Feed extrusion was first developed over a century ago when steam and pressure were used to produce feed. Since then, extrusion machines have progressed to achieve a wide range of production outcomes and using an assortment of technologies.
When it comes to feed manufacturing, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Different outcomes—such as increasing digestibility, neutralizing anti-nutritional elements and sterilizing—drive individual processes and raw material usage.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the use and benefits of extrusion technology in animal food and aquatic feed production.
Enhanced nutritional value
Food processing technologies, such as the extruder, use high heat and pressure conditions to prepare ingredients before they go into the pelletizer.
The extruder offers multiple benefits, as it increases the food’s hygienic properties, modifies th
e starch, and enhances metabolizable energy. This ensures better pellet production and increases the nutritional value of the food. As a result, animals can get the same nutrition from a smaller quantity of food.
The extruder can also be configured to ensures individual feed mixtures are free from pathogenic germs, dissolve easily in water, and have adequate flow properties that allow for quick discharge through automatic feeders.
When products are cooking inside the extruder, amorphous amylose and crystalline amylopectin are transformed. These are the two components of starch that affect digestibility. The starch added in the extruder binds ingredients together to make a stronger pellet that doesn’t disintegrate easily. This ensures efficient transportation of the pellets.
The loss of fertile farmland and lower agricultural production has pushed up the prices of traditional feed commodities such as soy and wheat. Coupled with the stagnating prices of meat on the other side, meat manufacturers have been forced to look into reducing production costs—including the cost of feed.
Feed extrusion technology allows users to produce animal feed efficiently, as they require much less time and manpower. Additionally, the flexibility of extruder machines and their control mechanisms allow users to receive the desired output with ease.
With all these benefits, we can expect feed processing technologies to increase in both use and scope.