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Keysuke Muramatsu1, Andréia Massuquetto1, Fabiano Dahlke2 and Alex Maiorka1


1. Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Science, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba 80035-050, Brazil
2. Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agronomy and Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis 88040-900, Brazil


Pelleting is the most popular thermal processing technique in poultry industry. Birds fed pelleted diets have greater feed intake and weight gain, and better feed conversion ratio. However, this better performance can only be achieved, if the pellets remain intact until they are ingested by the birds. Many factors may affect pellet physical quality, such as feed nutritional composition, ingredient particle size, conditioning temperature and time, feed moisture, etc.. Despite their importance, sometimes these factors are not managed properly, therefore, pelleted feed may not contain a high amount of intact pellets. In addition, the possible interactions among these variables may yield different responses in comparison with those expected when individual factors are considered. Very few experiments have been conducted to evaluate the impact of combined factors on pellet quality. This may be explained by the presence of many qualitative and quantitative factors in the manufacturing process. Research indicates that heat processing and feed formulation, especially fat inclusion level, are the factors which have the biggest influence on pellet quality. Strategies, such as the expansion process and fat inclusion restriction or post pellet liquid fat application could be implemented to produce high physical quality pellets. More research is needed to identify which factors have a positive or negative effect on pelleting process and to find new strategies to improve pellet physical quality.


Conditioning, broiler, feed formulation, particle size, pellet durability index, pellet quality, pelleting, moisture.

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