Distiller's Grains and Pellet Quality

Ioannis Mavromichalis
I have received numerous calls recently to assist in improving pellet quality in broiler diets. In all of these situations, the culprit appeared to be the distiller's grains with soluble (DDGS) from maize. I did some investigation and it appears this is something not widely published.

A recent report by Loar et al. (2010) reported that with increasing levels of DDGS from 0 to 30%, pellet durability index dropped from 75 down to 65%. Similar results were reported previously by Srinivasan et al. (2009) using 10 or 20% DDGS. Behnke (2007) has suggested that adding more than 5-7% DDGS in the diet will cause pellet quality to start deteriorating.

It was reported that DDGS increase the use of energy in the conditioner while  facilitating pelleting at the die. Adding certain pellet binders and formulation  modifications appear to be restoring pellet quality.

I would be interested to read your experiences with this ingredient when it comes to pelleting!

Figure 1 – Effects of varying levels of distiller’s dried grains with soluble on physical pellet quality (adapted from Loar et al., 2010).


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    Kate Jackson

    Dry distillers grains with solubles typically contains 10-14% crude fat. If you can keep the crude fat in the formula below 3%, then it will make a good pellet. If adding DDGS increases the formula crude fat beyond 3%, use a pellet binder.

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    Do you have a good pellet binder to indicate to improve pellet quality?

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