Trouw Nutrition discussed the impact of organic acids on technical performance and microbiota in swine at the 2018 meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians

7 March 2018

March 7, 2018, SAN DIEGO, California —Trouw Nutrition discussed the impact of organic acids on technical performance and microbiota in swine at the 2018 meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), March 3-6 in San Diego, California. During the meeting, Dr. Juan Antonio Mesonero Escuredo, global program manager for swine gut health at Trouw Nutrition, presented a mode of action review and the results of three studies showing performance improvements in weaned piglets applying organic acids.

“With producers around the globe implementing antibiotic reduction programs, swine producers are looking for alternative strategies to improve performance, while controlling microbes that can be detrimental to their animals’ health and performance,” explained Mesonero Escuredo. “Organic acids are increasingly seen as a viable option, but many questions remain about how exactly they work to inhibit microbial growth and what measurable impacts organic acids can have on performance. Our research shows significant improvements associated with the use of organic acids and even provides some guidance on the efficacy of organic acids in inhibiting bacteria strains in vitro.”

In order to build a strong foundation for the application of organic acids within responsible use of antibiotics strategies, Trouw Nutrition undertook fundamental research into the mode of action of individual ingredients. A literature study revealed that organic acids have been shown to disrupt the membranes and metabolic functions of yeast, molds, and bacteria. These acids are believed to create a response to the microbe in the animal’s system, which may explain the resulting performance improvements seen in swine. In addition, an in vitro study enabled the researchers to establish minimum inhibitory concentrations of various acids against some common microbes in swine, which strengthened the application decisions made in following in vivo studies.

Three piglet trials, which were summarized in a poster presentation at AASV, showed consistent performance improvements compared to controls when piglets were given a drinking water additive that included free and buffered organic acids.

The first trial was done to test piglet performance while reducing AGPs in combination with a drinking water additive. When this proved successful, piglet performance was studied while completely replacing AGPs with the additive. The third study also confirmed the effect of organic acids on the gut microbiota. It showed a clear reduction in Streptococcus, a microbe that can cause disease, and often is one of the reasons to use antibiotics.

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