Organic acids or Volatile Fatty Acids can be devided in two categories: Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) and Medium Chain Fatty Acids MCFA). Examples of SCFA are Formic acid, Acetic Acid, Butyric Acid, Propionic Acid, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid etc. MCFA have a chain lenth between C6 and C12 and Cproic Acid, Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid or Lauric Acid belong to this group.
Organic acids can be used to control micro-organisms in poultry feed, or in live animals. In Europe, organic acids are used widely to inhibit pathogens like Salmonellae in both ingredients and concentrates. Inclusion of organic acids in poultry diets showed a significantly lower incidence of infections and a lower mortality in chickens.
The mechanism of efficacy on the application of Aorganic Acids is reviewed by Immerzeel et al., in 2006 (Avian Pathology 35 (3) 182-188.