2-in-1 approach to preserve feed quality and improve milling efficiency through Kemin MillSMART™ program
Mold growth in the feed is a constant challenge to the feed millers and animal producers. As molds grow, they consume the feed's nutrients, decrease the feed's nutritional value and produce toxic mycotoxins that can adversely affect the animals' growth and health development1. Mold inhibitors are commonly used to retard and inhibit mold growth in the feed. However, this increases the financial burden of the feed millers.
Other challenges that erode feed mills' profitability
In pellet feed production, there are other challenges that erode the feed mills' profitability. One of the key challenges pulling down the feed mills' profitability is that the mash feed is neither at the optimum moisture level nor the optimum condition for efficient pellet milling. Inadequate moisture in the mash feed increases the friction during pelleting which results in higher energy consumption and slower throughput.
During storage and grinding, moisture loss from feedstuffs can happen. Hence, the mash feed is not always at its optimum level for pelleting. Besides that, the inconsistency in the moisture of raw feed materials from source to source and batch to batch is also a challenge.
Additionally, inadequate mash feed moisture leads to poor feed digestibility and durability. During conditioning, insufficient mash feed moisture retards optimum starch gelatinization. As a result, the starch in the feed become less digestible by the enzymes in the animals' body. The pellet feed also becomes less durable due to less gelatinized starch that gives the sticky texture which adheres the feed particles together2.
MillSMART™ program works as a preconditioning process to ensure the mash feed moisture is at the optimum level for efficient pellet milling. Myco CURB™ Aw Liquid is a 2-in-1 surfactant-based milling aid that is formulated with mold inhibition property to offer protection to the feed against mold and improve the milling efficiency.
In MillSMART™ program, a preconditioning solution containing Myco CURB™ Aw Liquid is prepared and mixed together with the mash feed in the mixer prior to conditioning and pelleting (Figure 1).
The preconditioning solution helps to lubricate the feed and smoothen the pelleting process, allowing the pellet mill to run at a higher throughput while consuming less energy. The surfactant formulated in Myco CURB™ Aw Liquid lowers the water surface tension which results in enhanced moisture absorption and retention in the feed.
Feed milling trial
A feed milling trial was conducted at a feed mill in Vietnam with Myco CURB™ Aw Liquid on duck layer pellet feed with a shelf life of 3 months3. Parameters on milling efficiency, feed moisture, mold count and financial benefits were evaluated. Two groups were observed in this study:
Control (C): Duck layer pellet feed treated with dry mold inhibitor only.
Treatment (T): Duck layer pellet feed treated with the addition of 2% preconditioning solution containing Myco CURB™ Aw Liquid.
In this trial, the steam temperature in the conditioner was set between 77 °C to 78 °C, with a total of 12 MT of feed for each group.
Improved milling efficiency and feed quality
The moisture in the finished feed in the treatment group increased by 1.89%, from 10.33% to 12.22%, which is equivalent to a 95% retention of the added preconditioning solution (Table 1). The mold count in both the control and treatment group were < 100 CFU/g over the 3-month's storage (Table 2). The results suggested that despite the higher moisture in the treated feed, it was effectively protected from mold growth by the mold inhibition compounds present in Myco CURB™ Aw Liquid.
On top of having feed that is safely protected from mold growth, the feed miller also successfully turned the mold inhibitor cost to profit generator and enjoyed significant cost savings. Back then, the feed miller paid US$1.16 for the cost of mold inhibition per every MT feed. However, with this new approach, the feed miller made a cost saving of US$4.83 for every MT of feed produced (Figure 4). The cost savings were calculated based on the following factors i.e. feed price, Myco CURB™ Aw Liquid inclusion cost, electricity costs, production costs and the feed mill's production capacity and cost saving would vary based on factors above.
Mold inhibitors are commonly used to protect feed from becoming moldy. However, this increases the feed costs and erodes into feed mills' profitability. Feed millers constantly struggle to balance between profitability and producing high-quality feed that is safe from becoming moldy.
Preconditioning the mash feed with Myco CURB™ Aw Liquid and moisture offers feed millers an innovative solution to protect the feed from mold growth while making profits at the same time. The trial results show that feed which is treated with Myco CURB™ Aw Liquid is safe from mold growth for 3 month's storage. At the same time, instead of spending $1.16 on mold inhibitor per MT feed, the feed miller would now make a net profit of US$ 4.83 for every MT of feed produced.
Figure 1. Schematic diagram showing how the preconditioning process is carried out.
Figure 2. Reduced energy consumption in pellet mill in the treatment group compared to control.
Figure 3. Improved throughput in the treatment group compared to control.
Table 1. Feed moisture content of control and treatment after mixer and bagging.
Table 2. Mold count of control and treatment over the 3 months' storage.
Figure 4. Cost saving achieved in control and treatment.
For more of the article, please click here.
Article made possible through the contribution of Chew Kin Ken and Kemin Industries (Asia) Pte. Ltd.