How to choose a supplier of additives or ingredients? Part 1

One of the key elements for the prosperity and stability of a company has to do with the choice of its suppliers and the relationship it has with them. That is why it is essential to carry out an identification, investigation and comparison process between the different supplying companies in order to guarantee the right choice.

The main certificates of the food industry

Safety is one of the key factors in the food industry. Both consumers and health authorities demand that the food we consume offer high levels of quality and safety throughout the entire production chain and until its consumption by people. If there is a problem, it is necessary to identify its causes quickly and solve it as soon as possible. Therefore, there is a wide range of regulations and a large number of certifications that can guarantee food safety so that its consumption is suitable for certain consumer groups.

Certifications are documents that certify the fulfillment by the applicant organization of a series of requirements that may be of a legal or regulatory nature, as well as  a voluntary nature.

Next, we will analyze the food certificates that we consider most interesting and we will present them in an order that goes from the most generalist point of view to the most specific ones within the food sector, specifying those that facilitate entry into certain markets.

ISO 9001

ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized quality management system (QMS) standard. It is a world leader in SGC, surpassing one million certificates worldwide.

This standard is applicable to any organization, regardless of its size, sector or activity, or geographic location. By focusing on processes and customer satisfaction rather than procedures, it is equally applicable to both service providers and manufacturers.

Thanks to this norm, a series of principles are transmitted as:

  • Commitment to its shareholders
  • Good reputation in terms of the organization
  • Customer-oriented management
  • Competitive advantage

ISO 22000

ISO 22000 is the international standard for food safety management systems for the entire supply chain, from farmers and ranchers to processors. It involves interactive communication, system management and prerequisite programs (PPR).

ISO 22000 focuses on securing the supply chain, has principles of integrated management systems and is aligned with the HACCP principles of the Codex Alimentarius and other ISO standards of management systems.

The most outstanding benefits when getting this certificate are:

  • Facilitate compliance with legislation:
    • Regulation 852/2004 “Hygiene of food products” (HACCP)
    • Regulation 178/2002 “Traceability and Food Safety”
    • Regulation 183/2005 “Hygiene of feed” (HACCP)
  • Improves consumer confidence in products.
  • Incorporates greater control of risks for food safety.

FSSC 22000

FSSC 22000 is a food safety scheme based on the ISO 22000, ISO 22002 and BSI PAS 220 standards, which specify the guidelines to follow in a management system to ensure the safety of food.

The Foundation for Food Safety Certification has developed this certificate based on the UNE-EN ISO 22000 standard and the British PAS 220 specification for the certification of food manufacturers.

It is supported by the European Confederation of Food and Beverage Industries (CIA), and is approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative, GFSI (Global Initiative for Food Safety)

laboratory.jpeg

BRC Global Standard for Food Safety

BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is a certification standard that includes the requirements of an HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control) system in accordance to the Codex Alimentarius. This standard also covers a documented quality management system, as well as the control of requirements of the environmental conditions of the facilities, products, processes, and personnel.

BRC enjoys international recognition, and was developed with the aim of helping distributors comply with the legal obligations of food safety and guarantee the highest level of protection for the consumer.

IFS (International Featured Standards)

IFS Food was created with the aim of obtaining a common quality and food safety standard. In this way, food manufacturers or food packaging companies are audited to optimize resources and guarantee transparency throughout the food preparation process. Both IFS and the BRC certification are essential for food suppliers in the food distribution sector.

This standard allows access to the food markets of the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy.

GLOBAL GAP

GLOBAL GAP is a private organization responsible for establishing a series of voluntary standards with which you can certify products from the primary sector. These standards cover the entire production process of the product.

Some of the benefits of obtaining this certificate is that it shows customers (distributors, intermediaries, importers) that the products are made based on good agricultural practices, which also inspires confidence in consumers and guarantees access to other markets.

HALAL

Halal certification is a process of quality assurance applied to foods, products and services that follow the Halal Regulations.

This certification, which is granted by the Halal Institute, guarantees that the products do not include or contain in their composition anything that is considered illegal by Islamic law, and that these are prepared, processed, transported and stored using means that are exempt from any element prohibited by said law. In addition, it guarantees that the products have not been in direct contact with other foods that do not meet these requirements.

KOSHER

Kosher certification proves that the products obtained respect the precepts of the Jewish religion, and therefore are considered pure and fit to be ingested by practitioners of that religion. It covers everything from the composition and ingredients of the product to the production process, paying special attention to the preparation and cleaning of the machinery used in the preparation.

Kosher certification is a tool for differentiation and competitive positioning at an international level, in a market characterized by constant growth. This certification is important to promote the export of food products to countries where an important Jewish community is living or living.

NO GMO

This certificate guarantees that the ingredients of the product to be analyzed are not genetically modified, that is, they are not GMO (Genetically Modified Foods)

The norm around this certification ranges from the seed, through to the process of growth and harvest, transport, collection, storage and processing in the market channel. The companies in charge of issuing the certification can certify independently of the quality management systems. The certification also includes verification of the legal requirements related to the labeling and monitoring of GMOs or in Spanish OGM (Genetically Modified Organisms)

These are the most important certificates of the food industry, which serve as a tool to ensure a good quality management system and that the information reaches the final consumer in a transparent manner.

Interactions of the food packaging

The term packaging refers to any material used to protect a product when it is stored and transported. In particular, food packaging is used to protect food against microbiological, chemical and physical contamination. However, the materials that make up the container can react with the content and cause alterations in the product.

Occasionally, the interactions between the container and food entail a loss of quality, as well as the migration of toxic products into the food caused by the use of inappropriate materials. In addition, packaging materials can absorb the flavor compounds of the products, so it is important to pay attention to the mechanical properties of the packaging to avoid variations in the organoleptic properties of the food. The substances that most interact with the materials are plastics, monomers, oligomers and contaminants.

The most used type of food packaging is plastic. In plastic, additives are used as plasticizers that improve their flexibility. The most commonly used plasticizers are Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) and di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and are used in conjunction with thermal stabilizers to slow down decomposition.

Other substances that are added to plastics are the sliding additives that act as lubricants of the plastic avoiding conglomerates. Examples include esters and amides of fatty acids, polyethylene waxes, metal stearates and paraffin.

Sometimes, packaging deteriorates due to the effects of microorganisms or atmospheric agents, for this reason, antioxidants are incorporated into plastics to delay the oxidation process. In addition, antimicrobials can also be used as algaecides, bactericides and fungicides.

Migration of substances

In general, the amount of container components that can migrate to liquid or solid foods depends on the chemical and physical properties of the food and the container. The number of migrations depends on their concentration, molecular weight and solubility among other factors.

Briston and Katan classified the materials based on the limiting control mechanism:

  • class 1: non-migratory materials with or without the presence of food.
  • class 2: independent migration, which is not controlled by food, although the presence of food can accelerate migration.
  • class 3: leaching, which is controlled by food, negligible in the absence of food, and significant in its presence.

Based on this classification, numerous analytical procedures have been determined that include chromatographic or spectrophotometric analysis to calculate the percentage of migrations of substances. These methods and protocols have been approved by regulatory agencies such as the FDA and the EC.
Some of the factors that affect this migration of substances are the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the polymer. At room temperature, polymers with a Tg lower than room temperature have a high permeability for organic compounds compared to those with a higher Tg. In addition, the degree of solubility in food allows for an increase in the speed of migration.

drink-grass-drinking-cans.jpg

Interaction between food and packaging material

Often metals that are used as packaging material suffer corrosion due to a chemical or electrochemical reaction with the environment. There are numerous factors that accelerate corrosion, such as acidity, the presence of oxygen, nitrates, sulfur compounds, as well as the severity of heat treatment and storage conditions.

As we have commented in another post, canned foods using materials such as steel, are often coated with a layer of tin to avoid interaction with the food.

Other metals such as lead are dangerous if they accumulate in human tissue. Therefore, the use of welded or cemented cans of three pieces that completely prevent the migration of lead to the food has been incorporated. However, raw materials used for food can only contain 2 ppm of this metal, 0.5 ppm for baby foods and 0.2 ppm for soft drinks. In addition, canned baby foods are welded with pure tin to avoid lead contamination.

Currently, the admissible tin limit is 150 ppm although it is difficult to find lacquered cans with more than 100 ppm. The upper limits are not admissible for toxicity but for producing a bad taste.

Iron, an essential component of our diet, does not constitute a problem of toxicity, and is generally considered with a limit of 50 ppm.

The majority of documented cases of migration of cardboard laminates refer to components transferred from solvents and adhesives used for the manufacturing of materials and packages or those transferred from inks used for printing. Solvents used for paper printing are often involved in the migration of solvent residues to the packaged product, which causes an unpleasant taste.

In addition, the paper or cardboard manufacturing process itself could lead to the formation of potential migrants such as chlorophenols and nitrosamines. Other compounds with active odor that can be formed and released during heating of certain types of paperboard include acetone, chloroform, furan, methylene chloride and acetaldehyde.

Plastics are not a 100% effective barrier either, since they interact with food. The migration of plastics is mainly due to:

  • residual components and reagents of the manufacturing process
  • compounds formed during the conversion into packaging materials
  • additives incorporated for functionality
  • adhesives used during conversion

What is really important is the migration of the components of plastics and their possible toxicity. Most plastics contain residual monomers and other additives. Some of them have been linked to health problems, the most important being vinyl chloride. For this reason the standard of the National Council of Health and Medical Research in Australia has completely banned the presence of this compound in food.

The direct contact between the plastic and a food product can lead to components of the container that leach into the product, changing the flavors of the food.

The main components likely to cause damage are the amides, the thermal degradation products of the polymer base and the components of the ink. Migration can also occur from food to plastic, which can cause a loss of mechanical strength. Furthermore, during extrusion of the plastic, temperatures of more than 250 ° C are reached, the temperature at which the antioxidants disappear, giving rise to the formation of free radicals on the surface of the material and in contact with the food.

Many adhesives contain solvents that can migrate to food and some inks used to print packaging materials impart unpleasant tastes. However, proper drying of the printing materials can completely eliminate the migration of solvents from the adhesives and printing inks.

In short, the amount of substances used in food is considerable. Many of them are potentially toxic, harmful and can migrate to food. Therefore, to protect the consumer concerned about health and food safety, different countries have established regulations that outline the acceptable limits of containers. The likelihood that a substance poses a health risk depends on its concentration in the diet and its toxic potential.

Technological and biological function of antioxidants in animal nutrition

An antioxidant is a substance that when present in food at a concentration lower than that of the oxidizable matrix, is significantly capable of interrupting or preventing its oxidation, Halliwell and Gutteridge (1999).

Antioxidants are used as additives to prolong the shelf life of animal feeds, premixes and fats, based on their effect to prevent lipid peroxidation and oxidative rancidity during their production, processing and storage.

Due to the current trend of the formulation of diets with ingredients rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are highly susceptible to lipid peroxidation, the use of antioxidants in animal nutrition has been increased.

Technological role of antioxidants in animal nutrition

The oxidation of fats and oils that make up the feed causes a notable decrease in its nutritional value by reducing the energy provided to the animal that ingests them. In the same way the feed that has suffered the oxidation of its components contains high levels of free radicals and peroxides that can become toxic to animals.

Antioxidants contribute to keeping feed, flours, premixes and animal fats,  fresh and healthy,  allowing them to be preserved for longer, because the antioxidants  protect them from the deterioration caused by oxidation, keeping their sensory characteristics intact, thus preventing their rancidity and discoloration.

The use of antioxidants in animal nutrition helps preserve the sensory qualities of feed and prevents the destruction of essential nutrients such as pigments, amino acids and vitamins. (Calabotta and Shermer, 1985).

Companies are constantly looking for new antioxidants that are safe for health, economically viable and above all that do not modify the organoleptic properties. They must also be effective at low temperatures, liposoluble and resistant to the treatments to which feed is subjected.

Biological function of antioxidants in animal nutrition

Antioxidants have the mission of evading the oxidation of substances that can cause physiological alterations and play a basic role in the prevention of diseases derived from oxidative stress.

In essence, oxidative stress is the deteriorating condition which results from the imbalance between the generation of endogenous free radicals and the biological systems of antioxidant defense in the body (Halliwell and Gutteridge, 1999). In situations of excess production of free radicals, there is a great need for an exogenous intake of antioxidants to prevent possible cellular damage. The exogenous antioxidants play a fundamental role in the balance between oxidation and antioxidation. In most circumstances, physiological doses of antioxidants exert beneficial effects (Kawanishi et al., 2005, Bouayed and Bohn, 2010).

The animals have an antioxidant biological system to combat free radicals that are continuously produced as a result of their own metabolic activities.

However, there is a certain limit to the protection offered by the endogenous antioxidant barrier. This limit is further compromised by the presence of factors that could cause excessive production of free radicals and / or weaken the effectiveness of the antioxidant biological system, thus causing oxidative stress. Some of these factors are: the consumption of feed with high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the intake of mycotoxins, heavy metals, fungicides and pesticides, poor nutrition and pathogenic infections.

Antioxidants are essential to optimize animal yields destined to livestock production, not only to obtain a higher economic yield, but also to increase the quality of production (milk, meat, eggs, …) and consumer safety. Through nutrition we find an economical, practical and effective way to administer antioxidants to animals. (Sebastián, 2003).

Certain antioxidants, such as Tocopherols, besides protecting products technologically, have a biological benefit of containing in their composition alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E). The Tocopherols are formed by a mixture of 4 isomers: alpha, beta, gamma and delta, and the percentage of each of them varies depending on the origin of said Tocopherols.

Profile of isomers in Soybean and Sunflower Tocopherols

Isomers Soy Sunflower
Alpha Tocopherol Min 5% Min 65%
Beta + Gamma Tocopherol Min 60% Min 7%
Delta Tocopherol Min 18% Min 9%

It has been proven that using different doses of d-alpha tocopherol in the diet of ruminants has produced positive effects by reducing the incidence of diseases (Huerta et al., 2005). By supplementing dairy cows with antioxidant vitamins, the incidence of mastitis infection has been reduced. (Castro and Márquez, 2006).

Vitamin E supplementation has also improved the meat quality of the slaughtered animals since the color of the meat is maintained compared to that of animals whicj have not been supplemented, because there is no accelerated oxidation of oxymyoglobin in metamyoglobin, a protein that gives the organoleptic characteristics to meat (Huerta et al., 2005).

Although the addition of antioxidants in food processing has been used for a long time, antioxidant supplementation in animal nutrition may be a more effective strategy to improve oxidative stability, sensory qualities and the antioxidant nutritional content of animal products, while being more economical.

The intake of feed to which antioxidants have been added delays the formation of metamyoglobin in meat intended for human consumption and prolongs the period when the muscle surface shows no evidence of discoloration.

All the antioxidants that are used in the EU are tested in laboratories, one by one, in order to check, before allowing their use, that they do not harm the animal’s health. In most cases, once authorized, their use is limited to specific quantities and certain foods. EU standards also require that all food additives (of which antioxidants are a part) clearly appear on the product labeling.

In summary, antioxidants in animal nutrition are very important in the conservation of essential nutrients and their best use by the animal. In addition, the presence of antioxidants in animal nutrition increases animal welfare and improves the quality of products of animal origin.

Main exhibitions of the pet food sector

In general, exhibitions are events promoted by economic agents in a sector where experts share their innovations in order to grow their reputations, and in which visitors can meet new suppliers for their business or simply get up to speed on innovations and trends in its sector.

In the pet market fairs, the main players of this sector such as retailers, food producers, distributors, manufacturers of articles and toys for the care of pets, suppliers of ingredients or raw materials, etc. meet.

Currently, the industry specializing in pets has positioned itself as one of the most important, generating more 2,200 million euros in 2014.

Next we will see the main fairs of the sector.

INTERZOO (Nuremberg, Germany)

It is the most important fair in Europe in the pet industry, held every two years. It consists of 11 pavilions, where exhibitors present the latest developments in the sector. In this fair about 39 thousand visitors participate and approximately 1800 exhibiting companies, from a total of 61 countries.

Interzoo began in 1950 and is known as the “German Pet Trade and Industry Association”; it has grown to become one of the most important in the sector both in Europe and worldwide.
This event is usually held during the month of May, in the German city of Nuremberg.

GLOBAL PET EXPO (Orlando, USA)

Global Pet Expo, presented by the American Association of Pet Products (APPA) and the Association of Pet Industry Distributors (PIDA), stands out as the largest fair for pet products in the Americas.

Global Pet Expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass market buyers and other qualified professionals.

In the fair of 2017 there were more than 1130 exhibitors, 3437 stands and more than 3000 launches of new products. 6,761 of the most innovative buyers for pets in the industry attended the event, including an impressive number of international retailers.

More than 1000 companies present the most novel products, for animals (dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, small animals and horses), and continues to grow year after year.

Global Pet Expo takes place in Orlando, Florida, normally during the month of March.

PET FAIR ASIA (Shanghai, China)

Pet Fair is an international event, dedicated to the market of pets and ornamental aquariums. It is carried out in Shanghai (China), giving it significant importance to the Asian market, but with companies at an international level, proposing a superior product profile.

In Pet Fair Asia about 1400 exhibiting companies participate annually and receives more than 35 thousand professionals worldwide and 110 thousand consumers.

The Chinese market is growing by leaps and bounds, becoming a mass market for “Premium” products. Hence the importance of this fair, to be part of a growing market.

Pet Fair Asia started in Hong Kong and years later moved to Shanghai. During these 20 years it has continued to grow, along with the development of the pet industry, which is one of the most important in Asia, and with great international importance, making it a great opportunity to establish market bridges between visitors and exhibitors.
The different editions of this fair are usually held during the month of August.

SUPERZOO (Las Vegas, NV, USA)

SuperZoo is an annual fair that takes place in Las Vegas, where professionals from the pet industry from all over the world come together to share their news with anyone who may be interested. It is one of the largest events in North America, to connect, learn and get a large number of contacts and increase business opportunities.

This is one of the fairs where you can get to know a lot of the novelties of the sector, with more than 1000 exhibitors, with about 820 new products presented in it. Since its creation SuperZoo has continued to grow, beating a record in 2017, by the number of customers and exhibitors that participated.

Superzoo is usually performed in Las Vegas during the month of June.

ZOOMARK (Bologna, Italy)

Zoomark International is an event that takes place on odd years, for the sector of pet products, and is destined to be one of the most important in the industry internationally.
This fair, held since 1985, is a good opportunity to learn about the latest news, professional updates, and meet with the largest international companies in the sector, as well as promote their own products and create new business opportunities, both in Italy and abroad.
In the 2017 edition, tickets were sold-out due to the numerous demands to participate in the exhibition of products, with five pavilions enabled, with about 735 exhibitors, representatives of a total of 43 countries, and more than 22 thousand professional visitors
Zoomark International has evolved along with the sector, being one of the reference fairs, growing year after year.
Like Interzoo, Zoomark is an event that takes place every two years, usually in the month of May.

CONGRESSES AND INTERNATIONAL SEMINARS FOR NUTRITION FOR PETS

The congresses and seminars on animal nutrition allow attendees to see another point of view the advances in the sector. In them, representatives of the most prestigious nutrition companies and scientists in the field, expose their research in terms of new formulations or applications of nutrients.

Some congresses to consider are:

PetFood Forum (Europe, China and Asia)

The group of conferences and exhibitions of Petfood Forum is a useful event for the professionals of the manufacture of pet food. It offers the opportunity to learn about the latest research on nutrition for pets, global market growth, food safety, processing and packaging.
Petfood Forum is a good opportunity for industry professionals to connect with each other and exchange ideas in the practical workshops held in this congress.
This congress is held annually in 3 areas of the world. Pet food Forum Europe, takes place in Germany in spring, Pet food Forum China takes place in Shanghai and finally Pet food Forum Asia brings together industry experts in Thailand.

Feed and Pet Food Joint Conference
It is an annual collaboration between the National Association of Grain and Feed (NGFA) and the Pet Food Institute (PFI), designed specifically for the food and pet food sectors. The conference addresses policy, regulatory and operational issues that companies face in today’s environment. It also offers suppliers a good opportunity to show their innovations and help those who work in the animal feed industry.

Antioxidants for animal nutrition

Over the years, the animal nutrition industry has been constantly evolving. In the urban context, it was necessary to set guidelines to achieve and maintain the established production goals and, as early as the 20th century, globalization brought the need to increase competitiveness by incorporating the use of additives.

The main additives used to limit the deterioration caused by lipid oxidation, increasing the useful life of the food, were the antioxidants. These substances prevent an oxidative process that is carried out by autoxidation or hydrolysis.

Autoxidation or oxidative rancidity modifies the organoleptic qualities and reduces the nutritional value of fats. Sometimes it generates toxic compounds as a result of exposure to oxygen.

It is a process in which oxygen is added to the alpha carbon of the double bond, forming a hydroperoxide, more historically known as peroxides. It is completely irreversible but can be delayed thanks to the addition of antioxidants, vacuum packaging or packaging in an inert gas atmosphere, proper storage or the use of appropriate packaging.

The oxidation of fatty acids is divided into three phases:

  • Initiation created by external energy that produces active free radicals
  • Propagation: free radicals form peroxide radicals that attack fatty acids. These peroxides later decompose into highly volatile by-products that cause bad odor.
  • Termination: the reactive compounds interact with each other by decreasing the amount of peroxide radicals.

Hydrolysis or hydrolytic rancidity is due to the presence of moisture, catalytic agents or lipases. As a result of this process, glycerol is released.

Methyl ketones, lactones and their esters can be formed by hydrolytic reactions. It is even believed that hydrolytic reactions, including lipolysis, give rise to free fatty acids so that they can progress more rapidly towards self-oxidation.

Antioxidants exist naturally but are easily lost during the processing or storage of products, so it is often necessary to add exogenous antioxidants.

In general, the selection of antioxidants depends on the products, compatibility and regulatory guidelines. Occasionally, synergistic mixtures of antioxidants are used for a more effective result.

Antioxidants are classified into two large groups: synthetic and natural.

Synthetic antioxidants are obtained artificially. The most used in animal nutrition are:

  • BHA and BHT: they are the most used synthetic antioxidants in the sector. They are very effective in animal fats and to a lesser extent in fats and vegetable oils. However, they are extremely volatile at high temperatures.
    3-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole represents 90% of commercial BHA,  and can stabilize a free radical      by sequestering it, thus avoiding subsequent free radical reactions.
    BHT is used in conjunction with BHA for greater efficiency since it is not as thermally stable as the BHA.
    Both have a slight phenolic smell and can affect the palatability of the product.
  • TBHQ: is an aromatic compound derived from hydroquinone, more effective in vegetable oils than BHA and BHT and useful in the prevention of oxidation in thermal processes. It shows a good synergy with citric acid, BHA and BHT.
  • Propyl gallate: it is a white crystalline powder that is used in foods in which the use of other fat-soluble synthetic antioxidants is not adequate.
  • Ethoxyquin: it is an antioxidant derived from quinoleins that oxidizes easily, forming ethoxyquin nitroxide. Its metabolism generates unsafe substances, so in June 2017 the authorization of ethoxyquin as a feed additive in the European Union was temporarily suspended.

Natural antioxidants are produced by the organisms themselves to protect lipids. Therefore, the acceptance requirements are lower than in the case of synthetic antioxidants. The most important are:

  • Tocopherols: are fat-soluble antioxidants that are very frequently found in plants. They are formed by 4 isomers (alpha, beta, gamma and delta) with different antioxidant capacity and vitaminic power.Tocopherols and synthetic antioxidants of phenolic origin prevent the oxidation of lipids by stopping chain reactions of free radicals. However, tocopherols are less volatile than synthetic antioxidants, which allows them to stay more effectively in the final product.Thanks to the structure of the tocopherols, they have a high solubility in lipid medium that allows to protect the food with greater efficiency.It is a safe antioxidant, effective and easy to incorporate into the productive process. In addition, its use is allowed in all countries of the world.
  • Rosemary Extract: it is an antioxidant extracted from the rosemary rosemary and is very functional in animal fats. It is composed of phenolic antioxidants such as Rosmarinic Acid, Camosol and Carnosidic Acid.
  • Green tea extract: obtained from the leaves of Camellia sinensis and presents polyphenol antioxidants. It is usually used as a complement to the activity of vitamins E and C in animal feed.
  • Ascorbic acid and its derivatives: can occur in the form of vitamin C, in its water-soluble salts or liposoluble esters. Its antioxidant activity is due to interactions with tocopherols, citric acid and certain synthetic antioxidants.

Regarding its mechanism of action, two types of antioxidants are considered: primary and secondary.

  • The primary antioxidants break the oxidation reaction by adding hydrogen and generating more stable radicals. The main antioxidants of this type are: phenolic antioxidants, breakthrough phenols and eventual primary.
  • The secondary antioxidants inhibit peroxidation mainly by metal chelation, regeneration of primary antioxidants, decomposition of hydroperoxides and elimination of oxygen. The main types are: antioxidants oxygen receptors, chelating agents, secondary and eventual antioxidants.

Another type of classification is according to their properties, so they are classified as technological and physiological antioxidants.

  • The technological antioxidants control the lipoperoxidation processes of the raw materials with greater energy intake and palatability. Usually synthetic molecules are used that slow down the oxidation of fats but do not exert any effect on the physiological functions. However, natural antioxidants containing alpha-tocopherol are also used, which provides more benefits than the technological ones.
  • The physiological antioxidants are important antioxidants against the reduction of oxidative stress resulting from the imbalance between the production of free radicals and the antioxidant action. There are numerous factors that can increase the production of free radicals and / or weaken the antioxidant system. Therefore, antioxidant supplementation provides both in-vivo and post-mortem benefits through the prevention of oxidative stress.

Therefore, when choosing the most suitable antioxidant for each product, they will take into account that they meet the following requirements:

  • Safe and without negative effects for animal health
  • Effective at low concentrations
  • Economical
  • Effective to extend the useful life of products
  • Able to reduce the use of other antioxidant nutrients in the diet

Main exhibitions of the feed sector

The exchange of livestock is something that has long existed; the first fair of the animal sector as we know it today, goes back to the XII century. However, in our country (Spain), it was not until 1453 when, by order of Juan I of Castile, the international fair of Zafra was held in Badajoz.

Over the years, these events have evolved and incorporated new sectors that go beyond buying and selling. Those interested in the sector, attend to learn about the technological advances that allow to improve their farms and meet new suppliers.

An important sector is that of food, which has grown enormously and optimizes the profit margin in production animals without neglecting animal welfare.

In this article we will see the main fairs inof the animal sector.

EUROTIER (Hannover, Germany)

Eurotier is one of the most important fairs in the livestock and animal production sector, which takes place every two years and attracts exhibitors from all over the world. This event offers a global vision of the latest developments in equipment and technologies.
In 2016 there were 2638 exhibitors and approximately 163000 visitors, where the novelties of the bovine, porcine, poultry, aquaculture, sheep and goat sectors were presented. Parallel events were also held, with training and information for professionals in the sector offered.
This event is usually held during the month of November in the city of Hannover.

IPPE (Atlanta, USA)

IPPE, is the International Fair of Production and Processing that takes place in Atlanta, United States, during the last days of January and the first days of February. This fair is attended by more than 1200 exhibitors and over 30 thousand professionals in the sector.

IPPE brings together new technologies, equipment, supplies and services used in the production of eggs, meat, poultry and those involved in the manufacture of feed.
It is an important meeting point for buyers and sellers of the world.

IPPE is recognized as one of the most important fairs in the sector, and takes place every year in the months of January and February.

VIV ASIA (Bangkok, Thailand)

Destined to present the latest developments in animal production and the subsequent processing to the production of food intended for human consumption.
The latest edition of VIV Asia, held in March 2017 was a great success, and the next one in 2019 is expected to be even more successful. This edition had more than 900 international exhibitors, and nearly 50 thousand visitors.
VIV Asia is a unique opportunity to meet the world leaders of the sector and the main Asian producers, which are currently experiencing significant growth.
This fair is usually held every two years during the month of March.

Analogously, VIV Russia is the trade fair for animal breeding and processing in Russia and the C.I.S. countries.. It shows the developments of the industry through the Feed to Food concept that combines supply and demand within the complete chain of animal proteins.

SPACE (Rennes, France)

SPACE is an event designed for professionals in the sector of animal production, which shows the latest developments in the market in its different aspects. It is an annual event where of compulsory attendance is important for all professionals in the sector at the European level. SPACE is one of the most important fairs of the sector in France, which addresses all the novelties in nutrition and allows attendees to establish contacts with other professionals.

In 2017, 1441 exhibitors participated, of which 499 were international. In addition, the fair was visited by more than 114 thousand people.

SPACE is usually held in the French city of Rennes during the month of September.

FIGAN (Zaragoza, Spain)

FIGAN is a fair that takes place every two years in the city of Zaragoza, and is known as the “Epicenter of Innovation and Technology of the agricultural sector”.

It is one of the leading fairs of the agricultural and livestock sector in the entire Mediterranean Arc, ideal to present new products and equipment and to make contacts and meet new companies with which to grow.

More than 70 thousand people visited this fair in 2017 and there was a large increase in international exhibitors, coming from more than 40 different countries.

Like other fairs in the sector, FIGAN is held every two years during the month of March.

OTHER CONGRESSES AND INTERNATIONAL EVENTS FOR ANIMAL SPECIES

The congresses and specific events by species let us see from a different  point of view the advances of each sector. In them, representatives of the most prestigious nutrition companies and scientists in the field present their research in terms of new formulations or applications of nutrients.

Some events to consider are:

FEDNA Congress (Spain)
In this congress held annually in Madrid each November, various aspects related to the latest advances in Nutrition and Animal Feeding are exposed. It gathers around 400 representatives of the sector, corresponding to 30% national researchers, 30% foreign technicians and 40% national nutritionists.
The presentations are given or moderated by leaders in the feed manufacturing industry and researchers in animal nutrition with the aim of sharing innovation in nutrition and how to apply these industries effectively.

ESPN European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition (Spain)
The impact of climate change on poultry production, food strategies, the optimization of ingredients and the creation of environmentally sustainable poultry, are some of the topics discussed in the latest edition of “European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition” of Tarragona in the 2017 edition.
It is an event organized by the Organizing Committee of ESPN 2017 and IRTA (Agri-Food Research and Technology Institute of the Generalitat de Catalunya) where new trends in poultry nutrition will be addressed.

World Pork Expo (USA)
At this event the largest swine industry trade fair in the world takes place. It gathers pig producers and industry professionals from all over the world where, in addition to buying and selling, educational seminars are held where attendees can get up to speed on the news in the sector.

Poultry India (India)
Poultry India is an international exhibition on the poultry industry where the most innovative and reputable companies in the sector are presented. There they interact with potential partners, investors or suppliers to learn about the latest developments in terms of food, equipment, technology and animal health.
Scientific forums are also offered where the latest advances in poultry research, science and technology are presented.

Latin American Poultry Congress (Mexico)
The Program of Conferences includes 6 Plenary Sessions and 45 Master Conferences, whose topics of current affairs, conjuncture and global innovation, will answer the doubts of poultry experts. In this congress, the most important supplier companies of the world poultry industry meet to occupy more than 640 stands distributed in 11,900 m2 of exhibition.

Argentine Congress of Animal Nutrition (Argentina)
The Argentine Chamber of Animal Nutrition Companies (CAENA) organizes this congress with a complete program that will include technical talks on the different species, plenary lectures, presentation of free papers, posters, and workshops will be addressed.
The Congress will be geared toward professionals and technicians of companies and institutions, independent advisors, managers of operations, entrepreneurs, producers, and in general, to the users of inputs and services of the sector. It is a space to exchange experiences and grow business.

Accelerated oxidation tests – the RapidOxy method

 

The oxidation process that affects the compounds present in foods for animal nutrition alter their qualities, both organoleptic and nutritional, producing a decrease in the useful life of the final product.

The ingredients most sensitive to oxidation are those that contain double bonds, such as fats, oils and other essential nutrients (fatty acids, vitamins, carotenoids, etc.).

The oxidation and consequent formation of free radicals in the oxidation process cause a reduction of the nutritive value of the feed and its ingredients, but also produces a decrease in the immunity of the animals and, consequently, augments the appearance of diseases and increases in mortality.

A high intake of feed with a high content of oxidized lipids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as pro-oxidant components, contribute to the in vivo oxidation of animals and the post-mortem oxidation of meat (Morrissey et al., 1998 or Stem et al., 2008).

This is very important, since lipid oxidation and the consequent oxidative rancidity are one of the main causes of food spoilage forhuman consumption, along with microbial development.

Therefore, the methods that determine the oxidative stability (resistance of a sample to oxidation) are very important, particularly when evaluating the effectiveness of antioxidants to delay the oxidation of these products in animal feed, these being used to investigate the useful life of the product and also in the assurance and quality control during the development and subsequent launch of the product.

In this post, we work with several accelerated oxidation methods (Rancimat method, Schaal method) of which we have already discussed in previous articles, however today we are going to focus on another method of accelerated oxidation: the RapidOxy method.

RapidOxy is an accelerated oxidation test that corresponds to the methods of oxygen absorption, which in recent years has become more relevant, especially in the animal nutrition industry, although it is also used in other industries such as food or cosmetics .

RapiOxy is based on the increase of oxygen pressure and temperature inside a sealed chamber, allowing us to determine the oxidative stability of the samples studied. It is carried out in oxygen pumps or special devices and the decrease in oxygen pressure is generally measured as a function of the time elapsed. The samples are subjected to a certain pressure with oxygen while their temperature rises, usually up to 200º C. The temperature remains constant, while the pressure is measured continuously until a definite drop in pressure is detected. Oxidation stability characterizes the resistance of the sample against oxygen.

With this accelerated oxidation method, only a small sample is needed to get accurate results in short periods of time, and without having to prepare the samples in advance. It is a very useful procedure for investigations on useful life, quality control of the raw materials and during the development of the products.

RapidOxy accelerated oxidation method procedure

  • The sample is deposited in a small sealed test chamber, where it is subjected to a pressure with pure oxygen of up to 700 kPa, while raising its temperature to 200 ° C.
  • The temperature is kept constant and the pressure is measured continuously until a defined pressure drop is detected.
  • The result is indicated as the induction period (IP) which is the time elapsed between the start of the test (when the heating of the container where the sample begins) and the point of rupture (instant where the oxidation increases rapidly, which causes a rapid oxygen consumption and therefore a defined pressure drop), which informs us of the oxidation stability of the sample tested.

Advantages of RapidOxy accelerated oxidation method

RapidOxy accelerated oxidation method has important advantages over other alternative methods:

  • It is not necessary to prepare samples and, therefore, there is no need for expensive or dangerous reagents for the extraction of fats.
  • We can work with liquid, solid and semi-solid samples. Normally, only 5 mL of sample is needed, that is, a small sample volume.
  • It is faster than other methods of accelerated oxidation, so it saves time and money.
  • Cleaning is quick and easy.
  • Your safety has been approved by the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing.
  • It includes  free software that is supplied with the equipment, which allows the transfer of the results to the computer, obtaining graphs in real time which allows a quick comparison of the results.

Main uses of the RapidOxy method

  • Evaluate oxidative stability at high temperatures.
  • Predict the useful life of the product.
  • Control accelerated oxidation.
  • Detect the presence of antioxidants.
  • Control the conditions of packaging and storage.

RapidOxy applications in the animal nutrition industry:

  • Determine oxidative stability of vegetable oils and animal fats (eg. oils, lard, tallow, fish fats, etc.).
  • Determine oxidative stability of solid products (eg. compound feeds, calcium soaps, meat meals, fish meal, etc.).

Oxidation of fats affects both the feed with which the animals are fed, and the animal’s own organism and / or subsequently the quality of the products of animal origin for human consumption.

RapidOxy accelerated oxidation method is a type of assay that becomes increasingly relevant due to its multiple advantages and that can be used for a wide range of products in the animal nutrition industry.

Classification of food antioxidants: secondary antioxidants

Continuing from the previously discussed topic of primary food antioxidants, we will talk about secondary antioxidants.

For some context, we will say that food antioxidants  act by exerting an inhibitory action on peroxidation, transforming free radicals into more stable compounds.

In this case, secondary antioxidants delay oxidation by chelating metals, regenerating primary antioxidants, decomposing hydroperoxides or eliminating oxygen (Johnson 1971, Labuza 1971 and Gordon 1991).

Secondary antioxidants can be classified into the following groups:

A) Antioxidant oxygen receptors

Ascorbic acid and ascorbates

E-300 Ascorbic acid

E-301 Ascorbate sodium ascorbic acid sodium salt (L +)

E-302 Calcium ascorbate Calcium salt of ascorbic acid (L +)

E-303 Ascorbyl Diacetate

The L-ascorbic or vitamin C, is a white solid which is odorless, highly soluble in water and insoluble in fats and oils. It can act as an oxygen receptor, although its form of action depends on the concentration and the product in which it is used. Accordingly, ascorbic acid can be used:

  1. For chelating, when there is low water activity.
  2. As a receiver or oxygen eliminator of the medium. In the presence of oxygen and metal ions, in an aqueous medium, it is oxidized to dehydroascorbic acid, being more effective at low oxygen levels.
  3. As asynergistic of type l antioxidants.
  4. As an agent that helps the formation of radicals and act, therefore, as prooxidant.

acido ascorbico.png

The food industry uses ascorbic acid for the production of a wide variety of food products, including canned or bottled products, beverages, vegetable oils, fruits, butter, vegetables, cured meat and canned fish.

Erythorbic acid (isoascorbic acid)

E-315 Erythorbic acid (isoascorbic)

E-316 Sodium erythorbate (sodium isoascorbate)

Erythorbic acid is the D- isomer of ascorbic acid. It has no vitamin activity and is found naturally in food. Erythorbic acid as well as its sodium salt are used in the stabilization of nitrates and nitrites in cured meat products, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, and as synergists of tocopherols in fats and oils (Nakao, et al., 1972, Movaghar, 1990) .

acido eritorbico.png

Erythorbic acid, in combination with citric acid, can be used, as an alternative to sulphites in frozen seaoods, vegetable salads and apples.

B) Chelating agents

In this group we include substances that have antioxidant action through a specific mechanism, which consists of the sequestration of traces of metals present in food. The chelating agents have the mission of capturing the metal ions, forming complexes that remain soluble and innocuous, which is of great importance in the food industry, avoiding undesired effects in the production processes or in the final product.

In the process of selecting a chelating agent, in addition to taking into account toxicological and sensory aspects (color and taste), other aspects of interest must be assessed, such as the characteristics of the medium (pH) since they significantly influence the effectiveness of the chelation and solubility.

Polyphosphates

E-338 Phosphoric acid

E-339 Orthophosphoric salts

E-340 potassium dihydrogen phosphate

E-341 Calcium orthophosphate

E-341iii) Tricalcium Orthophosphate

Phosphoric acid and its salts are used in the food industry as chelating agents, as stabilizers of emulsions and as anti-hardening agents.

acido fosforico.png

The excretion of phosphates takes place, especially in faeces, in the form of calcium phosphate. Because of this, an excessive intake of phosphates can produce  bone mass and decrease in calcium.

Tartaric acid

E-334 Tartaric acid

E-335 Sodium tartrate

E-336 Potassium Tartrate

E-337 Mixed Tartrate of Potassium and Sodium / Salt of Seignett

acido tartarico.png

Tartaric acid is found naturally in many fruits, and is also a byproduct of winemaking. Tartaric acid is absorbed almost completely in the intestinal tract, being metabolized significantly, in body tissues, giving rise to CO2.

Citric acid

E-330 Citric acid

E-331 Sodium Citrate / Sodium Citrate

E-332 potassium citrate

E-333 Calcium citrate

Citric acid and its salts are used as chelating agents. They are used as synergists with primary antioxidants and with oxygen receptors at levels of 0.1-0.3%. In fats and oils, citric acid forms chelates with metal ions at concentrations of 0.005-0.2% (DziezaK, 1986).

acido citrico.png

Lecithin

E-322 Lecithin-N

Lecithin (phosphatidyl choline) is a phospholipid found in natural products, with a percentage of 1-2% in many vegetable oils and animal fats. The main source is soy. Commercial lecithin is formed by a mixture of phospholipids.

Lecithin acts as a powerful synergist in fats and oils, along with primary antioxidants and oxygen receptors at temperatures above 80 ° C. When there are low concentrations of antioxidants, lecithin is more effective. It is also very effective when forming ternary mixtures with vitamins E and C, to such an extent that the induction times in the oils increased about 25 times when adding 500 ppm of vitamin E and 1000 ppm of vitamin C (Loliger, 1991). Similar effects are found in mixtures containing ascorbyl palmitate, lecithin and α-tocopherol (Hudson and Ghavami, 1984).

C) Eventual antioxidants

Amino acids

Amino acids are effective both as primary antioxidants and as synergists (Bishov and Henick, 1975). The antioxidant activity of many amino acids is dependent on concentration and pH. At high concentrations and low pH they act as pro-oxidants, while at low concentrations and high pH they have antioxidant properties.

Methionine, histidine, proline, tryptophan, glycine and lysine are effective in fats and oils.

Spice extracts

Spice extracts are a potential source of natural antioxidants. They are effective in fat, meat and bakery products. Rosemary and sage bring good antioxidant properties to lard. Eugenol is the main component of clove and curcumin, the main pigment in turmeric, all three  of which have antioxidant properties (Cort, 1974b). Spice extracts have a strong smell, color and flavor, so they can only be used in foods that are compatible with these characteristics.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A has a very limited use as an antioxidant due to its tendency to oxidize when exposed to light or air, conditions under which the vitamin becomes pro-oxidant.

Retinol is a form of vitamin A. It belongs to the group of retinoids and is widely used for its high effectiveness in fats and oils when stored in the dark. In addition, this substance inhibits the formation of free acids in vegetable oils. Retinol is found in all animal tissues, mainly in the liver, as well as in eggs and milk. The liver is the primary storage site for vitamin A. The recommended daily intake is 750 mg / kg-pc (FAO / WHO, 1967).

retinol.png

Incorporation of antioxidants

One of the main problems that arise when using antioxidants is the achievement of an effective and complete distribution in the food, in such a way that they can come into contact with the lipids and act effectively. This problem worsens when the antioxidant has to be added in foods with a low lipid content and with a defined structure.

The addition of antioxidants is easier in more or less viscous products (oils and fats), or have physical structures that allow homogenization (chopped products, emulsions, etc.).

Classification of food antioxidants: Primary antioxidants

As we have already commented on in other occasions, antioxidants are any substance capable of inhibiting, delayingor preventing the development of rancidity in food or other deterioration of aromas due to oxidation. According to this definition, antioxidants do not improve the quality of food, but their use simply aims to maintain food quality.

To inhibit, reduce or delay the oxidation of lipids, it is necessary to act against one or more of the factors that favor their development.

In a broad sense, according to the above definition, an antioxidant is considered to be any substance or action procedure that helps to limit the speed and / or extension of oxidative processes, so it can be considered as such, not only the chemical compounds that can be added to the product but also: vacuum packaging, in an inert gas atmosphere or even freezing.

According to what has been said, three types of antioxidants could be considered, according to their mechanism of action. Two of them are associated with the addition of chemical compounds that are, in addition, those that we will consider in this article. The third type of antioxidant owes its action to modifications of certain factors in the food and / or its processing and will not be analyzed here by us.

Classes of antioxidants

For its mechanism of action  two main types of antioxidants (I and II) can be considered The primary (type I) are those that break the chain reaction of oxidation through the donation of hydrogen and the generation of more stable radicals. In contrast, secondary antioxidants (type II) are those that delay oxidation through other mechanisms, such as metal chelation, the regeneration of primary antioxidants, the decomposition of hydroperoxides and the elimination of oxygen, among others. This mechanism of antioxidant activity has been studied by numerous researchers (Johnson, 1971, Labuza, 1971 and Gordon, 1990).

In the following table we can see this classification.

Captura1.png

Primary antioxidants or type I

These antioxidants are those which break the chain reaction of oxidation through the donation of hydrogen and the generation of more stable radicals. In the following chart, some of the mechanisms by which antioxidants exert their action are indicated.

Captura2.png

The addition of these compounds to food should, by itself, imply an increase in the induction period, as shown in the following table.

Captura3.png

This increase is directly related to the amount of antioxidant added up to a certain concentration, since, sometimes with higher proportions, an opposite effect is achieved, as shown in the following table.

Captura4.png

The effectiveness of the activity of these antioxidants depends both on the antioxidant itself and on the medium in which it acts. Thus, it has been proven that in phenolic antioxidants its activity is favored when vacuum packaging is done, since the level of available oxygen is very low. However, this offer little protection when the concentration of metals is very high.

It is necessary to know the exact moment of the incorporation of the antioxidant since if the oxidation process is advanced, the antioxidant loses its capacity of action.

Among the main primary antioxidants include:

 1. Phenolic antioxidants

In this type, antioxidants are phenolic type hydrogen donors, and are able to effectively move an unpaired electron.

The main antioxidants of this type are:

  • Propyl gallate (E-310):  White crystalline powder used in food when other synthetic fat-soluble antioxidants are not suitable. It is not very soluble in water, and, in the presence of traces of iron, derived from food or from the equipment used in the processing, it gives rise to the appearance of unattractive, dark blue colors.
    Occasionally, Propyl Galato acts together with synthetic and natural antioxidants. It is important to bear in mind that it is a substance that is sensitive to high preparation temperatures.
  • Octyl gallate (E-311): Used as a synthetic antioxidant in fats and water, where it is sometimes included to prevent rancidity in oils.
  • Dodecyl gallate (E-312): Used as a synthetic antioxidant in fats and beverages, particularly to prevent rancidity in oils.

The most important technological property is the low resistance to heating. They are not very useful for protecting frying oils or sometimes foods that are subject to high cooking temperatures strong foods during their manufacturing, such as confectionery products or cookies. The low resistance to heat can be avoided by adding citric acid to the product. They are used, mixed with BHA (E 320) and BHT (E 321), for the protection of edible fats and oils.

Galactose, BHA and BHT were used together in oils, with the exception of olive oil. They are also used in canned and semi-preserved fish and processed cheese, pastry or confectionery, cookies.

2. Breakthrough phenols.

The main antioxidants of this type are:

  • Butyl-hydroxy-anisole (BHA, E-320): It is one of the most common antioxidants in human nutrition. Chemically, BHA is a mixture of two isomers: 2-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole and 3-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole. The second one is generally considered as a better antioxidant, and represents 90% of commercial BHA.

    a27 foto 4.png

This antioxidant is effective primarily in animal fats and more discreetly in vegetable fats and oils. However, due to the chemical structure they present, they are extremely volatile at baking and frying temperatures.

  • Butyl-hydroxy-toluol (BHT, E-321): Together with BHA, they are the most used antioxidants in human nutrition. BHT (3,5-di-tert-butyl-4-hydroxytoluene) is an appropriate antioxidant for heat treatment, although it is not so stable.

a27 foto 5.png

It is commonly used in combination with BHA to provide increased antioxidant activity. It is also commonly used together with other antioxidants, such as propyl gallate and citric acid, for the stabilization of oils and high-fat foods.

Both BHA and BHT have a slight phenolic odor when used at high temperature for a prolonged period of time.

  • Terbutil hydroquinone (TBHQ, E-319): TBHQ is a white or beige powder that is frequently used in vegetable oils and animal fats. As an antioxidant, TBHQ is more effective in vegetable oils than BHA and BHT. It is heat-stable and very useful in the prevention of oxidation of frying oils.
    Like the BHA and the BHT, there are indications that in high doses it can be harmful to health, which is why the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has banned its use in Europe and the Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA) has established certain limits for its use in human nutrition.
  • Tocopherols (E-306): is the antioxidant extracted from nature most common in the food industry.
    It is completely fat-soluble and does not alter the organoleptic properties of the food. It is also safe, effective and easy to incorporate.
    The tocopherols are formed by four isomers (Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta) with different antioxidant and vitamin activities. After several exhaustive studies, it has been shown that the main antioxidant activity is produced by the Gamma and Delta isomers.

In products formed by structures with double bonds more input of tocopherols is needed, since the unsaturated substances are more sensitive to oxidation.

So far we have analyzed the primary antioxidants (type I), in another article, we will complete this analysis with the development of secondary antioxidants (type II).