Ingredient Testing

Quality assurance and ingredient testing is a serious topic. Companies should challenge their teams in ways to make their program better and continually invest in processes and people. The right leadership is important to guide the team. Combining science and expertise with quality brings the entire program together.



The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) holds the industry to strict tolerances of raw materials in effort to ensure the safety of our four-legged family members. To meet these high standards, quality departments employ a variety of methods to test the physical and chemical properties of all raw materials.

Testing Types

Cross-contamination studies should be performed at least twice a year, on complex new products, and especially on premixes containing minerals or high-risk chemical ingredients (HRCIs), such as such as zinc, selenium or vitamin A.

To optimize handling characteristics, quality teams measure a premix’s flowability, or ability of feed ingredients or premixes to flow during handling.

Whereas NIR analysis best applies to vitamins, energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) effectively tests for minerals. EDXRF also provides qualitative and quantitative analyses of material composition and checks for potential contaminants in trace mineral premixes.

Most pet food manufacturers and premix suppliers only use wet chemistry to analyze product consistency and uniformity, but near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy analysis provides a quicker, non- destructive method without producing hazardous waste or requiring chemicals or consumables.

Vitamin Testing

Whereas some labs may not consistently run certain vitamin tests, Trouw Nutrition’s vitamin chemistry lab tests for A, D3 and Thiamine daily. The team of experts then inputs the results into Lab Retriever, the company’s laboratory information management system (LIMS), so the data can be centrally accessed and stored.

We know the moisture content of every ingredient to better predict the moisture level in the premix. Moisture testing can often be an overlooked quality control measure, but moisture can instigate poor product performance. 

In the rare event of a recall or if an analyte is out of specification, our quality control systems can provide analysis results, showing what parameter of the product varied, by how much, and the specification. With an integrated inventory system, the out-of-specification ingredient will not be released for use and will automatically and immediately be marked as quarantined.

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