URBANA, Ill. — Unless you’re a companion animal lover, a vegan foodie, or a science geek, the word “extrusion” might not hold much meaning. However, extrusion is an everyday term that describes a process crucial to the food and feed industries.

“Extrusion is a versatile process that can make large amounts of products by applying thermal and mechanical energy that then leads to chemical and physical changes of the original product,” said Maria R. C. de Godoy, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Sciences and Division of Nutritional Sciences. “Plus, extrusion provides a killing step through cooking that is critical to control foodborne pathogens and improve food safety.”

For a long time, extrusion has been used to make a variety of food products, including texturized

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