As finely milled feed particles are better digested than coarse or whole feed ingredients, processing helps improve the digestibility and bioavailability of feed. In addition, the steam conditioning process helps in gelatinizing starches, adding hydration, and partially breaking down proteins for easier digestion.
The pellet is the most common form of feed. It offers innumerable benefits to both the feed miller and livestock farmer, improving profitability by allowing for higher bulk density; preventing segregation of ingredients; lowering transportation and storage costs; improving digestion and bioavailability of nutrients; and minimizing the pathogen load. Given that pelleting is the largest feed processing cost, any input that improves its efficiency is valuable to a feed manufacturer; pellet binders are among the most proven tools for this purpose.
The process of grinding or milling feed ingredients releases the moisture that was held together by whole ingredients, often resulting in a gross weight loss between 0.35 – 1 percent. This loss of moisture leaves feed excessively dry, which may add to digestive stress in the animal, or leave a larger gap between the actual and permitted levels of moisture in feed sold. Recovery or optimization of this moisture improves digestibility; surface active wetting agents, such as moisture optimizers, are effective in this endeavor.
A superior value and high profit feed can greatly enhance the overall feed economics. This is achieved by using the right set of technological tools, including pellet binders, moisture optimizers, and grain and feed conditioners, that help in minimizing processing costs.