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Current issues in feed manufacturing (IV). Frontiers in feed manufacturing. Like all industries, feed manufacturing technology continues to evolve as we ...

Processing Current issues in feed manufacturing (IV)

Frontiers in feed manufacturing Like all industries, feed manufacturing technology continues to evolve as we continually see some significant advances. In this fifth article in the Feed Tech series on feed processing, feed technology specialist, Jared Froetschner, addresses the most exciting and challenging subjects of feed hygiene/sterilisation and the issue of formulating for pellet quality. By Jared Froetschner, DSM Nutritional Products, Parsippany, NJ, US


here is a strengthening trend to develop feed manufacturing systems and procedures that could, to a large extent, eliminate microbial contamination of feed. The overall concept is to provide the animal a feedstuff that is free from any pathogens that could harm human health. The trend originated in Europe in the 1990's and is rapidly becoming a topic of interest in the US. There are two methods in accomplishing the task of feed sterilisation: feed processing and chemical treatment. Each method has own its advantages and disadvantages.

There is considerable work occurring in Canada evaluating new technologies to combat microbial loads in feed. Feed companies that are actively sterilising feed are utilising advanced conditioning techniques combined with sterile air cooling systems. The theory is that once the pellets leave the pellet mill and are cooled by the sterilised air, downstream microbial contamination of the feed is minimal. Typically, plants that adopt this strategy require a strong QA programme to detect microbial loads in the mill and finished feed, as well as a HACCP (Hazzard Analysis and Critical Control Points) approach to plant operations.

An area of concern with chemical sterilisation is that feed manufacturers may ignore downstream Control Points with the erroneous assumption that sterility is maintained in the entire process once the chemicals are added. (Photo: Dick Ziggers) Feed Tech 10.9 2006 - - 21


Table 1 - The effect of high-shear conditioning on microbial load of poultry feed.

Number of micro-organisms per gram of feed Feed Type/Proc. Conditions

Aerobic germs



Broiler meal




257 °F /145 psi (125°C /10 bars)