Ana Boix, Christoph von Holst
European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and
Measurements, Retieseweg 111, B-2440 Geel, Belgium
Animal by-products (ABPs) can be used in animal nutrition provided they do not pose a risk to human health. Within the European Union, the safe use of ABPs, including meat and bone meal (MBM) and animal fat, is specified by Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 that sorts ABPs into three categories according to their health related risk. This Regulation requires that raw materials and processed products derived from category 1 and category 2 are permanently marked to ensure they don’t reach the feed and food chain. Marking these materials will ensure identification and traceability of products to be disposed of and will eliminate risk of fraud.
After evaluating various substances that were suitable for this purpose, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) proposed the use of glyceroltriheptanoate (GTH) as a marker for category 1 and 2 materials. This artificial fat meets the legal requirements and in particular, withstands extreme sterilisation conditions as applied by the rendering industry. A feasibility study conducted at 10 European rendering plants demonstrating the suitability and robustness of the proposed marking system.
The obligation of marking certain processed products in Category 1 and Category 2 processing plants with the GTH entered into application on the 1st of July 2008, by virtue of Regulation (EC) No 1432/2007. As from that date, operators must have a system in place to demonstrate that GTH is added to processed products in accordance with the legislation. The competent authorities of Member States have to carry out a performance check of that system in the course of their official controls in Category 1 and Category 2 processing plants.
In order to provide Member States with a ring trial validated method that can be applied by official control laboratories for the GTH analysis in processed ABPs belonging to Categories 1 and 2, the JRC is conducting an interlaboratory study with the participation of laboratories designated for the purpose of official control in Member States.
Animal by-products; GTH; marker; MBM; fat