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Animal Health

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Livestock Production
Wednesday, May 18, 2005 6:53:22 PM
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Biotronic® Multi - an alternative for sustainable animal nutrition in pig farming

Christian Luckstadt and Walter Nies



Both the feed industry and the food production sector still suffer from huge losses due to the contamination of feed with pathogenic bacteria, and their related impacts in the animal, such as lower weight gains or even increased mortality. The proposed ban on the use of antibiotics in livestock in the EU furthermore puts pressure on both agricultural sectors. Nowadays, other alternative feed additives are being adopted in order to fill the gap from the antibiotics. In this point of view, acidifiers can be part of a modern feeding concept to replace anti-biotic growth promoters (Luckstadt, 2003).


The potential of single organic acids in feed preservation, protecting feed from microbial and fungal destruction, but also directly in the animal nutrition due to its effect on stomach pH and gut flora is already known for decades and was proven in uncounted laboratory and field trials (Eidelsburger et al., 1992; Freitag et al., 1999; Luckstadt, 2005). In particular, fumaric acid was widely tested in recent years (Gabert and Sauer, 1995; Skinner et al., 1991). However, the knowledge of effects from synergistically acting organic acid blends of high biological value together with organic and inorganic physiologically active carriers to the animal is relatively new (Luckstadt, 2004).


Based on these facts, a trial with the multiple acid blend Biotronic® Multi including formic acid, propionic acid, lactic acid, citric- and sorbic acid and their salts as well as inorganic and organic (prebiotic) carriers was carried out under farm conditions.


The trial was conducted in a commercial pig farm in Germany. The aim of the trial was to test the described acidifier against a competitive acidifier product (fumaric acid). Feed and water were available ad libitum. The trial was performed during the nursery phase, just after weaning (piglets weaned at day 21). 48 piglets were randomly divided into 2 groups with 24 animals each. The experimental period lasted 43 days. Piglets from the control group received 5-10 kg/t of fumaric acid during that period - (10 kg/t during phase 1: from weaning to day 35; 5 kg/t during phase 2: from day 36 to day 49) while the treated group received 4-6 kg/t of the above mentioned acidifier / t of feed (6 kg / t during the phase 1: from weaning to day 35; 4 kg / t during phase 2: from day 36 to day 49). No acidifier was applied during phase 3 (day 50 to day 63).


In the following table the monitored data are shown (Tab.1):


Fumaric acid

Biotronic® Multi

Number of pigs



Initial weight (kg)



Final weight (kg)



Feed intake per day (g)



Daily weight gain (g)



Feed conversion rate




Performance in the trial group with the acidifier Biotronic® Multi was increased. Fumaric acid alone, widely accepted as one of the better single organic acid in livestock production, can be outperformed due to the synergistic effects of the multiple acid blend.


During recent years, attention has been focused more on the safety and quality of livestock feed, not least due to increasing interest shown by the media. As a result of the planned discontinuation of anti-biotics in feed it is necessary to find alternative feeding concepts, but these must be understood as a chance. If the potential effects of multiple acid blends together with prebiotic carriers like Biotronic® Multi are used and implemented in line with practice, these combined additives can be a part of the new feeding concept leading to cost-effective as well as sustainable livestock production.





Eidelsburger U., Roth F.X. und Kirchgessner M. Zum EinfluB von Ameisensaure, Calciumformiat und Natriumhydrogencarbonat auf tagliche Zunahmen, Futteraufnahme, Futterverwertung und Verdaulichkeit. 7. Mitteilung. Untersuchungen zu nutritiven Wirksamkeit von organischen Sauren in der Ferkelaufzucht. J. Anim. Physiol. Anim. Nutr. 1992. Vol. 67. p. 258-267.


Freitag M., Hensche H.U., Schulte-Sienbeck H. und Reichelt B. Biologische Effekte konventioneller und alternativer Leistungsforderer. Kraftfutter. 1999. p. 49-57.


Gabert V.M. and Sauer W.C. The effect of fumaric acid and sodium fumarate supplementation to diets for weanling pigs on amino acid digestibility and volatile fatty acid concentrations in ileal digesta. Anim. Feed Sci. and Techn. 1995. Vol 53. p. 243-254.


Luckstadt C. Effects of Organic Acids in Animal Nutrition. Feedmagazine. 2003. Vol. 11-12. p. 370-372.


Luckstadt C. Organic acid in nutrition. Far Eastern Agriculture. 2004. Vol. March/April. p. 26-27.


Luckstadt C. Synergistic acidifiers to fight Salmonella. FeedMix. 2005. Vol. 13, No.1. p. 28-30.


Skinner J.T., Izat A.L. and Waldroup P.W. Research note: Fumaric acid enhances performance of broiler chickens. Poultry Sci. 1991. Vol. 70. P. 1444-1447.

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