How to Achieve High-Quality Feed Pellets
For an independent feed pellet mill company that sells to producers, the most challenging issue is maintaining high-quality pellets without affecting nutrients. According to our experience, possible strategies to create high-quality pellets are as follows:
1. Decrease Particle Size.
Smaller particle size increases surface area for feed particle adhesion and improves pellet quality.
2. Slow Down Production Rate.
Slower throughput allows for a greater retention time of feed in the pellet die that will increase thermal reactions in nutrients and thus feed particle adhesion. The end result of this strategy would be the production of higher-quality pellet feed.
3. Increase Steam Conditioning Temperature.
Increasing moisture and heat increases feed particle adhesion and pellet quality.
4. Use a Thicker Pellet Die.
Greater die thickness creates improved retention time of feed in the pellet die, thermal reactions in nutrients, feed particle adhesion, and pellet quality.
5. Manipulate Diet Formulation.
Least-cost diet formulation often may not enhance pellet quality. Manipulating diet formulation to increase pellet quality, although potentially increasing diet cost, may decrease overall production cost if pellet quality and subsequent live performance are significantly improved. However, caution should be exercised not to create diet formulations that increase frictional heat within the die to a degree that reduces nutrient availability.
In conclusion, consideration should be also given to whether or not the strategies implemented to improve pellet quality may have a negative effect on nutrient availability. These interactions are advantageous to improve the quality of feed pellets, but caution must be exercised to prevent nutrient availability from being decreased.