Critical to Safety and Quality in Blending
What is sequencing when it comes to blending ingredients and products for use by D&D customers in manufacturing feed and pet food products?
Sequencing refers to a method of production scheduling to minimize the risk of contamination of products. The sequence or order of production of blended products in our batch-and-mix system depends on the type of products in production.
Need to know
Correct sequencing is essential to our HACCP protocols, and, in the case of medicated premixes or supplements, it’s a strictly enforced regulatory requirement.
In sequencing, we have to know about the customer’s final product, particularly the intended animal species, age, class type (breeding, food production, etc.), and purpose (growth, reproduction, maintenance, etc.).
How it works
A production sequence typically begins with batches of products that are most susceptible or sensitive to contamination with other products, such as non-GMO and organic products. The sequence typically ends with products that are highly concentrated blends of ingredients and medicated products.
Depending on the physical characteristics and potential chemical interactions of products in the sequence, we may “flush” the handling equipment and mixer between batches, using flush materials such as calcium carbonate (ground limestone).
In some cases, the Production Team may go further and thoroughly clean out the production equipment, to be absolutely sure there is no trace of the previously processed product or ingredients.
We have to be especially careful working with products that contain antibiotics and certain minerals. For example:
• Rumensin® (sodium monensin from Elanco) — sequencing assures that we do not blend a product that includes Rumensin for use in cattle before we blend any products intended for animals that may be adversely affected by even tiny amounts of monensin, such as horses.
• Selenium — for many species selenium is an essential nutrient in “trace” or tiny exact amounts, but it’s a potentially toxic contaminant in greater amounts.
• Copper — beef cattle products containing high levels of copper pose a risk for other species, including other ruminants like sheep and goats.
Sequencing also applies to the production methods our customers use to incorporate products manufactured by D&D in their feed and pet food products.
Inspections by federal or state feed regulators focus closely on how we prevent contaminants from getting into animal food products. Drug “carryover” or residue is a chief concern, but minerals like selenium and copper are high on their watch list, too.
Correct sequencing in our blending operation helps assure safe, quality D&D products and products for our customers. Sequencing “saves our bacon” and that of our customers and their customers, too.
For more on sequencing, look it up in the AAFCO Feed Inspectors Manual
More “Did You Know?”
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