Joseph P. Kearns, Vice President Aqua-Feed Div., Wenger Manufacturing, Inc., USA
The extrusion process must produce feeds for
various aquatic species, while meeting the specific nutritional needs and the
demanding physical characteristics for a wide variety of aquaculture
needs. Typically, producers of aquatic
feeds make a range of products for various species. All of the possible combinations or
differences in feeds for a given animal’s life cycle, as well as the overall
different species in aquaculture production areas, requires the extrusion
cooking device to be controllable with regards to all of the inputs to the
system. Ingredients, energy, pressure,
water and steam, oils and the hardware used all need to be coordinated for
final product characteristic control.
Feed sizes, densities, sinking rates, water stability, pellet hardness,
water absorption and cell structure are just a few topics that come up when
discussing an exacting feed for specific animals. It is actually amazing how one machine has
the ability to handle all of the above.
Extrusion is greatly enhanced by advanced control systems and effective
tools to manage the feed production cycle.
Joseph P. Kearns is a graduate of Kansas State
University and has been employed by Wenger for more than 40 years. He has spent
a career watching and being involved in the feed production in the aquaculture
sector. He holds nine U.S. and foreign
patents on aquatic topics relating to extrusion cooking. He has authored
numerous publications on aquatic feed production as well as made presentations
around the world.