ADDCON GmbH

- Boiling Silage

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Boiling silage is a problem especially in the warm season. Boiling means gass production and foaming due to microbial and biochemical activity in the silage. It has nothing to do with boiling at 100 degrees Celcius. Boiling is mainly a problem in the summer season. ANTIBOIL efficiently prevents and stops this accelerating reaction.

ANTIBOIL performs an immediate effect terminating 'boiling reactions' in silage. The term 'boiling' is used to describe the intense gas production and foaming during the process. It does not mean boiling in traditional terms.

Addition of ANTIBOIL to well preserved silage will prevent 'boiling' to occure at a later stage. ANTIBOIL consists of food-approved additives, which, for instance, are used in wine production. ANTIBOIL has an antimicrobial effect, and boiling is caused by microbial activity.

ANTIBOIL should be added to the by-products during grinding when boiling is likely to happen. ANTIBOIL may also be added to boiling silage. In this case it is important that the product is thoroughly mixed with the silage.

We recommend a dosage of 0.2 - 0.6% ANTIBOIL, but requirement is dependent on a number of circumstances, for instance if the silage is already boiling or if there is a large chance the silage will boil and ANTIBOIL is used to prevent boiling to occure. The pH should be adjusted to recommended level before applying ANTIBOIL. If silage pH is higher than recommended, ENSILOX or formic acid should be added to the silage to bring pH down prior to addition of ANTIBOIL. Be aware that gas production and foaming may increase temporarily as a result of the drop in pH.

It is important to note that ANTIBOIL does not totally eliminate the cause of boiling, but reduces the consequences.

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The mechanisms behind boiling are not well known. It has been claimed that raw material with large amounts of bones will be dissolved in the acid with a subsequent production of carbon dioxide. It has also been suggested that enzymatic processes in the silage could cause the gas prodution, but no documentation has been presented to support this hypothesis. The most accepted explanation of boiling is that it is caused by microbial activity in the silage. Our research supports this hypothesis even though the theory has its weak points. It is, for instance, a paradox that the microbial process takes place at very low pH - (down to pH 3) - where bacteria are strongly inhibited.  It is difficult to see how bacteria could have high enough activity to account for all the gas production found in 'boiling' silage. Yeasts can manage low pH, but studies of the microflora do not reveal micoorganisms in numbers that would be expected in boiling silage. Further studies are needed to fully clarify if microbial activity is the major cause of boiling in fish silage.

It is difficult to give the answer on how to avoid boiling since the cause of  boiling is not well understood. It is, however, possible to to give some advice. First of all, boiling is a phenomenon that occurs when the temperature is high. In the winter and during cold periods the problem is almost absent. We believe that the problem is caused by microorganisms (bacteria or yeast) and the following advice may be helpful to minimize the problem:

It is important that the by-products are thoroughly grinded prior to transfer to the storage tank. Dosing of ENSILOX/formic acid should take place as early as possible and it is important to use sufficient amount of silage agent. 
It is important that the silage agent and the grinded by-products are thoroughly mixed.

It is important to empty the storage tank completely and clean both the tank and the equipment if boiling has occured. 

Remember that small amounts of spoilt silage may contaminate the next batch of silage and rapidly cause boiling. 

If the boiling problem persists, it may be necessary to disinfect all storage tanks and equipment. Sodium hypochlorite could be used to disinfect the tanks and the equipment.

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