- Quality feed begins with quality ingredients and it is the manufacturers
responsibility to make sure that the ingredients used within their feeds are
wholesome and safe.
- To this end the manufacturers buyer should have a set of standards
for ingredients to be purchased and only purchase from reputable ingredient
sellers who will comply with the mills purchasing standards (Boonyaratpalin
& Chittiwan, 1999; Pike & Hardy, 1997; Sitasit, 1995).
- Ideally the commodity merchants and supplement companies from which feed
ingredients are purchased, should provide the buyer with specifications of
exactly what is to be bought.
- It is inevitable that the quality of ingredients will vary, even from the
same supplier from batch to batch and/or from month to month, and so it is
important that this variability be characterised and monitored.
- To ensure the ingredients are meeting specifications, the nutritionist/quality
control staff should conduct periodic sampling to verify the ingredient specifications
are being met (Cruz, 1996; Dong & Hardy, 2000).
- In addition to the nutritional and analytical characteristics of the feeding
stuffs, the specifications ought to include: origins and sources; any pre-processing
details; hazards or limitations; miscellaneous information including moisture
content and possible non-hazardous contaminants (stones, grit, etc.; Kangleon,
1994; Polidori & Renaud, 1995; Tan, 1993).
- All incoming ingredients should be inspected and tags/labels should be
read for medications, trace minerals and other additives.
- In the event the analysis indicates that an ingredient does not meet mill
specifications, and the supplier continually transports substandard ingredients,
that supplier should be removed from the mills supplier list.
- To become reinstated, a supplier must demonstrate that positive action
has been taken to correct the deficiencies.
- All ingredient specifications should be reviewed annually or as needed
to assure that utilisation in formulas is consistent with current, sound nutritional
guidelines (the latest knowledge, in other words). The production manager
is responsible for monitoring the specification list in co-operation with
the purchasing manager.
- Grain or feedstuffs used in the manufacture of aquafeeds which are mouldy,
treated/dyed or otherwise discoloured should not be used for any feed or food.
- Brightly coloured grain usually indicates seeds which are treated for use
as rodenticides, or other pest control; these can be highly toxic to aquatic
animals and man.
- Mycotoxins found in mouldy feedstuffs may, even at very low concentrations
of a few parts per billion, have detrimental effects on farmed aquatic species
(Li, Raverty & Robinson, 1994; Meronuck & Xie, 2000). There are over
one hundred different mycotoxins and their impact on aquaculture species is
still not well understood (Lovell, 2000; Trigo-Stocki, 1994).
- Similarly, low concentrations of pesticides or veterinary residues may
have serious effects, not only on production of various aquaculture species,
but accumulation of such residues may render aquatic species unmarketable
if action levels in local regulations are exceeded (Boyd & Massaut, 1999;
FAO/WHO, 1996; FAO/NACA/WHO, 1999; FAO/WHO, 2000c; GESAMP, 1997; Poh Sze,
2000; Spencer-Garrett, dos Santos & Jahncke, 1997).
- The aquaculture feed milling company and all its facilities should be in
compliance with all government regulations (Boonyaratpalin and Chittiwan,
1999; Boyd, 1999). An example of compliance guidance is found in the Official
Publication of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO,
2000) by way of an inspection form for feed mills. This form may be utilised
as a feed mill checklist or guideline as directed by the production manager.
- It would be wise for the aquafeed manufacturer to know their customers
receiving facilities well (Preston, 1995), to insure to the extent possible
the correct care and use of feeds and ingredients.
- In some regions the farmers and feed stores may be required to comply with
certain standards of storage and handling to assure freshness and minimal
exposure to sources of contamination due to birds, rodents and other environmental
- The suppliers warranty should be included in the purchase order showing
suitability of an ingredient for feed use and that the ingredient is not adulterated
and is in compliance with government regulations (UKASTA, 1998, 2000, 2001).
- All suppliers should furnish some type of official document which will
permit the person in the mill responsible for receiving the product(s) to
correctly and positively identify the inbound product and determine that the
product actually belongs to the feed mill.
- Suppliers, or the transportation companies used to haul commodities, are
responsible for ensuring the equipment is clean before they load it and that
no material was hauled previously in the trucks, containers, barges or rail
cars, which could be hazardous to animals. Conveyances should be certified
clean and free of materials detrimental to aquatic animals and human health.
- Certificates of analyses of feedstuffs (where appropriate) should be requested
- When purchasing ingredients from a new supplier the following steps should
be considered: perform on-site inspection of suppliers facilities, review
standards of expectations (i.e., the raw materials should be clean and free
from contamination), request suppliers certificates of analyses (where
appropriate), request suppliers past laboratory data on ingredients
to be purchased, request and review written quality assurance programs from
supplier, verify suppliers reliability - check references for supplier
reliability and availability of ingredients, request certificate of insurance
or insurability on a routine basis from all suppliers and vendors, and request
representative ingredient samples and analyse for appropriate items.
- Manufacturing quality control must insure that the feed produced will be
consistently of a quality appropriate to the species fed. The process should
include a comprehensive system of record keeping to document that the appropriate
standards of a formula are being met throughout the period of manufacturing.
Such records should be sufficient to make the product fully traceable (Cruz,
- The re-feeding of feed ingredients derived from non-processed and/or processed
aquaculture products (including farmed fish and shellfish processing wastes,
fish meal, shrimp meal, dead animals etc.) should be avoided at all costs
so as to prevent the possibility for the spread of disease through feed (Gill,
2000a; UKASTA, 2001).