Feed analysis is an integral part of good animal nutrition management. Feed plays an important role in both the composition and quality of animal products (milk, meat and eggs) that we humans consume and in the health of livestock and pets.
Access to feed markets is regulated by a variety of global authorities, which ultimately results in safe and high quality feed and pet food for livestock and pets.
Our involvement in the feed and food industry makes an important contribution to food safety and the health and welfare of farm and companion animals. With the global network of Tentamus laboratories, we offer a wide range of services, including feed analysis. With us, you maintain control over the quality, nutritional values, formulation and possible contamination of your feed.
What is the purpose of the feed analysis?
The feed analyses of the Tentamus laboratories can be used by large-scale producers, agriculture and smaller producers. The types of animal feed analysed include individual and compound feeds, basic feeds (maize silage, hay, etc.) and supplementary feeds for livestock, aquaculture, poultry, horses and pets. To ensure the safety and quality of these feed products for animals and humans, chemical-physical, microbiological, molecular biological, residue analytical and sensory tests are used.
The range of feed analysis extends from simple guaranteed analysis assays to complete packages with all parameters used to prove nutritional adequacy according to regional and international standards (e.g. AAFCO package (cat and dog food), antioxidant package or GMO testing).
Regulation 767/2009 regulates the marketing and the use or feeding of feed.
Crude protein, crude fat, crude fibre, crude ash – what is this?
Crude protein, crude fat, crude fibre and crude ash are typical components of feedstuffs whose share of the total mass must be declared.
- Crude protein: The protein contained in the feed is called crude protein. The supply of sufficient high-quality crude protein and its building blocks, the amino acids, is of vital importance for animals. Since the body cannot produce all amino acids itself, the remaining essential amino acids must be supplied through the diet. Accordingly, it is essential that the animal is supplied with sufficient amino acids, i.e. crude protein. Crude protein is determined and calculated in the laboratory by means of the nitrogen it contains.
- Crude fat: Crude fat is the fat contained in animal feed. Next to carbohydrates, it is the most important energy supplier for the animals. There are essential fatty acids that can only be supplied through the diet and are vital for the animals. The content of crude fat is determined gravimetrically.
- Crude fibre: Crude fibre includes all the dietary fibre contained in a feed product. Some animal species (e.g. horses, rabbits) depend on a minimum amount of crude fibre in their daily feed to ensure healthy digestion. Some feeds, such as wheat or maize silage, are well digestible in pigs and poultry in terms of crude fibre. Oats, on the other hand, have low digestibility in these species. The crude fibre content in feed is also determined gravimetrically.
- Crude ash: All inorganic components, such as minerals and trace elements in a feed, are referred to as crude ash. Crude ash can be determined by burning a sample of feed at 550°C. The inorganic components remain. Only the inorganic components remain as ash. Their proportion is determined by weighing.
What is the “Weender Analysis”?
Weender analysis is used in feed analysis to determine the raw nutrients in a product and dates back to 1865.
Weender analysis is a quantitative method that separates and examines the feed into its individual compounds and raw nutrients:
- Dry matter
- Crude ash (potassium, sodium, iron, calcium etc.) [XA].
- Crude protein [XP]
- Crude fibre [XF]
- Crude fat [XL]
- Nitrogen-free extractives (digestible carbohydrates) [NfE]
These components must in turn be labeled on the feed packaging. The information usually refers to the dry matter.
Procedure of the Weender feed analysis
1. Determination of the raw water in the total feed (fresh matter) by drying at 105 °C for about two hours. Only the dry matter remains.
2. Separation of the dry matter into its individual components at 500°C. Inorganic components (raw ash) remain.
- Further processes can be used to separate this more closely into salt-soluble pure ash (bulk and trace elements) and insoluble silicates (clay, sand).
3. The organic components are determined analytically in each case (except NfE).
- Crude protein content: determination by their nitrogen content
- Crude fat content: dissolution by organic solvents (e.g. hexane)
- Crude fibre content: treatment of the sample with acid and alkaline solutions
- Content of nitrogen-free extracts: Rest
With the “Extended Weender Analysis“, which is also used in the laboratories of the Tentamus Group, raw fibres and NfE (nitrogen-free extractives) can be determined in more detail. This means that also fibres of the scaffolding substances that are
- not in neutral solution (NDF)
- not in acid solution (ADF)
- cannot be dissolved after increased acid treatment (ADL = lignin)
can be dissolved.
What other tests are used for feed analysis?
- Microbiological analysis: Feed can also contain pathogenic germs such as E.Coli or Listeria. These can be detected with the help of microbiological tests. If corresponding growth of these germs is observed, the products and production processes must be improved. The laboratories of the Tentamus Group examine the following germs:
- Total plate count
- Molecular biological analysis: In order to protect animals, certain animal components (whole carcasses, parts of carcasses of dead animals or products of animal origin including ova, embryos and semen not intended for breeding purposes) may not be fed in the EU. With the help of molecular biological analyses, feed can be tested for this (e.g. by means of PCR tests). In addition, the laboratories of the Tentamus Group also test whether feedstuffs declared as GMO-free are actually free of genetic engineering or whether they contain allergens.
- Chemical analysis: Chemical analyses are carried out to examine the properties and ingredients of feed. The Weender analysis is used to examine the macronutrients in a feed product. In addition to the classic Weender analysis, we can also test feedstuffs for sugar, starch, sulphur, sweeteners, fluoride, chloride, fat ratios and much more.
- Residue analysis: Impurities such as pesticide residues, heavy metals or other contaminants can have a significant influence on the product and reduce its quality. Residue analyses can be used to determine the exact contents of undesirable substances, but also vitamin contents, in order to finally compare these with the legal maximum quantities. Our laboratories offer the following analyses for this purpose:
- Aflatoxin B1
- Amino acid profile
- Antibiotic residues
- Calcium and phosphorus screening
- Full GC/MS/MS pesticide screen
- Full mineral profile
- Dioxins, furans and dioxin-like PCBs
- Fatty acid profile
- FEDIAF alignment
- Heavy metals
- Melamine & related compounds
- Cyanuric acid
- Ergot alkaloids
- Solvent residues/ organic residues
- Impurities Class I/ II/ III
- Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, K
- Biotin, folic acid
- Chlormequat and mepiquat chloride
Legal basis for feed analysis
Placing feed products on the market is subject to a number of strict regulations that apply both nationally and at European level. The following list provides an overview of the most important regulations and their contents in the EU:
- Food and Feed Law (LFGB): The food and feed law specified by the EU is extended by national regulations. It includes rules on the composition and labeling of feed as well as guidelines on analytics and sampling.
- Regulation (EC) No. 767/2009: Regulation on the placing on the market, labeling and other requirements to ensure the quality and safety of feed.
- Regulation (EC) No. 1831/2003: Regulation on the authorization and use of additives in feeding stuffs.
- Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005: Regulation on maximum residue levels of plant protection products in animal feed
- Regulation (EU) No. 619/2011: Regulation of GMOs in animal feed
Feed producers and operators must observe these regulations as part of their due diligence and have them regularly checked by appropriate experts.
Feed testing in the laboratories of Tentamus
Tentamus Group has been providing quality assurance and R&D support services to the highly specialized pet food industry for many years. With our global network of laboratories, we offer a range of relevant services such as:
- Testing for impurities
- Marketability assessment
- Export compliance (certification)
- Labelling & regulatory services
- Quality management & auditing
- Residue & pesticide analysis
Our analytical laboratories for feed analysis are ISO/IEC 17025 accredited and test according to the regulations in force in the respective country.
Furthermore, the Tentamus Group also includes laboratories that are GMP+ accredited. This enables and allows us to analyse certain critical contaminants in feed, feed additives, premixes, compound feed and feed supplements for our customers.
In addition, the Tentamus laboratories offer various packages that are specifically requested in the feed sector:
- AAFCO package (cat and dog food)
- Antioxidants package
- Biogenic Amines Package
- Advanced treats/pet food package
- Glycol package
- Pet Food Screening
- Probiotic – Lactic Acid Bacteria Package
- Stability studies
Analytics of animal food containing hemp
The use of hemp from commercial hemp (low in cannabinoids) is becoming increasingly popular. Hemp seeds, hemp protein powder or other processed products can be found on the market.
Since the different hemp varieties sometimes contain considerable amounts of narcotics, it is important to know the exact content of these substances.
As a competent partner for hemp-containing products, we ensure the safety of your products and compliance with legal requirements with our range of analyses. Our laboratories examine the following product groups:
- Hemp treats (calming, mobility, health & wellness boosters)
- Hemp oils, shampoo & pet cleaners
- Dog chews & capsules for dogs
- Catnip Spray
- Hemp CBD Peanut Butter
- Salmon Oil with Hemp
- Hemp products for horses
How long does a feed analysis take?
The duration of a feed analysis depends on the parameters to be examined and the product. We are happy to draw up individual analysis plans to meet your wishes and needs.
On average it takes 14 working days, but there are also analyses that are completed within 3-7 working days and for certain parameters we also offer express analyses.
HACCP, audits, training
Feed producers are also subject to due diligence. They must be able to guarantee and document the conformity of their products and production facilities. In order to be able to safely face official hygiene audits, the experienced and competent auditors of the Tentamus Group offer you a service and consulting package for the development of HACCP concepts and quality management systems, implementation of hygiene audits, as well as customised training for your company and your employees.
For further information please click here: Hygiene & Consulting
How can the Tentamus service be integrated into your production process?
From the barn to the plate (or in the feed bowl) – the Tentamus Group offers you the complete range of products from the analysis of feed and food products in the laboratory, to advice on labeling, to auditing and hygiene advice for your production facility.
In doing so, we can offer you solutions individually adapted to your needs and support you with all your questions on the subject of feed.
Overview of Analytical Laboratories for the Analysis Feed of the Tentamus Group
The following laboratories of the Tentamus Group offer feed testing:
- Veltia Labs – Nicosia – www.veltialabs.cy
- BAV INSTITUT – Offenburg – www.bav-institut.de
- bilacon Labor für Lebensmittel und Hygiene – Berlin – www.bilacon.com
- Tentamus Greater China – Shanghai, Fuzhou, Taipei, Kaohsiung – www.tentamus.com/china
- Veltia – Thessaloniki, Athens –www.veltialabs.gr
- Renolab – San Giorgi di Piano – www.renolab-glp.com
- Tentamus Agriparadigma – Ravenna, Signa & Syracusa – www.agriparadigma.it
- QTS Analytical – Sittingbourne – www.qtsanalytical.com
USA & CANADA:
- AFL – Grand Prairie, TX – afltexas.com
- Columbia Laboratories – Portland, OR – www.columbialaboratories.com
- EPL Bio Analytical Services – Niantic, IL – eplbas.com
- Tentamus North America – Fredericksburg, VA – www.tentamus.com
Please get in touch with our experts. We’re happy to help: +49 30 206 038 230 / firstname.lastname@example.org