Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALP, rte de la Tioleyre 4, 1725 Posieux

The microbiological quality of feedstuffs

The quality of a feedstuff is not only defined by the various nutrient contents, or by its composition in terms of raw materials, or its digestibility or its palatability, nor even by its appearance or sensory characteristics, but also by its hygienic status. This article presents a way of assessing the microbiological quality of feedstuff, as well as the history of how it became established in Europe, in particular in German-speaking countries. It describes the method used and the populations of micro-organisms present in the evolution of a feedstuff, from harvest to storage. Indicator micro-organisms act as a reference point in this assessment and orientation values were established for these indicator micro-organisms in the feedstuffs and raw materials which are used most. The article presents the results of a joint project initiated by the German Agricultural Analytic and Research Institutes (LUFA) with partners in several European countries including Switzerland.

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