Scientific Opinion on the potential reduction of the currently authorised maximum zinc content in complete feed


Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2014;12(5):3668 [77 pp.].
Panel Members
Gabriele Aquilina, Vasileios Bampidis, Maria De Lourdes Bastos, Lucio Guido Costa, Gerhard Flachowsky, Mikolaj Antoni Gralak, Christer Hogstrand, Lubomir Leng, Secundino López-Puente, Giovanna Martelli, Baltasar Mayo, Fernando Ramos, Derek Renshaw, Guido Rychen, Maria Saarela, Kristen Sejrsen, Patrick Van Beelen, Robert John Wallace and Johannes Westendorf.

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Revision of Maximum Content of Zinc in Feed, including Noël A. Dierick, Jürgen Gropp, Catherine Jondreville, Marta Lopez Alonso, Anne Katrine Lundebye, Wolfgang Maret and Patrick Schlegel for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion. The Panel also wishes to thank the Authorities of EU Member States and EEA/EFTA countries, and stakeholders who provided information following a call for data on zinc in animal nutrition launched by EFSA.

Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
8 April 2014
Published in the EFSA Journal
5 May 2014
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy

A critical review of (i) the zinc requirements of food-producing and pet animals, (ii) the zinc concentration of feed materials and (iii) the calculated background zinc concentration of complete feed supports the possibility of a considerable reduction of the currently authorised maximum concentration for total zinc in feed. The FEEDAP Panel developed, based on an approximation using zinc requirements and background data, potential new maximum contents, which could replace the current ones. The newly proposed total maximum contents are: 150 mg Zn/kg complete feed for piglets, sows, rabbits, salmonids, cats and dogs; 120 mg Zn/kg complete feed for turkeys for fattening; 100 mg Zn/kg complete feed for all other species and categories. The use of phytase in feeding piglets, pigs for fattening and sows would allow a further reduction of the newly proposed total maximum contents by 30 % (from 150 to 110 mg Zn/kg feed for piglets and sows and from 100 to 70 mg Zn/kg feed for pigs for fattening). The newly proposed total maximum contents ensure health, welfare and productivity of the target species and do not affect consumer safety. The FEEDAP Panel expects that the introduction of the newly proposed total maximum contents, provided they are applied in feeding practices, would result in an overall reduction of zinc emissions from animal production of about 20 %.

zinc, zinc requirements, zinc in feed, interactions, maximum content of zinc in feed, safety, environment
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