Safeguarding feed-food biosecurity

Good feed hygiene is about protection and prevention. It’s not only imperative to animal health; it helps protect your workers, equipment, reputation, bottom line, and the entire food supply chain. Traditionally, many feed mill managers, quality managers, and nutritionists have relied on formaldehyde as a control against pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, and other Enterobacteriaceae. The use of formaldehyde is being challenged by authorities and the industry due to safety concerns.

Organic acids are widely recognized as the best available solution for safeguarding feed-food biosecurity. When used according to the label recommendations, they are safer for workers than formaldehyde and, when applied to feedstuffs, can help support overall animal performance and animal health by controlling pathogens in the feed. Yet single organic acids alone are not as efficient in pathogen control as formaldehyde.

Clever combinations are the key.

The good news is that the right combination of organic acids—such as formaldehyde-based solutions, antibiotics, and antimicrobials—can be a viable alternative to solutions that are under restriction or unauthorized in some regions. Working synergistically, short- and medium-chain fatty acids, together with other bioactive ingredients, can have an acidifying effect in a broad pH range and inhibit microbial activity. Using the correct combinations of acids and bioactive compounds can create a synergy where some components will work to increase the permeability of bacterial cells for other components to enter and disrupt normal cellular function.

Pathogens threaten production animals.

Enterobacteriaceae are a large family of bacteria—the majority regularly occurring in feeds and animals. They may be constituents of endogenous gut microbiota found in most animals without any indication of disease or causing any adverse effects.

But other bacteria or specific serovars of the same family, such as Salmonella typhimurium, Salmonella enteritidis, Escherichia coli, and Clostridium perfringens, are pathogenic to production animals and cause diseases that can be transferred in animal flocks and to humans.

While animals can contract Salmonella through their environment or even before they’re born, contaminated feed remains a possible route of transmission. High-quality feed is one possible solution to maintain animals free from Salmonella.

Certain statements may not be applicable in all geographical regions. Product labeling and associated claims may differ based on government requirements.