How modern ornamental fish food is produced at JBL
The JBL plant in Neuhofen/Pfalz has one of the most modern and sustainable fish food production facilities in the world. We would like to give you an idea of how the manufacturing process works.
The ideal composition for a particular food is determined by specialists for the respective fish species and draws upon specialist literature, internet research, first hand experience with the species in the JBL Research Department aquariums and observations made on JBL expeditions.
In this formula the ingredients are mixed together to form a "mash" and passed on to the production line to make flakes or extrudates (granulates, wafers, sticks). The production plant is located in Neuhofen in a 3,500 sqm large and 17 m high hall.
For flakes, the food mash is applied to a 15,000 kg flaker roll, rolled flat and "scraped off" in one giant flake. This is crushed and mixed with other flake types until the right flake mixture and size is achieved.
The flake mixture is filled into tins by computer, labelled, weighed, sealed, checked and shrink-wrapped. It is then ready for dispatch.
For extrudates, the food mash is pressed through a (sieve-like) die with the help of "screw conveyors" and then cut off. The size of the holes in the sieve determines the diameter of the granulate, stick or wafer. The length of a stick or granule is determined by the timing of the cutting.
The vitamins have already been added to the food in the mash and are able to withstand the subsequent processing.
After that, extrudates move on to drying. Here, an in-house development is used to dry all extrudates very gently and quickly on an air bed.
Only now are the extrudates ready to be canned. The process is then the same as for flake food.
Food tablets are mechanically pressed together into small moulds from pure food, without glue or binding agents. They are then dried, deburred and weighed. Then they go to the filling line to be filled into tins.
During production and filling, samples are taken every hour to check the composition, moisture and weight in the JBL laboratory. Packaged tins may only be dispatched after they have been approved by JBL Quality Control.
In addition, a certain quantity of tins from each production batch is placed in climate cabinets which simulate the climatic conditions of different countries. This means that even months later it is possible to check whether everything is OK when stored at 50 °C in desert countries or in tropical countries with 90 % humidity.