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Why is it Essential to Apply a Good Method for Feed Sampling?

Good sampling of raw materials and feeds is the basic condition for the validation of a quality control plan. It is also the key to a satisfactory regulatory control and the compliance of feed with nutritional standards. Any error or negligence can lead to misinterpretation of results.

In feed mills, the reliability of a quality control plan is based on a good sampling method of raw materials and feed. The regulatory control of feed raw materials entering the composition of feeds as feeds themselves also highly depends on appropriate sampling methods. The samples carry the heavy responsibility of representing the entire batch of which they derive. It is therefore necessary to place great importance on their representativeness.

What are the risks of a non-representative sample?

The sample is compared to the basic needs of Maslow’s pyramid: there is no point to pass to the next stages – physical examination, division, analysis and interpretation – if the basic needs are not satisfied. In Europe, the regulation 691/13/UE of 19th July 2013 or the standard NF V 03-777 of December 2013 are among measures that strictly govern its practice, but there are many exceptions to the way these rules are applied.
False interpretations might thus stem from a non-representative sample. Indeed, samples are at the core of all interpretations, often causing irreversible decisions regarding regulatory, zootechnical or technological matters. In this case, the resulting diagnosis will not lead to an appropriate decision; for example, a renegotiation of input prices or the non-commercialisation of finished products. An unsuited sample can therefore lead to costly decisions, with no effect on the initial target sought. Such errors can lead to various consequences: quarantine, product withdrawal, compensation, reformulation, readjustment of  raw materials or feed, unjustified accusations from suppliers or customers, changes of equipment.  

How to insure appropriate conditions for good sampling?

It is therefore important to be drastically vigilant about sample collection conditions:  this is a key stage where everything is decided. Yet in feed mills, the staff responsible for taking samples may not be fully aware of these rules. For instance, operators, influenced by habits and customs of the site can sometimes find themselves carelessly using the tools at their disposition:  shovel, crate, bucket, cane, automatic sampler, or even worse, taking directly with their hands.

The key to an effective method

Continuous care must be taken because other factors could distort interpretations, such as the collection of primary samples, assembly of a global sample, its division, its handling, conditions of storage and transport. . .

Effective sampling is the result of constant attention. With their extensive knowledge of regulations, of field experience (numerous factory audits) and of internal practices, the TECHNA Group can  assist you in finding sampling solutions adapted to your production site, your inputs, and your products. Do not hesitate to contact our team of experts!

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