The effect of several organic acids on phytate phosphorus hydrolysis in broiler chicks

Poult Sci. 2008 Apr;87(4):689-93. doi: 10.3382/ps.2007-00256.


Supplementation of some organic acids to a P-deficient diet has been shown to improve phytate P utilization. Two experiments were conducted from 0 to 16 d in battery brooders to determine the effect of various organic acids supplementation on phytate P utilization. In both experiments, birds were fed P-deficient corn and soybean meal-based diets. In experiment 1, citric acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, and EDTA were supplemented. Experiment 2 had a 2 x 2 factorial design with 2 sources of Met, 2-hydroxy-4-(methylthio) butanoic acid (HMB) and dl-Met, with or without 500 U/kg of phytase. In experiment 1, the addition of citric, malic, and fumaric acids increased percentage of bone ash, but only the effect of citric acid was significant. The addition of citric and malic acids also significantly increased the retention of P and phytate P (P<0.05). In experiment 2, the addition of phytase to the diet significantly increased 16-d BW gain, feed intake, percentage of bone ash, milligrams of bone ash, phytate P disappearance, and decreased the incidence of P-deficiency rickets. Methionine source did not affect 16-d BW gain, feed intake, feed efficiency, milligrams of bone ash, or P rickets incidence. However, the birds fed HMB had a higher percentage of bone ash and phytate P disappearance compared with the groups fed dl-Met only when phytase was added to the diets. The additions of citric acid and HMB improved phytate P utilization. However, the reason why some organic acids are effective whereas others are not is not apparent.

MeSH terms

  • 6-Phytase / metabolism
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Carboxylic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Chelating Agents / metabolism
  • Chickens / metabolism*
  • Citric Acid / administration & dosage
  • Edetic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Fumarates / administration & dosage
  • Malates / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Minerals
  • Phosphorus / metabolism*
  • Phytic Acid / metabolism*
  • Poultry Diseases / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Rickets / veterinary


  • Carboxylic Acids
  • Chelating Agents
  • Fumarates
  • Malates
  • Minerals
  • Phosphorus
  • Citric Acid
  • bone ash
  • Phytic Acid
  • malic acid
  • fumaric acid
  • Edetic Acid
  • 6-Phytase