Abstract: Nineteen variables were studied in samples of pelleted lucerne taken from 4 dehydration establishments in Western Greece, to assess its quality as feed material. The analyses, based on European Union (EU) methods, included determination of major nutrients, ash insoluble in HCl, trace elements, heavy metals, aflatoxin B1 and microbial load. Samples taken from three out of 4 drying factories were of excellent nutrient composition, whereas one was of lower quality, based on high crude fibre 282 and ash insoluble in HCl (18.2 g kg-1) content, implying delayed cutting and excessive soil contamination of lucerne crop. Presence of Pb, Cd and aflatoxin B1 was not detected in any of the samples, while enumeration of Total Bacteria Counts (TBC) and yeasts/moulds ranged from 4.3-5.5 and 2.3-3.0 log10 cfu g -1, respectively, but remained below permitted levels. The low microbial load observed is apparently due to the noticeably low moisture content of the lucerne pellets (67-93 g kg-1). Information from this study aims at contributing to measures taken by State authorities to cope with the EU legislation on food safety, developing traceability procedures and establishing HACCP systems as well as GMP programme.
P.E. Zoiopoulos and P.I. Natskoulis , 2007. Control on Dehydrated Lucerne as Component of Animal Diets Related to Nutrient Content and Hygienic Quality. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 6: 1446-1449.