Approach for a pro-active emerging risk system on biofuel by-products in feed
Worldwide biofuel products have rapidly entered the market and consequently so did the availability of their by-products for feed production. A pro-active emerging risk system for biofuel by-products is essential in order to prevent the occurrence of emerging hazards in feed and livestock production. In the current study, two biofuel by-products were elaborated upon, namely Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS) resulting from bioethanol production and microalgae slurry resulting from biodiesel production. A holistic approach was used in which both factors from within the feed chain as well as outside the feed chain were incorporated. A list of critical factors linking dynamics in the biofuel production chain with possible feed safety risks was established after consultation of experts in in-depth interviews. Subsequently, a workshop was organized to determine the most important critical factors. Indicators (signals that indicate a change in critical factors) and information sources were linked to these factors for the individual cases. Based on expert judgment, the most important critical factors identified for the two selected cases were: chain complexity, composition of the feed product, origin of raw materials and climate change. Ranking of the indicators showed that in both cases the number of chain stages was the most important general indicator for feed safety risks. The study showed that following this approach resulted in the selection of critical factors and indicators for emerging feed safety risks related to the use of biofuel by-products. Once critical values (upper and/or lower limits) are assigned to the indicators, the system can support decisions to take actions in an early stage in order to prevent emerging risks in feed due to the use of DDGS or microalgae slurry.
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