Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Interactions of Extrusion and Ingredients for Aquatic Feeds

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.      

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