4 Reasons You SHOULD Extrude Maize


A poultry producer in East Africa phoned last week with a question: “Should I extrude maize?”

“Will extrusion reduce mycotoxins?” he asked too. He buys maize that is often contaminated with mycotoxins. HPLC and ELISA analysis methods require expensive laboratory equipment which he doesn’t have. New rapid mycotoxin tests may in future provide the information he needs. Meanwhile, we know that extrusion reduces mycotoxin levels in cottonseed, but information on maize is incomplete and it’s doubtful that extrusion alone will eliminate mycotoxins completely.

But there are other good reasons to extrude maize:

  • More Digestible Starch

Raw maize grains contain 68-74% starch. When we extrude these grains, we are subjecting the starch granules to high shear and pressure, which physically modify the starch.  It’s a combination of swelling and rupturing the starch plus physically tearing it to smaller pieces that makes it more digestible for animals. When maize is processed in an Insta-Pro 2000 Cereal Grains extruder, 90-94% of the starch is modified.

  • Increasing Nutrients

Extrusion partially dehydrates high-moisture grain and this increases dry matter and the amount of nutrients per kilo. Hi-Gel™ maize typically has 10% moisture.

  • Diet Formulation

Hi-Gel™ maize costs more than ground maize due to extrusion costs (electricity and wear parts).  However, less Hi-Gel™ maize is needed in the diet to achieve the same energy targets. For example, whereas a broiler starter might use 46% ground maize, the same diet only needs 40% extruded maize to reach the same energy and protein level.

Dr Parsons at the University of Illinois has shown that Insta-Pro Hi-Gel™ maize in broiler diets has 3,836 kcal/kg (as-is basis) compared to 3,250 kcal/kg for ground maize – that’s 586 kcal/kg more energy. So, extruded maize is more expensive, but less is needed and the broilers will grow faster.

  • Broilers fed Hi-Gel™ maize and solvent meal ate +35 g total feed more than ground maize diets, but they reached market weight 2.4 days faster. When broilers were fed extruded maize with ExPress® soybean meal, they reached market weight 4 days faster. These are significant improvements in productivity with the potential to add one extra flock per year. 2-4 days faster growth = 2-4 days of finisher feed not required = feed cost savings.

What is the cost of extruding a ton of maize?

  • Cost of 1 mt cleaned, ground raw maize
  • Local electricity cost of 1kWh x 97,56kW
  • Wear parts cost @ $2,00/mt
  • Labor cost: 1 hour of extruder operator’s time

What is the value of Hi-Gel™ maize for broilers?

  • Faster growth to market weight
  • Feed savings: 12 grams less feed per bird x n° of birds per year
  • Value of feed not used: cost of feed x tonnes saved per year.
Contact US
close slider
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.