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Digital Re-print - May | June 2011

Pellet production to save energy, improve feed efficiency and safety

Grain & Feed Milling Technology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. Copyright 2010 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872





to the heat treatment involved, research has shown that when pelleted diets are re-ground to the consistency of mash, the growth response to pelleting is eliminated. As long ago as 1978, Proudfoot and Sefton reported that body weight and monetary returns were inversely related to the proportion of fines in finisher diets and the same is true today. The benefits of pelleted feeding may be attributable to the fact that birds fed pelleted diets expend less energy to consume the same level of nutrients as those fed mash

feeds. Early observations showed that birds could consume their dietary requirements in four percent of the day when fed pellets compared with 15 percent of the day when fed mash feeds. In pig production, the heat treatment during pelleting improves the digestibility of maize, which can result in a six-to-eight percent improvement in daily gain and feed conversion. Secondary, benefits of pelleting are that the temperature and moisture improves digestibility and more recently this benefit

has been further enhanced by using the new thermally stable feed enzymes that are added to the feed before pelleting as opposed to the more traditional post pellet applications. The Kiotechagil Feedzyme enzymes for example are inherently stable, without encapsulation, at temperatures up to 95C in the conditioner before pelleting. This gives them a head-start on traditional enzymes. However, probably the best know indirect benefit of pelleting is biosecurity. Most of the common pathogens such as salmonella, Escherichia and Campylobacter are

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Pellet production
to save energy, improve feed efficiency and safety
he use of pelleted feeds is now almost universal for meat producing animals or wherever biosecuis a paramount concern. Pelleted feeds are easy to handle in bulk or in bags and save time at the mill and during delivery operations because they have enhanced flow properties that allow for good conveying by screw augers, as well as improved discharge behaviour from feed bins due to reduced bridging compared to mash. Generally, it is only in layers where mash feeds are still used and this is primarily to prevent overconsumption of nutrients.

Enough practical experience in well-known flour milling companies in the field of flour and premix development Vast experience in Enzymes and flour improver composition Experience in R&D as well as Quality Control An attractive expatriate package will be offered to the successful individual including accommodation, transportation, annual leave, medical insurance, etc All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence. Interested parties should send their CVs together with a cover letter to: 1 Paper Mews, 330 High Street, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 2TU UK Fax: +44 1306 888335 E-mail: info@maywal.co.uk

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by Murray Hyden C Biol, Technical Director/Director of Biosecurity, Kiotechagil


The efficiency of the pelleting process has a huge impact of feedmill profitability and throughput and with 90 percent of animal feed in Europe being pelleted every feedmill should be monitoring pellet efficiency. From a production point of view, pelleting feeds increases the bulk density of the ration, allowing more tonnage to be delivered per truck. This saves on space and transport costs.
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Pellets have other advantages

Pelleted feed is for example nutritionally consistent from pellet to pellet with each pellet containing the correct balance of amino acids, minerals and vitamins. Pelleted

feeds provide no opportunity for ingredient selection during consumption by fussy feeders and there is less wastage with pelleted feeds. Pelleted feeds are also more digestible as a result of starch pre-gelatinisation and protein denaturation. And, it has also been reported in pigs that an additional benefit of pelleting is that a finer grist size can be used and this has also been found to increase digestibility. Responses in weight gain and feed efficiency of birds fed pelleted diets is substantially improved when the pellet quality is good. While it has been suggested that the improvement in performance is solely the result of increased diet digestibility due

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may - June 2011 | 15


non-spore forming bacteria and are therefore sensitive to heat. The temperature required is often not as high as expected with S. typhimurium being killed after just 10 seconds at 70C but requiring seven minutes at 60C. None-the-less, pelleting is a very high energy process (and is becoming more so with energy prices increasing). The use of high quality pellet binders can reduce energy requirements in three ways. 1 Poor pellet quality results in higher

Selecting the right pellet binder is cost effective in so many ways and can be a real benefit in terms of digestibility, biosecurity and mill throughput thus making a quality pellet binder pay for itself many times over
fines levels and more returns, which is energetically inefficient 2 Pellet binders help lubricate the die which reduces energy requirements as well as increasing mill throughput. Lubricating dies minimises wear so they should last for 25,00030,000 tonnes with just one refurbishment. Changing dies takes upwards of two hours during which time the line cannot operate 3 Pellet quality can be enhanced at lower temperatures that still permit the biosecurity benefits but where starch gelatinisation may not be sufficient on its own to improve pellet quality. This saves energy and speeds up throughput
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Feed formulation plays a major part in final pellet quality and high protein cereals such as wheat will contribute more to pellet quality than maize, oats or barley. Dietary fat is known to have an inverse relationship with pellet quality, hence the use of post pellet fat spraying for certain rations. When fat is incorporated into the feed the added fat coats starch granules and prevents water uptake, which in turn impairs the heat transfer necessary for gelatinisation. When high levels of dietary fat are used or when maize is the primary cereal in the ration formulation, traditional binders such as thixotropic bentonite clays or lignosulphonates (the waste product from the wood pulping process to manufacture paper) have been used to improve pellet quality. However, neither of these binders provides any substantial nutritional value to the diet. In fact, both these ingredients are incorporated at high inclusion rates and actually dilute the nutrient content of the feed resulting in more expensive raw material usage to compensate. Reduced fines and improved digestibility lead on to further improvements that are often overlooked. For example, improved feed conversion and nutrient utilisation reduces the volume of excreta which benefits the environment, so we have less feed being used to improve growth rates and improvements to the environment. With cereal prices ever increasing in price the temptation to use more co-products, such as DDGS from bioethanol production, is much greater. However, DDGS inclusion can result in reduced pellet quality, which is because the main binding agent, starch, has been removed to produce ethanol. Whilst enzyme systems have been developed to

improve the digestibility of the DDGS, a pellet binder is often required to achieve a suitable pellet quality from this high fibre ingredient. A low inclusion binder, like Kiotechagil Mastercube, can really help overcome many of the problems associated with the feed formulation and can also help overcome some of the engineering shortfalls such as short conditioners or poor steam quality. One other important factor of pellet binders is that they help maintain pellet quality during seasonal changes in raw material quality. The pelletability of freshly harvested cereals is often quite different to the last of the previous harvest grains. Simply adding water to the grist may exacerbate problems at the pellet press and the use of a pellet binder can help overcome the problems. The selection of a low inclusion binder has the advantage in that it minimises the impact of nutrient density so feed costs can be maintained. Mastercube, unlike some binders, is also a useful calcium source so it can easily be incorporated into the ration formulation programmes. Remember that without a pellet binder fines can be a real problem and fines returns at the feedmill do not just mean expensive double pelleting for the returned material but also a reduced throughput at the mill. Pellet breakage during transport and storage is also wasteful. A pellet binder must do more than simply bind the grist at the die, it must also confer an increased pellet hardness to enable pellets to be blown, augured and transported without being crushed. Mastercube is both a binder and a hardener and it uses only EU approved ingredients. The primary binder is a natural plant gum that is tested to comply with EU standards and the hardener is a high quality calcium sulphate, which is approved as a nutrient and has a dual function as a calcium source and a hardener. A feedmill operating efficiently and dust free is a pleasant place to work. It is safe for the operators and easier to keep clean. Fines, settling as dust on floors and equipment, will soon pick up moisture and will become a habitat for enteropathogens. The requirement therefore for pellet binders that do not compromise nutrient density is even more important today than it was just a few years ago. The modern breeds used in production have been heavily selected for maximizing feed intake and the response to pelleted diets is likely to be much more significant than was reported just twenty or thirty years ago. Selecting the right pellet binder is cost effective in so many ways and can be a real benefit in terms of digestibility, biosecurity and mill throughput thus making a quality pellet binder pay for itself many times over.

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In this issue:
Synthesis of animal feed formulation techniques:

Choosing the right Hazard Monitoring System

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Conditioning as part of the pelleting process

Linear and Non-Linear model

The link between practice and engineering

Pellet production to save energy, improve feed efficiency and safety

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