Originally designed as a system for injecting liquids into pellets, the
Pegasus vacuum coater from Dinnissen has developed into a sophisticated
technology for producing pellets and extruded products. Recent studies showed
that the use of expanded pig feed to which vitamins and enzymes were added with
the Pegasus vacuum coater (VC) resulted in a 4% improvement in feed conversion
and a 4.4% better growth rate of piglets.
A Dutch feed manufacturer cooperated with Dinnissen Process Technology, also
based in The Netherlands, to improve the results obtained from various pig feeds
using the Pegasus VC. This application is rather unique and has never been used
before in the production process for pig feed. The challenge was to improve
digestibility of expanded feed and to add vitamins and enzymes as accurately as
possible after the expansion process to ensure their full activity. Vitamins and
enzymes were injected into the core of the pellet and the pellets were then
coated with a thin protective layer to improve pellet quality and minimise
abrasion during transport.
A study with
500 piglets at three different farms was carried out with piglet feed which had
been upgraded via the Pegasus VC. During and after the trials feed conversion
(FCR), average daily growth, pig health & uniformity, feed intake and
consistency of the faeces were calculated or measured. Piglets started the trial
at an average weight of 7 to 8 kg and were fed weanling feed for five days
followed by the new expanded feed for three weeks. A control group received
regular feed without the expanding and vacuum coating
Results showed that there
were no differences in feed intake, but that the pigs fed the new feed expressed
better growth, had less diarrhoea problems, and needed less medication. This was
due to a better utilisation of vitamins and enzymes. There was less feed waste
and faeces showed a firmer consistency. The pig farmers noted that the trial
group had a healthier colour and more hair than the control group.
conclusion that could be drawn from the study was that piglets fed the new type
of feed, produced with expander and Pegasus VC, showed a 4% improvement in feed
conversion and a 4.4% improvement in growth.
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