Chapter 4 – Labelling and Guarantees
4.9 Amino Acid Guarantees on Livestock Feed Labels

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The importance of the amino acid content of livestock feeds, especially for monogastric animals, is well documented, and acceptable laboratory methodologies for the verification of amino acid guarantees in feeds are available. The Science Branch of the CFIA has developed analytical tolerances for specific amino acids, which allow for the addition of amino acid guarantees on livestock feed labels.

At this time, only two amino acids have been considered, namely lysine and methionine. Both of these amino acids can be analyzed using the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) International Official Methods of Analysis suitable for total amino acid analysis: AOAC International 994.12, "Amino Acids in Feeds", Performic Acid Oxidation with Acid Hydrolysis - Sodium Metabisulfite Method, or AOAC International 985.28, "Sulfur Amino Acids in Food and Feed Ingredients", Ion Exchange Chromatographic Method, or AOAC International 982.30, "Protein Efficiency Ratio", Part E - Sample Hydrolysis. For additional details of lysine and methionine testing, refer to the collaborative study for AOAC International 994.12 in the Journal of AOAC International Volume 77, Number 6, 1994, pages 1362 to 1402, by C. Llames & J. Fontaine, "Determination of Amino Acids in Feeds: Collaborative Study". The AOAC International methods mentioned above will be used by the CFIA for regulatory and compliance purposes.

2-Hydroxy-4-(methylthio) butanoic acid (HMB), which is commercially known as Methionine Hydroxy Analog, may be used as an alternative source of methionine activity in livestock rations; however, analytical methods for methionine determination cannot quantify HMB. For analytical determination of HMB content of livestock feeds, the methodology described by Ontiveros et al. (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (1987) 35 pages 692-694) has been reviewed by Science Branch and found acceptable.

The Feed Program of the CFIA allows for lysine and/or methionine guarantees (including methionine equivalent from HMB) only on labels of feeds designed for feeding to swine and poultry. These guarantees will be permitted on labels for swine and poultry feeds where all of the following conditions are met:

  1. As amino acid guarantees are not required pursuant to Schedule I, Table 3 of the Feeds Regulations, all products labelled with lysine and/or methionine guarantees are required to be registered. Please note, there is no exemption from this requirement with respect to customer and/or consultant formula feeds, or any other feed presently exempt from registration.
  2. Lysine and/or methionine guarantees will be permitted only on labels of feeds designed for feeding to swine and poultry. Amino acid guarantees for feeds designed for multiple livestock species will be permitted only if mixing directions are presented for swine and/or poultry and the amino acid content of the mixed feed is acceptable for those species.
  3. Only guarantees for minimum per cent of total lysine and/or methionine activity (including methionine equivalent from HMB) will be permitted. Guarantees for added lysine and/or methionine activity are not acceptable. Manufacturers will be required to submit a certificate of analysis stating the actual amount of lysine and/or methionine (including HMB where applicable) found for three different batches of the product, or copies of the actual product formula complete with calculated amino acid and HMB (where applicable) content.
  4. Where the feed is a complete feed, the amino acid guarantee must provide at least the minimum requirement recommended in the latest version of the Nutrient Requirements for Swine or Poultry published by the National Academy Press (for the age or class of animal for which the feed is designed), or be substantiated by other scientific information. Where the feed is designed for further mixing (i.e., supplements, macropremixes or micropremixes), the amino acid guarantee must result in a final feed which provides at least the minimum requirement, when the feed is manufactured as indicated on the label.
  5. Where the feed contains HMB as a source of supplemental methionine activity, the presence of HMB must be indicated on the label, beside the methionine guarantee (e.g. "this feed contains HMB as a source of supplemental methionine"), to ensure that the lab and/or analyst has the appropriate information to enable verification of label guarantees. A guarantee for minimum %HMB may also appear on the label, but will not be required.
  6. The analytical tolerance used for guarantee verification shall not exceed a deficiency of 20 per cent of the guaranteed amount.
  7. For amino acids manufactured using fermentation and extraction processes, the source of fermentation (bacteria, yeast or fungi) must be an approved source as per Schedule IV of the Feeds Regulations. Unapproved fermentation sources will have to undergo an ingredient safety evaluation prior to being used as an amino acid source. For fermentation sources containing a novel trait (e.g. genetically modified), the sources will be individually evaluated on a case-by-case basis, according to the Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Novel Feeds: Microbial Sources.

For consideration of any additional amino acid guarantees (for other species or other amino acids) on livestock feed labels, valid scientific evidence in support of the nutritional requirement for the amino acid and a valid analytical method must be presented.

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