Pelletizer for Leftover Food with the Use of Cassava Starch (Manihot Esculenta) as Binder

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Solid waste has always been a problem in the world today. World Bank Group (2017) estimates that global municipal solid wastes (MSW) are expected to increase from 1.3 billion tonnes per year to approximately 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025. By country, Philippines rank 24 out of 195 countries in terms of total MSW generation. It was estimated that the country produces almost 40,000 tonnes per day, most of which are biodegradable and food wastes. In the Philippines, a Filipino wastes an average of 3.29 kilograms of food per day according to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology. For instance, rice wastage last 2008 was approximately 290,000 metric tons. Wasted food is also a large contributor for climate change because food wastes emits greenhouse gases. Additionally, it adds to the waste management problem that the country currently face. One of the possible solution to this problem is converting these wastes into animal feed. According to Dou, Toth and Westendori (2018), recovering food waste for animal feeding (ReFeed) is a viable option that has the potential to simultaneously address waste management, food security, and resource and environmental challenges. Throughout history, feeding food waste to livestock animals has long been practiced in many parts of the world (Westendorf, 2000, as cited in Dou et al, 2018). However, improper handling of this matter can lead to tremendous environmental and health impacts. In 2001, a UK farmer fed uncooked food waste to pigs, causing the food-and-mouth disease epidemic which cost the country £8 billion (UK House of Commons report, 2002, as cited in Salemdeeb et al, 2017). But due to advancements in technology, certain countries have been able to process and convert food wastes to animal feed safely. In nations such as Japan and South Korea, almost half of their food wastes are recycled as feed although it is closely regulated.

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Generally, clean and sterilized food wastes can be fed directly to domestic animals. However, people have resorted to pelletizing the animal feed in order to provide the animals the nutrition it needs. California Mill Co. (n.d.) defines pelletized feeds as agglomerated feeds formed by extruding individual ingredients or mixtures by compacting and forcing through die openings by any mechanical process. Basically, its purpose is to take a finely divided, sometimes dusty, unpalatable and difficult-to-handle feed material and, by using heat, moisture and pressure, form it into larger particles. These particles are easier to handle and usually result in improved feeding results compared to unpelletized feed. According to California Mill Co (n.d.), almost all livestock feeders agree that animals make better gains on pelletized feed than a meal ration. The most logical reasons are that the heat generated in conditioning and pelletizing make the feed more digestible by breaking down the starches, Additionally, the pellet puts the feed in a concentrated form and minimizes waste during the eating process. Feeding pelletized food gives a well-balanced diet to the animals simply because it prevents the picking and choosing of specific ingredients.

The pelleted feed should contain the necessary nutrition the animals need throughout the course of their care and management. It is produced by selecting and blending ingredients to provide highly nutritional diets to animals to maintain their health and increase the quality of the end product. According to Holden and Loosli (2018), animals require the same nutrients as humans. These include carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals, vitamins and water. Animals derive the energy needed for growth and activity from carbohydrates and fats. These yield heat that maintains body temperature, provides energy for muscle activity and sustains vital functions (Holden and Loosli, 2018). Protein is also needed for growth of the muscles and other parts of the body however, animals only require a small amount for maintenance.

Alongside the nutritional factor comes the physical aspects that make a good quality feed. According to Khajarern and Khajarern (1991), the physical characteristics such as dust level and bulkiness emanates a huge factor for animal feed manufacturing (as cited in Kosoko et al., 2011, pp. 260-268). The physical properties of pelleted animal feeds are greatly moved by the type of raw material being used which makes pellet quality an important standard factor in animal feed marketing (Kosoko et al., 2011). Since some materials are not capable of compacting its structure to one another, it results to undesirable pellet characteristics such as dustiness in the process of manufacturing, storing, and transporting.

Binders, synthetic or organic, are in upsurge use by feed manufacturers in their process to produce better quality of pelleted animal feeds which main focus is to avoid crumbled products upon producing and handling (Nweke et al., 2002). Nweke et al. (2002) and Dufour et al. (2002), argues that the high cost of synthetic binders make small scale manufacturers have a difficulty in pellet feed production, so the use of starch rich products such as cassava can be used as an alternative for an affordable and attainable feed pellet production (as cited in Kosoko et al., 2011, pp. 260-268).

Another way of fining the pellets in the production is to manipulate the pelleting die in the pelletizer by decreasing the pellet size diameter (Overton, 1988). This process will lessen the ratio of pelleted to crumbled ones, but will increase the use of energy and slows the whole process of production (Overton, 1988). This concern is more on the design of the pelletizer, machine used in the pelleting process.

Based from the above information, leftover food could be used as a means for animal feeding. But its composition is not enough to make pellet feeds, so utilization of cassava starch as a pellet binder is being considered. This study is to focus on using leftover food to make good quality pelleted animal feeds. Improvements on the design of pelletizer and utilizing cassava starch will be given an effort to progress properties of the feed such as dustiness, size of pellet depending on application, bulkiness, and etc. The study is made to provide a foundation for future studies and development of pelletizer for leftover foods with cassava starch as a pellet binder.

The main concern of the study is that leftover food usually ends up in a trashcan or in a dump and contributes a lot in pollution because of the emission of greenhouse gases. Leftovers can be used for animal feeding purposes but animals cannot consume them as they are because of the size. Pelleting is a process that decreases the size and adds moisture and some nutrients to the feeds. Domestic animals also prefer to eat pelleted feeds rather than in mash form. However, while the pellets are being produced, there are dust particles created during the process and it forms as a problem for the user. With this in mind, this study aims to answer the following questions:

  1. Is there a possibility to make use of leftovers to be pelleted for animal feeding purposes?
  2. What are the design factors to be consider for a pelletizer to reduce dust production as well as producing good quality pelleted animal feed?
  3. What binder could be adequate for producing animal feed pellets?
  4. What are the preferred size of feeds for domestic animals?

Definition of Terms

Agglomerate – gathering or collection of individual parts that formed into a cluster or group.

Animal Feed – food given to animals which are domestic often refers to fodder in course of care and management of farm animals by humans for profit.

Bulkiness – Weight of a unit volume of a loose material (such as a powder or soil) to the same volume of water. Expressed in kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m3) or pounds per cubic foot (lb/ft3), it is a type of relative density and is used in quality control, shipping, and soil analysis.

Cassava – a root vegetable widely consumed in developing countries. It provides some important nutrients and resistant starch, which may have health benefits.

Dust Level – Dustiness is the tendency of particles to become airborne in response to a mechanical or aerodynamic stimulus. Dustiness is affected by the particle shape, size, and inherent electrostatic forces.

Leftover Food – the uneaten edible remains of a meal after everyone has finished eating. Food scraps that are not directly edible (such as bones or the skins of some vegetables and fruits) are not regarded as leftovers, but rather as waste material.

MSW – Municipal Solid Waste, more commonly known as trash or garbage—consists of everyday items we use and then throw away, such as product packaging, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, paint, and batteries. This comes from our homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses.

Pelletizing – a method of agglomeration, or particle size enlargement, in which material fines are processed into pellets or granules. Pelletizing is used throughout a multitude of industries to process thousands of materials from difficult to handle powders and fines, into easy to handle pellets.

Pelleting Machine – machine use to turn materials into small dry pellets.

Pellet Binder – improves stability and quality of pellets, guaranties the uniformity of the final product.

Pelleting Die – a metal part with holes, either flat or ring-shaped, in which the roller forces raw material under intense pressure to produce pellets.

Starch – carbohydrate extracted from agricultural raw materials which is widely present in literally thousands of everyday food and non-food applications. It is the most important carbohydrate in the human diet. Because it is renewable and biodegradable it is also a perfect raw material as a substitute for fossil-fuel components in numerous chemical applications such as plastics, detergents, glues etc.

Solid Waste – unwanted or useless solid materials generated from human activities in residential, industrial or commercial areas.

Deteriorate – become progressively worse

Rationale for the research project

This project could help lessen the food wastes that would be thrown out and would contribute to pollution. The use of leftovers as the subject to be turned into pellets as animal feed with the use of cassava as its binder would help putting wastes into a by-product. This project would also decrease the size of the pellets that would help the user choose its preferred size for specific animal feeding purposes. The dust would also be lessen when producing the pellets and would make less mess and the collected dust could also be reused for another batch of pelleting.

The main objective of the project is to create an efficient pelletizer that could turn pulverized leftover foods into pelleted animal feeds. Specifically, this research aims to design a pelletizer for small scale livestock farmers, to make an adjustable pellet size for desired animal feeding purposes, and to find and utilize an adequate binder for pelleting of leftovers.

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