11 commentsupdate:Sep 24, 2012

Citric Acid

Ioannis Mavromichalis, PhD
Citric acid is a well-known feed and food preservative


It imparts an acidic/sour taste that some animals find appetizing. In addition, it can limit pathogenic colonization in the gut and improve non-specific immunity, leading to higher growth in broilers. It is also used to enhanced calcium and phosphorus absorption in layers and broilers, resulting in better eggshell quality and reduced use of mineral phosphates. Clearly, it is an ingredient with many and varied functions that is often overlooked, but certainly deserves more attention.

I would be interested to know how frequent is the use of citric acid in poultry diets in the different parts of the world and the main purpose for its use.

Please, do share your thoughts!


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    dr asaad sabbagh

    dr joannis
    i think u are over estemating the action of citric acid , it is a very weak organic acid , will be dissociated in the 1st part of small intesten due to the high buffer capacity of the pancriatic sod. bicarbonate secretions .
    we can conseder it preservative , mould inhebitor , flavouring agent and mediumly increase protien dig. in the simple stomach animals

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    Hiren Pancholi

    Sodium Butyrate is better acid which reaches up to Caeca. it will kill pathogens by penetrating their cell wall and limit pathogenic colonization in the gut & up to caeca.and improve non-specific immunity.
    1..Act on gram positive and gram negative bacteria
    2.. Effective up to the caeca where concentration of pathogen is more,has antimicrobial characteristics.
    3.. Increases the absorption of Nutrition.
    4. Increases length of villi by app. 30%, so more areas for the nutrition absorption.
    5.. It increases the concentration of Lactobacillus and Bifidus bacteria.
    Hiren Pancholi

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    Mohamed Sayed

    Hi, thanks for ur question
    i am a lecturer of poultry nutrition, my PhD was on organic acids (citric acid) on growing and laying Japanese quail
    citric acid used by 3g per kg diet with lactose to promote very effective growth and laying parameters

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    Haroon Mushtaq, PhD

    In Pakistan, different organic acids are being frequently added in water, just to mitigate/ameliorate the negative effects of microorganisms present in the water. However their use as feed preservative or mold inhibitor is still scarce.

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    Yes, this is good idea for poultry feeding. If we manage poultry by this way we save cost and use of antibiotics are minimized.

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    Citric Acid is an age old acid being used by the feed industry in feed and in water at time of stress.In feed it is used at 250 grams per ton.Through water it assists in keeping the entire Ph for endogenous activity and in maintaining healthy microbial population.
    When used in layer feed at times of heat stress it helps to improve egg shell quality.In broilers it helps in improving body weight and FCR and feed intake.At time of feather pecking problem in birds when added to drinking water it reduces the problem.It is cheaper in cost compared to most other acids.It is soluble in water and easily mixable and user friendly.

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    Dear Hiren,
    how much lactose you use for 1 ton of feed?

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    What is the dosage of Citric Acid in water for the broilers ???

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    Dr.Azhar alam

    here in pakistan citric acid is used just to increase the feeding of birds as well as for lowering of ph of water

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  • A.L. Ng'wavi

    Just to know how EM1 is used in poultry feeds. Thanks

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