Sodium bicardonate, the main buffering agent for animal nutrition.
In animal nutrition, sodium bicarbonate is the main buffering agent. Buffer capacity can be defined as the ability of a solution to counteract pH changes.
For monogastrics, it is recommended to maintain a low pH in the stomach (3-4). On the other hand, the ruminal pH must be between 6 and 6.4 in dairy cows.
As a source of electrolytes, sodium bicarbonate has the advantage, compared to salt for example, of not providing chloride ions.
Focus on the balance of the formula.
The balance of a feed formula is measured by its Electrolyte Balance (EB), i.e. the balance of ions in the ration. Chlorine and sulphur ions pull the EB down. Potassium and sodium ions pull it up.
The lower the EB, the more acidic it is. A balanced EB is essential to ensure optimal osmotic pressure and correct glucose transport.
It is therefore necessary to ensure that the Electrolyte Balance (EB) of the feed is not too low. If necessary, the formulas can be corrected by a measured addition of sodium bicarbonate.