The benefits of pelleted animal feeds are well known. Less wastage, easier to store and transport and no risk of ingredient separation are all good reasons to pellet animal feed.
However, pelleting is not without its own challenges. The measurement of pellet durability became important when livestock farmers began rejecting poor quality pellets.
Many animal feed compounders test the durability of their pelleted rations. This is because it is important to strike a balance between the pellets being too hard and thus difficult to eat, or too weak, in which case the feed became dusty and much was wasted.
Accurate measurement of pellet durability enables optimum inclusion rate of pellet binders. Too little binder and the pellets breakdown; too much and money is wasted. Lignin, molasses, starch and steam are popular pellet binders.
Today the biggest cost is energy. Pelleting is an energy intensive process. Pelleting presses operate at pressure and so consume power therefore the aim is to minimise the energy cost and maximise the pelleting efficiency.
The new Holmen range of Pellet Testers is the culmination of 15 years involvement with the pelleting industry. We have now created a stable test environment that gives repeatability and consistency to the test results. The Pellet Durability Index (PDI) which is obtained from the Holmen Pellet durability testers sets the benchmark which is used in most parts of the world.