Hi-Gel™ Corn Extrusion Operating Tips

Through rigorous development and internal testing, we have refined a set of best practices that ensure a stable and efficient extrusion process for extruding corn.

Typically, extruding corn, with its high starch and low oil content, presents unique challenges that can make the process unpredictable and inefficient. The tendency of corn to gelatinize and expand uncontrollably under high temperatures and pressure can result in significant operational difficulties, including product instability and equipment wear.

By following our recommendation, you can minimize wear on machinery, reduce maintenance downtime, and enhance overall productivity. In this blog, we will share key insights and proven techniques for optimizing the extrusion of Hi-Gel™ corn, leveraging specialized equipment and expert guidance from Insta-Pro.

Even while using specialized equipment, there are still recommended procedures to follow which can be applied in every scenario. These recommendations can result in less wear on parts, lower operator costs, less downtime for maintenance, and an overall increase in productivity.

A device essential to have when processing Hi-Gel™ is a water injection system installed onto the extruder. The combination of starch and low oil, combined with the high friction of the extruder, results in the product becoming unstable and varying in temperature, as well as “surging”. Surging is when product builds up in the barrel and with enough pressure built up behind it, the pressure will blow the product out. This process is hard to control and can lead to faster wear and higher parts costs, as well as potential danger to the machine operators.

The water injection system solves this issue by injecting water into the inlet chamber with the water pump system provided by Insta-Pro. This eases some of the friction and stabilizes the Hi-Gel™ extrusion process. If the product temperature becomes too hot, increase the water injection rate. If the temperature is too low, reduce the water injection.

With our experience, we have been able to achieve starch gelatinization of 90+% using the methods and parameters described here. Producing Hi-Gel™ requires attention to the details outlined above, with the help and resources that Insta-Pro has to offer, with our engineers, nutritionists, and service teams, you will have peace of mind in knowing you can successfully produce this unique value-added product. Please reach out to an Insta-Pro team member to inquire about producing Hi-Gel™ corn.

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