Definition And History Of Usage

Extrusion is a process that combines several unit operations that include mixing, kneading, shearing, heating, cooling, shaping, and forming. This process also involves compressing and working a material to form a semisolid mass under a variety of controlled conditions, and then forcing it to pass through a restricted opening such as a shaped hole or slot at a predetermined rate (1). The first known record of extrusion was in 1797 when Joseph Bra-mah used a piston-driven device to manufacture seamless lead pipes (2). This innovation was adapted later by the food industry for the production of macaroni products. The first twin-screw extruder was developed in 1869 by Follows and Bates for sausage manufacture (2). A single-screw extruder, with shallow flights and rotating in a stationary cylindrical barrel, was developed for the Phoenix Gummiwerke A.G. in 1873 (3).

In the mid-1930s, forming extruders were used to mix semolina flour and water to form pasta products. A few years later, extrusion technology that combined transport, mixing, and shaping operations was used to produce the first ready-to-eat breakfast cereal from precooked oat-flour dough (4). In the late 1930s, Robert Colombo and Carlo Pasquetti developed a corotating and intermeshing twin-screw extruder for mixing cellulose without the use of a solvent (5). In the middle of the 1940s, the first extrusion-cooked, expanded food products, corn snacks, were commercially produced using single-screw extruders (6). Dry expanded pet food, dry expanded ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, and textured vegetable protein, produced by singlescrew extruders, were introduced in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, respectively (4,6). In the early 1970s, Creusot-Loire had developed the twin-screw plastics extruder for food applications. Finally, the 1980s have brought rapid commercialization of the production of feeds for aquatic species using the process of extrusion (6).

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