Impact of Thermal Processing on Protein Quality and Monogastric Nutrition – Dr. Chad Paulk, Kansas University & Dr. JT Pope, House of Raeford Farms

Posted: December 7, 2021


Dr. Chad Paulk from Kansas University

Dr. JT Pope, House of Raeford Farms

Co-host: Dr. Zack Lowman, Balchem

Episode : 32 Impact of Thermal Processing on Protein Quality and Monogastric Nutrition

Podcast Topic

Tonight we are talking feed supply biosecurity and the many challenges we face as we try to keep various animal Today’s podcast is part of a continuing conversation started during the Real Science Lecture Series, where we look deeper into the impact of thermal processing on protein quality and the forms of thermal processing in the industry.


Dr. Chad Paulk mentioned there are two major categories of thermal processing, ingredients and complete diets. Complete diets in the U.S. use thermal processing most often in the pelleting process via steam conditioning and frictional heat and is a combination of heat and moisture. On the ingredient side, by-products or co-products are processed by heat most often to pull moisture or pathogen control. (4:11)

Drs. Chad Paulk and JT Pope agreed there are a wide variety of effects thermal processing has on protein. Thermal processing can “unfold” proteins and provide access to enzymes, which aids in digestibility. But if you expose protein too much, they start to bind to sugars and actually prevent them from being digested. (7:02)

Dr. JT Pope mentioned that in the Southeast especially, pelleting is a winning situation due to economic reasons. Dr. Chad Paulk added to that idea by saying the higher the ingredient cost, the greater the value of pelleting. For swine especially it is influenced by location and access to feed. In the poultry industry a large percentage pellet feed. (20:57)

Dr. JT Pope discussed that thermal processing can negatively impact enzymes. It’s important to understand the enzymes you’re feeding and how they will survive the pelleting process. It is possible through formulations and other methods to ensure the enzyme survives the pelleting process. (26:30)

Dr. Chad Paulk and Dr. JT Pope agree that the strategy for pellets is dependent on the outcome you are looking for. If the intention is for a high-quality pellet more heat may be used, but you may lose some nutritional density. If the focus is on available enzymes, the pellet may not be as high quality. More research is needed to create a high-quality pellet with the same enzyme availability. (30:28)

Dr. JT Pope emphasized this is a complex process and there is a lot left to learn. For now, pelleting and thermal processing being in the middle is ideal because over processing can be bad, and so can under processing. Dr. Chad Paulk added it’s important to know your ingredients and your supplier and understand how different factors influence the pelleting process. (49:18)

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This podcast is sponsored by Balchem Animal Nutrition and Health.