With the rapid development of aquaculture, its economic benefit has become better and better and its farming types also increased gradually, therefore, various aquatic feeds, in particular for floating extruded fish feed pellets, rise in response to the proper time and conditions, which makes fish feed production become a way for people to enrich. Because aquatic animals like fish and shrimp have small intestines and stomachs with bad digestion and absorption ability, the manufacturing process of aquaculture feed has much higher requirements than that of livestock feed, which means it’s very important to choose suitable fish feed processing equipment to produce aqua feed.
Features of Aquaculture Feed
Before choosing fish feed production equipment, it’s very necessary to learn about the features of aquatic feed:
1. Small particle size. Due to the short intestines and stomach and other physiological properties of aquatic animals, in order to accelerate digestion and absorption, the fineness of pulverization of aquatic feed should be smaller than poultry feed. For example, when producing eel feed or prawn feed, the particle size should reach 80-120 meshes.
2. High protein content and low carbohydrate. The protein content of livestock feed is often less than 20%, while that of aquaculture feed is always 30%-40, and thereinto green turtle and eel feed protein content is up to 65%-70%.
3. The pellet feed structure is compact, with higher cohesiveness and water resistance. For instance, prawn feed requires the water stability of pellet feeds for up to 2 hours.
4. Cross-contamination should be strictly forbidden during the process of aquaculture feed production. Some raw materials need to get through aseptic processing, so the selected device should be convenient to clean and have few reminders, especially when producing prawn or eel feed, Do not produce other types of feed, to avoid cross-contamination.
Producing high-quality fish feed should depend on scientific and reasonable processing technology, combined with advanced, reliable, and stable feed processing equipment, which also highlights the significance of processing machines. The most common processing operations can be summarised as:
Ø Raw material crushing – The Option of a Crusher Machine
Generally speaking, for common fish feed production, the requirement for material granularity is about 40-60 meshes, but for producing particular kinds of aquatic feed (such as shrimp feed and eel feed), the particle size of raw material must reach over 80 meshes. As is well known, material granularity decides the surface area of feed composition, so the thinner the granularity, the larger the surface area, and the stronger the ability to absorb moisture in steam before making pellets, which is conducive to tempering and pellet shaping with good stability in water and good absorption effect, and also prolonging standing time in water to promote feeding return and lower water quality pollution. In order to get perfect mash particle size, the old common hammer crusher is no longer applicable for fish feed making, but fortunately, the current popular droplet fish feed crusher, launched by Fish Feed Machinery, a leading professional aquaculture feed processing equipment manufacturer, has a unique design and advanced crusher type with two clearance between the hammer and sifter for ordinary pulverization and fine crushing respectively. The granularity crushed by this aquatic feed machine is more even, and the fine grinding particle size is more in line with fish feed production requirements. Therefore, once put into the market, our droplet fish feed crusher machine has been deeply favored by lots of feed plants and fish farmers.
Ø Raw material blending – The choice of Fish Feed Mixing Machine
As one of the key equipment and important sections of feed plants, the performance property and effect of fish feed mixing machine and distributing mixing system directly affect the production efficiency and product quality of feed plants. With the rapid development of the batching scale and electronic technique, only choosing the perfect mixer to make the mixing machine production cycle equal to the batching scale can ensure the productivity of this section is at its best, thus effectively ensuring the mixing effect, promoting yield, and lowering cost. For the purpose of achieving this goal, FANWAY has produced a new type of fish feed mixer with high-quality stainless steel and helical ribbon. With fast speed and high productivity, this mixing machine also has strong wear resistance and long working life. Adopting a unique design can make materials combine cycle and uniform blending during the whole mixing process without breaking the original physical condition of materials.
Ø Fish feed forming – The Select of Extruding Machine
Fish feed production requires a higher degree of gelatinization and water stability, so the selection of an extruding machine needs to reinforce tempering conditions. Through prolonging materials’ tempering time, starch gelatinization under high temperatures can strengthen the adhesive properties of feed pellets, and kill Salmonella and other various harmful bacteria, ensuring that pellets with smooth and clean appearance are not easy to be eroded by water, which not only promotes the water stability of fish feed but also improves the palatability and digestibility of feed. Moreover, the usage of fish feed extruders can make sure fish and shrimp have longer ingestion time, and prevent water pollution caused by feed pellets. During the extrusion process, raw materials are processed via high temperature, high moisture, and high pressure, so at the moment that feed pellets are extruded from the die hole, the stress drops sharply and the water content in the feed emits from the liquid state to gas state, resulting in extruded fish feed. In a word, it is better to choose the dry type of fish feed extruder for small or medium-scale feed production and select the wet type for medium or large-scale fish farms or feed factories, The difference between these two is that the wet type is equipped with a boiler that can steam the materials when producing pellets.
Ø Fish feed drying – the Choice of Fish Feed Dryer
The purpose of drying feed is to remove the superfluous moisture in the feed so as for better and easier packaging, transportation, and storage. According to the composition and characteristics of fish feed, we recommend a mesh-belt type fish feed dryer for a fast and high-efficiency drying process. With a multiple-layer structure, this drying equipment has good security and operation flexibility, easy to install and maintain. What’s more, it supports an enclosed drying process, bringing a uniform drying effect and avoiding dust spillage effectively.