The ExPress® process, using equipment and know-how from Insta-Pro International, is unique; but why does this matter? First, it does not involve the use of chemicals, like solvents (such as hexane), to extract essentially all the oil from soybeans making it sustainable and a scalable alternative to hexane. Also, it’s a friction-based cooking process that uses high temperature over a short period of time (seconds) to rupture plant cell walls deactivating anti-nutrients to make commercially sterile ingredients.
What is certain is that the process affects the characteristics of the final product, which, after all, is being used to produce feed and food ingredients that supply animals and humans with nutrients. So, while some companies are attempting to reduce energy usage, others are choosing to make equipment and processes capable of producing higher-quality versions of ingredients (in this case, soybean meal) that will improve animal performance and feed efficiency. Please follow the two links here for summaries of these studies (broiler chickens and laying hens). Keep in mind here that, for the two studies summarized in these links, ExPress® soybean meal was used with the hulls remaining in the meal, even though many soy processing lines remove the hulls as a routine practice.
With the right equipment and process, removal of the hulls need not be done. Hulls represent about 6% of the total weight of a raw soybean, and when removed and sold separately, do not fetch much value in the ingredient marketplace. After all, hulls are the protective structural fiber of the soybean, and are low in key nutrients, like protein. However, when hulls remain within the meal, and a quality-minded process is used (like ExPress®), excellent animal performance results will be obtained, as discussed above.
Lastly, as discussed on the blog before, soy hulls play a role as prebiotics, promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut of animals and humans alike, and potentially setting off a cascade of benefits that help explain, in part, why animal performance and feed efficiency are improved with this better version of soy meal.