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Content archived on 2024-04-19

The development of sampling plans for the determination of aflatoxins in animal feeding stuffs


The aflatoxins are highly toxic fungal metabolites, which have a deleterious effect on the health and productivity of animals and man alike, and which occur in a wide range of oilseeds and cereals used as animal feeds. The carry-over of the aflatoxins from dairy feed into milk is of special concern to those responsible for the protection of public health. It is essential, therefore, that effective monitoring methods are established which facilitate the accurate estimation of the aflatoxin content of large consignments of animal feedingstuffs entering the Community; and which accommodate the uneven distribution of the aflatoxins in oilseeds and cereals.

The primary objective of this project is the development and testing of accurate, precise and practicable sampling procedures for the determination of the aflatoxins in large consignments of selected animal feedingstuffs, namely: copra meal pellets, copra cake, palm kernel cake and corn gluten feed pellets. Sample preparation methods, for the conversion of composite samples to laboratory samples, will also be developed and evaluated.
Over two thousand incremental samples have been collected from twenty seven 500 tonne batches of the selected feedingstuffs, and the determination of the aflatoxin B1 content of these samples is progressing as planned. Preliminary results indicate that, for these commodities, there is no relationship between the size of the incremental samples and the accuracy and precision of sampling.
To meet these objectives, the distribution of aflatoxin B1 in the selected feeds will be studied by the analysis of differently-sized, incremental samples, systematically collected from ten 500 tonne batches of each commodity at the port of entry. The analytical results, obtained using the official EU method for the determination of aflatoxin B1 in animal feeds, will be subjected to statistical analysis in order to establish the combinations of number and weight, of incremental samples, which afford composite samples in a practicable, precise and accurate manner. The sampling procedures developed by the project will be discussed with representatives of the animal feed trade, and a selected procedure will be subjected to a collaborative study involving a range of Member State laboratories.


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Natural Resources Institute
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Central Avenue Chatham Maritime
ME4 4TB Chatham
United Kingdom

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Participants (3)