Quality control of feedstuffs
Quality control is essential at all stages in the production of compound feed so that animals could get wholesome balanced and nutritious feed. The quality control of feed is regulated by the legislation laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), New Delhi. The quality standards have been laid for raw materials as well as for the compounded feed. The quality assessment is mainly based upon moisture, crude protein, crude fibre, crude fat and acid insoluble ash contents in the feed ingredients and compound feed.
Moisture content of stored feed or feed ingredients is closely related to ambient relative humidity. Grains and brans have higher moisture content than the feed ingredients containing oil at the same ambient relative humidity. Biological activity, both within the materials and of the pests is largely affected by moisture content. Insect pests will not develop on feedstuffs at relative humidity outside the range of30-90%, while bacteria will only flourish at relative humidity of over 90%. However, fungi generally grow at relative humidity of over 70%.It is important to ensure that processed material of animal origin such as fish meal, meat meal and bone meal are free from pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella which may cause diseases in animals. However, Govt. of India has banned the use of feeds of animal origin in cattle feed.
The protein concentrates should be tested to ensure that the quality of the protein has not been affected during processing. The most important form of damage recognized is the rendering of the amino acid lysine unavailable by excessive heating during processing, which may cause problem. Some oil cakes and cereals were found to have high levels of aflatoxins, which not only affects cellular–immune system and other vital systems adversely in animals but also get secreted in to the milk, thereby causing health hazards among the consumers of milk. Keeping this in view, the BIS has restricted its level in compounded feed at 50 ppb, which is likely to be reduced on getting more critical information in this regard.