Feed Strategy - June 2018 - 36
36 ❙ FeedStrategy
How extrusion reduces
antibiotic usage in animal feed
Extruded livestock feed can reduce costs while improving animal
health and performance in antibiotic-free production.
xtrusion is most commonly associated with pet
food and aquatic feeds; however, in livestock feed
manufacturing, extruders produce many of the same
results as a pellet mill, only through a different process.
According to Spencer Lawson, UP/C technology
manager with Wenger Manufacturing Inc., extruded
feeds offers several advantages over pelleting, including less feed waste, reduced ingredient segregation,
increased nutrient density, increased digestibility and
decreased microbiological activity.
As antibiotic reduction and elimination becomes more
prevalent in animal production, feed manufacturers and
nutritionists can utilize extrusion to ensure feed safety.
At the 2018 FIAAP Animal Nutrition Conference,
Lawson discussed how extruders produce pathogenfree feed while allowing formulators to utilize beneficial feed additives and less expensive raw materials to
improve animal health and performance.
Survival rates of Enterococcus faecium
and Salmonella in extruded feed
Promoting health through processing
Survival (log CFU/g)
Temperature ( C)
Source: Bianchini and Wenger Mfg., 2011
Salmonella and Enterococcus faecium are
eliminated from extruded feeds produced at
27.5 percent moisture, processed at 70 to 80
degrees Celsius. Because extruders operate at a
much higher temperature than pellet mills, feed
producers can ensure the elimination of pathogens
in their animal feed.
The elimination and reduction of antibiotics in
animal feed slows the development of antimicrobialresistant bacteria and eases the economic burden of
According to Lawson, there are several steps to
consider when producing a specific feed for the animals that are consuming it:
■ Formulating a diet with a proper nutrition profile
while excluding additives that are not heat-labile
■ Pasteurizing and pelleting a foundation, hygienic
feed for a short time at a high temperature
■ Stabilizing the shelf-life of the feed by controlling
water activity through post-pasteurization unit operations
■ Enrobing the final feed pellet by precise application of heat-labile additives, such as probiotics and
Once the base or foundation feed/pellet is produced, it is possible to begin thinking of the next
step: coating and/or enrobing.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ June 2018