Background last update:6 Aug 2012

Trends in pet food and fish feed extrusion

The 10th Pet Food Update conference, organised by ZDS Solingen in Germany, was again a great opportunity to update pet food manufacturers on new developments in pet food manufacturing. "What's new" in extrusion for pet food and fish feed was discussed.

By Aïda Rochas, Clextral

Fish feed pellets of today range from 0.5 mm - 30 mm in diameter.

Both fish feed and pet food is of great importance worldwide, and production is growing steadily with ever increasing developments in processing methods. The latest equipment and techniques improve the feeding value of both fish feed and pet food. According to Alain Brisset, manager of the Process Team and Research and Development Centres of Clextral, two obvious trends have appeared in the most recent years.Firstly, we see extruders with much higher capacities.

These are mainly used to satisfy mass production requirements for mature core markets. Secondly, we see steady an increase in small and medium size compact and very flexible production lines that are dedicated to processing very high value added products.

During the 1980s, the introduction of the cooking-extrusion technique in fish feed production assured a better physical presentation and a much-improved absorption of the feed ingredients. (Photo: BC160 fish feed extruder from Clextral)

Different shapes and colours
Changes in demand for pet food, as a result of the increasing humanisation of pets and an increasing interest in the nutritional and health requirements of animals, are creating significant opportunities for manufacturers to develop higher-value products. The days when owners fed all dogs the same dog food and all cats the same cat food are long gone. Manufactures are becoming more aware of the specific needs during the different life stages of pets, which is reflected in tailor-made products and a greater choice of premium brands. We therefore see an increasing amount of pet food with different shapes, colours and use of raw materials and ingredients entering the market. One can speak of treats, moist and semi-moist, bi-coloured, co-extruded, premium and super premium, nutritional, functional and so on when referring to pet food. These products can be extruded in compact lines ranging from 300-1,000 kg/h, while lines with a higher capacity are now standardised for "standard" pet food (10 to more than 16 t/h output).

With a multi-shaped die plate, different shapes of pet food can be produced.

Twin screw extrusion of aquafeed 

Twin screw extrusion is the perfect tool to satisfy the new requirements of niche production, such as pet food treats. (Evolum EV53 twin screw extruder from Clextral)

Since trout farming began towards the end of the nineteenth century, the feeds used for fish farming have evolved radically, first of all with the introduction of pelleted dry feeds during the 1960s. During the 1980s, the introduction of the cooking-extrusion technique constituted another decisive step forward. This technology assures a better physical presentation and a much- improved absorption of the feed ingredients. Above all, this process allows more precise preparation of specific feeds. Clextral works in close collaboration with specialised institutes to develop solutions for fish feed production from small to very large capacities. In addition, the company produces pellets that range from 0.5 mm (micro pellets) to very large sizes that exceed 30 mm in diameter by using the twin screw extruder.

According to Brisset, twin screw extrusion is the perfect tool to satisfy the new requirements of mass production and niche production in the fish feed industry. This extrusion technique is able to produce high capacities together with high flexibility. Furthermore, consistent product quality

is better guaranteed through better nutritional value, increased digestibility, and the use of a large variety of raw materials, among others. Twin screw extrusion also offers the advantage of being economical and ecological as it uses less water and energy.

The Clextral Group is organised around four departments (twin-screw extrusion, dosing pumps, pasta production lines, and packaging systems) brought together in three companies (Clextral, Afrem International and Lymac) in which the dynamics are intertwined. Clextral serves the pet food, animal feed, and fish feed industries with automatic extrusion machinery and, since the purchase of Afrem, drying has also become an expertise in the company to offer new solutions to the pet food and fish feed manufacturers. Clextral’s head office is based in France. The company has two research centres (in Europe and North America) and offices in the US, Chili, China and Algeria. Clextral has been in the extrusion business for many years and is celebrating 50 years of innovation in twin screw extrusion this year. It has already installed over 13,000 systems in 86 countries.

For further information, contact Alain Brisset

Email: Tel: +33 4 77 40 31 31



Feed Tech, Vol 11 nr 6, 2007

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