Natural Citrus Extracts to modulate the sows’ microbiota and enable a better weight gain of piglets

Natural Citrus Extracts to modulate the sows’ microbiota and enable a better weight gain of piglets

The citrus extracts of Nor-Spice AB contain many actives which have shown effects on the gut and intestinal microbiota. These compounds allow, on one side, to stimulate the growth of certain microorganisms that are beneficial to the microbiota, and on the other side to limit the development of pathogenic bacteria. For example, pectic oligosaccharides promote bifidobacteria and lactic bacteria growth, which are beneficial microorganisms while they inhibit pathogenic bacteria development in the gut (Unno et al, 2015), (Gullon, et al.2013).

Impact of Nor-Spice AB on the development of E. Coli, pathogenic bacteria, and Lactobacilus acidophilus

The growth rate of 2 strains of bacteria on a Sabouraud medium was monitored in the absence (“Control”) or presence of citrus extracts (“Nor-Spice AB”). The strains studied were Escherichia coli JM109 (E. coli) and Lactobacillus acidophilus R52 (L. acidophilus).

The bacteria development was evaluated by following the growth kinetics at 650 nm, measuring the time required for the bacterial population to double.

l acidophilus extrait agrumes nor feed
e coli extrait agrumes norfeed


In the presence of citrus extract, the doubling time of L. acidophilus is reduced compared to the control group (256 mn Vs. 353 mn ). In other words, it takes 97 minutes less for the L. acidophilus population to double, compared to the control condition.

On the contrary, the doubling time of E. Coli is significantly increased in the presence of citrus extracts (245 mn Vs. 80 mn). It means it takes 2h45 more for the E. Coli population to double.  Therefore, the citrus extracts of Nor-Spice AB have a positive impact on the growth of lactic bacteria whereas they slow down the development of opportunistic bacteria such as E. Coli.

Supplementing sows’ feed with Nor-Spice AB during peripartum increases piglets’ weight gain

antibiotic resistance

Constipation affects between 20 and 30% of sows in intensive breeding. It is a risk factor for urinary tract infections, cystitis and pyelonephritis. It can also cause dehydration and atrophy of the intestinal villi, which, in turn, can facilitate bacterial, viral and parasitic infections (Ramonet et al., 2017).

Citrus extracts promote a good balance of the microbiota, which improves the transit of the sow especially around farrowing. Moreover, with Nor-Spice AB promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria, the sow will transfer a robust microbiota to the piglets.

Let us see how to improve piglets growth by supplementing the sow.

Supplementation of sows with Nor-Spice AB during peripartum and the result on their piglets

A trial was conducted in a French commercial farm. 50 sows were divided into 2 groups:

  • Control group (Ctrl): standard diet
  • Nor-Spice AB group: standard diet supplemented with 2500 ppm of Nor-Spice AB. The supplementation started 15 days before farrowing up to 5 days after.
resultats nor spice truies

Observations on the sows

These results show that the group of sows that were fed with a supplementation of 2500 ppm of Nor-Spice AB had a better feed intake than the sows fed with standard diet. Also, sows supplemented with Nor-Spice AB had a greater population of Lactobacillus acidophilus in their faeces than sows from the control group.

resultats nor spice porcelets

Observations on the piglets

These results show that supplementing the sows’ feed with Nor-Spice AB during peripartum has also a positive impact on the piglets, although they did not receive  a supplemented feed themselves : weight gain is increased for piglets born from sows that received the feed supplemented with Nor-Spice AB.

We can conclude that Nor-Spice AB ® has a positive effect on the sow’s microbiota, on the sow’s feed intake and this is reflected in a better growth performance of the piglets.