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When it comes to aquafeed, you can find three types of pellets: floating pellets, sinking pellets, and slow-sinking pellets. Not all aquatic species eat at the same height of the water column. For example, tilapia and carp eat at the surface (floating pellets) while shrimp and sea bass eat at the bottom (sinking pellets). Slow-sinking pellets are ideal for species that eat along the water column such as salmon and cod.  To get the pellets to sink at the right rate, slow sinking pellets production must control water stability in the products.


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Water stability is the key to successful slow sinking pellets production

Making slow sinking aquafeed, needs expertise and accuracy, to produce the right texture and the sinking rate.  Water stability is critical to high-quality slow sinking pellets production and must be controlled at all stages of the process.  If the pellets sink too quickly, they will not be visible or accessible along the water column, leaving the fish hungry. Sinking at the proper speed, they preserve their physical form and quality, avoiding water dissolution and the consequent loss of nutrients.

Add pre-conditioners to enhance the digestibility of slow sinking pellets

To make water-stable aquafeed, you will need a single-screw or twin-screw extruder. In the extrusion process, you can control buoyancy and water stability, besides all other required characteristics to make high-quality feed. Every pellet product can be modified with the adequate density and size to cater for the needs of different aquatic species. Choosing between single-screw and twin-screw technology depends on the efficiency and versatility you want to have when managing different types of formulas.

If you add a pre-conditioner to the process, you will improve digestibility, durability, and uniformity and enhance water stability, especially in formulas with a low quantity of starch.

Feed ingredients affect the buoyancy of the pellets, and the buoyancy impacts the nutrient content

Due to multiple factors, such as fluctuation in the price of commodities and protein, supply issues, and sustainability awareness, aquafeed formulas need to be flexible. But changing the formulas to adjust to availability and costs has an impact on the quality of the products. A variation in feed ingredients can affect the buoyancy of the pellets.

If the buoyancy is not adequate, the pellets sink too slowly or quickly while the nutrients risk being washed out by the water, or wasted at the bottom. Thus, the slow sinking pellet process needs to be controlled by an expert to get the right buoyancy for the targeted species every time that the formula changes.


Processing steps involved in slow-sinking-pellets making

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