When sampling animal feed as bulk solids, it is essential to consider specific factors to ensure that the collected sample is representative and allows for accurate analysis. Some important aspects include:
- Representativeness: Ensuring that the samples represent the entire lot of animal feed is crucial. Sampling should be done at various locations within the storage or bulk flow to obtain a representative sample.
- Contamination prevention: All sampling equipment should be clean and dry to avoid contaminating the sample. Additionally, samples should not be taken near sources of pollutants, such as chemicals or waste.
- Sampling method: The method of sampling can vary depending on the type of animal feed and the specific objective of the analysis. Methods can be manual or automated and may involve special tools such as scoops, tubes, or automatic sampling devices.
- Sampling plan: Having a sampling plan that determines when and where samples will be taken is important. This should be decided based on factors such as the size of the storage, the type of animal feed, and the specific analysis requirements.
- Compliance with regulations: Sampling animal feed often requires adherence to various regulations, including those set by authorities such as the FDA in the USA or EU law in Europe. This may entail specific requirements for sampling methods, sampling frequency, and analysis procedures.
Furthermore, it is essential to handle and store the collected samples properly to preserve their integrity. This may involve refrigeration or analyzing them within a specific timeframe. All samples should be clearly labeled with information such as the date and time of sampling, the sampling location, and the type of animal feed.