The STRATFEED project is proposed within the framework of the Topic II.14 of the Growth-Dedicated calls-10/99 entitled "New methodologies for the detection and quantification of illegal addition of mammalian tissues in feedingstuffs". This topic is directly related to the R & D activity Fight against Fraud (R & D) under the Competitive and Sustainable Growth Programme (1.1.3). It falls under the generic activity 1.1.3-6 Measurement and Testing. Specifically, it is related to the Objective 1.1.3-6.2 Methodologies for Measurement and Testing.

The STRATFEED project contributes to the implementation of the European Commission. Commission Decision 94/381/EC of 27 June 1994 concerning certain protection measures with regard to bovine spongiform encephalopathy and the feeding of mammalian derived protein. Official Journal L 172, 07/07/1994 p. 0023. (1994). Commission Decision 94/381/EC of 27 June 1994 amended for the second time by European Commission. Commission Decision 99/129/EC of 29 January 1999 amending for the second time Decision 94/381/EC concerning certain protection measures with regard to bovine spongiform encephalopathy and the feeding of mammalian derived protein. Official Journal L 041, 16/02/1999 p. 0014. (1999) Decision 99/129/EC of 29 January 1999 . They state the prohibition of the use of proteins derived from all mammalian tissues in feedingstuffs destined for ruminants. It is a direct consequence of the “mad cow” epidemic which emerged in 1986. Conjointly to the European Commission. Commission Decision 96/449/EC of 18 July 1996 on the approval of alternative heat treatment systems for processing animal waste with a view to the inactivation of spongiform encephalopathy agent. Official Journal L 184, 24/07/1996 p. 0043. (1996)Commission Decision 96/449/EC of 18 July 1996 about the heat treatment system for processing animal waste, Commission Decision 94/381/EC is vital to eradicate BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) and to avoid the possible risks to human health. As stated in the supporting document of the Topic II.14 as well as in the European Commission and European Parliament. Report of the International scientific conference on animal meal organised under the aegis of the Scientifc Steering Committee of the European Union. Bruxelles, 1st -2nd July 1997. 279 p. (1997)Report of the International Scientific Conference on Animal Meal organised under the aegis of the Scientific Steering Committee of the European Union , the legislators should have adequate sensible and reliable methods to permit the application of the regulations. So, the ban on the use of mammalian proteins in the feeding of ruminants calls for validated methods able to prove the absence or presence of animal meals in feedingstuffs.

The achievements of the STRATFEED project will allow a reliable control for the ban of ruminant ingredients in ruminant feed and will permit to increase the safety of food supply with respect to the BSE disease. By the availability of efficient methods, the implementation of directives and decisions will be facilitated. It will lead to significant healthcare benefits in the European Union. The development of new methods to detect illegal addition will allow technology to keep pace with unscrupulous practices. After several crises affecting the feed and food sectors, there is an huge need to rebuild the consumer's confidence in safe and high quality European products.

The RTD STRATFEED project includes the constitution of a European sample bank of authentic animal originated ingredient and feed samples, the improvement of the efficiency of the existing official method (i.e. Classical microscopy), the development and validation of new methods based on alternative techniques, the constitution of a European database including microscopic images and infrared spectra that will be available on an internet site. The STRATFEED project will be spread over 42 months and centred around two main objectives:

  1. Harmonisation and efficiency improvement of the control by classical microscopy. The STRATFEED project includes the creation of highly valuable tools (sample bank, database, Expert System) to reinforce the control of feedingstuffs by classical microscopy.
  2. Development and validation of new methodologies based on alternative techniques. The Classical microscopic method has some limitations such as a low speed, a commitment to skilled staff, a high cost, great difficulties to differentiate species, inaccurate quantification of illegal MBM (Meat and Bone Meal) addition. The STRATFEED project aims at developing new analytical methods for the control laboratories in help to the classical feed microscopy. These new methods will be based on alternative techniques that permit the rapid control of the high amount of samples, the species differentiation and the reliable quantification of the addition of meat and bone meals. Molecular biology (PCR), near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and near-infrared microscopy (NIRM) will be used to develop new methods for rapid and reliable detection and quantification of MBM in feedingstuffs.

The STRATFEED consortium includes 10 partners Link to the Participants description item.(official laboratories, research centres, universities and one private company) from 5 EU countries involved in the control of feedingstuffs, the development of new methods, the validation of new methods and the application of the methods to the industry.

Keywords:            Meat and Bone Meals (MBM), Feedingstuffs, sample bank, data bank, expert system, classical microscopy, DNA technology (PCR), near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR), near-infrared microscopy (NIRM),