PROSPECTS OF USING CITRIC ACID AS POULTRY FEED SUPPLEMENTS
S. Z. H. Shah*1, M. Afzal2 and M. Fatima3
1Department of Zoology, University of Gujrat, Gujrat, Pakistan
2Department of Zoology, Wildlife and Fisheries, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-38040, Pakistan
3Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan
*Corresponding author: email@example.com
Growth promoters especially antibiotics have long been used in poultry, however, these antibiotics produce resistance in bacteria. Several alternatives to these antibiotics including organic acids have been suggested. These organic acids improve the digestibility of nutrients, lower the gastric pH, chelate the cations and serve as substrate in intermediary metabolism. Among the organic acids, citric acid has more potential as growth promoter. Being a strong chelater of calcium (Ca) and a proton donor, citric acid improves the phytate hydrolysis. By lowering the pH, it produces a favorable environment for the action of endogenous and exogenous microbial phytases. Its antimicrobial property and immune system stimulation activity is also well documented. Besides, it enhances the nutrient absorption and improves the phosphorus (P) utilization. Nevertheless, inconsistent results of citric acid effectiveness on growth performance were obtained. In this review, authors focus on applications of citric acid in poultry feed to improve nutrient digestibility, phosphorus utilization, immune status and phytase efficacy.
Keywords: Citric acid, poultry, phytase, growth performance, bone mineralization.