Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)
One of the inserted photos shows feed fines while the second shows the initial signs of pellet disintegration in water.
High quality animal feed is always essential for enhancing productivity and for improving the production economics.
In addition to nutritive merit of animal feed, the durability of feed pellets is highly considered parameter in the quality of animal feed indicating how pellets have been able to withstand repeated handling during bagging, transportation, and storage without excessive breakage or generation of fine particles.
In aquaculture, the durability of pellets would be of utmost importance since pellet fines –if excessive- will be wasted when pellets are thrown in water and will be out of fish reach and hence subsequently could negatively affect feed conversion. Moreover, such washed-out broken feed and fines may turn into pollutants and contribute to the eutrophication process and subsequent disturbance in the dynamics of dissolved oxygen.
Water stability is another quality factor that is of significant important if aquaculture feed as feed pellets should be consumed before being disintegration in water into water. Because fish in their feeding habits vary considerably, water stability of feed pellets may vary accordingly. For example, trout, salmon and channel catfish are quick eaters and can consume their daily meals in matters of minutes while other species such as tilapia may require about two hours for consuming their meal. Shrimp, are known by their slow feeding habits as they chew their feed pellets whereas several hours are often required for consuming their meal. Therefore, pellets of good quality should remain intact and retain its physical integrity with minimal disintegration and nutrient leaching while in the water until consumed by target fish otherwise leaching of nutrients occurs, lost and negatively affecting productivity and economics.
Pellet quality can be influenced by several factors, including the ingredients, diet formulation, processing and binding agents.
There are quality tests designed to measure the durability, water stability and leaching rate throughout all of the stages from manufacturing till consumption by target fish and shrimp.