists to protect them from harsh environments, and that includes normal levels of feed acidification. Similarly, lactic acid producing species are generally more tolerant of a wide pH range due to their own metabolism having the ability to acidify their environment. It is the non-sporulating or non-acid producing microbes that suffer the most due to acidification of feed.

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Dolo Yaya Dolo Yaya
Dôcteur veterinaire Masrer
August 2, 2017

Thank you very much for this article. This will be the future of poultry infectious disease treatment.

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August 3, 2017
We appreciate your write up on organic acids in poultry feed. We are currently successfully marketing organic acid formulation with MOS, B glucan and Oregano oil on a unique carrier. Raafres our formulation has energy value 4159 Kcal/kg. It continues giving excellent performance as a sustained release of organic acids. It keep acidified poultry GI tract from Crop to Cloaca. Improved FCR, weight gain, reduces mortality, maintained SGPT value, litter is acidic with reduced moisture, minimized bacteria load.
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August 3, 2017
Dear Kevin, there are a lot of product in the market which contains organic acids with probiotics and essential oils. I will look into that detail and let you know if I find anything
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August 3, 2017
Dear Dr. Bedi the organic acids you are using in your product are they free organic acids or glycerides of acids or encapsulated please let me know thanks
Whatsapp # +923046803412


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August 4, 2017
Diformate is the most successful formula to deliver sustained release of organic acid thorough out the GUT of poultry. It not only kills harmful bacteria but also aids in the optimum release of endogenous enzymes thus enhancing the digestion process. The optimum release of endogenous enzymes is very crucial especially in young chicken with developing GIT. The modern poultry production ere has brought the whole world to focus on one point; complete removal of in-feed antibiotics. This calls for a product which can not only effectively replace AGPs but at the same time had growth promoting effects,as well. The Formi NDF has proved to be the best among different organic acids currently marketed across the globe, thanks to its unique formula that helps the release of organic acid at right time in right amount and across the whole length of GUT giving complete protection against harmful bacteria thus increasing growth performance of poultry.
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Dr. Md. Robiul Islam (dvm) Dr. Md. Robiul Islam (dvm)
Business Development Manager
August 5, 2017
It will be better if add mode of action with diagram.
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Dr Nitin Ghadage Dr Nitin Ghadage
Master in Veterinary Science
August 5, 2017
Hi Dr Tahir Mahmood,

Please elaborate more on salt of organics you recommend to use in poultry feed.

how it is better than encapsulated organic acid or glyceride of organic acids or combination of the organic acid???
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August 5, 2017
Explain some more information
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Steffen Hansen Steffen Hansen
Animal Nutritionist
August 5, 2017
There are so many different probiotics containing different cultures and with various kinds of coatings applied. Therefore, it is impossible to say whether “probiotics” are compatible with acids. You also need to consider which type of acidifier you supplement to the feed.
There is at least one EU authorised bacilli containing product that have proved compatibility with the product Formi which contains potassium diformate. I reckon that bacillus based probiotics are compatible with virtually all commercially available acidifiers due to the spore-forming nature of these bacteria.
It is well known that benzoic acid as well as other acids can inhibit the growth of yeast.

The fact that you find mixed products of probiotics, acids and essential oils does not prove that there is a synergistic effect of the specific acids, essential oils and bacterial strain.
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August 5, 2017
Dear Dr.Nitin, The coating of organic acids helps these acids to pass through unscathed from fore gut and these acids are released in the distal part of small intestine. There still remain the question how effectively the salt has been released. At the same time coated products fail to acidify the diet in upper GIT and thus may have limited or no effect at all on nutrient digestibility especially protein digestibility. The acid secretion in young chicks is a limiting step and as we all know pepsin in its zymogen form needs to be hydrolyzed before it could act on protein. Limited quantities of endogenous HCl coupled with no release of OA in the upper GIT will not improve digestibility and of course growth performance. The diformates are released through out the GUT and continue to acidify the GIT without losing its maximum utility in the distal end of SI. Therefore, trials after trials it has been shown that complete protection of GUT is possible only if the OA products are effective throughout the tract. The products completely dissociated right right at the start or passing unscathed from upper GIT and released at the far end of SI will have limited effect on bird performance. Therefore, these products proved less effective vis-a-vis diformtes.
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Christoph Hutter Christoph Hutter
Poultry farmer
August 5, 2017

Dear Dr. Nitin, the difference between these products are really big.
If you see how many companies tell you how important the coating is.
Second, if Glycerin added, not at all acids it makes sense to add Glycerin.
And not to all it is possible. But with the coating, it often starts and fails how effective the product is on the one side, and how good the uptake or palatability of the product is.
A lot of acids you really fast reach the max of inclusion rate and the level where animals are willing to eat it in a max. With this Diformiates you can feed really big amounts before the animals stop to eat.
Try some products yourself and you start to see a lot of the difference of this.

Mr. Hansen, I agree with you that there are so many products which have not shown that there is a synergetic effect.
It is proven that a lot of strains of different probiotics have no problems in the animals if diformate are present, as they have only impact on gram negative bacterias and on some macro bacterias.
I only believe in trials where the effect is shown that an addition is proven to be significant compared with the basic acid alone.

We are launching in Europe at the moment the first 3rd generation acid mixes, where we have done this trials. Not yet fully for all species but it will come by time.

By the way, Formi is always Kaliumdiformiate, Formi NDF is an advanced product which contains more acid than the basic formi 80% vs. 70% formic acid. And it is bound on Na instead of K. This offers as well Cl free Na to the diet and is a nice tool to reduce the Cl content in the poultry diet.

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AHMED ANJUM AHMED ANJUM
Consultant
August 5, 2017
Chicken gut physiology and homoeostasis needs to be respected. Is there any study indicating that a balanced and safe feed that is fed to chicken disturbs gut physiology and changes gut pH to alkaline? Furthermore, to what extent we can play with homoeostasis?

In my opinion, we should first learn and practice the art of hygiene (including litter management and water quality) and biosecurity rather than leaning to supportive medication recommended by very impressive presentations of salesmen. Probably, organic acids are not a substitute for "Good Management Practices" - better invest in GMP.
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August 6, 2017

Dear Ahmed Anjum, I fully endorse that the good management practices are the basic step to achieve good performance from the flock. But when you talk about balance and safe feed, do you think it could be achieved without some additives being added to take care of bacterial contamination?

At the same time do you think water quality can be managed without maintaining its pH. Continuing, do you think we can provide "GERM-FREE ENVIRONMENT" to the birds with good MANAGEMENT practices only. In my opinion a big NO, you have to adopt judicious use of some feed additives that fit your situation.

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Christoph Hutter Christoph Hutter
Poultry farmer
August 6, 2017

Dear Ahmed Anjum,
I agree with you in a perfect world. Where we have 100% of farmers and natural birds under control. There we will have the control of this things.
Without a good management, we will never be able to go away from AGP and Zinc and other methods. But what is homeostasis in birds? No one till now could really answer me this question and show it to me how it should be, we start easy to use this words, but what does it mean.
We bred an animal which has all things we need if we look at broilers or at layers, but no one looked on homeostasis on breeding. The same in dairy, pigs, only in horses there it is a little better. Pet animals are the same.
We selected mutants which have brought us to the level we have today in our barns.
Homeostasis what the most understand should be our target. But till now we have no idea what exactly happens with which feed material under which interaction in the destine, the most of it base of models we have made to come close to what really happens. And so more we know so more we learn that we have to learn even more.
It is correct that there is not much research in the last 10 years on if the ph can change into alkaline, the last thing I remember was done with ca in layers if it contains too much Mg and therefore a slight change was observed this is one of the reasons why we try not to have it in in big quantities. But I think this was not done on university levels. And encapsulated acid doesn't change the ph really strong on slight it is more the action of the acid, against gram positive strains which we want, and this you can find in a lot of data done.
In Europe, we have a region where the level without AGP is already extremely high.
If you think on Broilers Denmark is running at average around 60g without too much AGP and nearly no vaccination in the barns. But still, they discuss heat stress...
So if we have all environmental things under control and the management as well, on this day we come closer to what you say. But till we reach this I think we have to work on a lot of ways to improve the health of our animals we keep, and the condition.
Salesmen are clever, but you are a salesman too, as you sell as consultant your work. So every one of us only can make his living when he sells something. If it is goods or knowledge, where is the difference?
Maybe we get one day the chance to discuss deeper with a coffee.

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August 6, 2017
Dear Colleague Christoph Hutter, you beautifully summed up the whole situation. @Dear Ahmad Anjum, I know not a single salesman who forces his/her clients to buy something. We present our case and nobody is fool here to buy anything without taking into account its benefits. Its a symbiotic relationship and I think you are sightly misplaced in your opinion that management is the only solution. It is just a part of a picture but not a whole picture in itself. All marketers are not LIARS.
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Lawal Sesan Lawal Sesan
B.SC, M.Sc and Ph.D IN VIEW
August 6, 2017
It is true that continuous use of antibiotics has residual effects which is in turn dangerous to human being,but before the use of organic acids is fully accepted and common to poultry farmers we need to think about the quality, quantity and mode of administration of these organic acids so that the expected results of better growth and free of harmful bacteria in the GIT is achieved.
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ahsankk ahsankk
M.Phil Animal Nutrition
August 7, 2017
The present challenge to improve GIT health and increase nutrients digestibility in broilers organic acid is more safe than AGPs, but still we need more research to prove it and prevent antibiotic resistance among end users(human being).
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Dr. Mohammad Akram Dr. Mohammad Akram
Consultant Microbiologist
August 7, 2017
Dear Authors,
No doubt acidic pH is not suitable for the growth of bacteria, therefore using organic acid shall be helpful to reduce the bacterial problems.
Unfortunately, lower pH is suitable for the growth of fungi. Therefore use of organic acid cuold enhance the growth of fungi and promote the fungal infection.
I shall be greatful to know your valuable comments of this issue.
Regards
Dr. M. Akram, Consultant Microbiologist, Micro Laboratories, Karachi, Pakistan
Reply
Olivier Desrues Olivier Desrues
PhD, University of Copenhagen
Silvateam S.p.a. Silvateam S.p.a.
Piemonte, Italy
August 7, 2017

You said it kills microbes, what about bacterial adaptation? Perhaps you should take it into account in your strategy?

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