More than meal: Soybean as feed ingredient
Soybeans are one of the most important crops in the world. Soybeans are made into food products that we consume everyday, such as tofu, soy sauce and meat substitutes. It is more common to consume soybeans in the form of soybean oil and soybean meal, which is widely used as animal feed. As an essential protein source for farm animals, soybean meal is the by-product of the extraction of soybean oil.
How to make soybean meal
The production of soybean meal starts with several pre-treatment steps such as cleaning, weighing, hulling and grinding before extrusion. As one of the most common methods of hydrothermal treatment, extrusion cooking operates at high temperature and in short time (HTST). This helps to disrupt the inner structure of the feed material and denaturalize proteins to reduce natural toxins in soybean meal. Subsequently, soybean oil is obtained through mechanical pressing, resulting in minimal leftover fat. One of the methods to improve oil yield without using oil extraction solvent is combining extrusion cooking and mechanical press. Click here to learn more about one-level pressing with extrusion for soybeans.
The benefits of extrusion
Extrusion has been widely applied in animal feed production to improve feed quality through mechanical and heat processing. It is also an important step to produce granule- and pellet-shaped feed with uniform size and texture. Extrusion cooking helps to significantly improve the utilization of nutrients in soybean meal through removal of anti-nutritional and sterilization. Most importantly, it contributes to increasing the digestibility of soybean proteins by improving the ratio of solution fibre of the extruded material. Click here to read more about extrusion cooking of feed components.