STRATFEED Samples bank


With the application since December 2000, of the total ban to use meat and bone meals in feed destined for farmed animals, it was very important to collect existing samples to use them as reference samples to develop and test the new methods of detection. The STRATFEED project aims to build an European samples bank of feed ingredients, meat and bone meals, feedingstuffs with and without animal meals. This bank includes around 2100 samples coming from different European countries.


The samples bank aims to the conservation of feed materials and feed samples under stable conditions, as well as the homogeneous distribution of these samples to the laboratories where they will be analysed. It is desirable that those samples don't deteriorate and/or get lost, because they have an important and expensive associate information and that they have a high value like reference samples. For this reason it's important to optimise the conservation conditions and to keep the characterization and any information regarding each sample.



The constitution of a samples bank is carried out in 5 steps


- the collect of samples

- the data collect about samples

- the samples selection

- the sub-sample preparation for long term preservation

- the building of a database



The STRATFEED project aims also at editing publications.







1st Step : The collect of samples


To constitute a samples bank, the main step is the collect of the samples.

In the frame of the STRATFEED project, those samples come from

  • - the different institutes involved in the project (consortium)
  • - the privates industries (collaborators)
  • - the consortium laboratories in charge to prepare samples according to specific technological treatments

Those samples are sent to UCO in charge to store them.



2nd Step : The data collect about samples


The 2nd step linked to the first is to collect the information about each sample.

An inventory form (Figure 1) containing a number of fields enabling sample definition and characterisation (feedingstuffs and animal meals) has been created. The formula of samples gathered in the samples bank, were described according to the EC guidelines of the Commission Directive 98/67/EC amending Council Directive 96/25/EC. For some of them, chemical composition was also described. The purpose of this form is to collect existing information, to be used in the development, validation and implementation of the techniques studied in the project.

Figure 1. : Inventory form.

3rd  Step : The samples selection


All information supplied by inventory form was gathered and summarised. This information recorded was used to select the samples to include in the samples bank, depending of their conservation status, of their specificity in order to have the best variability of the samples population to be used for developing the various scientific methods. To date, the STRATFEED samples bank includes 833 feed materials (MBM, poultry meal, cattle meal, pig meal, ovine meal and fish meal) and 1644 compound feedingstuffs (poultry feed, ruminant feed, pig feed, fish feed, dog feed and rabbit feed) coming from 10 partners through European countries.

4th Step : the sub-sample preparation for long term preservation


All the samples selected were prepared for long term preservation following 3 steps:


  • - the homogenizing and quartering samples
  • - the packaging
  • - the storage




The homogenizing and quartering samples (Figure 2)


When the compound feed or animal meal sample is too large, it should be properly reduced to obtain a representative sample of 100 - 200 g. for the Samples Bank. To do this, the quartering procedure is used. This consists to

  • - mix the entire sample thoroughly,
  • - put it on a clean cellulose lab paper,
  • - divide the sample into four equal parts (quarters),
  • - save the two opposing quarters.

If the sample is still too large, the procedure is repeated until the proper sample size 100-200 gr. is obtained. Then the sample is placed in an airtight plastic bag

Figure 2. : The homogenizing and quartering samples.


The packaging (Figure 3)


Vacuum-packaging in polyethylene and aluminium multilayer bags (PET/ALU/PET/PE):

                          - oxygen permeability <0.2 (cc.m2/24h/Bar)

                          - water permeability <0.2 (mg/m2/24h)


Figure 3. : The packaging.


The storage (Figure 4)


Storage in vacuum-packed bags in plastic containers in controlled conditions in a cold room (4º C and 10% Humidity).


Figure 4. : The storage.


5th  Step : The building of a database


All information collected for each sample, regarding

  • - the sample identification (STRATFEED, UCO and partner references),
  • - the status in the samples bank (Physical presentation, packaging, quantity, conservation status),
  • - the classification (type and destination of the products)
  • - the declared formula composition (percentage of different ingredients)
  • - the chemical composition (percentage of different chemical elements)

was structured and integrated in a global computer information system providing database, management tool and exploring tool (STRATFEED Information system)

















Garrido Varo, A., Perez Marin, D., Guerrero, J.E., Gomez Cabrera, A., von Holst, C., Murray, I., van Raamsdonk, L. & Zegers, J. (2005). Construction of the  STRATFEED Sample bank and preparation of sample sets (WP2). In: Strategies and methods to detect and quantify mammalian tissues in feedingstuffs, Bruxelles, European Commission, 18p.





This work was coordinated by CRA-W in collaboration with JRC-IRMM, AFSCA, FUSAGx, RIKILT, NUTRECO, SAC, ISS, UCO, LAGC, ALP, LUFA and PDIR


Walloon Agricultural Research Centre


Dr Pierre Dardenne, Dr Vincent Baeten, Dr Gilbert Berben,

Dr R. Oger, Ir Philippe Vermeulen

Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements

European Commission - DG - Joint Research Centre


Dr Christoph von Holst

Federal Feed & Food Laboratory of Tervuren


Ir Jeroen Vancutsem

Gembloux Agricultural University


Prof Daniel Portetelle

Institute of Food Safety


Dr Jacob de Jong, Dr Leo van Raamsdonk, Dr Henk Aarts, Mr Rob Frankhuizen

Masterlab BV


Ir Jos Zegers

Scottish Agricultural College


Dr Ian Murray, Rhona Patterson

Italian National Institute of Health


Dr Gianfranco Brambilla, Dr Gabriele Vaccari


School of Agriculture and Forestry Engineering of the University of Cordoba

UCO (Sp)

Prof Dr Ana Garrido Varo, Ir Ma Dolores Perez Marin

Prof Dr Augusto Gomez Cabrera, Prof Dr José Emilio Guerrero Ginel

Laboratory of the autonomous government of Catalonia


Dr Jaume Bosch, Dr Silvia Termes