Med ny teknologi blir dyrefôr bedre.
Med ny teknologi blir dyrefôr bedre.Photo: Gisle Bjørneby

Center for Feed Technology (FôrTek) is the international centre for feed technology owned by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). 

The vision statement

Obtaining the high international standards for serving the international food and feed industry in order to be internationally recognized institution for the research and product development by using the various known technologies for processing the cereal grains and other feed/food grade raw materials.  

FôrTek serves international feed industry by carrying out researches in all areas of fish feed, pet food and animal feed as well as educating students in M.Sc. Feed Manufacturing Program. FôrTek serves as the practical laboratory and allow the graduate students to practice and work on their thesis programs.

More about the center

  • Advanced education of the world wide feed professionals is placed at the NMBU together with Australian company Forte and associates and Bühler the world leader in the extrusion technology.

    FôrTek has established production lines based on the equipment utilized by the present-day feed industry. This enables variation of process conditions and ingredients in the production of all kinds of fish and animal feed as well as pet food.

    Except mentioned, the advantage for all our customers is the emphasis in high degree of flexibility in order to facilitate the testing of all different feed equipment and production conditions.  

  • FôrTek’s strength is bridging principle to practice. From the client’s seminal concept to FôrTek’s deliverable product, experienced professionals analyze each step with surgical precision. State-of-the-art equipment supplements rather than supplants know-how in feed technology.

    FôrTek integrates research in Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences with production in the Animal Production Experimental Centre.

    This enables researchers to monitor the complete feed chain, from the technical characteristics of ingredient processing to the well-beings of tested animals.

    The end result: interdisciplinary expertise analyzes the cause-effect of new feeds on nutrition, health, welfare of various animals – worldwide. This makes Fôrtek a global host for comprehensive R&D.

    Fôrtek conforms to Norwegian policies regarding feed production (Regulation of feedstuffs 2002 and Regulation of feed additives 2005), which correspond with EU regulatory policy for producing feed.

    Opening hours: From Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 15.30

    • 33.612,- NOK for one (1) day or 17.926,- NOK for half (1/2) day for the pelleting process.
    • 38.318,- NOK for one (1) day or 20.437,- NOK for half (1/2) day for the extrusion process or for the expansion process.
    • 34.697,- NOK for one (1) day or 18.505,- NOK got half-day (1/2), including three (3) technicians. The rental price is without electricity, tax, and additional expenditures such as transportation or lab analyses, etc.
    • Price for used electricity will be adjusted to the market prices of the electricity on the day of production.
    • The ingredients bought and ordered by FôrTek will be paid by the customer according to the supplier’s fee for the specific ingredient.
    • If necessary, FôrTek might provide additional personnel in the plant during production with a standard price of NOK 758,- per hour per person. E.g. for packing, lab analysis, and/or transportation of goods (raw ingredients, manufactured product, samples, distribution, etc.) as well as the destruction of the raw ingredient and/or product and its transport to the destruction facility in accordance to ISO 14000 (international environmental standard).
    • Cost of one (1) hour of the technician with standard price NOK 758,-
    • Cost of the destruction of the raw materials and feed rests after the experimental production NOK 1.718,- (tractor and the driver rental with 2 technicians).
    • Minimum invoice that will be sent to the customer is (NOK) 2.645,-
  • One of the FôrTek’s missions is training graduate students in feed manufacturing technology. Emphasis is put on understanding the principles of feed manufacturing as a basis for improvement of existing technologies. In addition the programme includes hands-on experience with various types of equipment and production lines by fully integrating the possibilities offered by FôrTek.

    The teaching and training is based on lectures but a considerable part is offered as demonstrations and training in groups. 

  • Janne Fossum, Norway

    Fagkonsulent svin, Fellekjøpet Agri

    Why did you decide to study at NMBU?

    I got my Bachelor in Animal science at Høgskolen in Nord-Trøndelag (HiNT) and I thought it would be fun to get an Master-degree. The only place I could build further on my Bachelor was at NMBU. Then I read about Master in Feed Manufacturing Technology and I thought it looked exciting and I decided to study it.

    What advices do you have for future FMT students?

    It can be difficult sometimes, but just go on! You’ll make it at the end. Use competent people at BIOVIT, Realtek and KBM as well as FôrTek in order to learn a lot!

    Thea Morken, Norway

    Scientist BioMar, Norway

    Why did you decide to study at NMBU?

     Because of the aquaculture/feed technology programme, social student environmentc and NMBU’s good reputation

    What advices do you have for future FMT students?

    Get as much practical experience as possible during the studies, e.g. working/helping out at FôrTek or at feed mills in the holidays, sommer jobs, etc.. Talk to scientists within your field; ask to participate/help out with experiments – in order to get prepared for your own MSc theisi work

    Slobodan Baskot, Denmark

    R&D in BHJ A/S, 

    Why did you decide to study at NMBU?

    It sounded interesting when I heard first time about that Master program. Later on when I informed myself about FMT at NMBU and activity of Kansas State University (Grain Science and Industry), I have accepted as very interesting and profound program. Kansas State University (Grain Science and Industry) is unique program of that kind in United States and FTM at NMBU is the same type in Europe. That`s how was explained to me.

    What advices do you have for future FMT students?

    To be serious! My only advice would be: BE SERIOUS and DILIGENT. If you are so focus on all the tasks and your time during the courses you can learn a lot. 

    Ingrid Ropeid, Norway

    Feed advisor for cattle farmers, Felleskjøpet Rogaland Agder

    Why did you decide to study at NMBU?

    First and foremost because I was interested in animals and the practice of farming. Along the way i also got interested in nutrition and the feed industry. I had also heard a lot of good things about the social environment at NMBU.

    What advices do you have for future FMT students?

    My advice would be to get a foot inside one of the companies in the feed industry. I've learned alot by working at a feed facility during the summer breaks. An I also got a few contacts in the industry by doing so. Also I would recommend contacting a company before deciding the topic of the master thesis. It is very beneficial to cooperate with a feec company on your thesis. And it's good to know that the topic you choose is relevant and that the results are interesting for the business to know and that will be used for further new products development or new process development.

    Mariela Vasquez Guzman, Chile

    Post-studies inindustrial production and environmental studies 

    Why did you decide to study at NMBU?

    When I was noticed about the international program, I didn't think twice, it was a big opportunity for me.

    What advices do you have for future FMT students?

    Be familiar as soon as possible with the Norwegian educational system, specially what the teacher expect from the student (could be very different when compared to your country). Always try to develop your own ideas! Don't hesitate to ask anything to your teacher, PhD student or anybody around you! They will always have some advice for you.

    Quynh Giao Nguyen Luyen, Vietnam

    Trainee researcher, Research Institute for Aquaculture No.2 (RIA2)

    Why did you decide to study at NMBU?

    I got a Quota scholarship from Norway and studied in Master's degree in Feed Manufacturing Technology from 2005-2007. 

    What advices do you have for future FMT students?

    I learn that I should put all theories given in the lectures from school into practice by training in Feed mills or closely related areas. In addition, students should learn interdisciplinary subjects closely related to Feed (Ex: Aquaculture, Fish nutrition, Aquaculture engineering, etc), that would be helpful for them in the future. 

    If you are studying something presently can you explain in two sentences what is the area of study?

    I am taking Master's degree in Aquaculture in NMBU from 2009-2011. I will forcus on Fish nutrion subject.

    Victor Perez, Chile

    Commercial and R&D Manager. Salmonoil S.A.

    Why did you decide to study at NMBU?

    In my case was a chance given for my former employer, beside that the subject was just lectured in Kansas. A great opportunity for me to get familiar with Norway and Norwegian culture!

    What advices do you have for future FMT students? 

    1. First, that they should try to get as much as they can from the NMBU network, and / or the other institutes from the campus. There are a lot of possible synergies between them!!

    2. Squeeze the teacher; ask for more from them….

    3. Squeeze FôrTek, ask for more, and even better do some practical work at FôrTek.

    4.Study hard, is the right moment to do it. Enjoy the life afterwards.

Contact us

Research production equipment

FôrTek’s production lines are available for the production of research fish feed and other monogastric, ruminant and pet animals. FôrTek is designed to make and test new ingredients in feed formulas and their physical handling characteristics as well as to evaluate variations of formulas to improve nutritional value and product quality. FôrTek’s production lines as the Bühler extrusion, pelleting and the KAHL expander lines are available for the production of the research feed.

  • The dosing system allows several ingredients to be batched simultaneously. Fôrtek's dosing system consists of 22 bins, providing two scales (micro and macro). Two positions for 500 kg bags are also available in the dosing line. The PC-based Norvidan automation system operates the dosing parameters. 

    Batching system specification:
    Abel Co. Wisconsin - USA. Depending on the raw material, max output can reach 3.5 t/h.

    Available bins for raw materials are:
    2 big bags – 0.5 t capacity
    4 bins – 1.2 t capacity
    8 bins – 0.5 t capacity
    8 bins – 0.3 t capacity

  • Food and feed extrusion has developed rapidly during the last decade. Both single and twin-screw extruders are used to produce of a variety of products.

    Although twin-screw extruders are more complex and costly than their conventional single-screw counterparts, they possess several advantages. Twin-screw extruders are operational at very low feed moisture requiring minimum post-extrusion drying. In addition, they allow greater flexibility of operations to control product attributes by monitoring a desired time, temperature, and shear history for the processed material because of an additional independent variable such as: throughput, screw speed, moisture content, barrel temperature, residence time, etc..

    Among all equipment and processes in Fôrtek, extrusion process is the essence in the research of modern food/feed technology. Therefore Fôrtek is equipped with Bühler twin screw extruder.

    Machine Specification

    Twin screw Bühler BCTG 62 extruder. El.motor 45kW.
    Maximum production capacity is 800kg/h for fish feed production.
    Liquid system is integrated with the possibility of liquid addition directly in the extruders barrel or pre-conditioner (BCTC). Minimum dwell time in the pre-conditioner is 62 seconds and maximum residence time is 10 minutes. There is unique possibility to add online tree different liquids into the preconditioners chamber.

    Processing of bulk materials in a pulsating fluid bed In many industrial processes, it is necessary to bring granular solids into intimate contact with gases. One possibility is processing in a fluid bed, where an upward-directed
    stream of gas causes a bed of granular solids to become fluidized.
    Processes such as heating, cooling and drying can be performed with
    advantage in a fluid bed.

    The special characteristics of the process are:

    • • Continuous process
    • • Intimate intermixing
    • • Uniform temperature distribution
    • • Material is completely surrounded by flowing process gas
    • • Large exchange surface area
    • • Drying to low end moisture
    • • Favorable specific energy requirement
    • • Meets stringent environmental protection regulations
    • • Low-noise operation
    • • No vibrations

    Mode of operation of the OTW The material is fed through the inlet
    airlock to the processing zone. The hot or cold air is introduced from
    below through the air intake chamber into the machine. A special perforated
    bottom spreads it uniformly across the entire processing surface. A rotary
    pulsator causes the air to pulsate vertically, fluidizing the material.
    The retention time of the material is controlled on the basis of the air
    velocity and the inclination of the perforated bottom.

    Fôrtek can also offer a small scale research production with minimum output of 50kg/h. Small scale research production exclude the continuous preconditioning. Preconditioning can be done in the small batch with the twin shaft paddle mixer-conditioner

  • Our grinding equipment is designed to grind the grain and reduce the particle size of the grain or meal for the purpose of improving mixing homogeneity and enhancing animal digestability.

    Hammer Mill properties:

    Model: E-22115 TF, Muench - Wuppertal, Germany

    Output: Depending on the raw material and wished particle size max. output based on SBM (3mm screen size) is up to 2t/h.
    18,5kW el.motor, 2870 rpm.

    Hammer Mill is integrated in automatic control system through the steering PC and Norvidan software

    Grinding can be done with: 0,8; 1; 2; 3; 5; 6 and 8 mm screen hole diameter

    Roller Mill properties:

    Model: DT900-12, CPM - Roskamp, USA

    Output: depending on the raw material and wished particle size max. recommended output is up to 3t/h.
    12,6kW main el. motor. Feeder motor 0,25kW

    Standard roll adjustment is manual hand fine-roll adjusting wheel

  • Our primary objective is to produce and transfer feed pellets with minimum breakage. Conventional feed milling relies on bucket elevators and screw, belt and chain conveyors. Fôrtek’s alternative air conveyance provides superior transfer of materials, especially powders.

    A major advantage of the aero-mechanical conveying system is that it can be configured to suit the various raw materials and applications. Conveying techniques vary from the simple arrangements to complicated, multiple inlet or outlet designs.. 

  • The inventors of a new mixing technology IsDeCa are Dejan Miladinovic with Ismet Nikqi from FôrTek-NMBU and Carlos Salas from Realtek-NMBU. The new mixing technology aims to improve the mixing of powder particles with liquids in a shorter time. It is expected that this equipment will cost 30% less than the other competing technologies. This machine can be used in a food, feed, pharma, cement industries. The equipment is classified as a single shaft paddle mixer. Paddle mixers are known to be limited to handle a maximum of 35 % water, while the new invention can handle powders mixed with up to 75 % water.

    The new IsDeCa technology produces mixtures with high homogeneity, even better than the best twin-shaft paddle mixers with coefficient of variation (CV%) less tnan 2%, as optimal for pharmaceutical products. The IsDeCa technology also produces a mixture with no agglomeration when handling high amounts of liquids (65% added liquids).

    The project has entered into a commercialization phase led by Ard Innovation. This has attracted the media, and Finansavisen have  published an article describing this new technology. Up-scaling of the IsDeCa mixing technology is financed by the Norwegian Research Council. 

    "This is the best mixer in the world", said the Head of Center for Feed Technology Dejan Miladinovic. Dejan underlines that the feed technologists will soon use IsDeCa mixing technology for various new product developments where integration of novel raw ingredients in the liquid form is of paramount importance.

  • Expander treatment enhances the nutritional value of ruminant feed by increasing available protein and amino acids. Increased hygiene is another benefit. Heat and pressure produced during expansion destroy pathogens, such as salmonella. The process also removes weed seeds. In Norway, the expander has produced compounds guaranteed free of wild oats. Production-wise, the expander treatment improves the technical properties of the feed and assures feed quality. Pre-conditioning with an expander typically improves pellet quality and pellet press capacity. The method increases addition of liquid ingredients, including fat and molasses. Expandate is a non-pellet expanded feed of particular value for cattle, pigs and poultry.

    Our expanding line is equipped with an Expander Kahl,  Model OE 15-1/2, assembled to an electric motor 75 kw.  Max. capacity 1.2 t/h. Machine is locally steered by Kahl steering system. Preconditioning temperature can be up to 90 °C (retention time approximately 30 seconds); in the expander barrel, temperature can reach 130 °C (retention time 5-10 seconds).

    In principle, expander treatment is related to extruder treatment. The feed material enters a feed barrel through an inlet gate. An anger or screw conveyor driven by an electrical motor forces the feed material towards a resistor in the outlet gate of the expander. This creates high shear and pressure, and aided by addition of steam, heat is produced. After the material passes the resistor in the outlet gate, the pressure immediately drops to atmospheric. The release of pressure and spontaneous evaporation of water makes the feed material expand in volume and the temperature to drop rapidly. The temperature can rise to high levels, but the entire process is usually completed within seconds. The process is often referred to as an HTST-process (HTST = High Temperature Short Time)

  • Mixing equipment can blend as many raw materials as desired. Mixing time conforms to the properties of raw materials and moisture content.

    From a nutritional perspective, optimal compounds should be homogenous. To achieve this, six twin-shaft paddle mixers, with different capacities and volumes, are available in Fôrtek.

    Equipment specification

    Two mixer-conditioners (60 and 400 liters) are equipped with electrical heating blankets in the mixer walls. Steam can be added directly to the raw material or feed compound. Water or liquid micro-components can be injected from online tanks. Minor dosing of enzymes and vitamins can be added via a 2-liter amendment tank.

    400 liter Tatham (Forberg Int. license) twin-shaft mixer conditioner. Model 1992 OB-1078. Liquid supplements, ranging from water and enzymes to molasses and fat, can be automatically added. Standard recommended mixing time for research purposes is 180 seconds.

    60 liter Forberg Int. twin-shaft mixer conditioner. Model F-60. Local steering from Forberg steering panel. Steam application is controlled by the steam-meter valve. Temperature control of the heat blankets is automatic (maximum temperature 90°C).

    400 liter Dinnissen high speed double-shaft paddle mixer. Model: BV - Pegasus. With el. motor of 5,5kW is integrated into the automatic Norvidan-Citec steering system. Standard recommended mixing time for the research purposes is 180 seconds.

    40 liter IdeCon twin shaft paddle mixer has the max. capacity of 240kg/h. Steering is manual from the electrical panel. The machine is mobile.

    200 liter Dinnissen twin-shaft paddle mixer-vacuum-coater. Max. capacity 1200kg/h. El. motor 3kW. Oil addition min / max is 2% / 50%. Vacuum set-point: 100% - 0% = 0,1 - 1 bar. Entire vacuum-mixer-coater line is integrated into the Norvidan-Citec system.

    6 liter Forberg Int. twin-shaft paddle mixer-vacuum-coater. Max. capacity 30 kg/h. El. motor 0,37 kW.

    Manual steering with Forberg steering panel. The machine is mobile.

  • Pelleting can be defined as an thermoplastic molding operation in which the feed particles of the feed compound are formed into a dense compact, easily handled cilindric solid pellet. The feed material has a thermoplastic nature because the proteins and sugars of most feed ingredients become plastic when heated and moisturized. The molding portion of the operation occurs when this heated, moistened feed is forced into a die, where it is molded into shape and held together for a short time. Then it exits as an solid product. Pressure for both molding and pelleting extrusion comes from pellet mill rolls which force the feed through the holes.

    Pellet press model: RPM 350.100 Muench - Wupertal, Germany. Recommended maximum capacity is 1,2 t/h for the raw materials. This ring-die pellet mill has a double, continuous conditioner with maximum dwell time of 60 sec. With the usage of a single conditioner the dwell time is 30 seconds.

    The ring-die revolves at 274 rpm.

     We offer the possibility for small-volume production (30 kg/h) without continuous conditioning.

    The pellet press line is assembled with the following sections:

    • Pre-bin (or hoper) for storing meal material ready for pelleting
    • Screw feeder accurately delivers a pre-determined quantity of feed compound
    • Conditioner is the continuous mixer: steam controls bacteria and the moisture (for the pelleting process).
    • Feed chute is a duct that directs the flow of the conditioned meal into pellet press die.
    • Pellet press
    • Die and Roll assembly helps form the pellets by compressing the meal.
    • Knives guarantee uniform pellet length. Manual setting is required for demanded length.
    • Discharge section collects and transports pellets for cooling

    Available die dimensions:

    • 2 mm hole diameter - Total hole lenght & effective compression, ratio 40/40 mm
    • 2,5 mm hole diameter - Total hole lenght / effective compression, ratio 46/46 mm
    • 3 mm hole diameter - Total hole lenght / effective compression, ratio 42/36 mm
    • 3,5 mm hole diameter - Total hole lenght & effective compression, ratio 50/50 mm
    • 3,5 mm hole diameter - Total hole lenght & effective compression, ratio 60/60 mm
    • 5 mm hole diameter - Total hole lenght / effective compression, ratio 60/50 mm
    • 6 mm mm hole diameter - Total hole lenght / effective compression, ratio 60/25 mm
    • 8 mm hole diameter - Total hole lenght & effective compression 85/85 mm
  • Vacuum coating technology creates a sub-atmospheric pressure and a molecular (condensable) vapor to coat the pellets.

    Under vacuum, extruded products (with high expansion rate) can provide up to 50% of the available air-space for fat/liquid coating, depending on material and production properties. 

    Equipment specification:

    KAHL - GVC 80 liter, batch size 40 kg. for sinking fish feed. Kahl Gentle Vacuum Coater GVC is designed as a rotary drum mixer with no moving parts inside the mixing chamber. The GVC allows access to all parts for cleaning and it is easy to wash from contaminants.

    200 liter Dinnissen (Sevenum - Holland) twin-shaft paddle mixer-vacuum-coater. Maximum capacity 1200kg/h. Electric motor 3 kW. Oil addition 2% min  - 50% max  Vacuum set-point: 100% - 0% = 0.1 - 1 bar. Entire vacuum-mixer-coater line is integrated into the Norvidan-Citec system. 

    6 liter Forberg Int. (f-6) twin-shaft paddle mixer-vacuum-coater. Maximum capacity 30 kg/h. Electric motor 0.37 kW. Manual steering with Forberg steering panel. The machine is mobile.

    1 liter Jar Vacuum Coater for very small samples. Vacuum coating is manually controlled. This mini equipment is well-suited for demonstrating vacuum coating technology.


For list of published research articles where FôrTek was involved check animal feed science and technology journal.