Optimizing cereal feed digestibility through flaking.
Animal feed needs to be highly digestible to provide the necessary nutrients for animal growth and health while reducing waste. Heat-treating the starch in cereal-based feeds can significantly improve their digestibility and increase protein digestibility while nullifying anti-nutritional factors. Flaking and extrusion are two common methods used to unlock starch. Extrusion gives a higher release rate but is more expensive to buy and maintain.
The science behind starch release.
Starch is a reserve carbohydrate found in grains and is the primary source of nutritional energy in animal feed. To achieve higher nutritional energy, the starch structure needs to be modified through a process called releasing, stiffening, or gelatinizing. This process involves adding water, heat, and pressure. Native starch absorbs water between the loose amorphous parts when water is added. During heating, the hydrogen bonds are broken, and the granule becomes completely amorphous, which is known as the gelatinization temperature. The temperature at which gelatinization occurs varies for each starch. Starch exists in the form of granules or amyloplasts. The shape of the granule, the polarization cross, and the crystal layers are unique to the crop, place of origin, and season.
The flaking process for animal feed production.
Flaking is a thermal treatment that aims to release starch by disrupting the crystalline structure of the granules through shear forces. Flaking increases the degree of release depending on the amount of added moisture, temperature, and shear stress. The release of starch promotes carbohydrate digestibility and energy production. Flaking is a complex process that requires pre- and post-treatment, consisting of three phases: plasticisation of the grains by heat and moisture, flaking itself, and drying and cooling of the flakes. In the first phase, grains are conditioned with heat and moisture. In the second phase, the conditioned grains are passed through a flaking roll, where pressure is applied to disrupt the crystalline structure. In the last phase, the flakes are dried and cooled.
Our Smart Flaking Mills.
As specialists in the flaking step of this process, Van Mourik Crushing Mills supplies innovative flaking mills. These can be used to produce flakes for farm animals, pets, and fish feed.
In the production of animal feed, several changes of raw materials per shift are not uncommon. The Van Mourik multi-feeder is suitable for practically all raw materials. In addition to the traditional products of oats, wheat, barley, maize, and corn being flaked, we also cater for the growing tendency to flake pulses as well.
Our unique Smart Flaker can operate fully automatically based on recipes so that product changeover time is reduced to a minimum. This possibility of fully automatic settings not only results in gains in production time but also in fewer loss streams and in consistent quality.
The manufacturing of each roller involves an optimal roller design and specific roller material. The roll design is always adapted to the intended purpose. In addition to smooth rolls, we also provide grooved rolls for products such as corn and maize, for a better flow through the machine.