Botanical impurities

Feed safety : Research : Botanical impurities

The mandatory monitoring programs in the member states of the European Union contain monitoring of undesirable substances of botanic origin. The extent to which this monitoring is actually conducted has recently been investigated. The report can be down loaded from this page.

General, visual inspection, monitoring

General site for a range of possibilities for visual identification:

Frick G., Boschung H., Schulz-Schroeder G., Russ G., Ujcic-Vrhovnik I., Jakovac-Strajn B., Angetter D., John I., Jørgensen JS. (2011) Ragweed (Ambrosia sp.) seeds in bird feed. Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement, vol. 15, special issue,p. 39-44.

Raamsdonk LWD. van, Vancutsem J., Jørgensen JS. (2009). A survey on the presence of undesirable botanical substances in feed in the European Union, Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement, vol. 13, special issue, p. 33-38.

Supporting report: van Raamsdonk, L.W.D. (2007). A survey on the presence of undesirable botanic substances in feed in the European Union. Wageningen, RIKILT Report 2007.004, p. 22.

There is an overwhelming amount of publications on the chemical analysis of phytotoxins. Special interest goes to the opportunities in which visual and chemical analysis complement each other.

Some highlights are:

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids

Wiedenfeld, H. and J. Edgar (2010). Toxicity of pyrrolizidine alkaloids to humans and ruminants. Phytochemistry Reviews, online first.

Raamsdonk, L.W.D. van, P. Mulder, M. Uiterwijk (2010). Identification tools as part of Feedsafety research: the case of ragwort. In: P.L. Nimis and R. Vignes Lebbe, Proceedings of « Tools for identifying biodiversity: progress and problems », Edizioni Università di Trieste, pp. 213-216.


Podolak, I., A. Galanty and D. Sobolewska (2010). Saponins as cytotoxic agents: a review. Phytochemistry Reviews Volume 9, Number 3, 425-474.

Raamsdonk, L.W.D. van, V. Pinckaers, J. Ossenkoppele, R. Houben, M. Lotgering and M. J. Groot (2010). Quality assessments of untreated and washed Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) seeds based on histological and foaming capacity investigations. In: Microscopy: Science, Technology, Applications and Education, Number 4, volume 2: 1033-1038. Formatex Research Center.