Heavy Metal Contamination of Animal Feed in Texas


  • Susie Y. Dai Research Associate Professor Office of the Texas State Chemist, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
  • Ben Jones Office of the Texas State Chemist, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M University System, College Station, TX, 77841, USA
  • Kyung-Min Lee Office of the Texas State Chemist, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M University System, College Station, TX, 77841, USA
  • Wei Li Office of the Texas State Chemist, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M University System, College Station, TX, 77841, USA
  • Lynn Post Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 77841, USA
  • Timothy J Herrman Office of the Texas State Chemist, Department of Pathobiology, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M University System, College Station, TX, 77841, USA


heavy metal, feed, risk management, risk assessment


The management of animal feed safety risks using a risk management framework begins with identifying and quantifying the presence of hazards. For animal feed, a paucity of information exists about the presence of heavy metal in feed ingredients, premixes, and finished feed. This study examines 564 feed samples over a period of five years (2010-2015) collected by Texas Feed and Fertilizer Control Service (FFCS) investigators using ocial sampling and chain-of-custody techniques. Samples were prepared and analyzed in the Oce of the Texas State Chemists laboratory (Agricultural Analytical Service) on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. The heavy metals of concern included arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), selenium (Se), and thallium (Tl). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistic techniques and summarized by element, feed type, and year. During 2010, 28% of the samples contained detectable levels of heavy metals, a few of which contained higher than maximum tolerable levels of the elements [1]. The percentage of detectable heavy metals increased in subsequent years as the analytical technique used became more sensitive and an increased number of heavy metal contaminants were analyzed. A positive skewness was observed for most heavy metals in most ingredients resulting for the detection of high levels of contamination among a few samples. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of heavy metals during the prescribed time period and ingredient/finished feed type and will facilitate risk assessment and implementation of risk management techniques prescribed by the Food Safety Modernization Act requirements that impacts the United States and global feed industry.

https://doi.org/10.21423/jrs-v04n01p021 (DOI assigned 7/23/2019)


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