Feed Mill Inbound Testing
Since ingredient costs may account for 70 to 90% of the cost of producing feeds, managing ingredient quality is very important to ensuring high feed mill productivity. To control variation in feed ingredient quality, the feed mill must have a robust Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) policy that describes what, when, and how to measure ingredient quality. On site measurement of bulk ingredients at the point of delivery enables the feed mill to segregate low quality ingredients and appropriately re-formulate to produce finished feeds that meet requirements.
Rapid tests exist to measure nutritional content and natural toxins such as mycotoxins at the point of delivery. For mycotoxins, co-occurrence in crop commodities and processing co-products is on the rise and mycotoxin test kit providers have responded by making kits available that can test the same sample extract, which allows the feed mill to process trucks at a faster rate. These quantitative mycotoxin tests are inserted into a reader device that digitizes the results and makes them available for distribution. A best-in-class QA program will have an ingredient rejection policy that specifies the analytical values that trigger a rejection, how to document a quality report, how to send a sample to a laboratory for confirmatory testing, how to save a sample in the event of a dispute, and how to communicate the rejection with the supplier. Furthermore, all quality reports should be internally retained in a supplier history file to monitor supplier consistency and identify trends in performance.
The EnviroLogix QuickScan System is used to read digitize results for EnviroLogix mycotoxin tests. For feed mills producing Non GMO feed, it should be noted that the QuickScan System also reads GMO tests and that GMO tests and mycotoxin tests can be read simultaneously. The QuickScan System possesses many value adding features such as: data analysis, quality checks, export options, inventory management, on-board data, user authentication, custom cutoffs, and automatic associations. These software features make managing quality, ingredient suppliers, and test kit inventory simple and fast. Furthermore, the QuickScan System makes it easy to comply with the stringent record keeping requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Specifically, the FSMA record keeping requirements state that original values for hazard analysis (e.g., mycotoxins) must be retained for two years and that should the FDA request records, the records must be produced within 24 hours. The QuickScan System can store up to 100,000 quality reports in a digital format therefore making data retrieval fast if the FDA should request records.