Moisture Content of Pre & Post Extruded Oil Seeds

When processing oil seeds, there are several variables to look at.  One of the most important variables one must pay attention to is moisture because it can have a direct effect on the results of the ExPress® products.  For example, as John Doud blogged in an earlier post, new crop soybeans can be upwards of 15% -16% moisture and old crop (last year) can be as low as 7%-8% moisture.  In order to obtain a quality end product, the moisture needs to be at a certain range.  Below are a few examples of different ways you can be sure that you are using the proper moisture raw material:

  • Moisture Meter – a moisture meter is a must for any ExPress® plant
    • This is the least expensive way of assuring that you are not having any moisture-related issues with processing
    • Allows you to reject certain moisture level products that you do not want to process
  • Insta-Pro PIA – a Near Infra-Red device made for analyzing grains for protein, fat, fiber and moisture calibrated for product made with our mechanical process
    • Cost efficient
    • Hand held unit that is capable of analyzing up to 10 different grains
    • Allows you to reject certain products based on more than one variable
    • Also, is a tool for testing your end product quality to assure your system is operating effectively and you are putting out a quality product
  • Dryer – grain dryers are used to bring new crop seeds to an acceptable moisture level
    • Most expensive solution as it will be a major part of the production line that will take natural resources, constantly adding a residual cost
    • Allows you to be able to purchase higher moisture grains and still be able to process after drying
    • Could be configured to work with several different grains
  • Higher Extruding temperature – extruding at a higher temperature allows more steam to flash off, minimizing the effect the pre extruded moisture has on the end product
    • In order for this to be an option, the highest moisture content would be 13%
    • You must monitor your process more closely as you cannot afford variance that you could when extruding at optimum moisture and temperature
    • This option still depends on the Vented/Cooling conveyor to flash off as much steam as possible post-extrusion/pre-press
      • When using a vented/cooling conveyor you need small areas of ventilation. Large areas provide too much area for the steam to flash off.  While you want steam to flash off, you do not want the product to cool below 88° C (190°F) prior to the press.

For questions concerning this topic, you may contact the Insta-Pro International Service Department here.

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