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Research r...WeanersTrial report 490

Trial report no. 490: Benzoic acid or the combination of lactic acid and formic acid

Abstract

The following has been tested for weaners in the age 4-10 weeks: the combination of 0.7% formic acid and 0.7% lactic acid in diet 1 (4-6 weeks) and diet 2 (6-10 weeks), and benzoic acid with 2% added to diet 1 and 1% added to diet 2. The acid products were compared to a control mix. The test was carried out in one herd with 160 pigs per group divided into 20 blocks (replicates) per treatment.

Mortality in the test averaged 1.5%, and 2.5% was on average removed due to disease. Treatment frequency for diarrhoea was significantly lower for the pigs given benzoic acid compared to the other two groups. Prevalence of diarrhoea did not differ between the control group and the group given the combination of lactic and formic acid.

Production value per pig (4-10 weeks) for the individual mixes was calculated on the basis of the achieved production results using the same price per FUp for all feed mixes.

Overall the test showed that the pigs given feed containing benzoic acid had a significantly higher production value than the control pigs and the pigs given feed containing the combination of lactic acid and formic acid. Furthermore, the group with the combination of formic and lactic acid had a significantly higher production value than the control pigs. The benzoic acid used in this test is a food quality and therefore fairly expensive, and the achieved increase in productivity could not pay for the product. However, the calculation does not include costs for medication in connection with treatments for diarrhoea. The group with the combination of lactic and formic acid had a production value level with the control group when the prices of the acids are included in the calculations.

Microbiological studies revealed that adding benzoic acid to the feed significantly reduces the studied populations of micro organisms and the microbial activity in the entire gastro-intestinal tract. This causes a reduction in the production of organic acids in the intestine. This applies to both the control group and the group with the combination of lactic and formic acid. The bacteriological results did not differ between the control group and the pigs given feed added lactic and formic acid. However, this group had a lower content of lactobacillus in the stomach.

Presently, benzoic acid is not approved as an additive/preservative for pig feed, however the acid and some of its salts may be used for preserving food. Several of the salts from benzoic acid are also approved as preservatives for pet food. Lactic acid and formic acid are both approved as preservatives for pig feed.

Updated: 23.11.2000

Author

Hanne Maribo

Chief scientist, PhD

Tel.: +45 3339 4390

E-mail: hma@lf.dk

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