Our research centers are designed to create, innovate, and evaluate feed ingredients from the beginning of the process to the end.

The Optimal Research Center consists of labs in two locations. Our Optimal Aqualab is in Shenandoah, Iowa, and our Feed Extrusion Lab and Zebrafish Lab are located in Omaha, Nebraska.

Feed extrusion Lab

The Feed Extrusion Lab at the Optimal Research Center aims to provide a platform to evaluate ingredients and develop formulations that expand the understanding of animal feeds. 

Our Innovation Center at Omaha is the home of the Feed Extrusion Lab. This facility can mix, grind, extrude, coat, and dry feeds in batch sizes as small as 30 lbs and up to commercial quantities. Finished feeds can be produced from 800 microns up to 25mm. All run data, as well as screw configuration, are collected and recorded throughout the entire process.

Ingredient Development & Evaluation
Bench-scale Manufacturing
Pilot-scale Manufacturing


The Aqualab at the Optimal Research Center is the ideal environment to facilitate and perform adequate premarket trials of novel feed ingredients and experimental formulations.

Our Innovation Center at Shenandoah is the home of the Aqualab. At this facility, we can evaluate feed ingredients for a wide range of fish species. The site contains multiple recirculating aquaculture systems monitored and maintained daily by specialized and dedicated staff.

Common trials include palatability trials to evaluate the attractiveness of new ingredients, digestibility trials to determine how digestible specific protein sources are, and growth trials to assess the long-term impacts of exposure to ingredients or feed formulations.



Please contact us if you have any questions or interested in learning more about our Optimal Research Center and available services.