Safe feed is the basis for safe food. The reliable work of the laboratories, which analyze feed for possible undesirable substances, is an important element here. In the QS laboratory competence test, laboratories active in QS feed monitoring demonstrate the quality of the pollutant analyzes. The results of this year's laboratory competence test are now available: the current level of performance is good and proves the reliability of the analysis results.
"For us, the laboratory competence test is an important tool for checking the performance of laboratories. For laboratories in turn, participation is a way to identify and correct their own weak points," emphasizes QS Managing Director Dr. Ing. Hermann-Josef Nienhoff.
52 laboratories from six countries (Germany, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria) participated in this year's test. They were not aware of either the parameter to be tested, the sample material, or the exact shipping date. The task was to examine two samples of the sample material maize meal for dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). 15 individual values were requested - 12 measured values for the parameter and three summation values. 41 laboratories have successfully completed this challenge, including 29 absolutely flawless. Eight laboratories have not identified at least one congener of the parameter, two have made too many quantification errors. These labs need to work on their analytics. One lab has not given any results.
Each laboratory receives individual feedback and, depending on the test result, is asked to explain the necessary improvement measures to QS in a timely manner. At a laboratory leaders meeting in the fall, the results will be discussed together again.
QS feed monitoring continuously monitors compliance with limits and guidelines for undesirable substances, such as mycotoxins, dioxins, pesticides and heavy metals. Specific control plans, which are risk-oriented, specify the sample size and range of analysis. The investigations are systematically distributed throughout the year. All sample data and analysis results are recorded in the QS database. QS goes beyond the legal requirements in some areas.
For example, the additional control plan for aflatoxin B1 in corn introduced five years ago immediately reacted to the alarming findings of this mold poison in feed maize. Since then, every batch of maize (products) has to be sampled from specific, critical countries - 100% monitoring.