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Since the transition to include modern feed concepts in animal nutrition, the use of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) is broadly discussed in addition to a variety of other products and organic acids.
In many ways, these bioactive feeds are not only used to lower the pH or improve the feed conversion, their exceptionalside effects are known to promote numerous additional benefits.
Extensive research has shown that α-monoglycerides have a much stronger effect than their corresponding free acids, which would have to be dosed many times higher (more than 20 times higher) to achieve similar effects (Kabara et al , 1972).
The effects of the free acids are limited to areas of low pH, because at a higher pH of 6 to 7 (intestinal tract, blood), free fatty acids or their salts are rapidly dissociated. Monoglycerides, on the other hand, retain their efficacy in the neutral environment and can thus demonstrate their activity throughout the digestive tract.
For medium-chain fatty acids, lauric acid (C12:0) plays an important role, not as a free fatty acid but as a monoglyceride bound to glycerol in position 1 as α-monolaurin.