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Sturtevant – Whirlwind® Air Classifier Converts Poultry Meal into a High-value, Low-ash Pet Food Grade

Whirlwind® Air Classifier: Animal Nutrition from Renderings


A leading supplier of ingredients for agriculture and animal nutrition needed to cost-efficiently increase its yield of premium pet-grade product and capture the high-quality pet-grade meal market. The supplier wanted to avoid the conventional practice of using vibrating or high-frequency screens, which are susceptible to blinding and costly maintenance. As the company researched its expansion it was led to Sturtevant’s unique approach of air classification, a technology that would allow them to separate the fines, converting the poultry meal into a high-value, low-ash pet food grade. At the same time, the coarse fraction would still contain enough protein that it could be sold as regular poultry grade feed.

Sturtevant® Performance

The supplier consulted with Sturtevant, a company with more than 95 years of classifying experience in countless applications – among them a number of global installations within large poultry and protein meal production operations. Sturtevant’s specialized air classifier technology is specifically designed to separate protein meals. Sturtevant was chosen for its proprietary equipment, air classifier experience and engineering skills, as well as its ability to test product specifications in their own lab.

Tests determined that processing parameters and end product requirements would be exceeded by the use of a 4.5-foot Whirlwind® Classifier, a unit that does not require auxiliary equipment (baghouses, cyclones, or ductwork) to capture the lower ash and higher protein fine product. Because the model features an internal fan and air recycle design, the fluidized meal is resistant to clogging; there are minimal dead zones where high fat and sticky material can settle. This makes the unit both low in maintenance and reliable for continuous use.

Equipment Recommendations

Whirlwind® Air Classifier

Measurements are for general reference only. Please consult dimensional drawings for exact measurements. Larger sizes are available, for a complete list see the Whirlwind® Air Classifier Product Bulletin.


Once the classifier was in full production, the protein meal producer found that they could reduce ash content to as low as 5- to 7-percent and increase protein levels by 3- to 5-percent, which is suitable for an ultra-premium pet-grade market. Below are a several examples of the air classifier’s performance with various animal protein meals:

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