Feed safety platform

Feed for health cost action

Type of the activity: research project
Financing: European Commission: Cost Action
Duration of the project: 12/2008-11/2012


As for human nutrition, animal nutrition is changing from a concept of adequate nutrition to one of optimal nutrition. This implies that apart from their nutritional effects, feeds have to be addressed in term of their potential functionality in promoting health maintenance and disease avoidance in animals. The health of the animal is a primary factor determining the quality, safety and wholesomeness of foods of animal origin for human consumption. Most of nutritional issues related to the connection between feed and animal health, animal nutrition and obtainment of nutritious food of animal origin have been addressed considering nutrient by nutrient or only some of them. Likewise, feed safety aspects and their impact on quality, safety and wholesomeness of foods of animal origin for human consumption have been addressed separately in term of type of contaminants (animal by products, mycotoxins, dioxins etc.), analytical approaches and so forth. Furthermore in general when feed/food safety, feed/food quality and functionality are considered, a distinction between large scale “land” animal production (cattle, poultry, pigs etc.) and aquaculture is assumed, while a cross-talk between these two sides of the livestock production should be implemented. Finally the recent EU enlargement exacerbated differences in livestock production systems across the Union. In this connection, a research network that is focused on the nutritional optimization and feed safety of all farm animals (including fish), in relation to both food safety and health promotion, needed to be formed. In this context, the COST Action FA0802 FEED for HEALTH was approved by the Committee of Senior Officials on 19 June 2008. The Action entered into force on 7/08/2008 after five Parties had accepted the Memorandum of Understanding. The Action officially started on December 2nd 2008 with the first MC Meeting.

Project description


This COST Action aims to create a research network concerned with:

the role of animal nutrition in improving animal health
the role of animal nutrition in designing functional foods for humans
and the development of the concepts of feed safety, feed quality and feed functionality, as counterparts of these ideas as they are currently applied foods for humans

The main task of the network will be to promote the acquisition and facilitate the dissemination of knowledge in these areas and encourage cooperation between various groups working in the area.

To achieve these objectives, four workgroups have been defined.

WG1 – Feed and food for health
WG2 – Feed safety
WG3 – Feed supply
WG4 – Consumer concern and perception

Expected results

Working Group 1 Feed and food for health will integrate and collate basic knowledge on (a) the roles of feed and feed components in animal health, and (b) the role of animal nutrition in designing functional foods

Working Group 2 Feed Safety will integrate and collate knowledge on feed safety. Particular concerns will be the control and reduction of feed contaminants such us mycotoxins, plant-produced toxins and residues, heavy metals, harmful biological agents (particularly pathogenic bacteria) and xenobiotics, and the monitoring of carryover from feed to food. It will also be important to develop new, more reliable and more accurate analytical methods (including screening and rapid methods) to identify and monitor these contaminants.

Working Group 3 Feed Supply will carry out an analysis of problems pertaining to the farm animal feed supply. It will also be necessary to develop and validate of analytical methods (including rapid methods) to identify disparate ingredients in processed feeds in order to ensure correct labelling and conformity to quality standards

Working Group 4 Consumer concerns and perceptions will review the status in this area of live stock production and come up with suggestions for future activities.

Main partners

This COST action is coordinated by Dr Luciano Pinotti, VSA. Around 30 partners from 20 European countries are participating in the COST action Feed for Health.

Project team

Coordination :

Dr Luciano PINOTTI

University of Milan- Dept. of Veterinary Sciences and Technology for Food Safety -VSA
Via Trentacoste 2
20134 Milano
E-mail: luciano.pinotti@unimi.it

Web site : http://www.feedforhealth.org