Designing Parameters for Animal Feed Industry

Animal feeds plays a significant role in food processing industry as it promotes the economic production of products of animal origin throughout the world. Feeds, available in the variants of ‘industrial’, ‘formula’, ‘blended’ or ‘compound’ are used to grow or maintain animals for food, fiber, and other products under a wide range of farming conditions. There are around 8000 feed manufacturing plants across the globe that have the capability of producing more than 620 million tonnes of products annually, resulting in an annual turnover of around US$85 billion.

Animal Feed- Definition and its Types

Feed is defined by Codex Alimentarius Commission as “any single or multiple materials, whether processed, semi-processed or raw, which is intended to be fed directly to food-producing animals.”  These can be classified into four extensive categories which are described below:

  1. Feed additives: These are chemically well-defined substances that are added to the diet to exert a specific function, whether nutritional (vitamins, etc.), technological (binders, etc.), sensorial (flavorings, etc.), or zootechnical (enzymes, etc.). In several countries, these feed additives are subject to an authorization procedure based on a risk assessment and are often subject to restrictions in terms of dosage or target species.


  1. Premixes: These are uniform mixtures of micro-ingredients and feed additives on a carrier to facilitate their even distribution in a larger mix. Premixes are often dedicated to a given target species.
  1. Feed Ingredients / Materials: These are the feed of vegetable, animal, or mineral origin, which can be classified into four main categories:

A. Forages: It includes grass, silages, and straw.

B. Unprocessed feed materials: It includes food crops such as peas or feed wheat or the surplus of food crops.

C. By-products of the food, drinks, and biofuel processing industries: It includes the bran, beet pulp, rapeseed meal, distiller’s grains, soya meal, fish trimmings, etc., or former foodstuffs (surplus of bread).

D. Minerals: It includes minerals such as phosphates, limestone, etc.

  1. Compound Feed: A compound feed is a mixture of several feed materials, which may or may not contain feed additives. These are manufactured to meet specifications prepared by specialists in animal nutrition providing the required nutritional needs according to the species of animal and its growth stage or position in the production cycle. The compound feed manufacturer may be a specialized company or the farmer himself. The compound feed may be complete, i.e., sufficient to meet the animal’s needs, or complementary (or concentrate), i.e., they must be distributed to animals together with other feed.




Parameters to be Considered While Designing of Feed Industry

  1. Site Selection

Establishments should be in areas that are not exposed to undesirable levels of smoke, dust, and other contaminants. Establishments should normally be located away from environmentally polluted areas, industrial active areas, waste disposing areas, and areas prone to flooding and infestations with pests or the presence of domestic and wild animals.

  1. Internal Walls:

Walls and partitions should be made up of impervious material and must have a smooth surface for facilitating efficient cleaning.

  1. Floor

Floors should be smooth, impervious, non-absorbent, corrosion-resistant, cleanable, and must be in a good state of repair. In addition to being constructed and sealed adequately, the floor must be provided with an adequate slope for drainage and thus preventing stagnation of water on the floor.

  1. Ceilings:

Ceilings and overhead fixtures should be constructed and finished in a way to minimize dust and dirt buildup, condensation, and to prevent the shedding of particles.

  1. Windows:

Windows should be easy to clean, constructed to minimize the build-up of dirt, be fitted with removable and cleanable insect-proof screens.

  1. Doors:

Doors should have smooth, nonabsorbent surfaces and should be easy to clean.

  1. Water supply

Water meant to be used for the preparation of feed products should be of potable quality. There must be an adequate supply of potable water with appropriate facilities for its storage, distribution, and temperature control. All Non-potable water supply systems, for use in fire control, steam production, refrigeration, and similar purposes should have a separate system and not be allowed to get connected or mixed with the potable water system. All hose taps and other similar possible sources of contamination should be designed to prevent back-flow or siphoning. Water treatment chemicals, where used, should be food grade. Recirculated water should be treated, monitored, and maintained as appropriate for its intended purpose and must have a separate distribution system that is clearly identified.

  1. Equipment Design

Equipment and containers should be made of non-toxic materials, capable of being disassembled to allow proper maintenance, cleaning, and inspections. Equipment should be placed away from the walls to facilitate cleaning and maintenance and to prevent pest infestation.

  1. Air quality, temperature, and ventilation

Adequate means of natural or mechanical ventilation should be provided to:

  1. Minimize airborne contamination of feed from aerosols and condensation droplets, especially in open production systems.
  2. Control ambient temperatures where these may adversely affect feed safety. If necessary, heating, cooling, or air-conditioning systems should be designed and installed so that air intake or exhaust vents do not cause contamination of products, equipment, or utensils.
  3. Provide ventilation of sufficient capacity to prevent grease and condensation from collecting on walls and ceilings.

Ventilation systems should be designed and constructed to ensure intakes draw only clean air. Ideally, the design should ensure that air flows from clean areas to contaminated areas. Mechanical ventilation systems should be adequately maintained and cleaned.

  1. Lighting

Lighting sources should be sufficient to ensure that hygienic conditions are maintained throughout the production and storage areas, as well as where equipment and utensils are cleaned, in hand-washing areas and toilets. Where artificial lighting is required, it should be designed to ensure that it reflects true colors. Recommended lighting are as follows:

  1. Inspection areas: 540 lux
  2. Work areas: 220 lux
  3. Other areas: 110 lux

Pest control

Active measures should be taken to control and limit pest activity throughout all process, storage, and handling areas. Risk assessment methods should be used to identify potential problems with all classes of animals (e.g., birds, insects, reptiles, and mammals) whether they are wild, feral, or domestic. Records should be maintained to show that risks from pests are adequately managed and consistently under control.

Designing of Drain System

All drains must be designed and maintained in a manner that ensures they do not present a hazard to any feed products. No wastewater or material recovered from wastewater systems should be incorporated into feed ingredients.

The use of suitable, safe, and good quality feed and feed ingredients is of paramount importance for livestock production. Therefore, the Implementation of feed safety management tools like Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and, if applicable, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) becomes essential for preventing hazards entering the food chain.

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