History of Extrusion Cooking and Extruders (1938-2020)

William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-948436-29-8

Publication Date: 2020 Oct. 27

Number of References in Bibliography: 914

Earliest Reference: 1938

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Brief Chronology/Timeline of Extrusion Cooking and Extruders

1938 Feb. 15 – U.S. Patent No. 2,108,582 titled “Casein product and process of making,” is issued to inventor Henry V. Dunham. Application filed 26 April 1935. It states Wet casein and a filler (such as "vegetable seedmeals, such as peanut meal, soymeal and the like, or the isolated proteins from said meals...") are fed into the hopper of a single-screw jacketed extruder, extruded under high pressure, dried, and ground. “Ground soybean meal” and “soybean meal” are also mentioned. A detailed diagram of the extruder is given, with the main parts labeled. This “apparatus has long been used in the industry of casein plastics.”

Note: This is the earliest document seen concerning an extruding machine extruding soymeal or soybean meal.

1957 April – The “Ralston Purina Company released a new product, Purina Dog Chow. The food consisted of crunchy nuggets of dry dog food that were extruded through a die, like other feed pellets, but also different in texture: they were lightweight, exploded like popcorn, and riddled with cells of expanded air. The food was extremely popular – by August of the following year it had become the nation's leading dry dog food – and nobody knew how Purina did it. Oak Smith wanted to know” (Wenger Manufacturing, 2010, p. 23).

1959 Oct. – Oak B. Smith, Director of Market Research, Wenger Mixer Manufacturing Co., writes an article on “The expansion pelleting process for dog food production” published in Petfood Industry magazine (p. 7-12, 37). Wenger created the extruders that make the pellets.

1960 Sept. 1 – A U.S. Patent for a “Method of increasing palatability and digestibility of a cereal product” is applied for by Joseph Wenger. The patent (No. 3,117,006) is issued on 7 Jan. 1964 and assigned to Wenger Manufacturing, Inc. of Sabetha, Kansas.

1961 – LeRoy Hansen, Nahil Said, and Wilmot Wijeratne co-found Insta-Pro to make low-cost extrusion cookers to help farmers process their grain and beans on the farm.

1963 Dec. – Wenger Mixer Manufacturing, Industrial Division, runs its earliest known ad in Soybean Digest. It is titled “Protein… Within the Reach of All.” (p. 24).

1969 – Wenger Manufacturing, of Sabetha, Kansas, is now making its X-25 Uni-Tex, a low-cost extrusion cooker.

1970 Feb. – Earliest document seen stating that extrusion cookers are used to process soybeans (Soybean Digest, p. 14-17).

1971 Feb. – Earliest document seen that mentions textured soy protein concentrates, which it calls “Extruded… soy concentrates” (Meat Processing)

1971 March 29 – The Brady Crop Cooker is now for sale (Piqua Daily Call {Ohio}, p. 18).

1973 Feb. – Meals for Millions (MFM) starts its first extrusion cooking project by testing the practicability of texturizing protein in a simple apparatus – later used for many years in Korea.

1973 – Wheat Soy Blend (WSB) imported to Sri Lanka under the Food for Peace (PL 480, Title II donations) program and distributed by CARE was first packaged into 750-gm bags (each bearing the now well-known picture of a healthy baby) and sold as Thriposha. The name, pronounced truh-POE-shuh, means 'three nutrient groups,' namely corn, soy, and milk. It was written on the bag in three languages, which increased local identification and acceptance (LEC Report No. 1. 1976. June, p. 105-11).

1974 – A large, high-capacity plant to make extruded floating catfish food in the Mississippi Delta goes into operation. It was commissioned by a cooperative of catfish farmers.

1976 June – The phrase “low-cost extrusion cooker” is first used – by J. Richard Jansen in LEC Report No. 1 (p. 57-65). This is also one of several first documents to contain the abbreviation “LEC.”

1977 Jan. – The LEC Newsletter begins publication at Colorado State University. Each issue contains a summary of activities worldwide on the testing and application of low-cost extrusion cookers for the production of nutritious foods and other food applications. Edited by Judson M. Harper, it is published twice a year.

1978 – An LEC-based plant was installed and began operation in Costa Rica to make a number of food products using indigenous raw materials that could be used in school feeding programs.

1978 – The LEC-based plant began operation in Tanzania to produce a corn-soybean blended, precooked food product supplemented with milk powder, vitamins, and minerals.

1980 – The current plant making Thriposha in Sri Lanka began operation.

1980 – An LEC processing plant was installed and began operation in Guyana to produce a product named Cerex made from extruded cereal blends and fortified with soybean flour, oil, milk powder, sugar, vitamins, and minerals.

1980 – A small LEC plant was installed and began operation in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The plant was used to precook a formula made from rice and soybeans and supplemented with sugar, milk powder, vitamins and minerals.

1983 – A small production unit based on LEC was installed and made operational in Quito, Ecuador, to precook rice and soybeans to make a product named Leche Arroz.

1985 – Twenty-one food companies and 5 machine manufacturers gather and establish the Japanese Research and Development Association for Extrusion Cooking, at the request of Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

1988 – An extrusion plant capable of producing approximately one metric ton/hour was installed in Kinshasa, Zaire. The plant was designed to make a product named CEREVAP and made from corn, soybean and whet flour extruded and combined with sugar, milk powder, oil, vitamins and minerals.

2000 – Insta-Pro now has offices in Brazil, Mexico, Taiwan, China, Russia and England.

2020 Oct. – Insta-Pro International. Inc., which is owned and managed by a group of investors, has grown into a thriving company with extruders around the world.

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