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Best practices: Mixing and sampling
- Fahrenholz, A.C.
- Animal feed science and technology 2019 v.250 pp. 51-52
- feed mills, grinding, ingredients, manufacturing, mixing, nutritional adequacy, process control, quality control
- In the manufacture of animal food, proper mixing is of utmost importance, no matter whether one is concerned about the inclusion of an additive, nutritional adequacy, or simply the general quality of the finished product. In order to produce a high quality, homogenous mixture, it is important to put into place good practices for both processes and sampling procedures utilized for process evaluation. However, producing a properly mixed animal food actually begins well before the mixing process itself, with a number of important steps in manufacturing coming first, including receiving, grinding, and batching of ingredients. At the mixer, feed mills should be concerned with proper ingredient addition order, appropriate mixer fill, and dry mix, wet mix, and discharge times. As with any process, attention must also be given to preventive maintenance and repairs as necessary. With all of these things in mind, a well-designed quality assurance program, including the use of statistical process control to provide data-driven reviews of performance, is key to ensuring that each of the processes throughout the feed mill do not place limits on the effectiveness of mixing, and that mixing itself is adequate.