Q: I am having trouble hitting moisture targets even though I am adding water. Why?

By: Jose Ramirez, Technical Director

Within the feed matrix, water is absorbed, free or lost. Grinding, blending and forming feed into pellets has been recorded to result in a 0.85% to 2% loss in moisture, a phenomenon commonly referred to as shrink. Pellet Quality, energy consumption and profitability are all reliant on the moisture content of the formulation. When moisture is too high, producers experience reduced throughput, mill blockages, increased energy consumption and a higher probability of mold growth in the finished feed. However, if the moisture content is too low, brittle pellets, increased fines, decreased yield and poor feed utilization result. Both scenarios ultimately cause reduced profitability for the producer. On the other hand, complete moisture absorption inhibits mold growth, promotes pellet quality and feed utilization, reduces process loss and improves batch yield through reduced shrink.

Adding water to a formulation does not guarantee an increase in feed moisture. Most of the water added to a formulation flashes off in the press and cooler. Water’s high surface tension limits its ability to be absorbed by feed in a uniform matter. Uneven distribution of water and ingredient variability can result in patches of high and low moisture absorption. Areas of high absorption within a batch can reduce throughput, increase energy consumption within the mill, and result in variable moisture levels and pellet quality throughout the batch. Water not wholly absorbed by feed remains available to the microbial load and increases the likelihood of mold and bacterial growth. Maxi-Mil helps producers achieve moisture targets. Maxi-Mil is specifically designed to reduce the surface tension of water, increasing its ability to bind into feed and promote proper moisture retention.


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