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Organic Acids, Tannins as Alternatives to AGPs

by 5m Editor
19 March 2010, at 10:41am

SLOVENIA - A combination of organic acids and tannin can be used as an alternative to antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs), according to new research.

Marina Stukelj of the University of Ljubljana and colleagues have investigated the effects of feeding a combination of acids and tannin in diet on the performance and selected biochemical, haematological and antioxidant enzyme parameters of growing pigs. They found that the combination did not improve performance but it had no deleterious effects on selected blood parameters. Their report is published in Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica.

Stukelj and co-authors explain that the abolition of in-feed antibiotics or chemotherapeutics as growth promoters have stimulated the pig industry to look for alternatives such as organic acids, botanicals, probiotics and tannin.

The objective of their study was to compare the effects of a combination of acids and tannin with diet with organic acids and diet without growth promoters on the growth performance and selected biochemical, haematological and antioxidant enzyme parameters in grower pigs. Tannin is more natural and cheaper but possibly with the same effectiveness as organic acids with regard to growth performance.

Methods

A total of 36 seven-week-old grower pigs, divided into three equal groups, were used in a three-week feeding trial. Group I was fed basal diet, group II basal diet with added organic acids and group III basal diet with added organic and inorganic acids and tannin. Pigs were weighed before and after feeding and observed daily. Blood was collected before and after the feeding trial for the determination of selected biochemical, haematological and antioxidant enzyme parameters.

One-way ANOVA was used to assess any diet related changes of all the parameters. Paired t-test was used to evaluate changes of blood parameters individually in each group of growers before and after feeding.

Results

No clinical health problems related to diet were noted during the three week feeding trial, reported the researchers. The average daily gain (ADG) and selected blood parameters were not affected by the addition to basal diet of either acids and tannin or of organic acids alone. Selected blood parameters remained within the reference range before and after the feeding trial, with the exception of total serum proteins that were below the lower value of reference range at both times. The significant changes (paired t-test) observed in individual groups before and after the feeding trial are related to the growth of pigs.

Conclusion

Diet with acids and tannin did not improve the growth performance of grower pigs but had no deleterious effects on selected blood parameters, concluded Stukelj and co-authors. They added that the possibility of beneficial effects of adding acids and tannin in diets on growth performance over a longer period, however, could not be excluded.

Reference

Stukelj M., Z. Valencak, M. Krsnik and A.N. Svete. 2010. The effect of the combination of acids and tannin in diet on the performance and selected biochemical, haematological and antioxidant enzyme parameters in grower pigs. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2010, 52:19 doi:10.1186/1751-0147-52-19.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report (as a provisional PDF) by clicking here.