Future proof aqua feed production starts with co-creating the perfect fit.

Aqua feed production: sharing know-how and co-creation


Aqua feed production

The challenge with aqua feed production is to achieve the right density and to produce floating, slow sinking or sinking pellets, while water stability is ensured. As a result of an increase of prices for animal protein and the call for sustainability feed producers look at alternative ingredients which leads to the processing of an increased number of raw materials and ingredients.

Depending on which machinery is used, different challenges can be met.

We at van Aarsen believe that sharing know-how and co-creation are essential in finding the perfect fit. Whether you are looking to modernize or expand your aqua feed production, want to replace aging machinery with future-proof innovations, or need advice in the planning and setup of a completely new aqua feed mill, Van Aarsen is the knowledge partner for you.

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Intake and cleaning

The cleaning of raw materials ensures a problem-free total process and a high-quality semi-finished or end product.

With help of a drum cleaner undersized and oversized impurities are removed from the raw materials.

A magnet cleaner removes metal parts (ferromagnetic contamination) from coarse raw materials.

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Dosing and Weighing

The perfect end product and the most economical production method are dependent on the right dosage. Precise harmonization of the components demands a high level of dosing and weighing accuracy.

The fine dosing process is optimized via the application of specialized Small, Micro, and Precision Ingredient Dosing systems. These systems allow you to accurately dose a large number of vitamins, minerals, and additives without any loss of quality, speed and production capacity.

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Grinding the raw materials to the required structure is an essential operation which affects both pellet quality as well as the digestibility. Size reduction increases the number of particles and the surface area per unit of volume which results in increased mixing homogeneity. In addition a finer grind has a positive effect on starch gelatinization.

Also When an extruder is applied a fine grind is imperative to prevent the extruder from blocking. 

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In the mixers a wide range of raw materials, additives and liquids are mixed into a homogeneous aqua feed mixture.

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Pre-mixing before post-grinding is applied to achieve a high homogenous mixture for more uniform grinding.

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Pelleting- Extrusion

Aqua feed pellets can be produced in several diameters and hardness’s.

Extrusion is mostly used in the production of fish feed. By extrusion pellets can be produced with the required characteristics needed for floating, slow sinking, neutral sinking and sinking feed. The starch kook in the extruder enables a high durability and water stability for formulas with low starch. The extruder also allows high levels of oil, fats and liquids addition while producing a small pellet size.

Sinking pellets may also be produced In the pellet mill.

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Drying – Cooling

After extrusion, drying is required due to the high moisture. The product is dried and cooled to the level required for coating or finished product.

Extruded pellets are dried and cooled in a dryer with separate stages. 

When a pellet mill is applied, the pellets will be cooled in a gravity counter flow cooler.

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Sieving is applied for separating wanted elements from unwanted material like impurities or for ensuring the particle size of the feed compound. Sieving can be applied in several stages of the production process.

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Liquids such as fat, vitamins, flavourings etc. are added after the pelleting/extrusion process in order to prevent them from breaking down during the hydro-thermic process. It is also applied to add the necessary proportions for an optimal feed quality which otherwise could cause process-technical or nutritional problems such as the addition of high proportions of fat and oils.

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The finished product is collected and bagged.

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Low-contamination, horizontal or vertical transportation of raw materials and semi-finished products may take place with conveyors and bucket elevators. 

Pneumatics transport systems are used between the extruder and the dryer, and after the dryer to minimize product damage.

The transport to the finished feed bins should be gentle and preferably takes place by gravity only. 

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For an optimal capacity batches are stored in bins and bunkers before and after the main machines. 

Bins for raw materials and finished feed product are executed with flat walls and if required with a coating to ensure proper product flow.

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Process Automation

To achieve maximum performance of your feed mill, feed mill automation helps you to control and optimise the complete production process.

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