Sullivan K, Lavin S, Valdes EV. 2011. Vitamin analysis reliability: A case study testing supplements and supplemented meat products for vitamin levels at three commercial laboratories in the United States. In Ward A, Coslik A, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Ninth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Kansas City, MO.
Regularly scheduled laboratory analysis of feed samples in zoological institutions is a necessary practice for maintenance of the highest levels of quality control. As such, factors such as cost, stability of product, and available storage environment may influence sampling protocols at each institution. The choice of laboratory used for analysis generally considers location and shipping concerns, availability of testing, methodology and most importantly, reliability. However, very little reference material can be found comparing the reliability of commercial laboratories in the United States beyond personal communications and experience. Labs describe their methodology according to Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC) procedures, often with slight variations based on published modifications. Multiple AOAC procedures may be considered acceptable, and without a thorough investigation of the chemical method, as well as consideration of animal physiology, it may be unclear which method provides a more biologically relevant analysis.37_SullivanLab.pdf     104 KB