Pig International - November 2017 - 23
PigInternational ❙ 23
intestine (where pH is held near 7). Of
course, some of the citric acid will be
absorbed by the stomach wall cells
as a direct energy source, but this is a
totally different story.
Mixes of organic acids
It must be noticed that so far we
have been discussing the behavior
of organic acids in the stomach -
something that is largely ignored.
In the small intestine, where pH
nears 7 (neutral), organic acids continue to act indiscriminately against
bacteria as dissociation becomes
virtually complete. Therefore, the
value of an organic acid should be
determined by the location at which
it is desired to act. Some organic
acids are more suitable for the
stomach (to prevent pathogens from
entering the gut), whereas others
are required to act at the intestines
level (to reduce total bacterial load).
To this end, it is common practice
today to use mixes of organic acids
that cover a broad pH spectrum for
different locations in the gut. In
addition, not all organic acids are
equally effective against all pathogens, but this again requires a different line of discussion. ■
Efstratia Papanikou, Ph.D., is a plant physiologist with Ariston Nutrition
Consulting. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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