Defending Against Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins are toxic substances produced by certain fungi that can contaminate pet food ingredients, posing a serious health risk to animals. In the pet food industry, mycotoxin contamination can occur in various stages of ingredient production, including during storage, transportation and processing. These toxins can lead to a range of health problems in pets, including digestive issues, liver and kidney damage, immune system suppression and even cancer. Mycotoxin contamination can be difficult to detect, as the fungi that produce them can grow in various types of ingredients under a range of environmental conditions. Therefore, it is crucial for pet food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers alike to have stringent quality control measures in place to ensure that their products are free from mycotoxins and safe for pets to consume.

Mycotoxin detection is of topmost importance to the team at Anchor Ingredients. Anchor takes several steps to minimize the occurrence of mycotoxins in the ingredients we source from our network of more than 2,500 growers. Although mycotoxins are naturally occurring and impossible to avoid completely, Anchor has implemented Good Agricultural Practices as a first line of defense.

  • Anchor ensures that both internal employees and growers are well-informed about mycotoxins and the risk factors they pose.

  • Products are harvested and dried at the appropriate time and moisture level before being stored.

  • Both Anchor and our network of growers keep bins used for storage maintained in proper condition, with a procedure in place to clean them regularly and prevent contamination.

  • FIFO (First In, First Out) inventory management is used to rotate stock and prevent conditions that could lead to mycotoxin proliferation.

Additionally, we implement Good Manufacturing Practices throughout our process to further minimize the risk of mycotoxin contamination.

  • Anchor has established strict inbound specifications for high-risk commodities.

  • Any product found to be outside the established specifications is immediately rejected and prevented from entering our facilities.

  • We monitor finished products through the implementation of sampling and testing procedures.

  • Out-of-spec products are immediately removed from the production stream.

  • We use official Federal Grain Inspection Service and composite sampling methods to ensure that representative samples are obtained for testing.

  • Our test methods and testing equipment have been validated for every ingredient we handle, ensuring the accuracy of results.

Unlike many of our competitors and other suppliers in the industry, Anchor has invested significantly in ensuring the quality and safety of the ingredients we supply. In addition to sampling and testing our products at various points throughout the process, we are also committed to increasing knowledge and awareness throughout the supply chain to minimize the potential impact of mycotoxins. Our employees— from frontline workers to back-office support staff, sales, procurement, quality, and management—are all trained on mycotoxins and the ways in which each of us can make a positive impact towards Anchor's mission of providing safe and high-quality ingredients to our customers.

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