Pathogen contamination that occurs within oilseed processing costs the oilseed crushing industry millions in reduced productivity and written-off or devalued oilseed meal. In fact, a single Salmonella-positive in finished oilseed meal in a facility producing 1000 metric tons per day can cost processors €400,000 in lost production and write-offs alone. Oilseed meals are high protein, contain digestible essential amino acids and serve as a critical component in feed markets where animal proteins are not used. Most European markets are regulated under the Food Law 178/2002 which dictates that feed cannot be sent to market or fed to livestock if it can have an adverse effect on food safety, feed safety or animal health.
Compared to other commonly used feed ingredients, oilseed meals present the highest Salmonella risk to a feed formulation if animal proteins are not used. The oil content of oilseeds is attractive to insects and vermin, making oilseeds susceptible to contamination pre-harvest and post-processing. In addition, residual oil cast off during oilseed processing serves as a protective measure for the bacteria residing within oilseed crushing facilities. Salmonella challenges the poultry industry from farm to fork, but there are five ways Salmonella specifically impacts oilseed processing.
Salmonella-positive oilseed meal limits the production capacity of oilseed crushing plants by restricting the release of the finished product.
Country and producer requirements for Salmonella-free oilseed meals result in the deployment of hold-test-release strategies in oilseed crushing plants, ultimately leading to loss of finished good storage capacity and oilseed processing productivity.
The movement of Salmonella-positive meal through oilseed crushing facilities can lead to contamination of oilseed crushing process.
Cast off oil can serve as a protective barrier for Salmonella within the facility and lead to recontamination of subsequent oilseed meals. Recontamination typically occurs post-heat and presents a challenge to many oilseed processing facilities. Reliance on facility maintenance and decontamination is expensive and leads to increased batch reprocessing, throughput constraints, discounting or discarding of finished meals, and contractual and reputational damage.
Regulations can reduce market access to countries and feed producers with strict regulations preventing the import or transport of Salmonella-positive materials.
The detection of Salmonella in finished oilseed meals can lead to limited access to domestic and export markets. Depending on the circumstance, Salmonella-positive meal may need to be reprocessed, discounted, devalued or destroyed.
High raw material costs and seasonality can make sourcing high-quality oilseed difficult.
Oilseed crop microbial load varies depending on growing season conditions and geography. Crops with high microbial load and Salmonella prevalence can increase the risk of contaminating facilities and, therefore, decontamination and maintenance costs, reduced ability to store incoming raw materials, reduced productivity and increased risk of customer complaints, write-offs and meal disposal.
Salmonella-positive oilseed meal negatively impacts oilseed processor profitability and reputation.
Repeated Salmonella contamination issues can reduce productivity and saleable product, shorter supply agreements, reduced product margins and damaged customer relations.
Good news? There are effective options for pathogen prevention in oilseed processing. Oilseed crushers can prevent Salmonella contamination during processing by flushing production lines with highly treated materials. The movement of treated material through the oilseed crushing facility ensures that surface contamination is counteracted within the system and helps to ensure that any dust accumulation within the system is exposed to treatment. Daily flushing reduces the presence of Salmonella colonies within oilseed processing systems and reduces or eliminates the risk of recontamination. Treating contaminated materials with a feed pathogen control solution manages Salmonella within finished goods and protects oilseed meals from recontamination. Anitox has multiple strategies for pathogen prevention in oilseed processing.
Are you concerned about Salmonella in feed?
Take our Feed Ingredient Risk Assessment to better understand how feed ingredients put your finished feed at risk for pathogen contamination. If you’re ready to act immediately, you can contact a feed biosecurity specialist here.