Why You Need an Animal Feed Analysis Lab
The work of a feed analysis lab remains essential for ensuring accurate information on the composition of feed ingredients consumed by livestock across the world.
By determining the levels of both desirable and undesirable substances in animal feed, a feed analysis lab aids in producing safe and balanced diets for livestock. Without this critical work, a major component in the world’s food supply would be at risk — and so would the consumers who choose those products.
There is more pressure than ever on livestock industries in meeting or increasing current production rates and ensuring quality products that are safe for consumers. With global demand for livestock produced projected to increase dramatically — by more than 60 percent by 2050 — the sector faces increased pressure to provide animals with adequate and balanced diets. Quality feed that’s free of toxins and contaminants is key to enhancing productive levels, ensuring a better end product, and a cleaner environment. Safe animal feed is also vital in preventing hazards from entering the food chain.
A trusted animal feed analysis lab is needed to make sure livestock is getting the appropriate levels of nutrients and also to curtail the level of unwanted elements. It’s a simple formula. Better quality feed leads to healthier livestock. This, in turn, leads to more production and fewer health risks for consumers.
Feed Analysis Labs Perform Key Microbiological Testing
Microbiological tests are needed for animal feed because they can find, identify, and alert the presence of pathogens. Many of these pathogens in and of themselves aren’t necessarily harmful to the animals but are potentially serious threats to consumers. As livestock is processed into food products, these pathogens — if not accounted for in the feed — can be transmitted to humans through meat and poultry consumption.
Fungal contamination, or mycotoxins, is one such threat. They are naturally occurring compounds produced by certain types of molds and can appear on many kinds of agricultural products; mycotoxins most commonly affect the dairy, animal feed, produce, and grain industries. Mycotoxins can be extremely harmful and even fatal for humans, while also capable of causing or contributing to long-term effects like organ damage, immune deficiencies, and certain cancers. Human exposure to mycotoxins typically occurs through directly eating infected foods or indirectly through animal or animal byproduct consumption. For example, drinking milk from a cow that ate contaminated feed will put you at risk.
Resistant to decomposition and digestion, mycotoxins pass through to humans in meat and dairy products. Cooking and freezing the food products won’t destroy mycotoxins like some other pathogens and toxins. Also capable of causing dangerous conditions at low levels, mycotoxins present challenges to track as they typically do not spread through products at a uniform level. All of these factors make it essential to properly sample test products — both food products and the feed for livestock that helps produce them — and to do so frequently.
An animal feed analysis lab is also critical to identifying bacterial pathogens. The most common primary bacterial threats include Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes), and pathogenic E. Coli.
Salmonella is a bacterium that causes salmonellosis, which attacks the digestive system in both humans and animals. Salmonella can infect animal feed at any stage of production, from raw ingredients to manufacturing equipment. The processes to kill these bacteria are common but should be verified by periodic testing performed by a feed analysis lab.
Monocytogenes is a resilient bacterium that causes listeriosis in both humans and animals. It can persist in all kinds of environments — from high acidity to low moisture content and both high and low temperatures. This resilience means it can stick in processing facilities for years, and dedicated testing is required to make sure it doesn’t linger in products over long periods.
Many strains of E. coli are harmless, and the bacterium itself is fairly common. But the strains that do cause adverse side effects are among the most common causes of product recalls due to foodborne illness.
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Make Barrow-Agee Your Trusted Feed Analysis Lab
Barrow-Agee Laboratories is a food testing services provider for numerous industries that accurately and efficiently performs a broad array of tests for its customers. Specializing in food and feed safety and quality testing, Barrow-Agee’s capabilities in being a trusted feed analysis lab are certified and proven.
Barrow-Agee holds numerous accreditations, certifications, and approvals with national, state, and industry-specific agencies and organizations. We maintain a comprehensive quality testing program to ensure our testing services and processes continue to meet customer expectations and regulatory compliance requirements. Barrow-Agee is ISO/IEC 17025:2017 Accredited.
With continued production needed from both livestock and animal by-products, reliable feed testing remains a necessity across the industry. Collaborate with a proven testing provider to discuss how to keep your products safe, your livestock healthy, and both compliant with established regulations.
Keep an eye out for other contaminants. Learn how we’ve upgraded our capabilities in testing for heavy metals.
Turn to Our Feed Analysis Lab for Accurate Results
At Barrow-Agee Laboratories, we understand you have goods to produce, customers to satisfy, and a business that needs direction — every day. Our team of experts will work quickly and efficiently to make sure your samples are tested and the results sent back to you within the stated turnaround time. We’ll help you maintain operations and make the most of your production process.