Quality & safety
Animal proteins products are prepared in strictly controlled and hygienic processes that meet food grade specifications to ensure they are pure and safe.
The plants that process blood into animal protein products meet many quality standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and HACCP. EAPA members believe this is essential for building long term business relationships with their customers. Their safe, traceable and definitive final products are in demand for use in food products, animal and fish feeds, pet food and in pharmaceuticals in Europe and beyond.
Animal proteins are permitted ingredients feed and food in the European Union, in North America and South America and throughout most of the Asia Pacific region. They are approved by all major food safety authorities, including the European Food Safety Authority and the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and meet the specifications of bodies such as the World Health Organization.
The European Animal Protein Association (EAPA) represents European blood products producers, with manufacturing plants located throughout the European Union (France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Poland, The Netherlands, Italy, Sweden and Ireland). One of the products manufactured by our members is spray dried plasma, which is a safe, healthy and valuable source of proteins for the European animal production and feed industry.
We, as EAPA, are passionate about the safety and efficacy of our products, and have a wealth of scientific evidence that highlight those benefits. However, the best evidence is the usage by farmers feeding millions of piglets after weaning around the world over three decades. Plasma helps to bridge the gap between the milk supplied by the mother and the immunity developed by the piglets themselves; it increases feed intake, weight, feed conversion rate, protect intestinal integrity and reduces diarrhoea and mortality and, in addition has been demonstrated a consistent alternative to reduce the usage of antibiotics.
However, recent pig diseases have raised concerns over transmission of viruses from the by-products coming from potentially sick animals, including but not limited to spray dried plasma. In relation to African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV), spray dried plasma is exclusively made up from blood of healthy animals after veterinary approval from farms free of ASFV under supervision and control of competent authorities. In addition, the manufacturing standards of spray dried plasma make the product safe.
The manufacturing process of EAPA members contains several independent safety steps that contribute to the safety of blood products in front of different pathogens that affect the swine industry, including ASFV. The first step consists in pooling liquid plasma from different sources and therefore, this contribute to a dilution. Pooling is a recognized biosafety feature for human plasma products used for transfusions. The second step is the spray-drying process at high temperatures (80ºC throughout its substances) that inactivates high heat resistant viral microorganisms (using different model viruses), including non-enveloped viruses like swine vesicular disease virus. Finally, the storage of final dried product at controlled warehouse temperature (>20ºC) during minimum 14 days has been demonstrated to be effective in inactivating enveloped viruses similar to ASF like porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV) or porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV).
Besides, EAPA members share the following code of practice:
- Minimum 80 degrees Celsius outlet temperature
- Minimum inlet temperature 180 degrees Celsius
- Water activity below 0.6 and moisture content less than 8 %
- Hold plasma going to swine for at least 2 weeks at room temperature
- Keep appropriate records
- Any other scientifically proven method inactivating pathogens
The manufacturing process of EAPA members for spray dried blood products are aligned with the World Health Organization guidelines for assuring viral safety of human plasma products used for transfusions, with the additional safety feature that animal spray-dried blood products are used in animal nutrition products that are orally fed to animals.
In summary, the EAPA members manufacturing process for spray-dried plasma has multiple safeguards to assure that our products are safe against all known porcine viruses and effective for use in animal nutrition worldwide.
You can download more detailed documents here regarding the safety of plasma.