Melamine adulterates component of pellet feeds

Published on June 15, 2007
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Two companies have recalled products that bind animal feed into pellets because one of the companies included melamine in the products' raw materials, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Melamine is the same adulterant that two Chinese companies apparently added to ingredients for pet food on the U.S. market, probably to increase the ingredients' protein reading.

A Tembec Chemical Group operation in Toledo, Ohio, appears to have added melamine to binding agents for pellet feeds to improve the binding properties, according to the FDA. Tembec is a Canadian manufacturer of wood, paper, and chemical products.

Tembec's Toledo operation manufactures AquaBond and Aqua-Tec II binding agents for shrimp and fish feed as part of a contract with Uniscope of Johnstown, Colo. Tembec distributes the Uniscope-brand products to the international market. Tembec also supplies the raw materials with which Uniscope manufactures Xtra-Bond for cattle, sheep, and goat feed. Uniscope distributes Xtra-Bond to the domestic market.

Uniscope and Tembec have recalled AquaBond, Aqua-Tec II, and Xtra-Bond. The FDA estimated that the concentrations of melamine and melamine analogs in the three binding agents would lead to concentrations of fewer than 465 ppm in shrimp feed, 233 ppm in fish feed, and 50 ppm in livestock feed. The FDA advised feed manufacturers to recall pellets containing AquaBond or Aqua-Tec II.

Uniscope detected the melamine when the company tested for the adulterant following the recent recalls of pet food. The binding agents contain lower concentrations of adulterants than did the ingredients from China that went into pet food. Concentrations of melamine and melamine analogs reached about 3 percent in the binding agents in comparison with up to 20 percent in the ingredients from China.