Methionine application – spray accuracy and homogeneity

A target CV of less than 10% can be achieved when producing feed with liquid OH-methionine.

WILLIAM GOH, CLAIRE XU and KEVIN LIU* compiled 86 lab reports from 22 feed mills across six countries in the Asia Pacific region, that clearly show both recovery and homogeneity of liquid OH-methionine are as reliable and consistent as the dry form of methionine.

Liquid additives possess many advantages over the dry form, such as automation, no human error, less packaging materials, reduced power consumption, no dust in working environment, more flexibility in formulation, and better pellet quality, just to name a few. In recent years, liquid feed additives are gaining popularity among feed producers, especially for those with large production capacities. 

For poultry feeds, methionine is one of the important additives, available in both powder and liquid forms. Compared to its classical dry form DL-methionine, liquid form (OH-methionine) was specifically developed for its high efficiency in both methionine value and application. In addition to the advantages mentioned above, liquid users also enjoy significant cost savings. As such, we have seen a steady increase in the adoption of the liquid form. For the year 2020, it is estimated that approximately one-third of total methionine usage world-wide was OH-Methionine.  

Spray accuracy and homogeneity

Spray recovery and homogeneity are two frequently used parameters to evaluate the liquid applicators. Recovery is normally expressed as the percentage of amount detected in feeds by lab analysis against the amount sprayed. Homogeneity, in another term, is expressed as coefficients of variations (CV), to assess the spray consistency within the same batch or among batches. 

Table 1: Recovery and homogeneity after switching from DL-Methionine to OH-Methionine.

In a recent project, customized liquid applicators were installed in two feedmills in Indonesia. Spray recovery and homogeneity were evaluated by analyzing a series of feed samples in an independent laboratory, for both dry and liquid forms of methionine. The results (Table 1) showed average 98% recovery and CV <2% for both feedmills after switching from DL-Methionine to liquid OH-Methionine, and there are no differences in both parameters. The results confirm that liquid spray is as reliable and consistent as its dry form. 

Table 2: Mixing homogeneity of DL-Met and OH-Met comparing with zinc and copper.

In another study, mixing homogeneity of both dry and liquid forms of methionine added into the same feed mixer in separate production batches was measured. After mixing and pelleting, eight feed samples per batch were collected, analyzed for methionine contents as well as contents of trace minerals zinc and copper as references. Both batches used the same trace minerals premix at the same dosage, so that the contents of zinc and copper were the same. The results in Table 2 show both methionine sources achieved full recovery, with CV 6.58% for dry and 5.50% for liquid. The mixing homogeneity is in good agreement with that of trace minerals Zn and Cu as both showed desirable low CV. 

Industry survey on spray accuracy

Figure 1 shows the results of an industry-wide survey from Southeast Asia on OH-Methionine spray accuracy. Regardless which suppliers installed the spray applicators, the laboratory reports collected from the past two years revealed 88% of them recorded recovery rate above 90%, and 94% of the reports showed excellent homogeneity, with CV <10% (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Survey of recovery and consistency of liquid OH-methionine spray (all applicators, from 86 reports, average recovery rate 100.4%, CV 2.06%).

Adisseo and non-Adisseo installed liquid methionine applicators. 

Further looking at those liquid applicators installed and maintained by Adisseo, the spray performance was even better, with nearly 98% of them achieving recovery above 90%, and 98% of them delivering CV <10% (Figure 2). This superior performance was the result of a comprehensive feedmill site survey followed by customized designing, by Adisseo’s engineering team, to ensure the tailored applicators best suit the needs of each feedmill’s situation and requirements. 

Figure 2: Liquid OH-methionine spray recovery and consistency (Adisseo installed applicators, from 47 reports, average recovery rate 101.5%, CV 1.96%).

Liquid methionine applicators installed by Adisseo

Clearly, a dedicated team of liquid applicator specialists stationed near the end users, can offer end users not only trouble-shooting any time, but also, quarterly maintenance programs as well as structured training programs for feedmill engineers, to ensure peace of mind in using OH-Methionine.

Moving towards digitalization

With the current trend of digital transformations and process automation, it is possible to upgrade all engineering work to an integrated cloud platform (DigiLiq), which connects all liquid applicators and allows on-time fault detection, remote trouble shooting, and auto scheduling of maintenance, etc. (Figure 3). End users can enjoy additional peace of mind in that their liquid applicators are well taken care of and serviced remotely with zero applicator downtime, especially during a Covid-19 lockdown period. 

Figure 3: Spray and maintenance automation (DigiLiq). 

In conclusion, the extensive engineering work and lab analyses by far, have clearly demonstrated that the spray of liquid OH-methionine is as accurate and consistent as dry methionine into feed mixers. Tailored applicators with on-site maintenance can ensure desirable spray accuracy and homogeneity. Furthermore, the application and maintenance of liquid additives can be readily digitalized to offer extra peace of mind for end-users especially during difficult times.

*William Goh ([email protected]) Regional Engineering & Products Application Manager; Claire Xu, Marketing & Communication Manager; and Kevin Liu, Vice President Technical Services & Business Development, all with Adisseo Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, Singapore. For further information, please contact the lead author.

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Based and working in the region.