Pet Food, Pet Treats & Fish Feed

Complete Extruded Dry Pet Food, Wet Pet Food, Fish Food or Pet Treat Systems Capability

Whether manufacturing in a batch process or in higher volumes via continuous methods, Coperion and Coperion K-Tron feeders and material handling equipment as well as Coperion high efficiency extruders are used throughout the dry pet food, wet pet food and pet treat as well as aquatic fish feed manufacturing processes. Screw feeders (both volumetric and loss-in-weight), liquid loss-in-weight, and weigh belt feeders are used for metering and highly accurate feeding of ingredients into mixers (batch or continuous) and extruders as well as portioning end products for the packaging line. In addition, Coperion pneumatic conveying systems and components are used for the transfer of dry powder materials, such as grains, premixes, vitamins and even probiotics. Finally, the use of the Coperion ZSK Mv PLUS twin screw extruder delivers an extremely high product output and quality for optimal efficiency in dry pet food, fish food, and pet treat production. The ZGF centric pelletizer ensures highest product quality for direct expanded pet food, fish food or pet treats.

Typical products handled include grains, pet food kibble, pet treats, co-extruded pet treats, fish meal, protein, vitamins, pigments, meat and grain meals.

Features & Benefits

  • Experienced systems engineers can provide complete systems designs, from receipt of the raw material to the packaging process
  • Ability to handle even the most difficult pet food and feed materials through use of highly accurate Coperion K-Tron feeders
  • Extremely versatile Coperion ZSK Mv PLUS twin screw extruders and specially designed pelletizers/dies can achieve even the most complex pet product profile
  • High free screw volume of Coperion ZSK extruder design can provide higher capacities than equivalent size extruders, as well as high wear resistance
  • Sanitary designs are available for the complete Coperion and Coperion K-Tron product line, making cleaning and product changeover efficient and safe.

Application Examples

Process diagram for a wet pet food application (larger version shown below)

This Application Sheet focuses on the high accuracy batching of dry ingredients for wet pet food production. Global wet pet food sales have seen a recent increase in growth due to an increased trend in cat and small dog ownership. The added pet food trends of humanization of pet food (including the use of plant proteins), grain free, and customized premium ingredient recipes all present additional challenges for wet pet food producers. Coperion K-Tron’s extensive line of products specific to the pet food industry, as well as its process expertise based on numerous installations, all ensure optimal process design and product quality. Download the application sheet to find out more about the various methods available for automated transfer and batch weighing direct to the wet pet food production process.

Download the application sheet for more info:

Process diagram for a dry pet food application

This application sheet focuses on the complete process line for pet food and pet treat processing, including the raw material handling and batch weighing, transfer to the highly accurate Coperion K-Tron feeders as well as the highly efficient extrusion process in the ZSK Mv PLUS extruder prior to pelletizing with the centric pelletizer ZGF. In addition to detailed descriptions on pet meal batching and blending, further narratives are included on the extrusion and co-extrusion of pet treats and pet food. Finally, the use of high volume Coperion K-Tron weigh belt feeders  and liquid loss-in-weight feeders are described for weigh metering and coating the kibble product prior to packaging.

Download the application sheet for more info:

Process diagram for a fish food application

The production of quality fish food for a wide range of species requires a number of factors to be taken into consideration, such as: density, water stability, nutritional composition (recovery of essential amino acids and vitamins) and digestibility. Actual fish pellet density, for example, is critical when manufacturing fish food pellets for specific types of fish, such as bottom feeders versus those that tend to feed from the top. In such critical applications the efficiency and accuracy of the ingredient feeding system as well as the versatility of the extruder are crucial to meeting the criteria for each formulation. The floating and sinking behavior of the fish food can be heavily influenced by the flexible settings of different parameters of the Coperion extrusion lines.

In addition, when comparing with aquatic feed production using single screw extruders, the Coperion ZSK twin screw extruder is suitable for the production of a much wider range of formulations.  One such example would be for the extrusion of fish feed with an elevated fat content. The self-wiping mechanism of the twin screw design is much better suited for these types of materials.    

The use of Coperion K-Tron Loss-in-Weight (LIW) feeders featuring the highly accurate Coperion K-Tron SFT load cell technology is ideal for meeting the variety of criteria in fish food extrusion and pelletization. In addition, the minimalization of ingredient loss by providing exact accountability of ingredients fed provides the manufacturer with maximum process profitability.

Finally, the highly efficient and versatile Coperion ZSK line of extruders allow for the versatility needed to achieve the exact composition of fish feed dependent upon the type of fish to be fed.

Download the application sheet for more info:

Comprehensive Product Range

Pet and Fish Food Extruders

Versatile with High Product Output

Coperion’s ZSK Mv PLUS extruders deliver an extremely high product output for optimal efficiency in dry pet food and pet treat production.  Its balance of free screw volume and high speed range makes the ZSK Mv PLUS extruder particularly suitable to the economical preparation of dried and semi-moist dog and cat food and treats, as well as a variety of fish feed compositions.

TheZGF centric pelletizer delivers optimal product quality and stands out for easy handling and cleaning.

Food Extruders

Feeding Equipment

Ingredient Savings by High Accuracy Dispensing

Coperion K-Tron’s line of singleand twin screwfeeders (both volumetric and loss-in-weight), liquid loss-in-weight feeders and weigh belt feeders are used for metering and highly accurate feeding of pet food, pet treat and fish food ingredients into mixers and extruders. Low rate twin screw feeders are ideal for delivery of high value vitamins and probiotics to the product blend. In addition, specially designed weigh belt feeders are ideal for throughout rates of kibble prior to coating or packaging of up to 1500 lb/min!

Volumetric and Gravimetric Feeders

Material Handling

Efficient transfer with Food safety in mind

Coperion and Coperion K-Tron’s line of pneumatic conveying systems and components are used for the transfer of dry bulk materials, such as grains, premixes, and even high fat or high moisture ingredients. The Coperion line of sanitary design diverterand rotary valves are engineered specifically with quick product changeover and ease in cleanability in mind!

Process Equipment

Plants & Systems

Total systems provided with complete process integration

From raw ingredient transfer, batch weighing and high accuracy feeding to mixing, extrusion and packaging, Coperion and Coperion K-Tron’s global systems engineering network can supply single-source complete system design for a variety of specialized pet food, fish feed and pet treat applications. Throughputs of up to 15 t/h, combined with excellent wear and corrosion protection of the extruder and system components ensure an extremely economical production process within a very broad range of formulations.

Plants & Systems


24/7 Global Assistance

Whether servicing an individual piece of equipment or assisting with operation of a complete process line, the  experienced and global service network by Coperion and Coperion K-Tron provides 24/7 technical, spares and mechanical assistance to ensure optimal performance of your pet food, pet treat or fish food process.

After Sales Service

Frequently Asked Questions

What top considerations I should keep in mind when evaluating a potential pet food extrusion system?

It is important to note that the complete extrusion system, inclusive of the material handling and feeding/metering of the raw ingredients prior to the extruder, and of course the extruder and downstream ancillaries involves many components. It is imperative to evaluate the system and supplier who can not only provide the complete integrated system to ensure end product quality, but can also provide expertise and engineered designs which emphasize food safety and cleanability in design. The ability to minimize any risk of contamination, as well as minimize downtime for cleaning and product changeover by including proper design techniques in the extruder and material handling equipment can make a huge difference in the process, product safety, and overall process efficiency. These involve several key considerations including:

Wear solutions for extruders: It is important to evaluate the extruder’s design and materials of construction (for example, stainless steels with 16% or greater Cr) from a safety standpoint. The use of the proper steel for contact surfaces can be overlooked. Other exposed surfaces should be coated (nickel plating on outside surfaces) or covered properly.  Bearings and seals should be designed for proper cleaning (there should be cleanout areas behind seals and packings, shafts should be resistant to wear or grooving from seals). The Coperion ZSK extruders provided to the pet food industry include special metallurgical construction which makes them ideally compatible for the caustic solutions used in a wet wash-down environment. This composition allows for complete CIP of the extruder and also is critical for wear resistance, which may occur due to the abrasiveness of some pet food formulation.

Ingredient Material Handling and Feeder Designs: Design innovations are also available for all the pneumatic conveying and feeder materials handling systems prior to entering the extruder. High accuracy ingredient feeders, such as the Coperion K-Tron screw feeders are ideal for addition of probiotics and vitamins to the pet food mix. Additional design features can easily be incorporated into the feeder design to ensure quick changeover times and cleanability. In addition, the pneumatic conveying systems which transfer the raw ingredients to the pet food process include innovations such as the Coperion K-Tron Sanitary Filter Receiver (SFR). This pneumatic receiver has been completely designed and engineered based upon in-depth discussions with pneumatic conveying receiver users in the pet food and food industries. The unique top entry and special custom engineered side access filter assembly of the SFR allows for high efficiencies, with minimal degradation of the product due to decreased can velocities, and extremely high access to all internal areas of the receiver for cleaning. The reduction in time alone for complete filter change out and cleaning compared to typical side tangential inlet, top removal cartridge or bag filter designs can be significant to overall process and product changeover times.

Finally, the design of unique European Hygienic Engineering Design Guidelines (EHEDG) rotary and diverter valves for ingredient handling systems also allows for complete cleaning of the system (CIP and COP), with proven capabilities through agar/spore testing of completely contaminant free cleaning and access ability.



Play video
The Coperion K-Tron Smart Weigh Belt Feeder is ideal for metering or feeding product streams in the food industry

Literature Downloads

Subscribe to the Coperion Newsletter

dog food extruder