Organic acids have been used for a long time to support pig growth particularly at weaning, and more recently have become the number one alternative to growth promoters to improve the production efficiency of pigs. This article will review the antimicrobial properties of organic acids and elucidate the different modes of action that organic acids can exert along the gastrointestinal tract of pigs. Moreover, it will be introduced the advantage of microencapsulation as a tool to deliver organic acids along the intestine and allow their positive effects.
Organic acids have been used successfully in pig production as a cost-effective performance-enhancing option and they continue to be the number one alternative to antibiotic growth promoters. The aim of this review is to provide the biological rationale behind organic acids use in pig production, focusing on their different effects along the gastrointestinal tract of pigs. Organic acids are reviewed for their antimicrobial properties and for their classic use as acidifiers, with particular attention to pH modulation and microflora control. Additional beneficial effects on intestinal health and general metabolism are presented and we explain the advantage of microencapsulation as a tool to deliver organic acids along the intestine.
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