Learn more about the Thermo Extrusion and the benefits for digestibility


« Choosing science and scientific exchange as an engine of sustainable economic development, breaking existing models... that what we bet for all over last 20 years. This bet made by Valorex is a winner for us, for our customers, our suppliers, our partners, but also a natural supporting measure to our planet and our attitude towards our health. There is yet a work to do for years to come, and we won’t change the path once chosen within a virtuous model and a winning team”, - Pierre Weill, The President of Valorex.

Valorex is the European leader in extrusion cooking: a technology that can makes oilseeds and protein crops digestible. Oilseeds and protein crops should be choosed, prepared and cooked under the best process conditions to be digested, assimilated and valued at best by animals. So :

  • Valorex is able to choose adapted seeds, by contracting in advance selected varieties with its suppliers,
  • Valorex is specialized in extrusion cooking of oilseeds and protein crops used in animal feed

This process allows optimal nutritional valorization of whole seeds without any production of by-products. Indeed, Valorex designs animal feed as an addition to nutritionally rich and varied seeds, and not only as a addition of some nutrients used for formulation.

The heart of Valorex’s research is to find the best combination between the assembled seeds and the technological parameters applied. Indeed, we define the measure of each parameter that will achieve the most efficient extrusion cooking to make the oilseeds and protein crops more valuable for each animal. Each of its parameters which determine the extrusion cooking is the object of highly controlled studies.

Different parameters :

  • Moisture (water and vapor intake),
  • Temperature (via thermal and mechanical actions),
  • Pressure (via mechanical action),
  • Duration of each stage of seed processing (for thermal, mechanical and enzymatic actions).

Each step of extrusion cooking results in a clear study of the action of these four parameters. This work is accompanied by a continuous optimization of production costs and environmental impacts.

This line is intended in particular to improve the digestibility of oil-protein crops for ruminants. Feed that comes out from this line especially targets dairy farms fitted with milking robots.

Standard technological development of cooking extrusion by Valorex, step by step:

  • Grinding: Valorex has developed a new seed crushing greed. The expertise of Valorex is especially to know how to grind the seeds of different size to make them well prepared to the next steps thanks to its granulometry and homogeneity once crushed.
  • Preconditioning: This is the first step of seed preparation and detoxifying. This is a phase where certain humidity should be reached via fixing temperature or steam percentage. This step allows the enzymes naturally present in the seed to lance the active phase in biochemical sense, to initiate the detoxification of oil-protein seeds. 
  • Maturation: The mixed seeds should remain in ripening in the form of a wet mix. The right temperature must be adapted during a sufficient time to achieve the detoxification of seeds.
  • Pre-extrusion conditioning: This step of vapor and/or water impregnation provides the improved seeds processing through the formation of a paste which should facilitate the process of extrusion.
  • Extrusion: During extrusion, the mixture should be pressurized by the phenomenon of friction and shearing force through an Archimedean screw. Here, it is necessary to adjust the temperature and pressure, depending on the mixture, to make fatty acids and amino acids bio-available anddigestible. 

That is at this stage that the fat release itself. Protein is self-protected under the temperature of the extrusion cooking. It becomes therefore the by-pass protein. 

  • Drying and cooling: The drying and cooling step is also important to keep the products in good conditions of humidity and température for the storage.

Because the acquired knowledge are dedicated to be transferred with third partners, Valorex has a politics of patent registration of its treatment processes of seeds. So, Valorex organizes its international deployment via the sale of patent license, and its know-how.