BASE BASE -  Volume 8 (2004)  Numéro 4 

The microscopic detection of animal proteins in feeds

Leo WD. van Raamsdonk
Institute of food safety (RIKILT). P.O. Box 230. NL-6700 AE Wageningen (The Netherlands). E-mail:
Jeroen Vancutsem
Agence fédérale pour la sécurité de la chaîne alimentaire – Federal feed and food laboratory (AFSCA-FVLT) of Tervuren. Leuvensesteenweg, 17. B-3080 Tervuren (Belgium).
Jos Zegers
Masterlab (NUTRECO). Veerstraat, 38. NL-5831 JN Boxmeer (The Netherlands).
Geneviève Frick
Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux. Station fédérale de Recherches en Production animale et laitière (ALP). Tioleyre, 4. CH-1725 Posieux (Switzerland).
Jan-Sten Jorgenson
Danish plant directorate (DPD). Skovbrynet, 20. DK-2800 Lyngby (Denmark).
Victor Pinckaers
Institute of food safety (RIKILT). P.O. Box 230. NL-6700 AE Wageningen (The Netherlands).
Jaume Bosch
Laboratori agroalimentari de la Generalitat de Catalunya (LAGC). Carretera de Vilassar de Mar a Cabrils s/n. SP-08348 Cabrils, Barcelona (Spain).
Inge Paradies-Severin
Landwirtschaftliche Untersuchungs- und Forschungsanstalt (LUFA). LUFA Nord-West. Finkenborner Weg 1A. D-31787 Hameln (Germany).


In the framework of the European Union funded research project STRATFEED for detection and identification of animal proteins in feeds, the microscopic method was optimized at several key steps and better documented. A check list was developed for uniform reporting. Characters of bone fragments, hairs, muscles and gills are fully documented. A so-called muscle ratio has been developed for the identification of muscle fibers at the level of vertebrate classes (mammals, birds and fishes). Both the improved protocol and the entire range of characters which can be observed, are documented in a Decision Support System called ARIES (Animal Remains Identification and Evaluation System). A second internet-based system called STRATFEED-DSS exclusively assists in identification of animal particles in feeds. A new strategy with microscopy as screening technique and either DNA or protein identification as confirmation technique is proposed. The advantages of this combination are the extremely low level of false negatives, low detection limits and the heat-resistant nature of microscopic detection, together with the possibility of a very specific identification of particles by one of the other methods.

Keywords : animal proteins in feed, ARIES, decision support system, microscopy, muscle ratio

To cite this article

Leo WD. van Raamsdonk, Jeroen Vancutsem, Jos Zegers, Geneviève Frick, Jan-Sten Jorgenson, Victor Pinckaers, Jaume Bosch & Inge Paradies-Severin, «The microscopic detection of animal proteins in feeds», BASE [En ligne], Volume 8 (2004), Numéro 4, 241-247 URL :