Romania most likely boasts the largest number of soy extrusion plants of any European country. Over 20 companies have their own soy extrusion plants and at this stage, the main challenge is the continuous supply of beans needed in order to keep the existing extrusion plants running all twelve months of the year.
During the first week of May, USSEC consultants Mian Riaz and Juan Acedo Rico visited Romania in order to understand the current status of the soy extrusion technology use and to evaluate the adoption of good manufacturing practices in full fat soybean meal production, conveyed through different USSEC activities organized over the past few years.
“The output of the past activities carried out by USSEC in Romania are outstanding,” Dr. Riaz commented. “We are impressed with the high level of adoption in a relatively short period of time of soy extrusion, mainly dry extrusion technology, developed by U.S. Insta Pro Iowa. The customers we visited with this week in Romania have the capability to properly process soybeans by means of extrusion - expelling and quality of the products is very good,” he continued. “We are glad to see that and we can acknowledge that there is a high demand for beans here, and the people we met are looking at ways of getting their facilities back into production by harvest season in the U.S.”
During discussions with the plant managers, the consultants emphasized the optimum parameters for maximum full fat soybean meal quality. They also highlighted the nutritional benefits for non-ruminants of extruded soy.
“Dry extruded soybean meal is high in both protein and energy, which creates a highly competitive ingredient against other oilseeds used in animal feeding. As a farm-processed raw material, full fat soybean meal is a fresh ingredient with reputedly lower feed costs and improves animal performance,” explained USSEC Animal Utilization Consultant – Romania Iani Chihaia. “Especially in broiler feeding, extruded soy's benefit is that it supplies over 30 percent of the energy in the feeds, thereby reducing the need for expensive vegetable oils, and the demand for full fat soybeans should grow. The fact that it can be used in many applications in high value feeds makes extruded soy very appealing to the Romanian feed manufactures.”
“Besides the quality of the beans, a fundamental understanding and experience in engineering is required for the design of the extrusion plants. Today, that work incorporates the understanding of the functional properties of soy, selecting the right equipment, coupled with practical experience,” Dr. Acedo Rico said. “However, improper engineering design is just one of many functions that could ruin a soy extrusion business,” he added.
“Because it does not grow enough soybeans for its feed and livestock requirements, Romania imports over 80 percent of the meal consumed by the feed industry. Early this year, U.S. soybean meal imports filled the gap for the first quarter, but starting with the second quarter, there are no bean stocks available in the country,” stated Dr. Iani. “The main achievement of this week’s activity implemented in Romania is that we revived hopes for a potential resurgence in extruded full fat soybean production, which prepares the ground for U.S. bean imports from this year’s crop from the U.S.”