Using High-Shear Dry Extrusion to Liberate Calories: Processing Energy for Ingredient Energy

The use of high-shear dry extrusion – a technique developed, improved upon, and expanded around the world over decades, by Insta-Pro International – hinges upon a few basic things. Ultimately, the use of this, or any, processing tool comes down to the following: using processing energy to generate more feed energy (commonly measured in kilocalories, or just calories), that can be used by animals for productive purposes.

High-shear dry extrusion ruptures plant cell walls (physical barriers preventing energy use); deactivates antinutritional factors (natural defense mechanisms that all plants have and make digestion more difficult); mixes everything within a raw material, thereby making the final ingredient homogenous; and drives off moisture, which does not contain energy.

After all, the goal of any animal production scheme is to produce as much salable product as possible, while being mindful to control input costs. The most expensive input cost is feed, and within this category, energy is the most expensive nutrient in absolute terms. Most ingredients provide energy.

A common formulation tactic is to use better ingredients, which often are priced higher, to displace other ingredients, which may be priced even higher. Replacing two mediocre ingredients with one great ingredient will often lower the total diet cost.

This is why having a well-developed process is critical. High-shear dry extrusion is a unique process that exerts a little more processing energy into the work being done.  We’ve documented this through decades of animal feeding studies. A good example can be found here. Notice what happens when a little more processing energy is included with our version of extrusion – the amount of available energy, which can be used for productive purposes, increases dramatically, even as more oil is removed in the post-extrusion pressing step. Oil is energy rich and expensive. It’s a win-win when you have more of it to sell in the market and you’ve made meal with more ingredient energy for animal growth and production! Again, this is only possible with the right processing equipment.

In coming blogs, you will read about the results of recent nursery piglet studies at Iowa State University, and how high-shear dry extruded corn and soy meal were used to reduce diet costs. This was only possible because the right process, high-shear dry extrusion, was used.

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