Microencapsulation: The Greatest Unclumping Story Yet Told

Published on: 3/26/2020
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A feed ingredient manufacturer had contracted an encapsulation company to produce coated minerals for use in a feed product for monogastric animals. She said that in warm weather, the material turned into rock-hard little pellets. If they were to mix the pellets in with the feed, the particle size distribution would be so different as to cause separation. So they tried adding a flow agent, but to no avail.

And to make matters more pressing, several of their shipments had been rejected by overseas markets.

The manufacturer asked whether we could produce a free-flowing mineral that would mix well with the other feed ingredients, with no visible signs of separation nor clumping. We answered.

They sent us a sample of the 50% active mineral (50% coating) they received from their original provider. It failed the “water test,” (learn more about microencapsulation) but not as we had anticipated. Indeed, the particles rose to the surface, but instead of separating, they formed one big, floating glob. Clearly, the technology was incapable of coating individual particles—which was causing the clumping issue.

Our formulation featured 70% active mineral (30% coating), which also represented a 40% increase in efficiency over the sample. No flow agent necessary. Every particle individually enrobed.

As a result, the microencapsulated mineral was able to remain intact while passing through the gastrointestinal tract and slowly release its content at the target site—and the feed manufacturer switched to the Maxx 70% solution.

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