Bigger Equipment, Same Quality, More Nutrition
The process makes the product. Structure predicts function. All ingredients are not created equal. Remember these axioms – I recently blogged about how one relatively simple, seldom considered, part of the soybean ingredient process (whether or not to remove the hulls, or the process of dehulling) can have a large impact on the quality of the final meal.
Even so, it’s easy to fall into using oversimplified categories of ingredients when assembling diet formulations for animal production. Anyone who hears the category “soybean meal” may erroneously think the following:
- Soybean meal is a commodity ingredient (traders love commodities more than nutritionists or animal producers, by the way)
- There is only one way to make soybean meal
- Purchase a load of soybean meal, and you’ll get the same amount of nutrients each time
If you’ve spent much time reading our blog over the last 8 years, you don’t need to read too many of them to realize how the points above are wrong. Even something as common as corn isn’t really a commodity, at least not from the standpoint of an animal nutritionist or animal producer. And, back to the “soybean meal” example, many types exist, and even within a category (“mechanical soy meal”) there is considerable variation with the feeding values of the meals (here and here). This comes back to the equipment and process – even a single, “minor” change will affect the meal.
So, when we at Insta-Pro International develop larger equipment to meet customer demand, we don’t forget about the considerable advantages that ingredients from Insta-Pro equipment, and the high-shear dry extrusion process have. ExPress® soy meal, the result of high-shear dry extrusion and mechanical oil pressing, has long demonstrated superior feeding characteristics (see here, here, and here for examples) and is clearly different from other “soybean meal” ingredients.
So, as we develop bigger processing machines, it’s imperative that these advantages are not lost. Insta-Pro is currently engaged in prolonged field-testing arrangements with our customers. This involves collecting data on the process, gathering samples for testing, and adjusting based on the data. It’s continuous improvement and it helps us help you over the long-term. We know from first-hand experience that with scale up, some advantages could be lost, but not if you are engaged in testing and measuring, including animal feeding trials. This is what we at Insta-Pro have committed to – it’s a major part of our decades-old history, and it’s what continues to drive us forward.