Food of animal origin forms an essential part of our diet. Safe feed is a prerequisite for human and animal health and the productivity of the animal husbandry sector. High quality feed, including side stream products from food processing, is necessary for the production of high quality and safe food. Feed additives are key ingredients addressing these demands, but need to be authorised before being placed on the market.
When using feed additives under practical conditions, often minimum and maximum content of these substances have to be considered. Also the exact composition of these products plays an important role. For both aspects Member States' official authorities need analytical methods that are fit to check feed samples for compliance with these provisions. Since 2004 the EURL-FA is evaluating along with a network of Member States' National Reference Laboratories analytical methods as proposed by the industry, based on a mandate described in Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003.
In addition the EURL-FA conducts targeted research in its laboratory to further improve the tools for control laboratories to carry out the compliance check of samples taken from the market.
Two scientific publications are presented here that elaborate on analytical methods related to feed additive analysis.
Spectroscopy applied to feed additives of the European Union Reference Laboratory: a valuable tool for traceability
For a well-functioning of the market it is crucial to ensure that only those feed additives are used that are authorised with specific characteristics established by corresponding EU regulations. This means that other products that contain even the same active substance but differ in composition and content compared to the feed additive actually subjected to the European authorisation procedure cannot be used. In this paper the EURL-FA presented various spectroscopic techniques that allow for a fast check by comparing the result of analysis obtained with the product on the market against the reference feed additive available in the EURL-FA sample bank. The feasibility of the concept is demonstrated on four examples, covering quite different feed additives, namely products containing selenium, zinc and manganese, vitamins and essential oils such as oregano and thyme oil.
Read more in: Omar, Jone et al.: Spectroscopy applied to feed additives of the European Union Reference Laboratory: a valuable tool for traceability, Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, 1272-1284, 2017, DOI: 10.1080/19440049.2017.1303196
Development and validation of a multi-analyte method for the regulatory control of carotenoids used as feed additives in fish and poultry feed
Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003 specifies the authorisation procedure of feed additives, requiring that each feed additive can be attributed to a specific category.
Carotenoids are pigments that are present in some plants and the tissue of animals, but could also be used as feed additives. They fall under the category "sensory additives" because they favourable affect the colour of food of animal origin, such as eggs or salmon.
However, for safety reasons the corresponding Regulations authorising these carotenoids include legal limits of these substances in feed, thus triggering the need for appropriate analytical methods.
This is a challenging task, since this group covers 10 different carotenoids and which are placed on the market in various preparations because of their limited stability, thus requiring specific sample preparation techniques to be applied when analysing feed samples.
In consequence, a large number of different analytical procedures have to be applied, which is often felt as impediment in control programmes. In order to address this situation, the JRC has developed a single analytical protocol that allows for the measurement of all authorised carotenoids in feed.
This method should improve the capability of Member States' control laboratories to check for compliance of carotenoids in feed samples with legal provisions.
Read more in: Vincent et al., Development and validation of a multi-analyte method for the regulatory control of carotenoids used as feed additives in fish and poultry feed, Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, 1285-1297, 2017, DOI: 10.1080/19440049.2017.1315651
- 19 december 2017