One of the principal benefits of extrusion is higher starch digestibility. Through the action of higher temperature, starch gelatinisation occurs. This makes the starches more accessible to degrading enzymes, making them more digestible in the small intestine and reducing the level of starch fermentation in the large intestine. The combination of temperature, moisture and pressure breaks down the starch structure, increasing its water solubility and the physical changes in the starch molecules make them more easily degradable by digestive enzymes (Richards et al., 2006).

Richards et al. (2003) tested the digestibility of cereals and processed cereals in vitro. Amongst other results, he found that the digestibility of starch in extruded corn and rice was much higher than for unprocessed corn and rice.

The extrusion process also improves protein digestibility. It increases protease efficiency (enzymes which break down protein in the gut), meaning the protein can be better converted by the horse. Other nutrients also display higher digestibility.

Higher digestibility means you can use a smaller amount of feed than for traditional feeds (muesli, pellets and fodder).

A great benefit of extruded feed is that it is dust-free and eliminates undesirable pathogens in the feed. The pellets are processed at temperatures of greater than 100°C, eliminating potential pathogens from the feed. This also means we can eliminate the addition of preservatives to the feed.

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