SUMMARY
  • Mastercube is a low inclusion natural pellet binder, designed to improve the efficiency of the whole milling process, maximise pellet quality and release nutritional space.
  • The inclusion of Mastercube can help produce a higher quality pellet compared to pelleting with no binder or with lignosulphonate.
BACKGROUND
  • Improved pellet quality and reduced fines can benefit animal performance and livestock uniformity by decreasing ingredient and nutrient segregation during transportation and through feed auger systems.
  • The reduction in fines reduces process loss and dust in the mill which can help improve mill hygiene.
  • Mastercube is a low inclusion pellet binder composed of a synergistic blend of polysaccharide gums, starch and mineral hardener. It is designed to improve the efficiency of the whole milling process and maximise pellet quality.

 

TRIAL DESIGN

An independent trial was conducted by the Research Institute of Feed Technology, Germany, to assess the effectiveness of three trial groups on improving pellet quality. A commercially available broiler feed, containing 5% crude fat, was allocated to 1 of 3 trial groups (Table 1). The finished mixed feed (including pellet binder) was conditioned with steam and pure water at 75oC, pelleted using a 3.5 x 50 mm die at an approximate throughput of 249 kg/h, and pellets were then cooled on a conveyer belt cooler.

Table 1. Trial group allocation of pellet binder and pellet binder inclusion rate (kg/t).

Group Pellet binder Inclusion rate (kg/t)
NC Negative control – no pellet binder 0
M Mastercube 1
L Lignosulphonate 1

 

Pellet durability index (PDI) was measured at the press, at the end of the cooler and 2 hours after exiting the cooler. Pellet hardness was tested 2 hours after the cooling process and the day after pelleting. These various testing time points were chosen to demonstrate the effect of the pellet binders on the curing process.

RESULTS

Pellet durability index (PDI) (%) tested using standard Pfost durability tester Figure 1. Pellet durability index (PDI) (%) tested using standard Pfost durability tester (A), minimum PDI for broiler feed is 80% according to Dozier (2001); pellet hardness (Newton), tested using standard Kahl hardness tester (B).

  • Pellets with Mastercube had the highest PDI (Fig.1A), and the highest pellet hardness after 24 hours (Fig. 1B). A higher PDI is associated with improved palatability and feed intake, and increased pellet hardness can help to reduce pellet breakages, meaning fewer fines. Less fines can result in improved feed efficiency and increased growth rates, as well as helping to improve mill hygiene.
  • Overall, results showed that the inclusion of Mastercube at 1 kg/t produced higher quality pellets compared to pelleting with no binder or with lignosulphonate.

 

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