Multiple Ways to Make Fish Feed
I recently attended a conference on “Innovations in feeding technologies and commercial fish farming”, which was a part of the 20th MVC: Cereals – Mixed Feed – Veterinary trade fair in Moscow. Insta-Pro International exhibited our Medium Shear Extruder (MS3000) for shaped feed production and I gave a presentation covering our recent developments in fish pellet production. It was nice to see such a large, interactive crowd at our presentation, and to speak with the people who stopped by our display.
One of the many topics that came up was pellet buoyancy. Some fish require floating fish feed, while others thrive on sinking pellets. It is important to understand how to make pellets with the appropriate buoyancy in order to maximize growth performance and efficiency.
While there are several approaches that can be used to make sinking or floating pellets, the most straight-forward and easily controlled way is to alter the diet composition. During the high temperature/short time and high pressure conditions of the Insta-Pro extruder barrel, dietary starches expand, and as they do, promote floating pellets. Conversely, when the amount of fats or oils are increased in the ration formulation, expansion is reduced during extrusion, and density increases. Thus, dietary fats and oils promote sinking pellets.
In any production animal feeding situation, the composition of the diet will change based on factors such as age of the fish, ingredient availability, ingredient price and time of year. Therefore, it is important to work with an extruder company who understands how to formulate diets for optimal growth performance of the fish, proper pellet buoyancy and adequate extrusion output (volume/hour).
One of our customers we spoke with in Moscow stated how he was working to slightly alter his ration formulation, including the level of fats and oils to promote sinking pellet production.
As demand for farmed fish continues to grow, realize that there are many ways to accomplish your goals. At Insta-Pro International, we are dedicated to providing processing solutions to our customers. For nutritional questions, please email Dave Albin or Nabil Said.