In order to exalt the nutritional qualities of corn, barley and soy, the company has been equipped with a modern ﬂares plant, that started the production in January 2004. Made by Buhler, with a production capacity of 18/20 mt/hour and updated technologic characteristics, the plant can guarantee a perfect cooking of the products and the maximum constancy of the process, so reaching a very high degree of gelatinization of grains starch and the elimination of the antitrypsic factors of the soybean.
In order to get high and constant quality the important different stages of the process must be harmonized, as speciﬁed:
Cleaning section consisting of one separator, a magnetic device and a stone cleaner needed for the separation of the admixtures.
Wetting of the grains with a speciﬁc intensive humidiﬁer in order to bring moisture at about 18/20%.
Cooking of grains by steam injection at 160° for about 40-60 minutes in a speciﬁc caulked cooker, while older plants had lower cooking time.
Squeezing and consequent breakage of the starches through high pressure of the rolls, of the up-to-date hot-roller, obtaining cereals ﬂakes (corn, soy, barley, etc.) with a thickness up to 300µ
Drying and cooling of ﬂakes in order to bring them back to the room temperature and with a ﬁnal moisture not over 14%. This is obtained by means of a horizontal dryer/cooler with a perforated slat conveyor that respects the integrity of the product.
The plant is also equipped with a decorticator device: here barley can be just decortticated or become decorticateted and ﬂaked.
Moreover, there are storing silos equipped with volumetric extractor dispensers, where each ﬂake lot can be loaded directly into the trucks or sent to the bagging plant or sent to the ﬂakes mixer to prepare the mixture according to the customers needs.
Flaking process generates some chemical-physical transformations that positively inﬂuence the use and the availability of the nutritional values.
During the ﬂakes process a partial starch gelatinization with a formation of simpler molecules (like dextrin and malt-dextrin) is obtained due to the heating treatment. With the modem plants where the product is cooked for longer time up to 45/60 minutes, the gelatinization degree n reach 85/90%, measured in available starch terms. On the other hand the mechanic process will determine the breakage of the starch granules which pass from the original crystallized structure to an amorphous form: this can be more easily attached by the digestive enzymes. The chemical-physical transformation obtained in this way increase noticeably the nutritional values of the product as far as digestibility and metabolizing energy terms are concerned.
The heating treatment of the product promotes the destruction of the antitrypsic factors contained in soybeans, therefore increasing the protein digestibility and the availability of the essential amino acids like lysine and methyonine.
Another effect of the ﬂaking process is the reduction of the soluble fraction of proteins, which is a very important fact in the ration calculation for the ruminants.
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