? US Patent No. 7,674,492 (March 9, 2010), L Wenger, et al., assigned to Wenger Manufacturing, Inc., Sabetha, KS.

This improved, dual-shaft preconditioner has an independent drive mechanism coupled with a corresponding preconditioner that permits selective rotation of the shafts at rotational speeds and directions independent of each other. Preferably, the speed differential between the shafts is at least 5:1. The mechanisms are coupled with a digital control device to allow rotational speed and direction control. Preferably, the preconditioner is supported on load cells that also are coupled with the control device to permit on-the-go changes in material retention time within the preconditioner. The preconditioner is particularly useful for preconditioning and partial gelatinizing starch-bearing food materials, to an

extent to achieve at least 50% cook in the preconditioned food materials.