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Service Calls Assist in Continued Success

Extruder Chamber

As a member of the service team, I travel around the world conducting start-up training and service calls to current customers.  I recently traveled to South America to conduct a service call and when I arrived on site, from a distance, the extruder appeared to be running fine and everything seemed to be going well in the plant.  Upon further inspection, I noticed the temperature probes were not hooked up to any of the barrels on the extruder. I asked them how they were controlling the temperature of the soybeans and they said they just run it until it seems to be operating right. In this blog I will explain the importance of how temperature control leads to a consistent high quality product as well as a much safer product when it comes to anti-nutritional factors.

When using an extruder for soy products, temperature control is very important for numerous reasons. If the product is undercooked it will lead to an unacceptable amount of anti-nutritional factors such as Trypsin inhibitors and Urease activity. On the other hand, overcooking the product can reduce the value of protein and other nutrients.

It is important to have your thermocouples set up and installed to the control panel.  An extruder typically has a three chamber system and each chamber should have its own temperature probe. On the control panel there is a dial that has a 1,2,3, and 4 setting. Number 1 should be the chamber at the very end, closest to where the product comes out. As the product moves down the extruder barrel it will get hotter and hotter due to more friction and pressure. The very end probe or the number “1” probe should be the one that you are reading. You can check to make sure these are working properly by plugging the female wire into the male thermocouple and it should read ambient temperature.

Once this is achieved, you are ready to start controlling your temperature to get within the parameters needed for a high quality product. You want the (1) thermocouple to be between 310°- 320° F. This ensures that you are getting the highest quality product out of your extruder. For operating parameters and how to achieve the correct processing temperatures please contact an Insta-Pro International representative.

A successful company is one that creates the highest quality product for its customers and this is one easy way of ensuring that you’re making the best possible product. For more questions or to set up your next service visit, please contact Jim Little or Ray Goodwin.

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