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Dietary Supplementation of Inorganic, Organic, and Fatty Acids in Pig: A Review

Department of Animal Sciences, Food and Nutrition (DIANA), Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Via Emilia Parmense 84, 29100 Piacenza, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1740;
Received: 14 August 2020 / Revised: 9 September 2020 / Accepted: 18 September 2020 / Published: 25 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
The role of acids in pig feed strategies has changed from feed acidifier and preservative to growth promoter and antibiotics substitute. Since the 2006 European banning of growth promoters in the livestock sector, several feed additives have been tested with the goal of identifying molecules with the greatest beneficial antimicrobial, growth-enhancing, or disease-preventing abilities. These properties have been identified among various acids, ranging from inexpensive inorganic acids to organic and fatty acids, and these have been widely used in pig production. Acids are mainly used during the weaning period, which is considered one of the most critical phases in pig farming, as well as during gestation, lactation, and fattening. Such supplementation generally yields improved growth performance and increased feed efficiency; these effects are the consequences of different modes of action acting on the microbiome composition, gut mucosa morphology, enzyme activity, and animal energy metabolism.
Reduction of antibiotic use has been a hot topic of research over the past decades. The European ban on growth-promoter use has increased the use of feed additivities that can enhance animal growth performance and health status, particularly during critical and stressful phases of life. Pig farming is characterized by several stressful periods, such as the weaning phase, and studies have suggested that the proper use of feed additives during stress could prevent disease and enhance performance through modulation of the gastrointestinal tract mucosa and microbiome. The types of feed additive include acids, minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, yeast, nucleotides, and phytoproducts. This review focuses on commonly used acids, classified as inorganic, organic, and fatty acids, and their beneficial and potential effects, which are widely reported in the bibliography. Acids have long been used as feed acidifiers and preservatives, and were more recently introduced into feed formulated for young pigs with the goal of stabilizing the stomach pH to offset their reduced digestive capacity. In addition, some organic acids represent intermediary products of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA), and thus could be considered an energy source. Moreover, antimicrobial properties have been exploited to modulate microbiota populations and reduce pathogenic bacteria. Given these potential benefits, organic acids are no longer seen as simple acidifiers, but rather as growth promoters and potential antibiotic substitutes owing to their beneficial action on the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). View Full-Text
Keywords: acids; feed additives; pig health acids; feed additives; pig health
MDPI and ACS Style

Ferronato, G.; Prandini, A. Dietary Supplementation of Inorganic, Organic, and Fatty Acids in Pig: A Review. Animals 2020, 10, 1740.

AMA Style

Ferronato G, Prandini A. Dietary Supplementation of Inorganic, Organic, and Fatty Acids in Pig: A Review. Animals. 2020; 10(10):1740.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ferronato, Giulia, and Aldo Prandini. 2020. "Dietary Supplementation of Inorganic, Organic, and Fatty Acids in Pig: A Review" Animals 10, no. 10: 1740.

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