Skip to main content Accessibility help

Health promoting and pharmaceutical potential of ferulic acid for the poultry industry

  • M. SAEED (a1), M. ALAGAWANY (a2), S.A. FAZLANI (a3), S.A. KALHORO (a4), M. NAVEED (a5), N. ALI (a6), M.A. ARAIN (a3) and S. CHAO (a1)...


Ferulic acid is (FA) is a phenolic compound found in vegetables, fruits, cereals and coffee. It exists in both a free form and covalently conjugated to polysaccharides in the plant cell wall, polyamines, hydroxyl fatty acids, lignin, and glycoproteins. It has exhibited many vital biological properties, such as growth enhancing, antioxidant, antibacterial and immunomodulatory effects. It can be used as a food preservative and has a wide range of applications. FA has been reported to be a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent and is considered as part of a promising strategy for improving vascular cell-compatibility and blood compatibility as well. Additionally, dietary FA could improve the antioxidant capacity and, hence, meat quality in poultry. Supplementation of FA at 40 mg/kg or 80 mg/kg diet reduced the formation of hepatic MDA in case of carbon tetrachloride toxicity. The susceptibility of meat to oxidation in broiler chickens receiving oats at 200 g/kg diet as a source of FA was higher compared to the stability of meat in chickens receiving 200 ppm vitamin E. After examining the literature, it became apparent that the research on promising therapeutic effects of FA in poultry, in particular, is limited. So, the aim of this review was to indicate the importance of FA and its beneficial effects. In addition, this review includes information on the use of FA as a natural phenolic compound in poultry nutrition and its different applications in the poultry industry.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author:


Hide All
ARAIN, M.A., MEI, Z., HASSAN, F.U., SAEED, M., ALAGAWANY, M., SHAR, A.H. and RAJPUT, I.R. (2018) Lycopene: a natural antioxidant for prevention of heat-induced oxidative stress in poultry. World's Poultry Science Journal 74: 89-100.
AYISI, C.L., ZHAO, J. and RUPIA, E.J. (2017) Growth performance, feed utilization, body and fatty acid composition of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fed diets containing elevated levels of palm oil. Aquaculture and Fisheries 2: 67-77.
BUDAVARI, S., O'NEIL, M.J., SMITH, A. and HECKELMAN, P.E. (1989) The merck index, 1989. Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, entry 2417: 379.
CALABRESE, V., CALAFATO, S., PULEO, E., CORNELIUS, C., SAPIENZA, M., MORGANTI, P. and MANCUSO, C. (2008) Redox regulation of cellular stress response by ferulic acid ethyl ester in human dermal fibroblasts: Role of vitagenes. Clinics In Dermatology 26: 358-363.
CARPITA, N.C. (1996) Structure and biogenesis of the cell walls of grasses. Annual Review of Plant Biology 47: 445-476.
CHANGXING, L., CHENLING, M., ALAGAWANY, M., JIANHUA, L., DONGFANG, D., GAICHAO, W., WENYIN, Z., SYED, S., ARAIN, M.A., SAEED, M., HASSAN, F.U. and CHAO, S. (2018) Health benefits and potential applications of anthocyanins in poultry feed industry. World's Poultry Science Journal 74: 251-264.
CHEN, C.-Y., MILBURY, P.E., KWAK, H.-K., COLLINS, F.W., SAMUEL, P. and BLUMBERG, J.B. (2004) Avenanthramides and phenolic acids from oats are bioavailable and act synergistically with vitamin c to enhance hamster and human ldl resistance to oxidation. The Journal of Nutrition 134: 1459-1466.
CHESSON, A., PROVAN, G.J., RUSSELL, W.R., SCOBBIE, L., RICHARDSON, A.J. and STEWART, C. (1999) Hydroxycinnamic acids in the digestive tract of livestock and humans. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 79: 373-378.
CHOWDHURY, S., GHOSH, S., RASHID, K. and SIL, P.C. (2016) Deciphering the role of ferulic acid against streptozotocin-induced cellular stress in the cardiac tissue of diabetic rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology 97: 187-198.
DHAMA, K., KARTHIK, K., KHANDIA, R., MUNJAL, A., TIWARI, R., RANA, R., KHURANA, S.K., ULLAH, , KHAN, R.U., ALAGAWANY, M., FARAG, M.R., DADAR, M. and JOSHI, S.K. (2018) Medicinal and therapeutic potential of herbs and plant metabolites / extracts countering viral pathogens - current knowledge and future prospects. Current Drug Metabolism 19: 236-263.
FREITAS, E.R., FERNANDES, D.R., SOUZA, D.H., DANTAS, F.D., SANTOS, R.C., OLIVEIRA, G.B., CRUZ, C.E.B., BRAZ, N.M., CAMARA, L.F. and NASCIMENTO, G.A. (2017) Effect of syzygium cumini leaves on laying hens performance and egg quality. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 89: 2479-2484.
GALLINGER, C.I., SUÁREZ, D.M. and IRAZUSTA, A. (2004) Effects of rice bran inclusion on performance and bone mineralization in broiler chicks. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 13: 183-190.
GRAF, E. (1992) Antioxidant potential of ferulic acid. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 13: 435-448.
HARTLEY, R.D. and HARRIS, P.J. (1981) Phenolic constituents of the cell walls of dicotyledons. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 9: 189-203.
HUA, S.S., GROSJEAN, O.K. and BAKER, J. (1999) Inhibition of aflatoxin biosynthesis by phenolic compounds. Letters in Applied Microbiology 29: 289-291.
HUNG, P.V., PHAT, N.H. and PHI, N.T.L. (2013) Physicochemical properties and antioxidant capacity of debranched starch-ferulic acid complexes. Stärke 65: 382-389.
JAYARAMAN, S., MUKKALIL, R. and CHIRAKKAL, H. (2015) Use of ferulic acid esterase to improve performance in monogastric animals, Journal, (Google Patents).
JOSHI, G., PERLUIGI, M., SULTANA, R., AGRIPPINO, R., CALABRESE, V. and BUTTERFIELD, D.A. (2006) In vivo protection of synaptosomes by ferulic acid ethyl ester (faee) from oxidative stress mediated by 2, 2-azobis (2-amidino-propane) dihydrochloride (aaph) or fe2+/h2o2: Insight into mechanisms of neuroprotection and relevance to oxidative stress-related neurodegenerative disorders. Neurochemistry International 48: 318-327.
KANDIL, A., LI, J., VASANTHAN, T. and BRESSLER, D.C. (2012) Phenolic acids in some cereal grains and their inhibitory effect on starch liquefaction and saccharification. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60: 8444-8449.
KHODDAMI, A., TRUONG, H.H., LIU, S.Y., ROBERTS, T.H. and SELLE, P.H. (2015) Concentrations of specific phenolic compounds in six red sorghums influence nutrient utilisation in broilers. Animal Feed Science and Technology 210: 190-199.
KIM, H.-Y., PARK, J., LEE, K.-H., LEE, D.-U., KWAK, J.-H., KIM, Y.S. and LEE, S.-M. (2011) Ferulic acid protects against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury in mice. Toxicology 282: 104-111.
KUMAR, N. and PRUTHI, V. (2014) Potential applications of ferulic acid from natural sources. Biotechnology Reports 4: 86-93.
LIN, W.C., LEE, M.T., LO, C.T., CHANG, S.C. and LEE, T.T. (2018) Effects of dietary supplementation of Trichoderma pseudokoningii fermented enzyme powder on growth performance, intestinal morphology, microflora and serum antioxidantive status in broiler chickens. Italian Journal of Animal Science 17: 153-164.
LOPEZ-BOTE, C., GRAY, J., GOMAA, E. and FLEGAL, C. (1998) Effect of dietary administration of oil extracts from rosemary and sage on lipid oxidation in broiler meat. British Poultry Science 39: 235-240.
MA, Z., HONG, Q., WANG, Y., LIANG, Q., TAN, H., XIAO, C., TANG, X., SHAO, S., ZHOU, S. and GAO, Y. (2011) Ferulic acid induces heme oxygenase-1 via activation of erk and nrf2. Drug Discoveries & Therapeutics 5: 299-305.
MASAI, E., HARADA, K., PENG, X., KITAYAMA, H., KATAYAMA, Y. and FUKUDA, M. (2002) Cloning and characterization of the ferulic acid catabolic genes of sphingomonas paucimobilis syk-6. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 68: 4416-4424.
MATTILA, P. and HELLSTRÖM, J. (2007) Phenolic acids in potatoes, vegetables, and some of their products. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 20: 152-160.
NETHAJI, M., PATTABHI, V. and DESIRAJU, G. (1988) Structure of 3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-2-propenoic acid (ferulic acid). Acta Crystallographica Section C: Crystal Structure Communications 44: 275-277.
OU, S. and KWOK, K.C. (2004) Ferulic acid: Pharmaceutical functions, preparation and applications in foods. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 84: 1261-1269.
PAGANGA, G., MILLER, N. and RICE-EVANS, C.A. (1999) The polyphenolic content of fruit and vegetables and their antioxidant activities. What does a serving constitute? Free Radical Research 30: 153-162.
PETERSON, D.M., EMMONS, C.L. and HIBBS, A.H. (2001) Phenolic antioxidants and antioxidant activity in pearling fractions of oat groats. Journal of Cereal Science 33: 97-103.
QIAO, H., DAHIYA, J. and CLASSEN, H. (2008) Nutritional and physiological effects of dietary SA (4-hydroxy-3, 5-dimethoxy-cinnamic acid) in broiler chickens and its metabolism in the digestive tract. Poultry Science 87: 719-726.
RAMANJANEYULU, G., RAMYA, A., KUMARI, B.S.S., KUMAR, K.D. and REDDY, B.R. (2017) Xylanase-producing microflora in Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, India. Journal of Forestry Research 28: 291-298.
ROSA, N.N., DUFOUR, C., LULLIEN-PELLERIN, V. and MICARD, V. (2013) Exposure or release of ferulic acid from wheat aleurone: Impact on its antioxidant capacity. Food Chemistry 141: 2355-2362.
ROY, S., METYA, S.K., SANNIGRAHI, S., RAHAMAN, N. and AHMED, F. (2013) Treatment with ferulic acid to rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes: Effects on oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and apoptosis in the pancreatic β cell. Endocrine 44: 369-379.
RUAN, Z.P., ZHANG, L.L. and LIN, Y.M. (2008) Evaluation of the antioxidant activity of syzygium cumini leaves. Molecules 13: 2545-2556.
SAEED, M., BABAZADEH, D., ARAIN, M.A, NAVEED, M., SHAH, Q., KAMBOH, A.A, MOSHAVERI, A., MODARRESI-GHAZANI, F., HEJAZI, V. and CHAO, S. (2018) The use of chicoric acid from echinacea purpurea as a feed additive in poultry nutrition. World's Poultry Science Journal 74: 69-78.
SEVEN, P.T. (2008) The effects of dietary Turkish propolis and vitamin c on performance, digestibility, egg production and egg quality in laying hens under different environmental temperatures. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Science 21: 1164-1170.
SRINIVASAN, M., RUKKUMANI, R., RAM SUDHEER, A. and MENON, V.P. (2005) Ferulic acid, a natural protector against carbon tetrachloride-induced toxicity. Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology 19: 491-496.
SRINIVASAN, M., SUDHEER, A.R. and MENON, V.P. (2007) Ferulic acid: Therapeutic potential through its antioxidant property. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition 40: 92-100.
STRACK, D. (1990) Metabolism of hydroxycinnamic acid conjugates. Bullten Liaison Groupe Polyphen 15: 55-64.
SZYMCZYK, B., HANCZAKOWSKI, P., SZCZUREK, W. and FRYS-ZUREK, M. (2007) Effect of naked oat and enzymes in diets for broiler chickens on quality, fatty acid profile and oxidative stability of breast muscle. Polish Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences 57: 541-545.
TAHERI, H.R., RAHMANI, H.R. and POURREZA, J. (2005) Humoral immunity of broilers is affected by oil extracted propolis (OEP) in the diet. International Journal of Poultry Science 4: 414-417.
TESAKI, S., TANABE, S., ONO, H., FUKUSHI, E., KAWABATA, J. and WATANABE, M. (1998) 4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenylacetic and sinapic acids as antibacterial compounds from mustard seeds. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 62: 998-1000.
TRUONG, H.H., NEILSON, K.A., MCINERNEY, B.V., KHODDAMI, A., ROBERTS, T.H., CADOGAN, D.J., LIU, S.Y. and SELLE, P.H. (2017) Comparative performance of broiler chickens offered nutritionally equivalent diets based on six diverse, ‘tannin-free’ sorghum varieties with quantified concentrations of phenolic compounds, kafirin, and phytate . Animal Production Science 57: 828-838.
URAJI, M., KIMURA, M., INOUE, Y., KAWAKAMI, K., KUMAGAI, Y., HARAZONO, K. and HATANAKA, T. (2013) Enzymatic production of ferulic acid from defatted rice bran by using a combination of bacterial enzymes. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 171: 1085-1093.
WONG, D.W., CHAN, V.J., BATT, S.B., SARATH, G. and LIAO, H. (2011) Engineering saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce feruloyl esterase for the release of ferulic acid from switchgrass. Journal Of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology 38: 1961-1967.
WU, J., SUN, X., GUO, X., GE, S. and ZHANG, Q. (2017) Physicochemical properties, antimicrobial activity and oil release of fish gelatin films incorporated with cinnamon essential oil. Aquaculture and Fisheries 2: 185-192.
XU, X., XIAO, H., ZHAO, J. and ZHAO, T. (2012) Cardioprotective effect of sodium ferulate in diabetic rats. International Journal of Medical Sciences 9: 291.
YAGI, K. and OHISHI, N. (1979) Action of ferulic acid and its derivatives as antioxidants. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology 25: 127-130.
YATAO, X., SAEED, M., KAMBOH, A.A, ARAIN, M.A, AHMAD, F., SUHERYANI, I., EL-HACK, M.A., ALAGAWANY, M., SHAH, Q. and CHAO, S. (2018) The potentially beneficial effects of supplementation with hesperidin in poultry diets. World's Poultry Science Journal 74: 265-276.
ZHANG, L., DONG, M., XU, G., TIAN, Y., TANG, H. and WANG, Y. (2018) Metabolomics reveals that dietary ferulic acid and quercetin modulate metabolic homeostasis in rats. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 66: 1723-1731.
ZHAO, Z. and MOGHADASIAN, M.H. (2008) Chemistry, natural sources, dietary intake and pharmacokinetic properties of ferulic acid: A review. Food Chemistry 109: 691-702.
ZHAO, Z., EGASHIRA, Y. and SANADA, H. (2003) Ferulic acid sugar esters are recovered in rat plasma and urine mainly as the sulfoglucuronide of ferulic acid. The Journal of Nutrition 133: 1355-1361.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Health promoting and pharmaceutical potential of ferulic acid for the poultry industry

  • M. SAEED (a1), M. ALAGAWANY (a2), S.A. FAZLANI (a3), S.A. KALHORO (a4), M. NAVEED (a5), N. ALI (a6), M.A. ARAIN (a3) and S. CHAO (a1)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.