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News article2 April 2019

Safe use of feed additives in animal nutrition: What to do, if a standard method does not work

Updated methods to monitor feed additives in animal nutrition

The JRC reviewed the official analytical method for the determination of diclazuril in animal feed to ensure its suitability. This will help control laboratories to monitor the correct application of diclazuril in animal feed.

Diclazuril belongs to a group of feed additives used to fight the animal diseasecoccidiosis.

To avoid coccidiosis at an early stage, diclazuril is added in a small amount to animal feed. This is covered by EU regulations, which also establishes maximum allowed levels in feedingstuffs. Therefore, control laboratories in the EU Member States have to monitor the correct use of diclazuril in feed regularly.

Due to the pivotal role of diclazuril for the prevention of coccidiosis, the EU compendium of official analytical methods also contains a protocol for the determination of this substance in feed. This protocol has to be applied by control laboratories. It is considered as the 'gold' standard method.

However, the European Union Reference Laboratory for Feed Additives (EURL-FA) hosted by the JRC had to handle recently an urgent alert from an official control laboratory (OCL) in an EU Member State.

The OCL stated that it was impossible to use the method exactly as prescribed in the EU compendium of official analytical methods because key method performance characteristics such as the recovery could not be reached.

In cooperation with other expert laboratories from the Member States, the EURL-FA was able to solve the problem by:

  1. Identifying the error of the current method protocol
  2. Developing a corrected protocol
  3. Organising an interlaboratory validation study with public and private laboratories working in the field, thus demonstrating that the corrected method fulfils the criteria of a 'gold' standard (reference) method.

By referring to the evidence-based information, the EU compendium of official analytical methods will be updated. This will ensure that in future, control laboratories will be able to monitor the correct application of diclazuril in animal feed by using the EU method.

Read more in:

Vincent Ursula; Ezerskis Zigmas; von Holst Christoph: Revision of a European Union Official Method to Enforce Legal Provisions: The Case of Diclazuril. Journal of AOAC International (2019).

DOI: 10.5740/jaoacint.18-0181

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Revision of a European Union official method to enforce legal provisions: The case of diclazuril


Publication date
2 April 2019