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Feed detoxification processes authorisation guidance

Feed detoxification processes authorisation requirements.
Last updated
This page is part of the Regulated products application guidance

A detoxification process is a process through which an undesirable substance is removed from non-compliant contaminated feed. This can be achieved using one of the following methods:

  • physical - removed on purpose from non-compliant contaminated feed
  • chemical - broken down or destroyed by a chemical substance into harmless compounds
  • biological or microbiological - metabolised or destroyed or deactivated by a biological or microbiological process into harmless compounds

Feed detoxification processes need to be authorised before they can be used in Great Britain (GB). Retained EU law defines the acceptability criteria for the physical, chemical, (micro)biological detoxification processes.  

Physical methods where an undesirable substance is reduced or eliminated by cleaning, sorting or mechanical removal are generally permitted. However, authorisation is needed for chemical, biological or microbiological detoxification.

New authorisations

To apply for an authorisation of a new detoxification process in GB use our regulated products application service. After completing the application form, you’ll be sent a link where you can upload application documents which will form your dossier. There is no fee for the application.

There is no specific guidance available for detoxification processes applications. However, any dossier should demonstrate that the detoxification process meets the acceptability criteria established in retained EU Regulation 2015/786

Acceptability criteria for detoxification processes

The detoxification process must:

  • be performed with a fully characterised and acceptable chemical substance or microbiological agent
  • be effective and irreversible
  • not adversely affect the characteristics and the nature of the feed
  • be carried out in a feed establishment that is approved and is on a national list

Acceptability criteria for a physical detoxification process:

  • the process is effective
  • the process does not adversely affect the characteristics and the nature of the feed
  • a safe disposal of the removed part of the feed is guaranteed

Acceptability criteria for a chemical detoxification process:

  • the process is performed with a fully characterised and acceptable chemical substance
  • the process is effective and irreversible
  • the process does not result in harmful residues of the chemical substance used in the detoxification process in the detoxified feed
  • the process does not result in reaction products of the contaminant that endanger animal and public health and the environment
  • the process does not adversely affect the characteristics and the nature of the feed

Acceptability criteria for a (micro-) biological detoxification process:

  • the process is performed with a fully characterised and acceptable (micro)biological agent
  • the process is effective and irreversible
  • the process does not result in harmful residues of the (micro)biological agent used in the detoxification process in the detoxified feed
  • the process does not result in metabolites of the contaminant that endanger animal and public health and the environment
  • the process does not adversely affect the characteristics and the nature of the feed

Ongoing applications

If you submitted a detoxification application to the EU before 1 January 2021 and the assessment process for this application has not been completed, you will need to submit your application to us, using our regulated products application service. When completing the application form, you will be asked to provide your EFSA question number.

Existing authorisations

If your product or process has been authorised by the European Commission before 1 January 2021 and the necessary legislation is in place, that authorisation will remain valid in Great Britain.

How long will my application take? 

The law includes deadlines for key steps in the process. In most cases, applications will take at least a year.  

The quality of the dossier, and the information provided, will significantly affect the time needed for assessment and authorisation. We encourage applicants to follow the guidance and provide as much information as possible to ensure we can process your request as efficiently as possible. 

Getting help

If you have any questions about the authorisation procedure or application requirements, you can contact us at regulatedproducts@food.gov.uk

Apply for authorisation

Apply for a detoxification process authorisation using our regulated products application service.