As a rule, freshly harvested grains need to be processed and transformed to become animal or human food. Corn is no exception, which, being rich in fibre and cellulose, needs to be roasted in order to be made digestible.
To meet this particular need, Mecmar has been designing and manufacturing corn roasters for decades. The kernels of this product need it because they have a particularly tough coating that cannot be digested by humans, as they lack the necessary enzymes and intestinal bacteria.
The same applies to ruminant animals – e.g. cattle – which cannot fully digest corn if it is not roasted first. Corn kernels contain starch, an organic compound whose main function is as an energy reserve.
Because of its special structure, corn needs to undergo gelatinisation. This is the process whereby water and heat act to change the structure of the starch, making it more digestible.
During the starch gelatinisation phase, the heat that surrounds the corn is at a lower temperature than is typically expected when roasting cereals. Specifically, Mecmar corn roasters can roast up to 10 tonnes of product per hour.
Want to learn more about how they work and the benefits of using them? Continue reading the article!
A focus inside the corn roaster: how exactly does it work?
During roasting, corn can reach a temperature of 120°C. However, care must be taken with the roasting process itself: excessive heat in contact with the crop risks damaging the kernels.
Once roasted, what to do with the grain? As soon as it comes out of the corn roaster, the grain can be cooled immediately: simply place it in the agricultural dryer and turn on the cold air recirculation only. By following this procedure, overcooking of the grain will be avoided, while ensuring uniform processing of the grain.
Alternatively, the roasted corn can be stored for about 30 minutes ‘at rest’ in silos in which hot air circulates. The heat will give the roasted corn its characteristic golden colour and an even tastier flavour, which will be very inviting to the animals that will have to eat it.
If you still don’t know which corn roaster to choose based on the size of your farm, don’t worry. Mecmar has several models of cereal roasters, each designed to meet the needs of livestock, industrial and feed companies.
Mecmar roasting machines can also be safely used for roasting all cereals intended for human consumption, such as corn, oats and soya. It should be remembered, in fact, that the toxins removed during roasting pose a risk not only to animals, but also to humans.
What to consider when buying a new corn roaster?
The four main aspects to consider before buying a grain roaster are:
- The guarantee of an evenly and homogeneously roasted product. On this first point depends the quality – and relative sales value – of the corn. The appearance taken by the grain after roasting is decisive: all the kernels must be 100% roasted, thus preventing the inside of the kernels from remaining raw. However, it is equally important that the grain does not show any lesions but remains intact.
- A good roasting machine is versatile, i.e. able to process every type of grain and ensure the highest quality of treatment for each. Each company must then have the possibility of adjusting the roasting process according to the product to be roasted and the use that will be made of it once the treatment is complete.
- The capacity of the roasting machine must be proportional to the amount of corn to be processed. The greater the volume of product to be roasted, the greater the power in terms of heat that the machine must guarantee. This is why Mecmar offers you 5 different models of corn roaster, depending on the specific needs of your business.
- Type of fuel used in relation to consumption and costs. Mecmar corn roasting machines can be equipped with a gas, LPG or diesel burner depending on the requirements of each customer. It is possible to equip the grain roasting machine with a heat exchanger. The latter, by retaining the heat from the air circulating in the system, reduces the energy expenditure required to operate the roasting system.
Regardless of whether your farm needs a small, compact corn roaster or a more powerful, high-performance model, Mecmar has the solution to ensure that your grain roasting is always excellent. You will thus be able to improve the digestibility of your corn and see the commercial value of your harvest increase.
Here is a brief summary of the three main advantages of the roasting process:
- Improved crop digestibility (+13% compared to raw corn).
- Roasted corn is considered pure feed. The corn roaster can effectively remove mould spores and minimise the presence of harmful toxins for your livestock.
- Reduced use of fermented feeds translates into greater livestock welfare.
Very quickly the grains will be gently but evenly roasted, ready to be resold or to feed your herd. If you require further information about our corn roasters, please do not hesitate to contact us: the Mecmar team is always available to answer all your questions.