A Rising Star in Reduced Antibiotic Animal Husbandry

A Brief Introduction of Acidifers

A Brief Introduction of Acidifers
    There are two major functions in using acids as feed additives, one is to acidify feed, which is similar to adding vinegar to the dishes, it not only brightens the flavor, but also prevents the feed from getting spoiled; the other is to improve the digestive system of animals.

    Digestive system, which includes salivary glands, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine, is the main system for animals to convert food to nutrients and an important immune shield.

    Acids was first applied in livestock industry in the 80s. People had very limited knowledge of how acids works three or four decades ago, but they did discover that it can be used to improve gut microbiota performance and enhance the overall health of animals. Scientists in Europe even applied acids in replacement of AGP (Antibiotic Growth-Promoters). Currently, these are the known functions of acids on digestive system, which includes the following:

  1. Undissociated acid is anti-bacterial.
  2. It reduces the pH level of chyme and gastrointestinal tract.
  3. It slows down stomach emptying process, and increase the digestive and absorbing time of alimentary bolus in the intestinal tract.
  4. It stimulates pancreas to produce digestive enzymes and stay active in the small intestines
  5. It provides nutrients to the gut cells, strengthens intestinal mucosa and promotes its ability to absorb.

    Concluding the above features, acids can enhance the activity of digestive enzyme in the intestines, and the digestive ability. It can provide nutrients to intestinal cells, increase gut integrity and protect intestinal mucosa. It can eliminate acid-sensitive, pathogenic bacteria, such as Salmonella and Clostridium etc. In addition, it can decrease pH level to stimulate the growth of beneficial microbes such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium etc. In summary, acids help to increase digestion and absorption, and the growth of beneficial gut flora, while inhibiting the reproduction of pathogenic bacteria. It maintains and stabilizes healthy intestinal tract.

    With the advancement of scientific development, acids have been developed into various forms and applied to various aspects. The components of acids have evolved from the fundamental acids: formic, acetic, and propionic acid to organic acids with larger molecular mass such as fumaric acid, and citric acid. The types of formulation have also evolved from the basic pure acid or as salt base, to a lipid or starch-wrapped form , special delay-released dosage form, or even as ester compounds.

    Pure acid or acid salt are best applied in poultries such as broilers, goose and ducks. For animals with longer digestive tract, such as finishing swine, unmodified acid could only function in the front part of the digestive tract (e.g. stomach), and not the rear part of the tract such as the intestinal tract. To achieve optimal result, it is advised to use delay-released acid form.

Delay-released acid form: Acidofac S

    To optimize the acidification process for different animal breeds, it is recommended to choose acids of different components and formulation. Our product, Acidofac S belongs to the category of delay-released acid form, which consists of fumaric acid, citric acid, malic acid, and phosphoric acid. Fumaric acid, citric acid, and malic acid are all substrates of tricarboxylic acid cycle. These acids promote the absorption and storage of micronutrients. They chelate with essential trace elements like Ca, Zn, Fe, P, and Mn, which plays a fundamental role in energy metabolism, to form compounds that can be utilized efficiently. Phosphoric acid is an integral component of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), an important source of energy for all biological function.

    The structure of Acidofac S is lipid-based, with its patent technology of evenly wrapping organic acid, which allows 70% of organic acid to be released beyond the stomach, while slowly but persistently releasing in the rest of the digestive tract.

    Small intestines are the main organ that digests fat mostly. This is because small intestines secrete pancreatic lipase, an enzyme that digests fat. Pancreatic lipase can only function in neutral pH level, therefore when it is met with Acidofac S, the fat-based layers will be digested and further release organic acid. However, when pancreatic lipase is in contact with organic acid, its activity will be immediately inhibited, and thus stopping the digestive process. Therefore the organic acid will not be released all at once when it enters the small intestine, but rather be released gradually as chyme moves along to the next neutral pH environment. The slow but persistent release process would enable organic acid to be spread along the entire intestinal tract. The organic acid within Acidofac S are multi-acid with 2~3 pKa that will breakdown gradually from acidic to weak alkaline along the digestive tract to acidify the entire intestinal environment.

    Acidofac S has special structure and multi-acid components which allows it to slowly release organic acid and gradually dissolve along the digestive tract as the acid and alkaline environment changes.

  • About 30% of organic acid in Acidofac S will be released into stomach to lower the pH level and promotes the activity of protease, and thus helping the absorption of protein. This is very important especially for the piglets because their gastric acid secretion function haven’t been fully developed. Lowering piglets’ pH level in stomach can help activate protease and accelerates protein digestion and absorption.
  • The remaining 70% of organic acid will be released gradually along the intestinal tract to lower the internal pH level, decrease the number of pathogenic bacteria, and help the growth of gut microflora. It could decrease the chances of sows passing pathogenic bacteria to the piglets. For piglets, it could help them digest protein and develop healthy intestinal tract, so that they do not get sick easily. For finishing swine, it could lower the risks of getting intestinal bacterial infections.