Steam Extrusion Shifts Digestion Back to the Small Intestine
Feeding Your Horse the Way Nature Intended™
Cooking versus Popping
There is a difference between “Cooking” and “Popping” when making horse feed. As an example, take an ear of corn from the field, and eat it yourself. The uncooked corn will not digest in the stomach, and travels to the intestine, where it begins to ferment and produce gas. Take that same ear of corn and boil it in a pan of water to “cook” it. This cooked ear of corn tastes better and is more digestible. Now take a cup of corn, and turn it into a bag of “Popped Corn” -- it is nearly 100% digestible now!
Extrusion Processing is a relatively complex method of pressure cooking that has been used in both the pet food and human food industry for many years. It is the difference in pressure from the extruder to the atmosphere that “pops” starch molecules into a honeycomb type of texture. This increases the surface area of the starch by as much as 10 fold, which allows digestive enzymes significantly improved access to digest these starches in a very short amount of time.
Textured, Pelleted, or Extruded?
Research published in Nutrient Requirements for Horses shows that only 29.1% of cracked corn (typical of grains found in “textured” horse feeds) is digested by the horse's small intestine while 49.1% of ground corn (typical of grains found in pelleted feeds) is digested by the horses small intestine.
90% of extruded Corn, which is typical of the extruded grains found in EQUIDAE formulations, is digested by the horses small intestine! This represents a 300% improvement over grains found in textured feeds and a 100% improvement over grains found in typical pelleted feeds! Small intestine digestion of starches is so important because the less starch making it to the hindgut, the healthier the digestive system will be. Horses with a properly functioning healthy digestive system have a much reduced risk of Colic!
Extruded Wholesome Grains = A Cool Source of Energy
Wholesome grains processed using extrusion technology become a very premium quality “cool” source of energy for horses. EQUIDAE formulations use multiple grains that work together to provide optimum levels of energy for the maintenance and long term health of your horse. Horses are more comfortable when they do not have this gas and heat buildup in the hindgut.
No Need for Significant Amounts of Added Fat
There is nothing wrong with adding small amounts of fat to a diet to reduce dust and increase energy. EQUIDAE utilizes fat for this purpose, but the majority of the energy contained in EQUIDAE horse feed comes from the wholesome extruded ingredients.
Improved Efficiency of Starch Digestion
Weight Handicap: When grains are fermented in the hindgut, the natural response by the horse is to retain additional water and electrolytes to facilitate the fermentation process. Feeding extruded diets can reduce this amount of water by up to 25 pounds.
Breathing Capacity: The reduction in water necessary for fermentation, in addition to the reduced volume of gas acts to reduce pressure placed on the horse's diaphragm. This reduction in space makes for easier breathing and increased lung capacity.
Reduction in Bulk Density: The process of extrusion reduces the bulk density of the food nuggets by as much as 40% over a typical pelleted or textured horse feed. This increased bulk or volume naturally decreases the rate at which the horse can consume the food. This allows additional time for the stomach and small intestine to digest this already highly digestible food.
More Health Benefits Provided by Steam Extrusion
Elimination of Bacteria: Because of the temperature and pressure associated with the extrusion process, most harmful bacteria are destroyed, making this a near “sterile” food when exiting the die of the extruder.
Fewer Formulation Constraints: Pelleted and textured horse feed formulas often require a combination of grain by-products, binders, flavors, and preservatives to make the pellet hold together, taste good and not mold. None of these ingredients are required in making an extruded feed. EQUIDAE uses every pound of available space for quality ingredients that support the long term health of horses.
Palatability Enhanced: The combination of premium quality ingredients, and extrusion processing produce an all natural flavor and aroma that horses prefer without the use of any artificial flavors.
Moisture / Shelf Life: Drying is an integral part of the extrusion process. A natural gas dryer is used to reduce the moisture level of the finished product to below 10% which increases shelf life. There is no need for artificial preservatives to maintain good shelf freshness.