The role of feed analysis towards improving feed quality
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The goal of feed manufacturing is to produce feed that meets intended specifications in nutritional composition.
Today, feed is a very expensive commodity and consistent feed quality is a key growth driver. Quality control and assurance have emerged as a critical feature in feed milling. Laboratory analysis is a definitive aspect of quality control.
The analysis of raw materials can help the feed manufacturer in several ways, such as:
a) Avoiding contaminants
b) Detecting adulterants
With the focus on prediction of nutritive values of fed ingredients and feed, in this discussion.
Prediction of nutritive value of feed ingredients
Knowledge of feed ingredient composition is vital for the nutritionist in order to meet precisely the nutrient requirements of livestock.
The nutrient values in any feed ingredient vary from season to season, source to source, batch to batch as also within a batch, therefore feed ingredients need to be analysed carefully for their nutritive value before they are incorporated into the diet
The graph shows the variation in crude protein content of soybean meal used widely as a vegetable protein source. The crude protein percentage range from 37.60% to 47.99%.
Such variations, unless otherwise accounted through laboratory, may lead to poor livestock performances or pinch the economy of feed production.
Even a slight variation in quality of feed ingredients or feed affect animal performances. It is difficult to have a general assumption of the published values b because a wide variability is observed in the nutrient content of raw materials.
Whilst under-formulating a ration will reduce animal performance is an obvious quality deficiency, over-formulation also deviates from quality since it results in losses of revenue. Every quality control program should include periodic laboratory analysis of ingredients and feed.
To achieve optimal animal performance, well-balanced diets that satisfy nutrient requirements of the animal is mandatory; for producing these diets, accurate formulation is essential. The most accurate formulations result when laboratory analysis of ingredients is available.
How can an analysis program improve feed quality?
Success of a quality control program hinges on collection of representative samples for laboratory analysis.
The presence of mycotoxins in the feed due to mould growth is also a possibility.
The analysis of mycotoxins is done for Zearelenone, DON and Aflatoxins in our lab on a quantitate scale.
Compound feeds are composed as a blend of various raw materials and/or by-products.
Whilst formulating feed, the nutritionist needs to find an optimum balance amongst different materials that will satisfy the requirements of specific animals in specific physiological state.
In order to achieve this, the nutritionist needs to keep an eye on the chemical composition and nutritional value of feedstuffs. Hence feed analysis and the right use of it can optimize both the quality and economics of feed manufacturing.
A lab has a very key role to play right from purchasing of raw materials to despatch of finished feed. It requires a small investment relative to the enormous benefit of customer satisfaction and enhanced productivity through quality feed.
Visit www.lionelsvet.co.za/services for testing information.