Various raw materials are received in a feed processing plant: grains, pellets, powdery, liquids,…
Feed ingredients can be classified in macroingredients (incorporated to the feed formula in a rate greater than 1 %) and microingredients (vitamins, minerals, and other materials usually required in feeds in small amounts as feed additives). All raw materials arrive by truck or, more rarely, by trains.
Grains and pellets are discharged into reception hoppers and transferred by mechanically to the storage units.
The micro-ingredients could be delivered in a mixture form called premix packed in bulk, big bags or bags.
Bulk powdery (phosphates, carbonates, urea, salt,…) are transferred, most of the time by a pneumatic system.
Macro-liquids are pumped into their external tanks and micro-liquids are often delivered cubitainers (IBC).
In the case that the feed mill produces medicated feed under veterinary prescription, it will receive medicated premixes, usually in bags, which will be stored in a specific area with limited access.
At the arrival of delivery trucks, they are weighed and a first quality control is performed. It determines the allocation of specific storage in the factory. The entry points to raw materials in the plants are multiple.
A circulation plan guides to truck drivers toward reception places. For some raw materials, access keys allow avoiding that the truck driver deliver the ingredient in the wrong reception place.
The raw materials are systematically sampled at reception for carrying out quality checks before proceeding to the delivery.
Additional controls are performed a posteriori in laboratories.
The controls results can imply different actions contemplated in the reception quality control plan: lot rejection, specific treatment (decontamination, drying,…), payment of raw material below the negotiated price, focusing on the supplier, supplier audits, modification of databases (NIRS databases,…).