USSEC consultant Dr. Mian Riaz, director of the Food Protein R& D Center and head of the Extrusion Technology Program at Texas A&M University, visited Romania in mid-June to increase awareness of extrusion technology benefits for full fat soy and extruded fish feeds. In spite of the fact that this visit was short, Dr. Riaz enjoyed interacting with feed industry delegates at the two-day conference in Bucharest and had the chance to meet with young extrusion professionals during the field visits.
During the field visit, Dr. Riaz discussed aspects of processing for quality feed using extrusion technology in order to obtain safe and high quality extruded products. Since there was a high interest in fish feed production, the advantages of extruded fish feeds were reviewed versus pelleted feed. The consultant also presented types of extruders, the importance of automation, the impact of protein content and particle size on the extrusion process, the proper use of pre-conditioners, and die and knife assemblies’ set-up and efficient drying extruded products.
The delegates who worked with Dr. Riaz appreciated the support provided over the past few years and emphasized how USSEC’s involvement of USSEC led to the adoption of soy and feed extrusion technologies in Romania. USSEC seminars and training programs on extrusion coupled with support offered to be part of international extrusion training programs organized in the U.S over the past five years, likely helped to organize the Romanian feed industry. Dr. Riaz has visited the country several times during this timeframe and has met most of the extrusion operations, which has provided him with a clear image of the progresses made by the industry.
A decade ago, there were no soy extruders used in Romania; currently, there are over 22 companies with soy extruders and some of the plants have begun to produce extruded carp and trout fish feeds. Insta Pro, the U.S. equipment extrusion equipment manufacturer, is by far the most dominant supplier for soy extrusion technology in Romania. However, most of the other international extruders and other equipment manufacturers are visiting Romanian feed industries regularly to follow up the industry’s development.
There is a significant potential for aquafeed production in future and several key feed industry players that make aquafeed at their facility. While the technology adoption matures, there will be an increase in soy product consumption and U.S. Soy should be a significant supplier for the growing industry in Romania.