News 6 commentsupdate:Mar 9, 2016

Alarming heavy metal levels in Asian feed and premixes

30% of the samples collected from complete feed, premix, inorganic minerals and organic minerals contained heavy metals and are above the acceptable EU levels.

This is the conclusion from the 2015 Alltech Heavy Metal Survey among almost 500 samples throughout the Asia-Pacific region. These were analysed for arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) with an Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) within Alltech's extensive laboratory facilities.

Impact for animals and consumers

"As we have seen over the previous years we have conducted the survey, the results were once again quite alarming. Results show 30% of 498 samples tested were contaminated with at least one heavy metal above acceptable EU levels. A closer look into the results show that 14% of inorganic minerals, 7% of organic minerals, 15% of premixes and a staggering 68% of the complete feeds analyzed were contaminated.  This has been shown to have not only an impact on animal performance but also on consumer safety," said Tara Jarman, Alltech Asia-Pacific mineral manager.

Lead in poultry feed sample

Extremely high levels of heavy metals were detected in some samples. For example, 2,019 ppm of cadmium was detected in a copper sulphate sample while a zinc oxide sample revealed 3,023 ppm of lead. One poultry feed sample from Southeast Asia contained a high level of lead at 722 ppm. High contamination levels are commonly found in inorganic minerals due to the mining and manufacturing process as well as less stringent quality assurance applied to feed-grade mineral sources.

Ongoing risk

"It is important to remember, that this survey is only a snapshot in time. Heavy metal contamination is an ongoing risk. The only way to ensure ongoing quality minerals, free from heavy metal, PCB and dioxin contamination, is to test every batch" said Jarman.


  • Benedicta Oyegun

    This is a serious issue and must be tackled with dispatch because of residual effect onn meat and the comsumer.I support the view that each batch of feed be rigoriously tested and should a certificate or proof of positive or negative for heavy metals

  • Karna Bahadur Bohara

    This is really a serious and not a good news for both meat/poultry industry and consumers.We need to know the source of contamination for individual raw materials and sustainable methods of prevention/ minimizing the risks of such unwanted chemicals.
    Feed industry must take it seriously and understand its responsibility toward human,animals and environment.otherwise will have to pay huge cost at the end of the day. Let us wake up and realize the facts immediately without making delays

  • Getahun WOLDEYES

    Yes, it is the time to give more emphasis on the quality of Animal feeds.the sequence is very hazardous for human that we consume food animal as the source of food nutrition.

  • Fazlul Karim

    Its really harmful for poultry industry as recent poultry business surpasses a crucial period. Feed is most priority of broiler so this need to solved quickly

  • Dr. DLS Salim

    Everybody! I think it is a good report for the feed industry as well as for the consumers. Thanks to Alltech for conducting this valuable survey. As you know, currently food safety is a crussial issue in South-East Asia and we have to ensure it for the consumers. As heavey metals has containd in the feed that results increased levels of heavy metal content in the animal products and also in the environment. This heavy metal content in the anamal products is a risk for the human body. So, all kinds of mineral supplements and feed should need to analyse before using in the farming system for the animal. In addition, we need to stop all kinds of adulteration in feeds as soon as possible to make a clean environment for the future.
    Best wishes,
    Hossan Md. Salim, PhD (AYS-Asia pacific)

  • Gabriel AJAYI

    Stringent quality measures should be put in place at the feedstuff or ingredients level to reduce eventual load in feeds following manufacturing process.

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