FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you add drugs or other substances to feeds?
In general terms yes we can. We can add substances supplied by you – click here to go to our customer supplied ingredient record
, which you will need to complete and send to us with your inclusion. We can also source drugs and other substances to be included in feed – for S4 medications a veterinary prescription is required. Contact us here to find out more.
How long should I allow for production of my order?
All custom diets are made to order, we aim to have your diet made and shipped within 10 business days of receipt of your order. Should you need the diet more urgently we can do rush orders – there is a surcharge for this service of 10% of the diet value, with a minimum of $200.

How much will the diet cost?
Diet cost depends on many factors, such as the raw materials required, the batch size being produced, the complexity of the manufacturing process and the packaging required. Once you have decided what you need please contact us here for a quotation.

What pack size do custom diets come in?
Standard pellet diets come in 5kg vacuum packed bags, two of these bags are contained in a carton. Diets with moderately high fat content are too soft for this packaging and are packed in 1.5kg cardboard trays inside vacuum packed bags. Diets with higher fat content still are packed in plastic trays rather like ice cubes, each tray weighing approximately 400gms. Other diets can be supplied either as powder or dough form depending on the ingredients. Whatever the pack size, all diets are sold by the kilo.

How should the diet be stored?
All diets should be stored at 25 degrees C or less as soon as possible on receival, preferably in the original packaging. If diets are re-packed into smaller quantities the containers used should be airtight and moisture resistant. Generally it is better to avoid re-packing – if smaller pack sizes would be more suitable please specify this when ordering and we can pack appropriately.
At 25 degrees C the recommended shelf life is three months. This can be increased by storing at lower temperatures, between 4 and minus 10 degrees C shelf life extends to 4 – 6 months, if stored at less than minus 10 degrees diets should be good for 9 – 12 months. If storing diets chilled or frozen care must be taken to avoid condensation forming on the feed, which will lead to mould. Packages must be stored un-opened, and allowed to come to room temperature before opening. Once opened they should either be used quickly, or re-packed into airtight containers before being replaced in cold storage

How do I order?
By email, fax or phone to the contact details here. Be sure to tell us which diet you require using the diet number if you have it, also the quantity you require and delivery and invoicing details. Any other special requirements such as pack size if not standard and irradiation should be made clear at this point. Please don’t just use terms such as ‘high fat’ or ‘low fat’ or ‘normal’ diet as these terms mean very different things to different researchers.

Can you reproduce the diet we are already using?
Almost certainly yes. Most research diets are open formula meaning that they are easily reproduced.

Can you make a diet mentioned in a published paper?
Again if the diet is adequately described or referenced then yes.

Can you make diets to the same formulation as other manufacturers?
There are some limitations as to ingredients, this applies less to semi-pure diets than to cereal based diets, which is one of the reasons for using the former. For instance we use cereal grains, wheat etc. grown in Australia, which may not have the same nutritional profile as grains grown elsewhere. For semi-pure diets it is much easier to replicate diets made by other manufacturers, although there are often minor changes necessary to suit locally available raw materials.

What information do I need to supply for you to formulate a diet for me?
As much information as possible about your planned project. The type of animal you plan to use including the strain, what you hope to achieve, how long the trial will last – all these factors will have a bearing on the diet formulation. You can be sure that your information will be kept confidential – we never release information about customers or their diets without prior approval.

What is meant by ‘cereal based’ diet?
A diet which is made largely from cereal grains typically wheat, barley, lupins, soy meal. These diets are relatively cheap and are usually used in production colonies. It is difficult if not impossible to make a cereal diet which is deficient in vitamins or minerals as the ingredients contain base levels of both.

What is meant by ‘semi-pure’ diets?
A semi-pure diet is made using ‘cleaner’ ingredients. The main ingredients are usually casein, sucrose, starch, and cellulose, with the addition of refined fats or oils, and controlled levels of vitamins and minerals. Most ingredients are human food grade. Because the ingredients in semi-pure diets are more refined, the nutrient levels can be more closely controlled, and the same diet can be replicated in different places at different times. If you are looking for a vitamin or mineral deficient diet, semi-pure diets are preferable.

What Quality Assurance systems do you have in place?
We are certified to ISO9000, and also accredited under FeedSafe. Feedsafe is the quality assurance programme of the Stockfeed Manufacturers’ Council of Australia. Both these programmes require us to undergo regular external audits. FeedSafe also requires us to carry out a Hazard Risk Assessment Plan using HACCP principles.

Can my diet be autoclaved or irradiated?
Standard cereal based diets can certainly be autoclaved or irradiated. Some semi-pure diets are not suitable for autoclaving because of the higher fat level, and some inclusions can be affected by higher temperatures. Please contact us for further information if your animals are housed in an SPF facility.

What form will my diet come in?
Most diets come as a 12mm diameter cylindrical pellet. Very high fat diets are packed in plastic trays similar to ice cubes, some others can be supplied as dough or powder.

What about confidentiality?
All customer information is treated in confidence. We do get requests from customers for information about other users of a specific diet, and in the interests of the research community we will try to help,  but will never pass on any of your details without your prior consent.