Powdered Milk Replacers Lab Test Data - Proximate Analysis and Dietary Minerals
WildAgain has prepared a spreadsheet of all of the powdered milk replacer products and individual lot test results received from a lab certified to test such products. It is in the form of an EXCEL (.xlsx) spreadsheet and can be downloaded from this page below. It will be updated for each new product test result as future products and lots are tested.
While there are many types of tests that can be performed on a powdered milk replacers such as amino acid profiles, vitamin concentrations, as well as many others, WildAgain requests two different tests be performed on each sample that is submitted.
The spreadsheet has a specific tab (along the bottom of the workbook) that identifies the specific product, such as 'FoxValley 32/40'. Then on the worksheet for that product, the right hand columns display the date of manufacture (as can be reasonably determined by the lot number) and the specific lot number that was tested.
The tests conducted by the lab report back the basic components of the product in terms of Moisture Content; Protein; Fat; Fiber (crude) and Ash. The reported values can then be easily compared to the product labeling where the manufacturer is required to disclose certain Guaranteed Analysis (GA) values for minimum or maximum percent content for Moisture, Protein, Fat and many times Crude Fiber and Ash. If you want to learn more about product label GA's, this is a good link to the FDA website that further describes certain other regulations imposed by states and regulations promulgated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
The percent content value for Carbohydrates is not a test value but is a calculation referred to as a Nitrogen-Free Extract value. It is simply the result of subtracting the percent values of protein, fat, crude fiber and ash from total solids.
Dietary Mineral Analysis
While the product label rarely discloses concentration levels for various of the primary or trace dietary minerals, WildAgain has the lab test for those values. Clearly there is high interest in the Calcium (Ca) and Phosphorus (P) concentrations as well as the Ca:P ratio. It is also important to see the levels for Magnesium (Mg) as these three elements all interact to insure growth and health. Trace elements are also important, especially if they are present only only in very small concentrations compared to specific dietary requirements, or in such high concentrations to be considered at toxicity levels.
A value for the estimate of Metabolizable Energy in kcals/gram is displayed. There are actually two different calculations shown. The first is based on the Atwater System, and second is a value based on the modified Atwater system which is preferred by AAFCO, especially for dry animal feed.
The weight in grams of a single (US) Tablespoon is shown in the rightmost column. These are the weights that resulted from WildAgain's measurement testing, which can be found here.
In addition to the more recent lots of the products, produced in the last 1-2 years and still in the consumer supply chain, lots from prior years, are also included when available. This is informative in that it shows how certain aspects of the product has changed over a number of years. For example, when compared to 8-10 years ago, have the percent concentrations of fat increased or decreased? What about protein levels? Have the Ca and P concentrations remained constant? If not, what is the effect on the Ca:P ratio? Are dietary Copper (Cu) levels present in sufficient, albeit minute, concentrations for the species being fed?
Lastly, there are a few instances where "outliers" are evident in the data when compared to recent lots of the same product. To the extent the outlier is significantly out of expected range, WildAgain will request a re-test of that specific component or mineral. Many times it appears to be a variation of the product between lots.
Official Publication of the American Association of Feed Control Officers (as referenced above).
US Department of Agriculture. (various)
Official Methods of Analysis, 21st ed, 2019. Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) International. Sets the standards and/or basis for the proximate analysis and dietary mineral assays mentioned above.
"Calcium to phosphorus ratio, essential elements and vitamin D content of infant foods in the UK: Possible implications for bone health".Loughrill, et al. 2016. Wiley Online Library.