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Organic acids have been used for decades in feed preser-
vation, either for protecting feed from microbial and fungal
destruction or to increase the preservation effect of fermented
feed, e.g. silage. Organic acids are not antibiotics but, if used
correctly along with nutritional, managerial and bio-security
measures, they can be a powerful tool in maintaining the
health of the gastrointestinal tract of poultry, resulting in im-
proving their performances. Feeding of organic acids may
suppress the growth of certain species of bacteria, particularly
acid intolerant species such as E. coli, Salmonella sp. and
Campylobacter sp. (Ricke, 2003; Dibner, 2004). Their principle
rule is to lower and supplies the pH in the stomach and intes-
tines so that the gut environment is too acidic for normal bac-
terial growth. Additionally, they improve protein digestion in
young animal by stimulating pancreatic enzyme secretion
(Mellor, 2000). Thus, dietary organic acids can suppress the
growth of pathogenic bacteria, encourage the growth of ben-
eficial microflora and ensure that, the enzymes function is at
maximal capacity (Broek, 2000; Dibner and Winter, 2002; Ricke,
2003; Dibner, 2004).
Practically, organic acids work in poultry not only as a
growth promoter but also as a meaningful tool of controlling
all enteritis bacteria, both pathogenic and non-pathogenic
(Naidu, 2000; Wolfenden et al., 2007). Moreover, feeding or-
ganic acids is believed to have several beneficial effects such
as improving feed conversion ratio, growth performance, en-
hancing minerals absorption and speeding recovery from fa-
tigue (Gornowicz and Dziadek, 2002) and also provided
people with healthy and nutritious poultry products (Patten
and Waldroup, 1988).
Benzoic acid plays an important role in lowering numbers
of pathogenic bacteria like Campylobacter jejuni, which com-
petes with the host animal for nutrient (Friedman et al., 2003).
It contributes to some certain amount of energy to the host
bird (Jamroz et al., 2003). Besides bacteriostatic feature, ben-
zoic acid helps in reducing ammonia, thereby stimulates
growth in broiler birds. It also helps to increase gastric prote-
olysis and improve digestibility of protein and amino acid in
young broiler birds, thereby improving the feed efficiency and
growth performance of broiler birds (Kirchgessner and Roth,
1988). Benzoic acid is an energy source of the epithelia cells
*Corresponding author: Rasha I.M. Hassan
E-mail address:
Journal of Advanced Veterinary Research Volume 6, Issue 4 (2016) 118-122
Journal of Advanced Veterinary Research
Department of Animal Nutrition and Clinical Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Assiut University, Egyp
ISSN: 2090-6277/2090-6269/ © 2016 JAVR. All rights reserved.
Effect of Feeding Benzoic acid on Performance of Broiler Chickens
Rasha I.M. Hassan*, Ghada S.E. Abdel Raheem
The research was conducted to determine the influence of benzoic acid on growth performance, carcass
traits, blood parameters and meat chemical composition of broiler birds. The research was carried out
using 90 three weeks old broilers (Ross 308) divided into three groups, 30 per each. The levels of inclu-
sion of the benzoic acid was based on treatment 1 (control) 0%, treatment 2 = 0.4% and treatment 3
= 0.8%. Results showed that, feeding benzoic acid to broilers had no significant on body weight, weight
gain, feed intake and feed conversion at the two tested levels. Carcass traits did not show significant
differences for the treatments, with the exception of bursa weight significantly increased. The serum
total protein and globulin were significantly (P<0.05) increased in benzoic acid supplemented broilers.
However, no significant differences were observed in serum albumin, triglyceride, cholesterol and uric
acid between different experimental groups. No significant differences were observed for hematological
parameters among all treated groups. There were no significant differences in chemical composition
of broilers meat, including dry matter, protein and ash content. It could be concluded that, dietary in-
clusion of benzoic acid at both levels improved the immune response by increasing the weight of bursa
of Fabricius and elevating blood globulin level but did not affect broiler chickens growth performance.
Original Research
02 October 2016
18 October 2016
Benzoic acid
Carcass traits
Blood parameters
Meat composition
J. Adv. Vet. Res. (2016), 6 (4), 118-122
of the large intestine (Roedigor, 1980) and terminal ileum
(Chapman et al., 1995). It thereby improves the length of the
ileal microvillus and depth of the caecal crypts on intestinal
mucos,l which help in efficient feed absorption and assimila-
tion in the broiler birds.
Materials and methods
Birds, housing and feeding
A total number of 90 three weeks old broiler birds (Ross
308) were randomly distributed into 3 equal groups, 30 per
each. The birds had free access to water and feed. The climatic
conditions and lighting program followed the commercial rec-
ommendations. The control diet was formulated to contain
approximately crude protein (20%) and metabolizable energy
(3200 kcal/kg diet) as recommended by NRC (1994). The first
group was fed on control diet without any feed additives,
while groups 2 and 3 and (T2 and T3) were fed on basal diets
containing 0.4 and 0.8% benzoic acid, respectively (Table 1).
Performance characteristics including body weight, body
weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio were cal-
culated. The proximate analysis of the experimental feeds was
performed using procedures detailed by the Association of
Official Analytical Chemistry (AOAC, 1990).
Carcass traits
At the end of experiment three birds per treatment were ran-
domly selected and weighed live, slaughtered by neck cut and
allowed to bleed. Afterward, the birds were scalded, de- feath-
ered and carcasses were eviscerated. The gizzard, heart, liver,
spleen, bursa and thymus were excised and weighed. Dressing
percentage was obtained by expressing the dressed carcass
weight (with giblet) as percentage of live body weight.
Serum biochemistry
At the end of the experiment, three randomly selected birds
from each group were slaughtered after fasting overnight.
Blood samples were collected from the selected birds of each
treatment, allotted to clot at ambient temperature, centrifuged
for 15 minutes at 3000 rpm and serum from each sample was
extracted. The serum samples were kept at -20 0C until further
analysis. Serum samples were assayed for estimation of total
protein and its fractions (albumin and globulin), triglycerides,
cholesterol and uric acid by spectrophotometer using com-
mercial test kits (Spectrum, Cairo, Egypt).
Hematological parameters
Three birds from each group were randomly selected and
blood samples were taken from brachial vein for blood analy-
sis, including total RBCs, hemoglobin, total white blood cells,
Packed cell volume, Mean corpuscular hemoglobin, Mean cor-
puscular hemoglobin concentration and percentage of lym-
phocytes by standard procedures as suggested by (Stoskopf
et al., 1983a; Stoskopf et al., 1983b).
Meat chemical composition
Meat from breast and thigh of the slaughtered birds in all ex-
perimental groups were taken, prepared (carefully minced,
dried and homogenized) and chemically analyzed for mois-
ture, crude protein, ether extract and ash following AOAC
(1990) official method.
Statistical analysis
All experimental data were subjected to statistical analysis with
one way ANOVA of (SPSS for windows version 16: SPSS GmbH,
Munich, Germany). Least square means were compared by
Duncan's multiple range test. All statements of differences
were based on significance of P<0.05.
The effect of dietary supplementation of benzoic acid on
growth performance parameters are summarized in Table 2.
There was no significant difference in body weight and body
weight gain between experimental groups during the entire
period of the experiment. Feed intake of broilers in benzoic
acid groups (T2 and T3) was higher than the control group by
27 and 45 gm, respectively. Feed conversion ratio was higher
for birds supplemented with benzoic acid (2.22 and 2.24 for
T2&T3, respectively) in comparison with control (2.13).
The obtained data in Table 3 revealed that, no significant
differences in dressing percentage and the weights of internal
organ (liver, gizzard, heart, spleen and thymus) between ex-
Rasha I.M. Hassan and Ghada S.E. Abdel Raheem /Journal of Advanced Veterinary Research 6 (4) (2016) 118-122
Table 1. Composition and nutrient content of grower (day 22
to 42) basal diets for broiler chicks (%, as fed-basis).
*Mineral and vitamin premix Heromix broilers (Heropharma Co.,
Egypt). Each 2.5 kg contain: Vit. A, 1200000 IU; Vit. D3, 300000
IU; Vit. E, 700 mg; Vit. k3, 500 mg; Vit. B1, 500 mg; Vit. B2, 200
mg; Vit. B6, 600 mg; Vit. B12, 3 mg; Vit. C, 450 mg; Niacin, 3000
mg; Methionine, 3000 mg; Pantothenic acid, 670 mg ; Folic acid
300 mg; Biotin, 6 mg; Choline chloride, 10000 mg; Magnesium
sulphate, 3000 mg; Copper sulphate, 3000 mg; Iron sulphate,
10000 mg; Zinc sulphate, 1800 mg; Cobalt sulphate, 300 mg.
perimental groups. Birds fed on diet supplemented with ben-
zoic acid at 0.4% recorded significantly (P<0.05) higher weight
of bursa than the control one.
Data presented in Table 4 cleared that, birds fed on diet
supplemented with benzoic acid at both levels exhibited a
significant (P<0.05) increase in serum total protein, globulin
and a significant (P<0.05) decrease in albumin/globulin ratio
compared with the control one. There were no significant dif-
ferences in serum albumin, triglyceride, cholesterol and uric
acid between different experimental groups.
Effects of feeding benzoic acid on some hematological pa-
rameters of broilers (Table 5). The results revealed that there
were no significant differences between different experimental
groups in hemoglobin concentration, WBCs, RBCs count,
packed cell volume, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpus-
cular hemoglobin, and mean corpuscular hemoglobin con-
centration and lymphocyte percentage.
The results in Table 6 cleared that there were no significant
differences in chemical composition, including dry matter,
protein and ash content of broilers meat among all treated
groups. Birds fed diet supplemented by 0.4% benzoic acid had
significantly (P<0.05) higher fat than other treatments.
Table 2. Growth performance of broiler chickens given ben-
zoic acid.
Means within the same row with different superscripts are signifi-
cantly different (P < 0.05).
Table 3. Dressing percentage and absolute organ weights (g)
of broiler chickens
Means within the same row with different superscripts are signifi-
cantly different (P < 0.05).
Table 4. Effect of benzoic acid on some serum constituents
in broiler chickens
Means within the same row with different superscripts are signifi-
cantly different (P < 0.05).
Table 5. Effect of benzoic acid on hematological parameters
in broiler chickens
Means within the same row with different superscripts are signifi-
cantly different (P < 0.05).
WBC= White blood cells, RBC= Red blood cells, PCV= Packed
cell volume
MCV= Mean corpuscular volume, MCH= Mean corpuscular he-
MCHC= Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration
Table 6. Chemical composition (%) of broilers meat
Means within the same row with different superscripts are signifi-
cantly different (P < 0.05).
In agreement with our findings, Bonos et al. (2011) ob-
served that no effect on body weight of Japanese quail by ad-
dition of acidifiers to diets, whereas Amaechi and Anueyiagu
(2012) reported that the addition of dietary benzoic acid up
to 1.2 % improved body weight of broiler chickens compared
with control group. Our results are in accordance with the
findings of Talebi et al. (2010) who reported that addition of
benzoic acid at 0.5% to broilers diet did not show any signif-
icant effect on body weight gain. Abdalla et al. (2013) found
that dietary supplementation of benzoic acid at 0.1% did not
affect body weight gain of broilers. In contrast, Jozefiak et al.
(2010) reported that dietary inclusion of benzoic acid signifi-
cantly (P<0.05) decreased body weight gain in broiler chickens
compared with control group. Sohail et al. (2015) found that
dietary inclusion of benzoic acid increased body weight gain
of broilers significantly.
Concerning the effect of benzoic acid on feed intake. The
Rasha I.M. Hassan and Ghada S.E. Abdel Raheem /Journal of Advanced Veterinary Research 6 (4) (2016) 118-122
present data agreed with that reported by Sohail et al. (2015)
who reported that benzoic acid at level 0.5% in broilers diet
increased feed intake. Bagal et al. (2016) found that feed in-
take of broilers did not differ significantly by dietary inclusion
of acidifiers.
Our results disagreed with that reported by Abdel-Fattah
et al. (2008); Chowdhury et al. (2009); Bagal et al. (2016) who
reported improved feed conversion with supplementation of
organic acids. Islam et al. (2008); Ghazalah et al. (2011); Ab-
dalla et al. (2013) who reported that, dietary inclusion of or-
ganic acids had no significant effect on feed conversion ratio
in broiler chickens.
The present data agreed with that reported by Adil et al.
(2010); Talebi (2010); Sohail et al. (2015) who stated that, ad-
dition of organic acids had no significant effect on the carcass
characteristics (dressing percentage, liver, heart, spleen and
gizzard weights) of broiler chickens. However, Amaechi and
Anueyiagu (2012) declared that, addition of benzoic acid at
1.2% to the broilers diet was associated with higher gizzard
and heart weight (P<0.05). Abdel-Fattah et al. (2008) observed
that supplemental organic acid significantly increased of both
primary lymphoid organs (bursa and thymus).
Our results indicated that, supplemental benzoic acid may
improve immune response. Globulin level has been use as in-
dicator of immune responses and source of antibody produc-
tion. This established enhancement of immune response
associated with dietary acidification could be account for their
inhibitory effects against the pathogenic microorganisms
throughout the GI-tract. Griminger (1986) stated that high
globulin and low A/G ratio signify better disease resistance
and immune response. These results in harmony with Rahmani
and Speer (2005) who found higher percentage of gamma
globulin in broilers given organic acids than the control one.
Adil et al. (2010) found no significant effect on serum choles-
terol in broiler chicks fed on organic acids. Brzóska et al. (2013)
reported that blood plasma parameters, including triglyceride
and total cholesterol were unaffected significantly by feeding
diets containing acidifiers. On the other hand, Abdo (2004)
observed that, blood total lipids and cholesterol decreased
significantly by dietary acidifiers. Abdel-Fattah et al. (2008)
found that serum uric acid did not differ significantly by di-
etary inclusion of citric or lactic acid. Abdalla et al. (2013)
recorded that a significant decrease in total protein and glob-
ulin in birds fed with 0.2% benzoic acid at 6 weeks of age.
The present findings are in conformity with that obtained
by Ebru et al (2011) and Khajepour et al (2011). Moreover,
Abdalla et al. (2013) noted that dietary inclusion of benzoic
acid didn't affect the total leucocytic count and differential
leucocytic count at days 21and 42 of broilers life.
Our findings agreed with that reported by Brzóska et al.
(2013) who recorded that addition of acidifier to broilers diet
did not show any significant effect on meat composition of
broiler chickens.
It could be concluded that, feeding benzoic acid up to
0.8% inclusion level improved the immune response by in-
creasing the weight of the bursa of Fabricius and elevating
blood globulin level but had no significant effect on broiler
chickens growth performance.
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Rasha I.M. Hassan and Ghada S.E. Abdel Raheem /Journal of Advanced Veterinary Research 6 (4) (2016) 118-122
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Full-text available
Aim: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of organic acids as replacer to antibiotics in their various combinations on feed consumption, body weight gain, and feed conversion ratio (FCR) in broiler chicks during different phases of growth. Materials and methods: Antibiotics and organic acids were incorporated into boiler feed in different combinations to form 10 maize based test diets (T1 to T10). Each test diet was offered to four replicates of 10 birds each constituting a total of 400 birds kept for 45 days. Results: Significantly better effect in terms of body weight gain from supplementation of 1% citric acid and 1% citric acid along with antibiotic was observed throughout the entire study, whereas the effect of tartaric acid supplementation was similar to control group. Citric acid (1%) along with antibiotic supplementation showed highest feed intake during the experimental period. Significantly better FCR was observed in groups supplemented with 1% citric acid and 1% citric acid along with antibiotic followed by antibiotic along with organic acids supplemented group. Conclusion: Growth performance of birds in terms of body weight, body weight gain, and FCR improved significantly in 1% citric acid which was significantly higher than antibiotic supplemented group. 1% citric acid can effectively replace antibiotic growth promoter (chlortetracycline) without affecting growth performance of birds.
Full-text available
This study was conducted to determine the anti-stress effect of the dietary humate and organic acid supplementation on laying hens when subjected to high stocking density as a social stress factor. A total of hundred, 40 weeks, brown laying hens were housed at two different stocking densities of 287.7 (high density) and 500 (low density) cm2/hen. For the control group, 16 hens were randomly assigned to 4 groups, 4 replicates of 4 birds each and were kept in low density. The control group received a basal diet. The remaining 84 hens were divided into 3 treatment groups, 4 replicates of 7 birds each and were housed at high density. The treatment group were fed either a basal diet (crowded control) or the basal diet supplemented with either 0.15 humate (Humate group) or 0.20 % organic acid (organic acid group) of diet for 60 days. The results show that in hens kept in high density heterophils and Heterophil to Lymphocyte (H:L) ratios, an indicator of stress were raised while lymphocytes decreased. Humate supplementation resulted in significant increases in the lymphocyte counts and significant decreases in the heterophil counts and H:L ratios compared with those of the crowded control. The heterophils, lymphocytes and H:L ratio were not influenced by organic acid treatment. The present results suggest that humate supplementation to diet may be a favorable alternative for help poultry to cope with social stresses.
Full-text available
An experiment with 608 broiler chickens was conducted to investigate the effect of dietary acidifier level on body weight, feed consumption and conversion, mortality, dressing percentage, postmortem carcass traits, tissue composition of breast and leg muscles, and plasma chemical parameters. Feeding the acidifier to chickens at 3, 6 and 9 g/kg of the diet reduced the pH of starter and grower diets from 6.90 to 5.89, and from 6.28 to 5.73, respectively. Compared to the control group, dietary acidification significantly increased body weight of chickens by 6.2, 8.2 and 8.2% at 21 days of age, and by 2.7, 3.6 and 3.7% at 42 days of age, respectively (P<0.01). Mortality decreased from 2.58% in the control group to 0.00-0.59% in the experimental groups (P<0.01). Acidification of the diets increased EEI-index from 327 (control group) to 348 points in the experimental group supplemented with 9% (9 g/kg) acidifier, but had no significant effect on feed consumption and feed conversion ratio among treatments. The relative weight of breast and leg muscles, gizzard, liver and carcass depot fat was not affected by dietary treatments. Breast muscles represented 27.7% (control group) and 27.9% (experimental groups) of the carcass weight. Leg muscles made up 21.5% and 20.7% of the carcass weight, respectively. There were no significant differences in chemical composition of breast and leg muscles, including dry matter, protein and fat content. No significant differences between the control and experimental chickens were noted for determined blood plasma constituents, glucose, total protein, triglycerides, total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein. The results suggested that organic acid acidifier used in this experiment at the rates of 3 to 9 g/kg diet has a growth enhancing and mortality reducing effect in broiler chickens, with no significant influence on carcass yield, proportion of individual carcass parts and blood plasma constituents. It seems that the amount of 6 g of the applied acidifier per kilogram of feed may be recommended as the optimum dietary level if protein in the diet does not exceed 200-230 g crude protein per kilogram of diet.
Organic acids have a long history of being utilized as food additives and preservatives for preventing food deterioration and extending the shelf life of perishable food ingredients. Specific organic acids have also been used to control microbial contamination and dissemination of foodborne pathogens in preharvest and postharvest food production and processing. The antibacterial mechanism(s) for organic acids are not fully understood, and activity may vary depending on physiological status of the organism and the physicochemical characteristics of the external environment. An emerging potential problem is that organic acids have been observed to enhance survivability of acid sensitive pathogens exposed to low pH by induction of an acid tolerance response and that acid tolerance may be linked to increased virulence. Although this situation has implications regarding the use of organic acids, it may only apply to circumstances in which reduced acid levels have induced resistance and virulence mechanisms in exposed organisms. Evaluating effectiveness of organic acids for specific applications requires more understanding general and specific stress response capabilities of foodborne pathogens. Development and application of molecular tools to study pathogen behavior in preharvest and postharvest food production environments will enable dissection of specific bacterial genetic regulation involved in response to organic acids. This could lead to the development of more targeted strategies to control foodborne pathogens with organic acids.
“Lipids” include a variety of materials of differing chemical composition. Triglycerides or “neutral fats” are fatty acid esters of glycerol and serve as a source as well as a store of energy for all higher animals. Phospholipids, which are complex lipids found in all plant and animal tissues, are especially abundant in nervous tissue; they may constitute up to 30% of the dry matter of the brain. On hydrolysis, some phospholipids yield glycerol, fatty acids, phoshoric acid, and a base such as choline (in phosphatidyl choline or “lecithin”) or ethanolamine (in phosphatidyl ethanolamine), or the amino acid serine (in phosphatidyl serine); the latter two groups of phospholipids were originally classified as “cephalins.” Other phospholipids yield glycerol, fatty acids, phosphoric acid, and the cyclic polyalcohol inositol (phosphatidyl inositol). Sphingomyelins, another important group, consist of a fatty acid, phosphoric acid, choline, and the base sphingosine.
Overview, A.S. Naidu Lacto-Antimicrobials Lactoferrin. A.S. Naidu Lactoperoxidase, A.S. Naidu Lactoglobulins, E.F. Bostwick, J. Steijins, and S. Braun Lactolipids, M. Lampe and C. Isaacs Ovo-Antimicrobials Lysozymes, J.N. Losso, S. Nakai, and E.A. Charter Ovotransferrin, H.R. Ibrahim Ovoglobulin IgY, J.S. Sim, H.H. Sunwoo, and E.N. Lee Avidin, Y. Mine Phyto-Antimicrobials Phyto-phenols, P.M., Davidson and A.S. Naidu Saponins, W.A. Oleszek Flavonoids, A.S. Naidu, W.R. Bidlack, and A.T. Crecelius Thiosulfinates, B.B. Whitmore and A.S. Naidu Catechins, L.R. Juneja, T. Okubo, and P. Hung Glucosinolates, B.B. Whitmore and A.S. Naidu Agar, A.S. Naidu Bacto-Antimicrobials Probiotics, A.S. Naidu and R.A. Clemens Nisin, L.V. Thomas, M.R. Clarkson, and J. Delves-Broughton Pediocin, B. Ray and K. Miller Reuterin, M.G. El-Ziney, J. Debevere, and M.Jakobsen Sakacin, F. Leroy and L. De Vuyst Acid-Antimicrobials Lactic Acid, J-C. Bogeart and A.S. Naidu Sorbic Acid, J.N. Sofos Acetic Acid, D.L. Marshall, L.N. Cotton, and F.A. Bal'a Citric Acid, R.K. Sharma Milieu-Antimicrobials Sodium Chloride, R. Ravishankar and V.K. Juneja Polyphosphates, A. Prakash Chloro-cides, N. Khanna and A.S. Naidu Ozone, M. Muthukumarappin, F. Halaweish, and A.S. Naidu Appendix (Abbreviations and Symbols) Index