USSEC holds NIR and Feed Microscopy Seminar in Romania for Southeast European, Moroccan and Tunisian Quality Control Specialists
- General News
Increasing the awareness of U.S. Soy, improving the understanding of the value of soybean meals of different origins and educating local industries to detect potential adulteration of this valuable raw material, were the main goals of the recent USSEC seminar, “Near Infrared Spectroscopy and Feed Microscopy as Tools to Differentiate Between Origins and Identify Adulterants of Soybean Meals.”
The seminar, held in Bucharest, Romania, took place on June 25. More than 27 key industry lab managers, nutritionists, researchers, purchasing managers and poultry professionals from Romania, Morocco and Tunisia attended the event. Notably, most of the participants were young professionals, demonstrating the eagerness to learn the latest news in soybean meal quality.
Keynote speakers were Dr. Paloma Rebollar, Dr. Ana Baroetta and Dr. Roser Sala, professors from the Universities of Madrid and Barcelona. USSEC consultants Dr. Khalid Benabdeljelil, professor at Rabat University in Morocco, and Dr. Riadh Karma, USSEC consultant from Tunisia, joined and actively participated with their customers during the field visits and seminar in Romania.
The USSEC seminar speakers first introduced the basics of Near Infrared (NIR) and Feed Microscopy, and then provided the results of the seven-year Madrid University NIR Soybean Meal study.
The use of NIR technology by the Romanian feed industry to determine simple components such as moisture, protein, fat, and fiber of major feed ingredients and finished feeds has been around for many years. NIR calibration for soybean meal of different origins requires adjustments to the particular production process and geographical region. Currently, the Romanian feed mill laboratories are using NIR mainly to implement their quality control and quality assurance programs involving feed ingredients and finished feeds.
“Our Romanian colleagues are doing a very good job using NIR technology. In this regard, we have found a very interesting set of soybean meal analysis databases. The next step for the feed companies is to use NIR technology as a tool to build or fine tune specifications of feed ingredients (especially for soybean meals of different origins) in feed formulation software,” noted Dr. Rebollar, the keynote speaker at the event in Bucharest.
“On the other hand, statistical expertise is needed to calibrate, validate, and update equations under commercial conditions and this seems to be a major limiting factor in the proper use of this technology by some of the companies we interacted with during our field visits and seminar. Moreover, we recommended our young colleagues to develop their own customized calibration models in compliance with the specific raw materials used in a particular production process and available on the particular market and geographic location,” Dr. Rebollar added.
Prior to the seminar, project participants traveled to the National Institute of Animal Nutrition (IBNA) and several commercial feed mills from Southern Romania were shown NIR testing procedures and got access to data compilation utilized under local commercial conditions in Romania.
The USSEC project was an excellent opportunity for the attendees to refresh their knowledge and understand how NIR should be better used in order to get more value from U.S. soybean meal and how to detect potential adulteration of this valuable ingredient. Shortly after the meeting, key companies from Romania continued interaction with the Spanish professors and showed a particular interest in statistically interpreting the soybean meal databases and how to select / purchase the right microscope for their feed laboratories.