Research shows organic acids as viable feed hygiene alternative for formaldehyde

  • The EU has denied authorization of formaldehyde as a preservative and hygiene condition enhancer.
  • Research by Perstorp shows organic acids enhanced with essential oils as a viable alternative.
  • New data is now available on the effects of propionic acid on Salmonella bacteria.

Perstorp - February 20, 2018 - Towards the end of 2017, the European Union denied the authorization of formaldehyde as a preservative and hygiene condition enhancer. Foreseeing this decision, Swedish organic acid producer and feed additives manufacturer Perstorp has been researching the mode of action and effectiveness of organic acids against Salmonella for years. New data brought to light that propionic acid reduces the motility of Salmonella, and that specifically selected essential oils have a synergetic effect with organic acids. A new range of ProPhorce™ SA products puts these new insights to optimal use.

Formic acid is well known for its antibacterial properties and has been used to combat pathogens for years. In a new development, research at the faculty of veterinary medicine at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands (Burt 2016) shows that propionic acid also has an antibacterial effect that works synergistically to that of formic acid.

Where earlier trials have shown that some essential oils can allow formic acid to pass the cell wall and neutralize Salmonella, researchers now found that propionic acid effects on the motility of bacteria by stripping them of their flagella. This takes away the mobility of the pathogen and as such renders it harmless. The trials executed at the University of Utrecht also show a clear synergy between all of these components where the efficacy of the combination is much higher than the sum of its parts or of other organic acid solutions that were tested.

“After the announcement of the EU about formaldehyde, we saw an immediate uptake in requests for alternatives from all corners of Europe” states Marc Kinjet, Portfolio Director Preservation for Perstorp Feed & Food. “Feed compounders absolutely need to actively eliminate Salmonella in their factories as it can lead to the closure of a plant when found. These combinations of formic and propionic acid with essential oils have the highest efficacy of any alternative to formaldehyde that we have seen”, he continues.

The tested products are marketed by Perstorp as the ProPhorce™ SA product range. All products are labeled non-ADR. For more information on this research including a downloadable copy of the peer-reviewed article (Burt 2016) visit:

ProPhorce™ is the property of the Perstorp Group.


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+46 435 380 00

Notes for editors

Devoted to success
in gut health and preservation

Swedish company Perstorp has been involved with developing a range of highly effective additives for the agricultural industry for over fifty years. As a producer of key raw materials such as propionic, formic and butyric acid, we focus our efforts on organic acid based solutions for gut health and preservation and take pride in being the first to provide you with the next generation of acid based products. Perstorp Feed & Food consists of a dedicated team of agricultural specialists within Perstorp that are committed to delivering optimal solutions and service.

The Perstorp Group, a trusted world industrial leader, places focused and market-driven innovation at your fingertips. Our culture of performance builds on 130 years of experience and represents a complete chain of solutions in organic chemistry, process technology and application development. As the global leader in high growth niches, such as powder and UV cured coatings, plasticizers, synthetic lubricants and grain preservation, we are committed to develop products providing essential properties to enhance the quality, performance and profitability of our customers’ products and processes. As we look to the future, we strive for the development of smarter and safer products and sustainable processes that reduce environmental impact and create real value in end-products. Perstorp has approximately 1,500 employees and manufacturing units in Asia, Europe and North America. Sales in 2016 amounted to more than SEK 11,3 billion. Discover your winning formula at

Related images

Salmonella continues to be one of the biggest threats for animal production professionals. Blends of propionic and formic acid with specifically selected essential oils prove to be a potent solution to combat this pathogen. 
(Photo: Shutterstock)


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