EUROPE – In a move to streamline the approval process for feed detoxification, the European Food Safety Authority’s Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (EFSA’s CONTAM Panel) has recently released comprehensive guidance for animal feed business operators seeking approval for feed detoxification processes.

The guidance aims to provide clarity on the information required to facilitate a smoother evaluation of detoxification processes applied to products intended for animal feed.

Under EU law, products intended for animal feed must adhere to maximum levels of undesirable substances to be eligible for placement in the market. However, recognizing the need for detoxification processes, EU law allows for the application of acceptable detoxification methods to bring such products in line with established maximum levels.

Directive and regulation framework

Directive 2002/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council outlines the restrictions on placing products with undesirable substance levels exceeding maximum levels in the European market.

Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/786 further establishes criteria for acceptable detoxification processes to ensure the safety of the feed for both animals and the public, while also safeguarding the environment.

The CONTAM Panel has encountered challenges in assessing requests for feed detoxification processes due to insufficient information provided by business operators. The lack of comprehensive data often leads to prolonged risk assessment processes.

In response, the Panel recognized the need for guidance to assist feed business operators in preparing and submitting thorough information for the evaluation of detoxification processes.

Key elements of the guidance

The newly released guidance encompasses crucial aspects of EU law, identification of feed types, and various undesirable substances.

Business operators are required to provide detailed data, including a comprehensive description and characterization of the detoxification process—whether physical, chemical, or biological. The efficacy of the process must be demonstrated using specific scientific parameters.

The guidance emphasizes the importance of presenting data that considers the long-term efficacy of the detoxification process, the safety of the chemical or biological agents used, the toxicity of products formed during detoxification, and the characteristics and nature of the processed feed.

Additionally, attention must be given to the proper disposal of waste generated in the detoxification

By offering clear guidelines based on the CONTAM Panel’s experience in assessing detoxification processes, the guidance intends to expedite the evaluation process.

It encourages feed business operators to provide comprehensive and transparent information, enabling the Panel to efficiently determine if the detoxification process aligns with the criteria set in EU legislation.

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