Today’s pet food manufacturers are looking for ways to boost production runs, simplify clean up and hygiene, control ingredient costs, reduce changeover times between runs and increase the ability to produce a variety of product types and sizes, all with an emphasis on cutting cost while improving overall food safety. For this reason, choosing extrusion system suppliers who can provide a completely integrated system including upstream product handling and feeding into the extruder as well as the extrusion process, helps to ensure end product quality. The reasonable expectations for an extrusion food system supplier, for both human and pet consumption include the following:
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Extrusion for Pet Food Applications
What are reasonable expectations of an extrusion equipment supplier?
Supply of flexible and integrated systems
In addition to being able to supply completely integrated systems with components which provide the optimum in end product quality and food safety, the equipment manufacturer should provide flexible systems that can be easily reconfigured to produce a range of products. Coperion also offers innovations in process technology options such as horizontal and vertical vent stuffers, liquid, slurry and steam injection, feed enhancement technology, side feeders and food pelletizers. This versatility in both extrusion and feeding/material handling components offers a wide variety in options for food and pet food production, in order to provide the most cost efficient system design.
Supply superior technical and process support before sale and after
The manufacturer should be able to support pilot testing to establish optimal equipment design for the customer's process needs and provide a pilot facility with the tools for process improvement. The Coperion extrusion test centers in Stuttgart/Germany and Sewell, New Jersey/USA provide the optimal platform for testing future tasks of a production plant for a new product formulation in advance. The additional test centers specializing in bulk solids handling in Salina, Kansas/USA and Weingarten/Germany and ingredient feeding in Sewell, New Jersey/USA and Niederlenz/Switzerland offer state-of-the-art capabilities to handle materials. In addition, any extrusion equipment supplier should be able to supply customer service including mechanical and electrical support and quick delivery on spare parts.
Supply innovations in extrusion process design
A manufacturer of high quality equipment is proactive in process and product development.
Improvements in cooling die technologies, particularly for high moisture texturized proteins which are also used in pet food products. This high-moisture extrusion cooking process can be used for the production of meat substitutes with high protein content such as wheat, soy, pea and lupine flours.
Improvements in the technology used to feed raw ingredients to the extruder
These improvements focus specifically on difficult to feed additives which may be very light in bulk density, or cohesive with the tendency to cause bridging in the feeder hopper. For example: for difficult flowing products, the introduction of the Coperion K-Tron ActiFlow™ has been extremely beneficial.
In addition to the ActiFlow™, Coperion offers Feed Enhancement Technology (FET) for feeding of light bulk density materials as well as EPC, Electronic Pressure Compensation, which can offer improvements in feeder performance and overall cleaning requirements when feeding ingredients into an extruder.
nnovations in material handling components for ingredients prior to the extrusion process
An ideal system supplier is not only an expert in the extrusion process, but is also be knowledgeable in the options available for handling the ingredients prior to the extrusion process. Such systems include innovations such as the Coperion K-Tron Sanitary Filter Receiver (SFR).
These are just a few of the reasons why the complete material handling and extrusion systems provided by Coperion and Coperion K-Tron are ideal for optimal results in pet food and human food manufacture.