How Calorimeters are used in Animal Feed Analysis
How the CAL3K Calorimeter can be used in animal feed analysis
Food calories are measured in KJ/g, the same as combustible calories. However, the process is different, although the outcome is the same : KJ/g or heat, or calories. Animal feed stock relies on the animal digestion (conversion). A calorimeter burns the lot and measures the released heat. Then a calorimeter can't be used to measure feed stock?
Yes, it can. But with some provisions. Just to visualize the difference to digestive calories, take sawdust; it will measure very high in a calorimeter, but will most likely kill the animals. Measuring the digestive calories of food is a lengthy, messy and smelly operation because all the major food groups must be separated, and measured individually. This can take up to a week. A calorimeter analysis is measured in minutes. This is the most compelling argument for the use of a calorimeter.
If the calorimeter is used to measure the absolute CV of food then it must be compared to a previous measured CV, and the consistency must not be altered. In other words, the saw dust syndrome must be avoided.
The other way to use it is to measure the effect it has on animals. In this process the animal intake (feed stock) CV is measured, then the animal is measured, and finally the animal excrement is measured. If saw dust is used, it would end up in the excrement! This process is very popular. The feed stock consistency is adjusted for seasonal changes and maximum animal mass gain. The details of the process is highly guarded, because they affect the profitability of animal feed.