Interpreting Vitamin Analytics in Premix

You’ve received a result that the vitamin E in your premix is 85% of the expected level. What does this mean exactly? Is this a problem? 

The AAFCO Official Publication lists the allowed variation to the guarantee for a variety of nutrients. In the case of vitamins, this can range from +/- 45% for a small inclusion ingredient such as vitamin B12 to +/- 20% for a vitamin included at higher quantities such as vitamin E. This means that an analytical result of 80% to 120% of your expected level is considered acceptable.

But what feeds into this 85% result that you’re seeing? Variation can be attributed to several different factors. This includes (but is not limited to):

1) The Manufacturing Process

  • Ingredient activity - actual vs. declared concentration
  • Ingredient weighment - scale accuracy, equipment error
  • Mixing/Packaging - composition of premix and its tendency to separate

2) Sampling variation

  • It is important to have a representative composite sample vs. grab sample

3) Between lab variation (lab-to-lab)

  • Are the labs measuring the same thing ie., Ascorbic acid vs. ascorbyl monophosphate
  • Are they using the appropriate methodology ie., Additional enzyme step required for vitamin A or D3 from cross-linked beadlet sources

4) Within lab variation (technician-to-technician)

  • Are the samples mixed and prepared in the same manner to ensure complete extraction?

5) True analytical variation (method)

  • Variation is determined by repeated analysis on the same sample
  • Variation due to the method alone is typically 10% to 15% dependent on target nutrient


When you consider the above sources of variation and the sample size required to conduct the test is between 1 gram and 5 grams to represent an entire batch of premix, a result of 85% of your target level is excellent!

Want to learn more on this topic or have additional questions? Please reach out to your dsm-firmenich account representative.

Published on

21 February 2022



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