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KSE ALFRA Equipments: The perfect fit for every plant

A high precision dosing and weighing system is crucial to produce quality products. KSE's ALFRA equipment has over 90 years of experience in food and related industries, ensuring optimum production flexibility in your plant while maintaining high consistency of quality and safety.
These equipments incorporate solutions to dose both macro and micro components for ingredients with different densities and flow characteristics.
Raw material dosing: Precise component measurements
The quality of animal feed essentially depends on the precision of dosage and weighing of the components of the formulation. ALFRA equipment is designed to measure each component with maximum precision.
Micro-component dosing: The most precise measurement of the smallest components With ALFRA equipment, the smallest amounts of components are measured with extreme precision to ensure that micro-dosing and weighing are no longer the bottleneck in the factory. Automating the micro-dispensing process eliminates the time-consuming (and error-prone) task of manual dispensing, ultimately improving quality consistency, process control, and health and safety performance.
  We invite you to learn about ALFRA equipment for micro-dosing:   ALFRA BDS: The ALFRA Box Dosing System is a modular and scaleable platform that is designed to completely automate the preparation of micro ingredients for animal feed production in boxes.   ALFRA FCCDxy: The FCCD safely doses rarely used ingredients that can spoil if they remain in the silo for too long. It uses unique exchangeable containers with dosing slides, giving efficient and contamination-free dosing of even small quantities of materials. Ingredients from up to 24 containers can be combined automatically.   ALFRA FCDxy: Combining high throughput with outstanding accuracy, the ALFRA FCDxy features our unique dosing slide, which ensures that dosing and weighing is no longer a factory bottleneck. Uniquely, it eliminates labor-intensive and error-prone hand dosing – and the alternative of a separate machine for small amounts – by handling from 50 gram right up to 100 kg in a single machine.   ALFRA KCD: is designed for dosing and weighing dry powders, granulates and pellets. The dosing and weighing system combines high throughput with excellent accuracy.     KSE was founded in 1973 as a small electrical installation company in the agricultural sector. Over the years, it has specialized in dosing and weighing systems and intelligent automation software for the feed industry. They focus on continuous innovation, passed down from generation to generation. This sector is its core market. Personal contact, excellent service and a passion for the powder and granules processing sector are the keys that have allowed them to grow from being a small company to an international company with activities all over the world. LEARN MORE about their equipment, services and solutions.

By: All Pet Food



Dosing slide vs. screw feeder

It is a challenge to find the most optimal solution for the silo discharge system within a specific process installation. In many cases, it is a question weighing up a dosing slide against a screw feeder. To make a responsible choice, insight into the operation and qualities of both the dosing slide and the screw feeder is required. Activation The dosing slide consists of a fixed upper lower grid and an upper grid that moves back and forth during the dosing process. This ensures that the product in the silo is loosened by means of a product-friendly activation. The dosing slide moves the product without transporting it. This means that the product flows straight in a vertical direction, by use of gravity. In contrast to a screw feeder (in which the material is extruded in one direction), no energy is supplied which means no product damage or compaction occurs. The simple design of the dosing slide makes it a particularly durable discharge system. A dosing slide can be in operation for decades. Mass flow The discharge system determines, to a certain extent, the silo's geometry and therefore also the flow image of the product inside the silo. It prefers to not place the discharge system in the middle of the silo funnel, to reduce the risk of product bridging in the silo. A dosing slide generally offers a much larger discharge surface than a screw feeder. The screw feeder's discharge surface is determined by the relatively small diameter and length of the screw itself. The larger discharge surface of the dosing slide ensures an equal discharge flow where mass flow occurs in the silo (the FIFO principle). For a given storage capacity (in case of an equal funnel triangle), less building height is also required. Dosing range An important feature of the dosing slide is the enormous dynamic flow range. The ratio between the minimum and maximum flow rate is easily 1:1000 (from grams to kilograms per second), with a dosing accuracy of approximately 2 grams. With a screw feeder, the dynamic flow range is no better than 1:20. An increase in speed not only translates into an increase in capacity, but also into an increase in slippage. It is true that placing a second screw under the main screw reduces the flow to, for example, 1 % of the maximum flow, however, the investment costs for materials and especially the control system will strongly increase. In addition, starting a pull-out screw at low speed requires an extra strong motor with a frequency controller. This extra power is necessary I order to provide the breakaway torque. This requirement does not apply to a dosing slide. Dosage precision With a dosing slide, minimum dosage quantities approach 0 grams; with a dosing screw, this quantity is determined by the volume in one turn of the screw. Once the dosing screw's discharge opens a screw compartment, this compartment flows out completely. In addition, there is the risk of the product's continuing to flow (primarily if the product has the tendency to become fluid). It is, of course, possible to install a shut-off after the dosing screw for more precise dosages, but the next dosage then amounts to at least that quantity of material that the shut-off held back. By contrast, a dosing slide closes immediately and completely. The dynamic flow range results in the dosing slide's being able to provide both rapid and precise dosing. With a dosing slide/scale combination, the limiting factor to precise dosage is the scale, not the dosing slide. For this, a weigher-in-weigher can be helpful. This offers the possibility of dosing both 50 g and 100 kg from the same silo in a single batch weighing system with the precision of a few grams within flow ranges up to 5 kg. Controls A dosing slide requires a greater investment than a dosing screw, but with the deployment of six or more dosing slides under a silo block, it is cheaper than using six dosing screws with shut-offs. This is because dosing slides (whether this be 4, 6 or even 24 dosing slides) are all powered by one single hydraulic cylinder. This single cylinder activates a framework to which the dosing slides can be linked at will. The power consumption of a dosing slide is extremely low. For example, it is possible to dose up to 50 kg/second with a 3 kW motor. For this same amount of effort, a dosing screw requires at least a 25 kW motor. Furthermore, every dosing screw requires its own power unit and frequency controller.   Discharge characteristics The controls for a dosing slide are more intelligent and, consequently, more complex than those of a dosing screw (for a screw, flow is proportional to RPM, within certain limits). A dosing slide, however, allows for variation in the percentage of opening, stroke length and frequency. For certain applications, the shape of the vanes can also be adjusted (more or fewer progressive openings). This allows the achievement of optimum discharge properties for the material to be dosed.   Image 1: Dosing slides have a fixed lower grid and upper grid that moves back and forth during the dosing process.   Image 2: A platform of dosing slides is operated by a single drive motor.   Image 3: A dosing slide in operation.   About KSE Partner in optimizing production processes Increasing complexity forms the biggest challenge for animal nutrition manufacturers; more recipes, a growing number of ingredients, additions that are difficult to dose and higher quality standards contribute to this trend. For over 50 years, KSE has been supplying future proof solutions to stay ahead of the trend in the form of modular machinery and smart software that fit together perfectly. We create flexible processing solutions that enable a responsive production process. Automation, accuracy and contamination control are at the basis of our future-proof innovations. Our aim is to not only improve the production process, but also to make a significant contribution to increasing margins and achieving targets. Together we create the solutions with the best results! For more information about KSE click HERE.   By KSE Source: All Pet Food 



Efficient and Safe Production of Pet Food

The production of pet food requires efficient production lines with high availability rates and reproducible quality. This only works with optimal system technology and processes that are designed to meet the specific requirements of the product in question. This article shows what else is important. Pets have not only been popular companions since the Corona pandemic; in Germany alone, almost every second household has some sort of pet. As a result, the demand for high-quality pet food is increasing, and this is happening worldwide. 'The USA, Europe and Asia are still growing markets in terms of pet food, and this means that we are in demand as plant manufacturers,' says Ingo Pütz, responsible for global sales at Zeppelin Systems in Rödermark, describing the market situation. In addition, the technological demands on plants and components are growing, as Pütz explains, 'Pet food formulas now consist of 20 to 50 different raw materials, each of which has its own unique properties.' This can be extruded material that is mixed in particularly gently or a moisture-sensitive raw material that has to be conveyed in a very dry state. Smooth production therefore requires not only knowing the properties of a wide range of products, but also understanding the process down to the last detail. 'Ultimately, the consumer must be able to rely on the feed always having the exact composition as well as the same shape and consistency. The feed must neither stick nor crumble,' says Pütz, describing the difficult balance. Flexibility in plants is a necessity In general, the production quality requirements for pet food are similar to those of human food. Among other things, this means eliminating or minimizing cross-contamination, easy to clean, maintaining clean production and compliance with hygiene standards. And as with food for humans, pet food is subject to special scrutiny and requires, for example, extremely accurate measurement technology. Moreover, in pet food, new formula concepts are being developed to meet the needs of individual animals, whether young, old, prone to obesity, wheat intolerant, etc. At the same time, manufacturers must be able to deal with changing raw materials – for example, some raw materials used to be available as powders, but are now marketed as granules. Raw materials may also vary from region to region. These variations can, for example, affect different bulk densities, which in turn affects handling. Manufacturers therefore require a very high degree of flexibility in their plants. It must be possible to adapt them without major conversions. High reliability and availability of the plants, which run around the clock, are a given.
Coordinated plant processes Zeppelin Systems accompanies almost every processing stage in pet food production. This starts with raw material intake, through filling into the silos, grinding technology, up to recipe-accurate dosing including inline screening machines upstream of the mixers and gentle dense phase conveying. Drying and coating processes have to be integrated just as much as systems for dust removal, temperature control, quality assurance measures, and concepts for explosion protection. A striking feature of developments in recent years: Plants are being operated ever closer to their peak performance without diminishing any accuracy. 'This can only be achieved by keeping an eye on the entire raw material handling process. We master all process steps and the respective process and measurement technology. That's why we can offer comprehensive, perfectly coordinated solutions from a single source,' Pütz explains further. Kibbles without break At first glance, the individual process steps do not appear complicated, yet the processes are changing. For example, gentle pneumatic conveying of dry feed now plays an increasingly important role. Neither the animal lover nor the producer wants to find crumbs in the feed. With Dense-Tec conveying and sometimes extended lines, conveying succeeds without destroying the structure of the raw materials. Dense-Tec is mainly used in the pet food industry as a continuous conveying system, because the individual process steps, such as cooling or coating, are also mainly carried out continuously. Precise dosing of even the smallest quantities When weighing and dosing very small quantities, such as vitamins, components in the 2-3 kilogram range have to be added evenly distributed throughout mixtures weighing several tons. 'We have developed innovative manual and automated solutions especially for these small components,' reports Pütz. For example, Zeppelin Systems offers customized solutions ranging from components for batch weighing to differential scales including controls. For handling liquids, on the other hand, volumetric systems or gravimetrically operating components such as liquid scales and mass flow meters are used. 'It is crucial that the dosing and weighing is done accurately contamination-free,' Pütz lists additionally. 'After all, ingredients are being scrutinized more and more critically by consumers.' High demands on hygiene and quality Hygiene requirements have also increased in the pet food sector and are now oriented toward the food industry. 'For example, we have long relied only on stainless steel in our plants,' says Pütz 'Batches have to be traceable just as they are in human food. This is where the process management system we developed helps.' This logs every change in the recipe and allows all raw materials supplied and batches delivered to be traced. All production data, batch records, etc. are archived and can be retrieved at any time. Accordingly, there is greater focus on control, automation and documentation. This gives the consumer peace of mind. Summary and outlook Regional differences require country- specific solutions. Since production follows the customer, plant engineering know-how is needed directly on site. Zeppelin Systems is globally oriented, which ensures nationwide support. Moreover, digital services, such as remote access to the plants, are now part of everyday life. Another topic of concern to the pet food industry is energy use and efficiency levels. This is particularly important for large plants with higher conveying capacities, for example, 40 to 60 tons per hour. 'We supply solutions that allow more output from the plants. For example, we replace mechanical conveyors with pneumatic ones because they deliver faster and display higher performance with larger volumes. They also work more energy- efficiently, can cover greater distances, and require less maintenance,' says Pütz, listing one example, but concluding with a completely different yet decisive factor for success: 'Our customers don't really care how their process works; they want process reliability and high plant availability. We ensure this with on-site service, but also with intelligent automation technology and a wide range of sensors that safeguard the process. by Ingo Pütz ist General Manager Sales Food Processing Plant at Zeppelin Systems GmbH



Benefits of modern batching systems

Batching systems play an important role in product quality and plant efficiency for pet food and treat processors. Equipment design can ensure product uniformity, consistent product flow, and efficient changeovers from batch to batch. There are a number of common options for batching systems in pet food and treat applications, and processors must consider several factors when looking to upgrade their facilities. Evaluating batching systems 'When considering an automated batching system for pet food ingredients, it is important to look at several factors which will influence the type of batching system recommended and optimize ingredient cost savings and overall ROI,' said Sharon Nowak, business development manager, Coperion K-Tron USA Food & Pharmaceutical Industries, Sewell, N.J. 'The top three for consideration include batch accuracy required for the specific ingredient, desired batch times, and overall plant design considerations including height limitations, space requirements, and support structures for the batching system.' 'It's a little different for everyone,' added Matt Lueger, vice president of sales, NorthWind Technical Services, Sabetha, Kan. 'But the big factors that we typically see are accuracy, traceability and flexibility. Most customers not only want a system that consistently produces a quality product, but also tells them what went into each batch without restricting their ability to continually change their ingredients or recipes.' Pete Ensch, chief executive officer, WEM Automation, LLC, New Berlin, Wis., agreed on the importance of traceability for today's processors. 'The batch system needs to incorporate lot code traceability,' he said. 'Pet food producers' value is directly linked to their track record of producing safe quality food. In the event that something goes wrong, you need the ability to quickly track the problem and contain it. Traceability needs to be automated and working in the background. Beyond the safety side, traceability also helps to control inventory management and control, and can be linked back to your ERP to help automate purchasing. This keeps production flowing and controls cost.' Other factors to take into consideration include throughput, types and quantities of product that need to be conveyed, and quality and repeatability. 'At the end of the day, you need a batching system that can accurately weigh out your ingredients and consistently mix them,' Ensch explained. 'Pet food has some unique challenges in that there are many different ingredients with a variety of densities and flow rates. Several of the raw ingredients, because of the nature of protein, have a significant amount of variability. Equipment and controls need to be able to handle the de variety. All of the downstream processes like extrusion and drying perform better if you provide them a consistent, quality input.' Batching options Modern batching systems are designed with factors such as accuracy, reliability, traceability, flexibility and food safety in mind. 'Due to the increased food safety regulations and requirements to adhering to exact ingredient percentages in a given pet food recipe, the use of high accuracy LIW [loss-in-weight] batching using gravimetric screw feeders is quickly becoming the most reliable batching device of choice,' Nowak said. 'LIW batching utilizing Coperion K-Tron high-accuracy screw feeders provides a significant accuracy and process time advantage over traditional GIW [gain-in-weight] batch techniques. LIW batching is used when the accuracy of individual ingredient weights in the completed batch is critical or when the batch cycle times need to be very short. In addition, LIW feeding affords broad material handling capability and thus excels in feeding a wide range of materials from low to high rates.' Regardless of feed rates, LIW batching can offer accuracy, speed and variability benefits over traditional GIW methods. (Source: Coperion) 'There are several different types of batching systems,' added Joe Lewis, marketing, Sterling Systems & Controls, Inc., Sterling, Ill. 'These include semi-automatic hand prompt/add batching systems, semi-automatic self-contained 'kitchen type' batching systems, and automatic batching systems.' Utilizing different systems and features allows pet food and treat processors to fine-tune the batch process from start to finish. Options include manual or automatic batch delivery, various ingredient storage methods, and integration to the ERP system to communicate production schedules and ingredient usages. 'Most modern batch controls have dozens of features, but a couple of useful ones for pet food are an order grid and automatic bin level checking,' Ensch said. 'An order grid includes order number, formula name, the amount of material to be produced, the required date, destination bins and comments. The grid can have orders entered direct or interfaces with your ERP system. Automatic bin level checking has the system check bin levels of each ingredient in a production run prior to starting the batch. The system will alert the operator of any insufficient ingredients. 'Another useful feature is production usage tracking and inventory management with lot code tracking,' Ensch added. 'This allows the batch system to track material used for each production run, batch, and track respective lot codes for ingredients. Statistical process control (SPC) charting is one more feature that's great for fine-tuning the batch process. A system tracks the production data to the level to produce statistical process control charts. Being able to understand when a system is in control or out of control and having the data to either troubleshoot it or reduce variation for greater accuracy can change your business.' Product quality  There are several ways in which batching systems can impact product quality. 'Vacuum conveying systems help to provide the right amount of ingredients or final products to the next processing or packaging step,' said Andrea Bodenhagen, communication and content manager, Piab Vakuum GmbH, Butzbach, Germany. 'Thanks to the closed system, it also provides a dust free environment and protects the product from contamination. While the pet food industry is often still using mechanical or manual material handling, vacuum conveying systems are state of the art in the pharma and food sector. Pet food manufacturers, therefore, benefit from the long-term experience of Piab in these sectors as well as all the developments that have been done for these industries to keep the original product quality during the conveying process.' 'Batching systems play a significant role in the overall product quality of pet food and treats,' Lueger said. 'Not only in the accuracy and consistency of the ingredients that make up the product, but also in the visibility of what went into the product in the event of a quality issue. Batch reports and historical trends can go a long way toward preventing future product quality issues.' Jim Gaydusek, sales director, United States and Canada, Cozzini LLC, Chicago, agreed that batching systems have an important role to play in consistency and product quality. 'One of the greatest benefits is consistency from batch to batch,' he said. 'Auto management of recipes removes much of the human factor and reduces processing error. Scales accurately weigh the ingredients to ensure the proper weight(s) get added and the HMI [human-machine-interface] can sequence through the processing steps according to the program.' Plant efficiency Batching systems can also impact plant efficiency for pet food and treat processors. 'In addition to improving product quality over traditional manual weighing methods, the automation of the material handling/product transfer as well as the batching can greatly affect overall efficiency,' Nowak said. 'The use of automated dispensing systems, which can also integrate pneumatic conveying systems for material transfer, can greatly reduce the amount of human interaction as compared to manual methods of weighing and transfer. This maximizes social distancing and adheres to strict COVID guidelines of safety. 'Properly weighing and accurately delivering the ingredients without manual intervention can result in a number of process advantages, including overall food safety, fewer mistakes, better accuracy, lower bulk costs, improved product quality and savings in manufacturing costs,' he added. 'Eliminating manual batching reduces scrap costs, increases efficiency and throughput,' Lewis noted. 'Automatic systems can be customized with multiple scales for speed of batch production without sacrificing accuracy or quality, resulting in fast high batch rates and accuracy of weighments. Dust containment and collection options for automatic batching systems improves safety and operator efficiency.' Processors must be able to track and trace each ingredient throughout the process to ensure quality and safety and, in the case of a product issue, pinpoint exactly where and what went wrong. (Source: Coperion) To maximize overall efficiency, factors such as system design and sequencing must be taken into account. 'You want a system that moves from one batch to the next seamlessly and with little idle time between batches,' Ensch said. 'Some of this is system design, things like having holding vessels, surge bins and multiple scales so that you can weigh up ingredients before the mixer; optimizing cleanout times between batches and changeovers; the use of high and low bin level indicators and automated routing to make sure the batching system is never starved for ingredients. The system must manage all the timing, so the batching process is nearly continuous in nature.'  New advancements Batching systems continue to evolve to meet changing needs and requirements. Modern batching systems now have huge advantages over their predecessors in a multitude of areas. 'Over the past decade the number of different types of formulations and the raw ingredients used has grown exponentially,' Ensch said. 'This has made batching systems larger and more complex. Having a blending control system that has formula-based scaling and mixing parameters is extremely helpful. The trend of higher protein pet food has also increased the content of fibrous protein ingredients, which have the much greater variation. Formulations contain many ingredients and there is a need for a batch system that can measure major, minor and micro ingredients with very low dispersions like vitamins and minerals.' 'There have been a significant number of design improvements to batching systems for pet food and treat processing,' Nowak said. 'They include improvement in weighing technologies and batching controls, improvements in overall design of equipment to improve cleanability and food safety while minimizing downtimes, improvements in feeder design options ideal for difficult flowing materials, and improvements in feeder technology to alleviate pressure/vacuum influences on the feeder output.' Advancements in technology have also vastly improved traceability of ingredients. 'The amount of technology that is utilized to track and trace ingredients continues to evolve,' Lueger noted. 'From simple bar-coded lot numbers on bags to RFID [radio-frequency identification] tracked totes/IBCs [intermediate bulk containers] and hoppers on tracks or AGVs [automated guided vehicle]. Innovation and technology gains continue to support traceability regardless of size, equipment configuration, system capacity, etc.' By Richard Rowlands & Matt Lueger  Northwind Technical Services - Pet Food processing 

Dosing Key Technology designs sorting solution for Pet Food Processors

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Key Technology designs sorting solution for Pet Food Processors

 The sorter is designed to identify and remove foreign material and product defects to eliminate cross-contamination, improve product quality and safety, and minimize labor. The solution can be configured for various pet food formats and products, including kibble, chews and treats that are dried, dehydrated or freeze-dried. The VERYX sorter can be installed at the end of a production line to ensure final product quality, or upstream near raw receiving to inspect ingredients for a wide range of products, including wet pet food formulas. The VERYX sorter can detect color, size, shape and structural properties, with the capability of removing defective products or ingredients, plastics, glass, paper and other foreign materials. 'Our vibratory conveyors and mechanical grading systems have had a strong presence in this industry for a long time – almost every leading pet food brand around the world relies on our equipment, and we understand their unique needs,' said Marco Azzaretti, director of marketing at Key Technology. 'Now that these processors are seeing the value of digital sorting, we've leveraged our pet food application expertise to develop VERYX for these applications. Consumers are demanding higher and higher quality pet food, and VERYX can help manufacturers elevate their product quality to the level of human grade while improving the efficiency of their operation.' VERYX sorters are equipped with optimal cameras, laser scanners, lighting, ejection systems, product handling and software tailored to each customer's needs. The laser scanners and cameras provide images that are twice the resolution of previous sensor technology, which increases its ability to find small foreign material or defects. The solution also offers a 360-degree view of each piece of product. The sorter can also be fitted with proprietary Pixel Fusion™ technology by Key Technologies, which can combine data from multiple cameras and laser scanners to provide a clear identification of difficult materials or products. This tool also enables the company's FMAlert™ tool to notify operators of critical quality problems so corrective action can be taken quickly. It also helps with documentation of quality events. Key Technology includes its Discovery™ software suite with every VERYX sorter, which collects, keeps and analyzes data in real-time. This software can help manufacturers identify patterns and trends to improve operations from raw materials to sorting. VERYX can be integrated with Key Technology's vibratory and mechanical grading solutions applicable in pet food processing environments. The company's material handling solutions are designed for sanitation with fully-welded frames, nickel-plated finishes, oil-free drives, optional pan covers and other hygienic features. By Jordan Tyler – Pet Food Processing

Dosing PLP Systems pilot plant for continuous coating

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PLP Systems pilot plant for continuous coating

There was a key change once a continuous coating test plant was developed in our company that can reproduce the full capacity of the industry demands, to minimize the difference in results between a laboratory test compared to actual production. This internal continuous coating test plant is used for: Technological innovation of PLP and know-how to compete in the market with the application of pellet coating. Customers looking for creative applications are available to perform testing and developing new products for your pet food by coating them with powders or flakes such as spices, vegetables, cheese, flavors, nutritional agents, etc. Too to coat semi-moist or baked pet food. Customers who want to test PLP technology before purchasing the system can perform the test of the complete coating line.     The pilot plant can be adapted for different products with a production capacity from 300 kg / h to 15 ton / h, managing different densities. It is equipped with a precise gravimetric continuous dosing of the main product (croquettes) carried out by means of a weighing tape or a weighing thread. Dosing of liquids by pump and flow meter and dosing of powders by weight loss feeders. All controlled by the automation and proportional dosing adjusted by frequency control drives. The test plant can be integrated with 3 different PLP coating technologies: DRUM ROTARY; COVER WITH DOUBLE AXLE BLADES; MASS SPIN COATER.   ROTARY DRUM       The latest development over the more traditional rotary drum, this machine is specially recommended for semi-wet products, small extruded or granulated pellets and lower production capacity. The special corrugated shape of the drum increases the rotation of the product, at the same time protects it from damage and reduces waste inside the machine, making it a perfect machine to be used in food application or with special kibbles for pet food.   CONTINUOUS COVER WITH DOUBLE AXLE PADDLES     It is our most widely used machine for standard pet food production and has received the majority of R&D improvements during the last years. There are different models that can cover all required production ranges with high liquid inclusion rates or fats. The focus of the machine is the retention time and this is achieved by regulations of speed independent of the axles, internal dampers and automatic check valve in the output of the product. The retention time in standard pet food production it can reach up to 200 seconds.   MASS SPIN COATER     Compact continuous cover used to add micro liquids up to 1%. The MSC integrates a continuous precision weighing technology, based on Coriolis forces. Thanks to a nozzle special is able to obtain a perfect homogeneity even when the inclusion rates are less than 0.1%.   Source: PLP Systems

Market Information

Market Information


United Petfood enters the US market with purchase of a Wellness Pet facility in Indiana

This purchase represents a landmark moment for United Petfood as it marks the company's first manufacturing plant in the United States.
United Petfood has long been a prominent player in the pet food industry through its extensive export activities. This strategic move to establish local production in the U.S. signifies a pivotal step in solidifying its presence in this key market.   "We are excited to take our first steps into the U.S. market with the acquisition of the Mishawaka facility. This acquisition allows us to better serve our American customers with locally produced, high-quality pet food. We see tremendous opportunities for growth and collaboration and are excited about the potential for synergies between our operations across different continents', Elodie Fleury, United Petfood Vice President Americas.   Regarding the sale, Reed Howlett, CEO, Wellness Pet, said, 'We're pleased United Petfood will assume ownership of the Mishawaka facility. This will ensure a smooth transition for our team members who have been working at the facility and part of the Wellie family for many years. We are proud to have been Mishawaka community members for almost two decades.' Wellness Pet acquired a substantially larger facility in 2022 in Decatur, Arkansas which is well-suited to support the company's growth in the near and medium term."
If you want more information, visit their website HERE.
  Source: United Petfood

Market Information


Schenck Process FPM is Becoming Coperion

Following its September 2023 acquisition by Hillenbrand (NYSE: HI), Schenck Process Food and Performance Materials (FPM) is transitioning its name and brand to Coperion. The full legal change to Coperion will be completed by August 1, 2024. Coperion is an operating company of Hillenbrand with 140 years' experience in some of the world's most critical processing industries. Schenck Process FPM has contributed an integral part to its divisions, which support processing solutions for manufacturing in polymers/performance materials, food, health & nutrition and aftermarket sales & services.   Schenck Process FPM expertise, team members, manufacturing sites, test and innovation centers, and technologies remain in place. This includes flagship brands such as RBS, Stock, Baker Perkins, Kemutec and Mucon. Customers can experience a seamless transition bolstered by more resources and broader technology capabilities available through Coperion.   'The acquisition of Schenck Process FPM in 2023 has been an essential step for the development of Coperion toward a more diversified company and an expanded footprint. With the transition of the FPM brand name under Coperion, we take the next step in our journey,' said Ulrich Bartel, President of Coperion.   'Aligning more closely with Coperion reflects a significant opportunity for us to combine our strengths and offer customers access to a broader portfolio of solutions, technologies and services,' said Matthew Craig, Vice President and General Manager, Schenck Process FPM. 'This wider range of complementary technologies and increased scale makes us even more capable of delivering value.'   The evolution to the Coperion name and brand begins with the schenckprocessfpm.com digital domain shifting to coperion.com. The company's website and emails, including those from technology brands such as Baker Perkins, will change. The new website can be found at coperion.com/fpm.   About Coperion   Coperion (www.coperion.com) is a global industry and technology leader in compounding and extrusion systems, sorting, size reduction and washing systems, feeding systems, bulk material handling and services. Coperion develops, produces, and services plants, machinery, and components for the plastics and plastics recycling industry as well as the chemical, batteries, food, pharmaceutical and minerals industries. Coperion employs more than 5,000 people in its three divisions, Polymer, Food, Health & Nutrition, and Aftermarket Sales & Service, and in its over 50 sales and service companies worldwide. Coperion is an Operating Company of Hillenbrand (NYSE: HI), a global industrial company that provides highly-engineered, mission-critical processing equipment and solutions to customers serving a wide variety of industries around the world. To learn more, visit www.Hillenbrand.com.   About Schenck Process FPM   Schenck Process Food and Performance Materials (FPM) – a brand of Coperion which is part of Hillenbrand Inc., engineers cutting-edge technologies and solutions across the bulk material handling spectrum. Our teams deliver complete solutions for your real-world needs, based on deep process and engineering expertise. We specialize in precision solutions for pneumatic conveying, milling, dust collection, sifting, weighing, and feeding. Schenck Process FPM and Coperion boast a streamlined business model which enables us to deliver high-performing systems for customers in every corner of the world, supported by an extensive collection of services. coperion.com/fpm   Source: Schenck Process 

Market Information


Zoomark and Nomisma shine the light on the non-food pet market

The early highlights of the research conducted by Nomisma for Zoomark on Italian pet owners' shopping habits have just been released. They reveal key trends in the non-food segment, which has consistently expanded in recent years and includes supplements, anti-parasite products, accessories, toys, hygiene products and cat litter.   The data presented at the press conference organised to launch Zoomark 2025 – 21st international trade show for pet food and pet care, scheduled for May 5th-7th 2025 at BolognaFiere – are the first step in a broader partnership between Zoomark and Nomisma. This collaboration will develop over the coming months as part of a programme to identify the trends, opinions, habits and behaviours of Italian pet owners.   'The activities that form our two-year strategy with Zoomark allow us to make a tangible contribution to the Italian non-food pet segment for the first time', explained Mattia Barchetti, Head of Market Intelligence at Nomisma. 'The research results provide a cross-section of current and future trends regarding pet owners' purchasing behaviour and preferences, vital information that will help the sector's top Italian and foreign businesses to define their sales strategies.'   The pet market keeps on growing   The pet market continued to grow globally in 2022, everywhere from the USA to Europe and Asia. Worldwide pet owners are increasingly attentive to caring for their cats, dogs and other animals, choosing both food and non-food products with their wellbeing in mind and treating them as members of the family. Italy is outpacing the USA, China and Europe when it comes to overall expenditure on pets, with a total growth in the pet sector of almost 20% compared to the previous year. Non-food accounted for approximately 43% of the total expenditure.   Total spending on pets approaching €7 billion     Italian families spend €6.8 billion every year on caring for their animals and ensuring their wellbeing. Of this, 57% goes on food and 26% on veterinary medical expenses. This leaves 17% of pet expenditure dedicated to accessories, and particularly five main categories: supplements and anti-parasite products, cat litter, accessories (home and comfort, dog harnesses, leashes, collars, and clothing), hygiene and grooming products, and toys.     Spending on pets as a proportion of Italian families' outgoings has grown consistently in recent years, and particularly after Covid, with an overall increase of 35 bps between 2018 and 2022, leading to significant effects on the pet supply chain. Previews of the Nomisma research show that 52% of respondents reported spending the majority of their monthly expenditure on their dog. When pet owners with more than one animal were included, however, cats were the most frequently cited on this measurement.   Italian pet owners: identikit and lifestyle   Nomisma's research for Zoomark builds an identikit of the typical Italian pet owner: on average, owners are over 45 years old (47% of survey participants) and belong to a family with children (43% of the panel). In addition, almost 90% of pet parents live in a house with an outdoor space, i.e. with at least a balcony or garden.     The analysis also identifies pet owners' various lifestyle types: One in five (19%) define their lifestyle as 'Conscientious', seeking balance between their private life and work, which includes their pets. This is followed by those with a busy 'Urban' lifestyle (10% of respondents) – people who live at a frenetic pace and attend city social and cultural events – and the 'Global and Curious' (also 10%), open-minded citizens with a strong interest in culture and the world. Another 10% defined themselves as having a 'Sustainable' lifestyle, focused on seeking environmentally friendly solutions in all areas of their life. Close behind on the list are the consumers (9% of respondents) who identify as 'Digital', with a passion for technology and online purchases, and another 9% who define their lifestyle as 'Active', i.e. they exercise regularly and follow a balanced diet. Anti-parasite products, home accessories, and hygiene and grooming products were the most frequently purchased products last year, accounting for over 60% of sales. Pet owners continue to have specialised physical shops as their preferred purchasing channel, but online is becoming increasingly more important, particularly for certain product categories. The products with a predicted increase in average spend over the next two to three years include cat litter, anti-parasite and electronic equipment.   'We know how much the food sector is a driving force in the pet economy. Nonetheless, the novelty revealed by the latest trends in the non-food segment tells us about how the market is evolving' - underlines Luisa Bersanetti, Exhibition Manager of Zoomark - 'In the wake of this significant growth, we started the partnership with Nomisma with the aim of analysing the trends and purchasing habits of Italian pet owners; Zoomark's intent remains to offer its exhibitors and visitors the essential tools to increase their business opportunities, and we believe that the first data collected by Nomisma are the right starting point for interesting conversations that we will develop in the 2025 edition."   Source: Zoomark

Market Information


The new era for pet food brands

But innovation, by itself, leads nowhere. We need to do it with knowledge and data-based and, to do so, understanding the main current trends and changing forces is essential to encourage sustained and effective development. Part of that knowledge will come from improving relationships between companies' retailers and consumers.   On the other hand, we must also take into account that the global economy is encountering a series of challenges that bring global instability both at an economic and productive level and mean that the problems on the inflation front are not over yet. When a crisis occurs across an entire industry, we need to focus and join forces because one consumer's trust (or lack thereof) can impact many more and spread to very negative impacts.   However, despite knowing the need to invest in finding these new alternatives, losing sight of motivation amid needs and everyday demands can be easy. In these cases, it is important to remember that most of the time, urgent does not mean high importance. Instead, focusing on those relevant matters in the medium and long term can be much more significant.
It is precisely in these cases that we must join forces and find new paths together.   3 key trends to pay attention to E-commerce E-commerce and direct-to-consumer models have been booming since the pandemic boomed, but their role is currently transforming. Today, they are creating opportunities for innovative and niche pet food brands to reach a broader audience while online platforms make it possible to educate consumers about their offerings and the benefits of their products.   Lower budgets Pet food consumers are increasingly tending not only to reduce but also to plan and budget the expenses related to their pets. They remain very loyal to the products they choose but with less willingness to spend. By understanding these consumer behaviors, brands can allocate their resources appropriately, adjust strategies, and seek out key partners.   Collaboration and co-participation When there were crises in the industry, such as the recall of certain contaminated foods, collaboration was what held brands. Furthermore, we know that crisis can mean opportunity. These events have driven the industry to have better and new standards. Since these changes, manufacturers have implemented and received improvements to track ingredients throughout the supply chain, protecting pet health and helping to restore consumer trust. In turn, it has forced all parties to advocate for better communication.
On the other hand, although there is a strong increase in pet owners who are increasingly aware, there is still a large number of consumers who see pet food as a true mystery. In these cases, purchasing decisions are motivated by emotions. Co-participation and collaboration are essential to educate because, when misinformation is spread, consumers do not know what to believe.   Conclusion   The pet food industry is undergoing a transformative phase, driven by innovation that answers both pet owners' desires and the Earth's needs and the market. The most advanced countries are already blazing a trail that combines modern technology, sustainability, and a deep understanding of animal welfare. As the bond between humans and their pets deepens, the search for healthier, more sustainable, and technologically advanced pet food options will continue to drive the industry.   Source: All Pet Food Magazine.

By María Candelaria Carbajo

Market Information Mars announces partnership with Tripadvisor, connecting today's pet parents with better travel experiences

4+ MIN

Mars announces partnership with Tripadvisor, connecting today's pet parents with better travel experiences

Mars Incorporated, a global leader in pet care products and services, confectionery, snacking and food and the maker of some of the world's most-loved brands, has today announced a partnership with Tripadvisor*, the world's largest travel guidance platform, kicking off in the U.S. market with plans for future global expansion. Through a new co-branded digital hub, consumers will be inspired by and connected to pet-friendly communities across Tripadvisor's platform, while businesses will be encouraged to realize the cultural, well-being and financial benefits of becoming pet-friendly. Despite 73% of U.S. Tripadvisor users owning pets2, less than 1%3 of Tripadvisor's U.S. restaurants are currently listed as pet-friendly, demonstrating a huge need for more pet-friendly businesses.   The collaboration furthers the broader Mars Petcare Purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS, and the CESAR® brand's commitment to making the world a more dog-friendly place, by improving the experience of traveling with pets at every step of the journey. It's the result of a significant investment from Mars to accelerate the digital transformation of its pet nutrition business to meet the needs of the increasingly "always-connected" pet parent.   'At Mars, we're dedicated to becoming the most digitally enabled, pet parent-centric organization, which means collaborating with innovators like Tripadvisor to transform the pet parent experience,' says Natalia Ball, Global Chief Growth Officer of Mars Pet Nutrition. 'This partnership cements our commitment to supporting pet parent communities, using our unmatched expertise, knowledge and relationship with over 400 million pets and their pet parents who purchase our products every year.'   Shaping the future of pet-friendly travel   Travel remains a highly researched topic for today's pet owner – in the U.S., 'pet travel' is searched on Google over 19 million times annually4, yet it remains one of the biggest pain points. The same data found pet parents only take a vacation "once every few years" or less because of pets and 33% of pet parents have actually altered travel plans because of difficulty traveling with them. In addition, of the 746,000 U.S. restaurants on Tripadvisor, only 5,000 – less than 1% – are listed as pet friendly.   The partnership serves to help bridge this gap, using digital technology to connect consumers with pet-friendly options, helping to guarantee a better travel experience for pets, their parents and the businesses that want to support them. Partnership features include: A new consumer hub, available online or through Tripadvisor's mobile app, offering a one-stop resource for pet-friendly travel. Specifically: City guides developed in partnership with CESAR®, featuring pet-friendly travel tips and attractions in BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™-certified U.S. cities, including Miami, Austin, Nashville, Phoenix and Palm Springs, with plans to expand globally. An enhanced AI Trip Builder for users to build a pet-friendly trip in minutes with a personalized itinerary guided by traveler tips and reviews. A hub for businesses to discover the benefits of welcoming pets, including how to become pet friendly on Tripadvisor, how to accommodate pets, and how to ensure consumers know that they can visit with their animal companion. The launch of a new coveted Travelers' Choice Best of the Best Award category, Pet-Friendly Hotels, with Hotel Fioreze Quero Quero in Brazil named the world's most pet-friendly, and Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale in Florida taking the title in the U.S.   'We know our travelers love their pets and are looking for hotel and restaurant recommendations to make sure they can enjoy every part of their adventure together,' says Christine Maguire, Global Vice President of Sales & Partnerships, Tripadvisor. 'Through this partnership, we're streamlining the journey for those who want to bring their pet along, helping them create lifelong memories – while encouraging and supporting the growth of pet-friendly businesses.'   The CESAR® brand – which believes that the best life is a shared life – made a commitment in 2022 to make the world a dog-friendly place, so that people and their pets can always be together. Today marks a huge milestone in delivering this commitment, by partnering with Tripadvisor on the launch of the new Traveler's Choice Pet-Friendly Hotel award category for 2024. The top pet-friendly hotel in the world was named Hotel Fioreze Quero Quero in Brazil, which boasts over two acres of open space for pet parents and their four-legged friends to explore. The No. 1 pet-friendly hotel in the U.S. is the Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale in Florida, which allows pets on every floor and in the outdoor garden sitting area.   If you want more information, visit the website HERE.   Source: Mars.

Market Information The interview - Sonia Franck

4+ MIN

The interview - Sonia Franck

How can you describe your role in the Pet Food Industry?   Since joining the pet food industry as Secretary General of FEDIAF EuropeanPetFood, I have recognised the value of my experience in the pharmaceutical industry and the number of useful links. Fundamentally, both industries share a common goal of promoting health and well-being. The pet food industry is a dynamic sector that continuously strives to meet the evolving nutritional needs and preferences of our pets. Staying abreast of scientific research, safety, market trends and consumer demands is something to which I am accustomed. The expertise I gained in the pharmaceutical sector will support my contribution to the ongoing efforts to ensure that Europe's 340 million pets receive nutritious and safe pet food.   I must also note that personally, I have always been passionate about rescuing pets and am committed to advocating for pet welfare. My move to the pet food industry has not been a surprise to my former colleagues and friends! I have now aligned my career with my experience and passion for pet welfare. I am truly excited about the value I can bring to the European Pet Food Industry.   How would you describe your job as Secretary General of IML Innovative Medicines in Luxembourg?   I am extremely proud of my work at IML, the voice of the private research-based pharmaceutical industry active in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Through IML's representation of 64 global companies, the association encourages therapeutic innovation in medicines for human use. Here I played a key role in transforming the association. We worked hard to develop and introduce a new five-year strategy; we restructured its management and diversified revenue streams. My primary objective at IML was to enhance the industry's visibility and have a positive impact on public health. This is one of the many key experiences, which I know will help shape and bring value to my work in the pet food industry.   How did you receive your new role as General Secretary at FEDIAF?   Although I have only been in my role at FEDIAF for one month (at the time of writing this interview!), I am already enjoying being immersed in a busy team. In fact, one aspect that particularly excites me is the opportunity to lead, build and guide a small team of dedicated colleagues in Brussels. To remind your readership, our team looks after the needs of our membership, which includes 15 European national pet food associations, together with five pet food manufacturers operating in Europe. We estimate that this equates to around 150 pet food companies (200 plants) across Europe, producing 10.5 million tonnes of pet food. This is a big responsibility for our team and one that I am embracing as the new Secretary General.   What do you think are the main challenges in this position?   My main challenge will be to support the team and deliver the 'asks' outlined in our Manifesto and three pillars. Here we highlight our challenges and objectives. Our first pillar is to ensure the supply of nutritious products across Europe. We will continue to collaborate with authorities, regulators, and academics to ensure our members are able to continue in their supply of safe, nutritious, and palatable products. We will work closely with experts to update our Nutritional Guidelines, and Labelling Code, and also bring new, expert-written factsheets on a wide range of nutrition topics.   Our second pillar is to promote the benefits of pet interaction and responsible pet ownership. We highlight the key role of nutrition in pet welfare. This year, we have welcomed the proposed animal welfare legislation and will continue to monitor its progress. A key focus of our work is to contribute to the Pet Alliance Europe, our collaboration with AnimalhealthEurope, FECAVA and FVE where our combined voices are stronger in the promotion of pet welfare messages. This year we will also be promoting the wealth of scientific research proving the benefits of pets in terms of human health.   Thirdly, we are committed to sustainability from farm to bowl - the responsible use of resources and minimising our environmental impact. Therefore, we are monitoring various environmental developments at the EU and a national level. We are actively working on the packaging and packaging waste regulation proposal, and we continue to promote the importance of Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology for the pet food sector, especially in the context of discussion on green claims. This methodology is key to a harmonised framework and supporting consumers.   How do you see the pet food industry nowadays?   The European pet food industry is critical to the health and well-being of Europe's 340 million pets. There are around 127 million cats, 104 million dogs, 53 million birds, 29 million small mammals, 22 million aquaria and 11 million terraria, to be precise! As the number of pets grows, so does our Industry. Annual sales of pet food products are around 29.1 billion euros, and this is a growth of 5.1%. In volume terms, the pet food market has also grown 3.5% and is currently 10.5 million tonnes. You can read more about European data in our Facts & Figures report.   And what do you think is the most important problem to be addressed this year?   With my arrival coinciding with the EU elections, I recognised that there would be challenging files to tackle. The dynamic landscape of the European Union presents a host of complex issues that require thorough analysis and diligent work. However, I am eager to take on these challenges, leveraging my experience and expertise to contribute to the advancement of the pet food industry and the well-being of pets. I will continue to advocate for its interests amid evolving regulatory and political environments.   It will be an exciting year!   For more information, please visit www.europeanpetfood.org or contact [email protected]   Source: All Pet Food Magazine. 

Our Editors




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Nutritional needs of cats and dogs

Pet food can be complete or complementary. Complete pet food is nutritionally complete: providing all the nutrients in the amounts and proportions your pet needs. Complementary pet food (e.g. treats) is designed to be only a part of the diet and it won't meet the nutritional requirements when fed alone. Pet food manufacturers have developed the nutritional expertise to ensure pet food contains the right ingredients in the right amounts to supply the needed nutrients. They often work together with independent nutrition scientists or follow guidelines which have been developed by a group of scientists working together. The broadening knowledge of pet nutrition and food technology has transformed the pet food industry remarkably over the years. It is now widely recognised by the veterinary profession and other stakeholders that improved nutrition is an important factor which helps pets to live longer, healthier lives. Besides water there are 5 key nutrients: Proteins Carbohydrates Fats Vitamins Minerals
The first 3 provide the energy your pet needs for e.g. growth, digestion, temperature regulation and of course activity. Proteins Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are hundreds of different amino acids, but a number of these are required for dogs and cats. Pets can produce some amino acids themselves; those are the so-called non-essential amino acids which do not need to be present in the diet. Others are essential and need to be part of the pet food: for dogs there are 10 essential amino acids, for cats there are 11. Proteins are the building blocks of organs, muscles, bones, blood, immune system and hair and nails. Proteins in pet food can come from various different ingredients, both from animal and vegetable origin like poultry, beef, pork, fish, eggs, corn, rice, peas or soybeans. It's important that the pet eats the right amount of proteins and that the protein can be easily digested and absorbed, which is influenced by the source of the protein and the processing of the food. In prepared pet food, manufacturers generally select a variety of ingredients to provide the required amount and type of proteins/amino acids. Excess proteins which are consumed by the pet are not stored in the body and also not used to make even more muscle tissue. Feeding extra protein in excess of the amount that your pet requires provides no health benefit to your pet. Carbohydrates Carbohydrates are used by the body to provide immediate energy for activities and are stored in the liver and muscle as glycogen. Energy use is needed for various body functions like metabolism and the function of the brain and nervous system. There exists no minimum level of carbohydrates which needs to be in pet food, but carbohydrates provide a concentrated source of dietary energy and dietary fibre. There are two types: digestible carbohydrates (starches and sugars) which provide energy and indigestible carbohydrates (fibre) which are important for stool quality and gut motility. Fibres can help in weight management because they are low in calories and help provide the feeling of satiety. The ingredients providing carbohydrates are mainly plant ingredients like corn, barley, peas, rice, wheat and potatoes. Dietary fibre sources include for instance dried beet pulp, wheat bran or soybean hulls. Many sources of carbohydrates also provide other nutrients like protein, fat or vitamins. Because of the manufacturing process of grinding and cooking the carbohydrates become easily digestible. A genetic change in the ancestors of our modern dogs (compared with wolves) allowing them to thrive on a diet rich in starch was a crucial step in their early domestication. Also cats can utilise glucose from digesting starch in their diet. A key exception is the pet's ability to digest lactose (milk sugar) because they have lower levels of the enzyme lactase required to split the lactose into individual sugars. Dietary fat Fats in pet food are a source of essential fatty acids which are needed to make certain hormones and maintain the cell membranes. Certain vitamins (A, D, E and K) can only be absorbed, stored and transported by fat. Dietary fats improve palatability and add texture for greater enjoyment of the food. And of course, fats are a great source of energy because they provide about 2 ½ times the level of energy that proteins or carbohydrates can provide. So especially for active animals fats are important, while at the same time we need to be careful with the fat intake for many indoor pets where controlling fat intake helps them not become overweight or obese. Fats in pet food come from animal and vegetable sources. Two key fatty acid families are the omega-3 and omega-6 (or n-3 and n-6) families. Omega-3 fatty acids are needed for cell membranes and reduces inflammation. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish, shellfish and flaxseed. Omega-6 fatty acids are important to aid in the process of repairing tissue and are found in vegetable oils. Minerals & Vitamins The major or macro minerals needed in the body are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride and magnesium. The amounts needed of the trace elements are much smaller and these include for instance iron, copper and selenium. Vitamins are nutrients needed in very small amounts, but they enable many functions in the body. Dogs and cats cannot make all the vitamins they need; so these must be supplied by the food. Minerals and vitamins are partly provided by the ingredients which deliver the major nutrients of protein, carbohydrates and fat and the other minerals and vitamins are added to the recipe. by FEDIAF 



How important is choline for cats

Choline is a vitamin-like component that plays an important role in liver health and nerve transmission, and thereby also cognitive function and muscle function in cats. As said above, cats produce some choline naturally, but due to its importance, pet food brands are advised to add this nutrient into the food. Krill – a natural source of phosphatidylcholine Choline is available in various forms, choline chloride, lecithin, or choline bitartrate. The commonly used one is choline chloride which is 12 times less bioavailable than the choline found in krill (phosphatidylcholine) Krill meal is made from Antarctic krill (Euphausia Superba), which is a crustacean related to shrimp. The choline found in krill is all-natural and in form of phosphatidylcholine. Krill is also rich in phospholipid omega-3s, marine proteins, and astaxanthin. herefore, one of the ways to increase choline intake in cats is to include in their diet a pet food with krill meal, which provides choline. Choline - an essential nutrient for cats In 2018, a survey of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimated that 60% of cats and 56% of dogs in the United States were overweight or obese. This has serious health consequences for pets, including fat accumulation in the liver. A balanced, healthy diet for cats accompanied by regular physical activity is essential for overall health. In addition, nutritional supplements may help to reduce the risk of weight-related issues or optimize nutrition for cats. One way to do that is to provide cats with pet food with krill meal containing choline in the form of phosphatidylcholine. Phosphatidylcholine is one of the most fundamental molecules that make up the living cell. Being an essential component of the cell membrane, it is also the most abundant in a class of phospholipids known as 'essential phospholipids', as it forms the structural barrier that surrounds the cell. Choline and its metabolites have multiple physiological roles in the body which are important for the building of cell membranes, liver fat transport to prevent fatty liver, nerve impulse transmission in brain and muscles, and provision of methyl groups that maintain liver, heart, and kidney health.  What is choline essential for? 1. Building of cell membranes Phosphatidylcholine is an integral part of almost every cell in the animal body, being a major constituent of cell membranes. It's also important for normal cellular membrane composition and repair. Its role in cell membrane integrity is vital to all basic biological processes such as the information flow within cells from DNA to RNA to proteins. 2. Liver fat transport to prevent fatty liver Choline improves and maintains a healthy liver function and can aid in the proper metabolism of fat. In other words, choline is very important for the proper functioning and regulation of the liver and gallbladder. This vitamin-like substance aids in hormone production and minimizes fat accumulation in the liver by regulating fat and cholesterol metabolism. 3. Nerve impulse transmission in the brain and muscles Choline is needed for the proper transmission of nerve impulses and is a constituent of acetylcholine, the major neurotransmitter. This is essential in supporting brain development, the learning process, the nerve transmitters and affects the overall mental well-being of pets. 4. Providing methyl groups that maintain liver, heart, and kidney health Being a structural element of cell membranes (as phosphatidylcholine), choline supports lipid transport and acts as a source of methyl groups (after it is transformed into betaine) for various chemical reactions in the body. By controlling protein function and gene expression, choline is important for the proper function of the heart and blood vessels, nerve system, liver and reproduction. Therefore, we can say that choline in the form of phosphatidylcholine is an essential nutrient that cats require for a healthy and happy life. It supports muscle function, cognitive function and memory, it helps maintain normal cholesterol values, and protecting the liver from toxicity (without phosphatidylcholine, fat and cholesterol accumulate in the liver due to reduced low-density lipoprotein levels). Moreover, choline can prevent the appearance of the fatty liver syndrome and also support normal liver function. It can reduce insulin requirements in cats with diabetes, and diminishes seizure frequency, being important in the treatment of epilepsy. By Qrill Pet   



DSM Establishes Tonganoxie, Kansas, Pet Food Premix Plant

The new facility, located in the KC Animal Health Corridor, will supply the pet food industry with high-quality nutritional premixes for use in branded pet food products worldwide. The investment will include precision micro-batching capabilities, allowing for precise automated micro-addition of numerous ingredients to premixes in a fully traceable manner. Operations are scheduled for early 2025. 'The pet food industry has been looking for a better source for the highest quality, traceable and reliable nutritional ingredients for their products and we are thrilled to be able to deliver for the industry and for 'pet parents' with this new facility in Tonganoxie,' said DSM Co-CEO, Dimitri de Vreeze. 'We appreciate the support of Governor Laura Kelly, the Kansas Department of Commerce, the Leavenworth County Development Corporation, the City of Tonganoxie, Evergy and the Animal Health Corridor in making this state-of-the-art facility a reality.' DSM, part of DSM-Firmenich, is a global, purpose-led leader in health and nutrition, applying bioscience to improve the health of people, animals, and the planet. 'DSM is a welcome addition to Kansas and the Animal Health Corridor,' noted Kansas Governor Laura Kelly. 'Having another industry leader locate here further enhances the globally recognized animal health ecosystem that is anchored in Kansas.' 'With the highest concentration of animal health assets in the world, the Kansas City region is home to a robust industry network, as well as abundant manufacturing and distribution resources,' added Kimberly Young, president of the KC Animal Health Corridor. 'The region continues to attract top companies in the industry, and we're proud that DSM has selected the corridor for this state-of-the-art, innovative new facility.' by DSM



Are all omega-3 ingredients in petfood the same?

Omega-3s have many recognised health benefits for dogs and humans alike. Pets are unable to produce sufficient omega-3s naturally in their bodies. However, they are an important nutrient to any diet, benefitting everything from brain development to hearth health. But not all omega-3s are effectively utilized by pets. Therefore, offering the right source is important. The power of marine-sourced omega-3s Studies show that marine-sourced omega-3s remain the most effective source for pets, as pets are unable to convert enough of the plant-sourced version in their bodies. The omega-3s that seem to be most efficient are those bound to phospholipids, such as found in krill. Krill are tiny crustaceans that are present in all oceans, holding a vital position in the marine food chain. Antarctic krill is also a superior source of marine omega-3s, with a distinctive advantage when it comes to the form their omega-3s are made of. This is known as the phospholipid advantage. Recent studies have shown that the phospholipid-bound omega-3s from krill are more effective in raising omega-3 levels in a dog's body compared to triglyceride-bound omega-3s, such as those found in fish oil. Known as the foundation of all cells, omega-3s are more effectively incorporated into tissues cell membranes when bound to phospholipids. And this incorporation is crucial to obtain the health effects of omega-3s. Once in place in the cell membranes, the omega-3s EPA & DHA support the health of several vital organs, including the heart, kidney, liver, joints, brain, eyes, skin and coat. But there is more to krill than this… Krill is also naturally rich in choline, astaxanthin and marine proteins.Choline is a vitamin-like component that plays an important role in liver health and nerve transmission, and thereby also cognitive function and muscle function. Dogs produce some choline naturally, but due to its importance, petfood manufacturers are advised to add this nutrient to the food. However, the choline additive commonly used (choline chloride) is 12 times less bioavailable than the choline found in krill (phosphatidylcholine). The astaxanthin found in krill is a natural antioxidant that protects all body cells from oxidative damage. It has 10 times higher antioxidative capacity than α- and β-carotene and lutein, and more than 100 times higher capacity than vitamin E (α-tocopherols). QRILL Pet, the krill ingredient from the leading biotech company Aker BioMarine is the first krill ingredient for pets certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as being sustainable and traceable from sea to product. Besides besides, Aker BioMarine's krill fishery  is rated as the world's most sustainable reduction fishery, receiving an 'A' rating from the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership for 7 years in a row. By Tonje Dominguez, Director of QRILL Specialty Animal Nutrition All Pet Food

Vitamins What You Need to Know About Dog Foods Made with Crickets and Grubs

8+ MIN

What You Need to Know About Dog Foods Made with Crickets and Grubs

Growing awareness over the need for sustainable pet food solutions as well as concerns over pet allergies is driving an increased interest in foods made with alternative proteins including some surprising options, such as cricket proteins and grubs. For many dog owners, sustainability is at the core of a switch to foods made with alternative protein options. For Jiminy's, a Berkeley,Calif.-based manufacturer of Cricket Crave, a kibble that combines insect protein with plant-based ingredients, the use of crickets drives a more sustainable process. 'Crickets are a swarming species so they're not too worried about personal space, and grubs are even less inhibited,' explained Anne Carlson, CEO of Jiminy's. 'That allows an insect farm to produce the maximum amount of protein for the minimal amount of water and land. It's a simple formula and it's exactly why insect protein will be forever atop the sustainable food chain. We're happy to be in this space at this moment in time. Don't forget, dogs in the USA consume 32 billion pounds of protein each year, causing enormous stresses on land and water.' Jiminy's has also released its Good Grub line of food and treats, which are made with dried black soldier fly larvae, in an effort to continue building out and offering consumers new products—and new proteins. 'Grub protein is even more sustainable than cricket protein since the gains get larger as the insect gets smaller and needs less land and water,' Carlson said. 'The nutritional benefits of grub protein are essentially the same as cricket protein. It's prebiotic and humane, fights climate change, has all the essential amino acids and is hypoallergenic too. Considering how well the insects live, their short lifespan and the outstanding protein yield, it's almost as if insects were engineered for meat production.' Scout and Zoe's use of black soldier fly larvae is helping the company accomplish its mission to do good for the pet, the planet and the community, said Cynthia Dunston Quirk, founder of the Anderson, Ind.-based manufacturer. 'How the black soldier fly larvae are grown and what they eat makes them very sustainable,' she explained. 'The larvae feed on fruits and vegetables that are past their prime and heading to the landfill. So, the little larvae are cleaning up the environment just by eating. The lifecycle of the larvae is three weeks from egg state to larvae, and they are voracious eaters. They grow one million percent of their body weight and utilize no additional water as they grow. All the water they need is available in the fruit and veggies consumed.' Like cricket farming, Dunston Quirk said that black soldier fly larvae require significantly less land than cattle. 'According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, it takes 546 acres of land to raise 300 head of cattle,' Dunston Quirk continued. 'On that same acreage, billions of black soldier fly larvae can hatch, develop and be harvested, utilizing the space above the ground as well as the ground itself. The larvae also emit less carbon and methane gas, which is good for protecting the ozone layer, and need no additional water to grow.' While sustainability is important to many of those who try foods with alternative protein sources, potential food sensitives and allergies may have started them on the journey in the first place. Jim Galovski, co-founder, CEO and president of Needham, Mass.-based Guardian Pet Food Co., said food sensitives and allergies prompted the company to create a vegan bar in its NOBL food line. The vegan recipe is made with peas, lentils, chickpeas, fava beans and dried yeast, all of which offer a good source of protein, according to the company. Of course, sustainability has also been paramount. Galovski said that there's a quantity standpoint to look at. The two-ounce NOBL food bars can feed a 25-pound dog for the day. With higher digestibility, Galovski said that pets are receiving more of what they need in a lesser quantity—with less waste, too. The Nutrition Factor - When 'Meat First' Is the Mindset  There are a number of factors that are likely to hold dog owners and even retailers back from getting onboard with foods made with alternative proteins. A big one is the 'meat first' mentality. 'The pet industry has done a great job marketing real meat first, but we've been trying to shift the conversation to it being not as much about the ingredients but the nutrients,' said Jim Galovski, co-founder, CEO and president of Needham, Mass.-based Guardian Pet Food Co. 'Still, this remains a heated topic. Should you ever want to alienate a group, just bring up religion, politics or what they feed their dog.' Dogs are omnivores, so meat isn't as vital to their diet as it has appeared to consumers over the years, said Anne Carlson, CEO of Jiminy's, a Berkeley, Calif.-based manufacturer of pet food and treats that combine insect protein with plant-based ingredients. 'Dogs do need the 10 essential amino acids, so your dog food has to contain all of them,' she continued. 'Jiminy's insect protein has all 10 and at levels exceeding [Association of American Feed Control Officials] AAFCO standards.' Insect meat is very high in protein and compares very favorably to traditional proteins, Carlson explained. For example, 100 grams of beef yields 22 grams of protein, while 100 grams of insect meat yields 32 grams of protein, she said. Carlson added that insect meat also doesn't create the allergy issues that dogs have developed with traditional proteins over the years. But retailers might have to overcome their reluctance to embrace this category in order for it to truly take off, said Cynthia Dunston Quirk, founder of Scout and Zoe's, a manufacturer in Anderson, Ind. There is a sense of discomfort with bug protein that retailers themselves might feel. 'Dogs eat bugs whether the owner is feeding them to the pet intentionally or not,' she said. 'Watch any dog roam in a yard—they're foraging and finding and eating bugs. Ultimately, retailers do need to champion this as an option for more consumers to be willing to give it a try.' Carlson said that Jiminy's has been fighting the 'ick factor' since day one. 'The most effective response is to get the treat in a pet owner's hands,' Carlson continued. 'Once they see that it's a very familiar-looking and -smelling treat—[our] soft and chewy training treats also have a beef jerky scent—and learn about insect protein's unique benefits, it's game over and we have a convert.' Denise Strong, co-owner of Pawz on Main, a pet store in Cottonwood, Ariz., said that she hasn't gotten any inquiries about alternative proteins yet—and she does think the ick factor of bugs might be hard to overcome with consumers. Strong said that she is personally waiting for more evidence to prove that bugs could be a primary source of protein in a dog's diet. Jason Ast, owner of Just Dog People, a pet store in Garner, N.C., is also reluctant and a firm believer in carnivorous diets that are low in sugar and carbs. Whenever possible, he looks to convert dog owners to a raw diet and said he has seen it effectively address some customers' allergy concerns. But Ast does get vegan or vegetarian pet owners who really want to feed their dogs a similar diet. He acknowledges that for many of these pet owners, raw is a challenge because the sight and smell of the food can make them incredibly uncomfortable. Ast said that no matter what approach or beliefs a retailer may have, looking down on a pet owner's food choices is never the answer. 'Personally, I do enjoy crickets and some of the other novel proteins for treats,' Ast continued. Product Selection -  What You Need to Know Given the newness of pet food options made with alternative protein sources like crickets and grubs, the industry can expect to see more new products like these coming down the pipeline. With more alternative-protein pet diets coming into the market, retailers should remain diligent in vetting new products and select foods made with high-quality ingredients, according to industry insiders. Anne Carlson, CEO of Berkeley, Calif.-based Jiminy's, said retailers should start with where products are coming from. If a product is North American sourced, it is a good indicator of high-quality ingredients, she added. 'Specific to insect protein, production control at insect farms is rigorous,' Carlson said. 'A cricket farm is like a warehouse, so everything is contained and can be easily overseen. The general principles associated with the breeding, rearing, and processing of insects for feed and food have been established and are available for public access.' Insiders expressed some concern over the 'copycats' that are jumping into this space, which is why vetting new products is so important. 'Retailers should be aware of where insects are grown,' said Cynthia Dunston Quirk, founder of Scout and Zoe's, a manufacturer in Anderson, Ind. 'There are already some doing this outside of the U.S.' Jim Galovski, co-founder, CEO and president of Needham, Mass.-based Guardian Pet Food Co., said that retailers and consumers alike need to demand transparency from manufacturers. 'It's so important to ask for a digestibility study,' he said. 'If the company says they don't do them, you really should look for another company. A digestibility study is measuring the bioavailability of nutrients in the food—it's almost unethical not to do that for dog parents who are going to be putting their trust and faith into a food.' Galovski said that retailers should also demand transparency in terms of sourcing as well as processes. Ultimately, Galovski said he would like to see more acceptance as the industry moves into the future. 'It's important that retailers and pet parents give some of these new options a chance, assuming they've done their due diligence on them,' he said. 'It's time to encourage some innovation within the category. Whether it's some of the new alternative protein sources or alternative food formats, there is definitely room to grow.' by Pet Products News

Vitamins 5 ways cats can benefit from krill

2+ MIN

5 ways cats can benefit from krill

Why? Because krill is rich in health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, choline, astaxanthin, and marine proteins. All these essential nutrients are important for the healthy development and maintenance of a cats' body. More than that, omega-3s found in krill play a very important role, as both cats and dogs can't produce them naturally and rely on their diet to maintain healthy levels. Here are some ways cats can benefit from having a diet that includes krill. Read more on how important is the right omega-3 1. Skin Care and Coat Health
Fat is very important for healthy skin and coat in cats. Lack of fatty acids can initially result in a dull, dry coat and itchy skin, as they are crucial for the skin and coat barrier. A regular diet based on essential fatty acids like those found in krill is therefore essential to keep the skin barrier fit and the coat shiny. They may help prevent dandruff and reduced shedding which can lead to fewer hairballs. Being anti-inflammatory, they may also prevent skin problems related to e.g. atopy or allergies. 2. Heart Support
Omega-3s are important for a healthy heart and can help reduce inflammation in cats that have existing heart disease. They may also lower blood pressure and prevent dangerous blood clots that could be damaging to the heart. 3. Healthy Joints
Krill's omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and may contribute to reducing joint pain caused by aging or osteoarthritis. Several studies show that senior cats suffering from osteoarthritis-related joint pain had improved motion and had more energy after receiving a consistent diet based on omega-3s. 4. Improved and Stronger Immune System
Omega-3s and astaxanthin found in krill strengthen the immune system in your cat by making immune cells more flexible and resistant. A healthy, balanced diet that includes omega-3s and omega-6s can support and enhance the immune system of cats of all ages. Even perfectly healthy cats can benefit from the immune-boosting properties as their risk for serious illnesses increases with age. 5. Cognitive Function
Omega-3s and choline found in krill are essential for the cognitive and behavioral function of cats in every stage of life. They support brain development, the learning process, the nerve transmitters and affect the overall mental well-being of cats. It may also diminish the amount of neuronal loss happening when aging. Giving cats pet food or supplement with krill can therefore help their mind and vision to stay strong and focused. It is true omega-3 fatty acids can do wonders for your cat's health and wellbeing, but for that to happen your furry friend needs to get enough of these essential nutrients from diet alone. Krill is also a sustainable marine source Besides being a natural source of health-promoting nutrients for pets, krill is highly sustainable and therefore environmentally friendly, reducing your cat's carbon paw-print. by Written by Ana Dumbravescu - Marketing Manager Qrill Pet 


Formulation Yeast nucleotide advancements in pet food

4+ MIN

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Yeast nucleotide advancements in pet food

What is the nucleotide?
  From a genetic point of view, nucleotides are an important part of cells. It is a monomer that makes up DNA (genes) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) and plays an important role in cell structure, metabolism, energy and regulatory functions. From the perspective of application, nucleotides play an important role in the immune regulation, brain development and intestinal flora improvement of pets, especially newborn and young pets, and can also improve the immunity of pets. From a source, nucleotides are also found in food. For example, fish, animal organs, fungi, etc., of which yeast is particularly rich in nucleic acid content, and yeast nucleotide content is more abundant after industrial nucleotide enzymolysis.   Why the nucleotides need to added in pet food?
  Studies have found that although the pet body can synthesise nucleotides itself, the nucleotides synthesised in the body cannot meet the needs of various tissues with high metabolism, such as the immune system and intestinal tissues. The lack of nucleotides in pet food can affect the heart, liver, intestine and immune function of pets.   The application trend of yeast nucleotides in pet food   Yeast nucleotides improve pet intestinal health   Nucleotides play an important role in the gut, promoting the growth, development and repair of intestinal cells. Nucleotides can stimulate the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the body and effectively reduce the probability of diarrhoea in young pets. Nutritional studies have shown that injection of nucleotides and the addition of nucleotides to infant formula can improve intestinal health and immune system development in infants and young children. Because nucleotides and small peptides can maintain intestinal health, adding yeast source nucleotide nutrition to pet food fed by young dogs and cats can effectively improve the diet structure and promote intestinal health of young pets.   The addition of yeast nucleotide to pet cat food can improve the balance of intestinal flora. The experimental study of yeast nucleotide in pets conducted by Beijing Academy of Agricultural Sciences shows that the abundance of bifidobacteria in the added yeast nucleotide group is higher than that in the treatment group, and the lactobacillus abundance in the yeast hydrolysis group is also higher than that in the control group and other treatment groups. The results showed that adding yeast nucleotide improved the intestinal tract of pet cats better than other treatment groups. (Figure 1)     At the same time, the effects of yeast nucleotide addition on the contents of indole and skatole in pet cat faeces were detected. The test results showed that after the addition of yeast nucleotide, yeast nucleotide significantly reduced the contents of skatole and indole in faeces, effectively increased the content of bifidobacterium in pet faeces, and improved the intestinal health of pets (Figure 2).   Yeast nucleotides improve the immune system   When pets have some external conditions, such as intestinal damage, rapid growth, too little protein intake or stress problems, the immune system is triggered, the amount of self-synthesis is far from enough to provide support. So this extra intake of exogenous nucleotides optimises its physiological function. Pet mucous membranes, bone marrow, hematopoietic cells and lymphocytes, these tissues are more dependent on exogenous dietary nucleic acids as a remedy pathway. Studies have shown that pet food supplemented with yeast nucleotides can increase phagocytic activity of pet leukocytes and improve the ability of lymphocyte division. After addition of yeast nucleotide, pet vaccination resulted in increased anti-parvovirus antibody titers at 14 days, increased non-specific immunoglobulin levels at weaning, and improved peripheral blood mononuclear cells.   Yeast nucleotide strong freshening agent   Sodium inosine (IMP) and sodium guanylate (GMP) mixtures are used as fresheners in pet food. Umami, as one of the five basic tastes, can bring pleasure to pets and represents the characteristic flavour of most amino acids and nucleotides Yeast nucleotides are added with nuclease, so that the nuclease in yeast is decomposed into four free nucleotides (UMP,GMP,CMP,AMP). The four free nucleotides in the product have very good flavour and nutrition enhancement, and are suitable for pet food industry with better flavour.   The application prospect of yeast nucleotide feed additives   The raw materials of yeast nucleotides are extensive, the extraction technology is mature, rich in nucleotides can promote the healthy development of the intestines of pets, improve disease resistance and immunity, in addition, its degradation products such as IMP, GMP, etc. are themselves a kind of substances that affect the flavour, can indirectly improve the nutritional value of pet food, and commodity value, which is of great significance in pet nutrition.   Source: All About Feed.

Formulation What food category does my pet need?

4+ MIN

What food category does my pet need?

Years later, the well-known "Ken-L Ration," canned horse meat, was born in the United States, and thus the first wet diet appeared. Later, in the 1940s, nutrition programs for life stages began. In the fifties, the first therapeutic diets came out, and in the seventies, we saw the first personalized diets by race. It was not until 1980 that the National Research Council published nutritional requirements for dogs and cats. Thanks to this, the nutritional bases are established, along with other guides such as AAFCO or FEDIAF, to provide balanced nutrition to pets. The following are, in very general terms, some examples, since the specific amounts may vary depending on the food formulation: Dog nutritional requirements: Proteins
Puppies: Minimum 22%
Adults: Minimum 18% Fats
Puppies: Minimum 8.5%
Adults: Minimum 5.5% Fiber
Varies depending on the specific formula needs. Vitamins and trace minerals
Specific to the dog's needs and life stage

2. Cat nutritional requirements Proteins
Puppies: Minimum 30%
Adults: Minimum 26% Fats
Puppies: Minimum 9%
Adults: Minimum 9% Fiber
It varies depending on the specific needs of the food. Vitamins and trace minerals
Specific to the cat's needs and life stage. Over the years, a wide variety of foods have emerged. With this, the market has had to organize into types or food categories to provide the consumer with the nutrition they are looking for to meet the needs of each pet.  In many countries, pet foods are subject to regulations and standards set by authorities. This includes ensuring that foods meet certain nutritional standards and clear labeling. An important point to consider with any food type is to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the appropriate daily amount based on your pet's age, size, and specific needs. Currently, there is a clear definition of food for dogs, cats, birds, rodents, reptiles, etc. However, the nutritional requirement varies depending on factors, such as age, size, activity level, and specific pet needs. So, in addition to species, pet food should be classified by these subcategories. Within the wide variety of pet food categories, there is one established with the economic capacity of each pet parent (in addition to the digestibility of its nutrients): Economy, Standard, or Premium, in very general terms. Within each segment mentioned above, there are other more complex subcategories. Let's talk about some of these: Dry food
This type is the most widely sold in the world and usually contains a balanced mix of essential nutrients. It is produced under the extrusion process to achieve certain physicochemical characteristics. Some nutrients, especially micronutrients, can degrade with processing and time, so it is important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations regarding expiration date and storage. Wet food
This type has a high-water content. Some pets prefer it because of its texture and flavor. It is recommended as a diet supplement of dry foods to promote dental health, as wet food may not be as abrasive. Semi-moist food
It is a combination of the above. BARF food (an acronym for "Biologically Appropriate Raw Food")
It consists of raw foods such as meat, bones, organs, and vegetables. It is based on the idea of being more like the one an animal would find in nature. The raw diet may lack some essential nutrients, so it is important to consider supplements, as well as make sure to maintain high hygiene standards to avoid bacterial contamination. Breed-specific foods
Foods formulated to meet the particular needs of certain breeds. Foods for specific life stages
These can be for puppies, adults, or seniors. Foods for pets with special dietary needs
We can mention, for example, grain-free, hypoallergenic, or foods for pets with weight problems. Snacks and treats
These are small portions of tasty foods for training or as a reward. They are not substitutes for the main meal. Nutritional supplements (vitamins and minerals) They are designed to ensure that the pet receives all the necessary nutrients. Not all animals need supplements. We should remember that a pet will eat the food their owner selects for him and, usually, it will be the same for long periods of time. This food must be balanced and provide all the nutrients so that a pet remains in good health and well-being. Pet parents now have access to more food options and information, and research on pet nutrition has become more advanced and available. As we have seen, there is a category designed by years of research for each specific pet. These foods are prepared to cover each and every one of the nutritional requirements of a dog or cat, considering various factors, including the species, life stage (puppy, adult, senior), size (small, medium, large), breed, activity level, and any special dietary needs.  It is important to note that food choice should be based on the specific needs of each individual pet, as today, food categories that nourish the pet 100% are available for everyone.

By MVZ. Armando Enriquez de la Fuente Blanquet. Source: All Pet Food Magazine.

By Armando Enriquez de la Fuente Blanquet



Pet food definition, according to categories

Diet is a fundamental part of health, life quality, and slowing down physiological processes such as aging, prevention, and even treatment of multiple illnesses. And even though nowadays we have plenty of information on the nutritional requirements of pet animals, it is difficult to reach a consensus. In this article, we discuss some concepts based on my analysis study and experience with my patients, considering that dogs and cats are carnivorous and, as such, require a greater supply of protein and ingredients of animal origin in most of their stages and states. Food categories Depending on their degree of processing: We will have ultra-processed foods (UP = dry or canned food or any other food intended for consumption by pets that is manufactured by carrying out a thermal or pressure processing step) or minimally processed (MP = fresh, frozen or any other food intended for consumption by pets, manufactured without thermal or pressure processing or one of them). By the % of water, we can divide them into dry (8-12% water), semi-humid (15-30% water), and humid (around 70% water). Depending on their function: complete foods (which cover a pet's whole nutritional needs) or supplements (for example, snacks or treats). Depending on its manufacturing type: they can be commercial or homemade foods (cooked, BARF, or raw). Depending on their age: Puppies (age will depend on animal size, up to 12-16-24 months) mainly focused on learning, immunity, development, and growth. Adults (from 12-16-24 months to 6-7 years of age), depending on animal size, whose main objective is balance and maintenance.Gerontes (+ 6-7), who seek a quality of life, promoting health by slowing down aging and the appearance of typical age-related diseases (kidney, heart, joint care, intestinal balance, nervous system health, etc.). Natural foods: They lack artificial colorings, flavors, and antioxidants while having a lower degree of processing. This represents a better life quality, greater digestibility, and use of certain nutrients. Functional foods: They include the so-called nutraceuticals or functional ingredients in their formula, which exert different functions or purposes in the body, such as joint protectors, immunomodulators, probiotics, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, etc. These give the food added value beyond what is strictly nutritional. According to its quality: Ultra-premium, super-premium +, low super-premium or super-premium, premium, standard, or Economy. To enter a category, a food must meet most of its characteristics (beyond what a label says).

Ultra-premium or super-premium + Purchased at veterinarians or pet stores Foods with high-quality ingredients High nutritional density and greater digestibility Extensive portfolio that answers pet needs at different stages, sizes, and special requirements. With the greatest nutritional innovations on the market (functional ingredients +++) Size differential with kibble differential (in size and composition) Less fecal matter production Very digestible elements (a higher proportion of ingredients of animal origin and in the first orders) Greater benefits for the individual, such as shinier hair, more vitality, and better health Minimum digestibility of 80-90% Average protein and fat: 35-40/15-17, respectively Minimum animal protein of 70% Nutrient range with the highest industry standard Smaller portions needed No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives High technology to take advantage of all ingredients' biological value

Super-premium Found at veterinarians or pet stores High-quality ingredients High nutritional density and digestibility Extensive portfolio that answers pet needs at different stages, sizes, and special requirements Nutritional innovation (functional ingredients) Size differential with kibble differential (in size and composition) Less fecal matter production Greater benefits for the individual, such as shinier hair, more vitality, and better health Very digestible elements (large amounts of ingredients of animal origin) Minimum digestibility of 80% Average protein and fat of 30-40/14-16, respectively. Minimum animal protein of 60% High industry standard nutrient range Smaller portions needed No artificial colors or flavors

Premium May contain artificial colors and flavors More fat and calories Made with animal or vegetable flour A mix of flavors, variety, and croquette shapes. Ingredients that protect joints, improve intestinal health and facilitate digestion Digestibility of 70-80% Average protein and fat of 24-34/10-15, respectively Animal protein is close to 40-50% Usually have an average price

Standard - mainstream Low density (provided by proteins and fats) Low fat and protein content Digestibility less than 75% Target of consumers concerned about the price Protein source mixture of meat meal and other non-animal sources Low-quality ingredients Smaller portfolio (no size differentials, sometimes even stages, no special care products) Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives Average protein and fat of 20-30/10-12, respectively Animal protein <40%

Economical Low density (provided by proteins and fats) The lowest fat and protein content on the market Digestibility is less than 60% Target of consumers concerned about the price Protein source is a mixture of meat meal and bone powder Lower quality ingredients Smaller portfolio (no size differentials, sometimes even stages, no special care products) Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives Average protein and fat of 20-27/8-10, respectively Animal protein <30% Poorly digestible fibers 9. Therapeutic: These are foods intended for a specific stage of an animal or need. They can be temporary or permanent, aimed at preventing, helping, or treating a specific disease. They are another clinical tool, a therapeutic one, sometimes the main one of a treatment (DIETOTHERAPY). Although there is no specific legislation, we must consider the digestibility, type of meat or meat flour, differential of kibbles or sizes, portfolio, colorant presence, antioxidants, or palatability as important aspects when selecting the appropriate product for a pet's needs. Product price, in general, is determined by the ingredients used (which are or should be organized in descending order), energy density, protein quantity and quality, and nutraceutical addition. We must be able to guarantee complete food that covers the requirements of an animal according to their needs, stage and size, digestibility (maximum nutrient use), good energy intake (3000-5000 Kcal), palatability, and safety.   By: Dr. Bonaura M. Candela.
Source: All Pet Food Magazine.

By Candela Bonaura



Czech company earns EU registration for cultivated pet food

Prague-based Bene Meat has become the EU's first cultivated meat company to be cleared for sale in pet food after receiving approval from the European Feed Materials Register. The milestone is the latest development in the burgeoning cultured pet food sector, which has witnessed new tech, new brands, as well as rebrands. Bene Meat announced in a press release  that it had been 'certified by the European Feed Materials Register to produce and sell cultured meat for pet food'. Originally Reuters and others (including this publication) reported this statement as an official EU regulatory approval. However, Dr Hannah Lester, CEO and Principal Consultant at Atova Regulatory Consulting, told industry publication CellAgri that while 'Bene Meat has listed their cultivated cells of mammalian origin in the EU feed materials register…so it is true that cultivated meat could be classified as a feed material,' it was important to clarify that this is 'not the same as an EU regulatory approval or certification' as reported by Reuters in an article about the news. According to Dr Lester, 'any feed business operator (FBO) can list a new feed material on the Feed Material Register if it is not already listed in the EU Catalogue of Feed Materials. The Feed Material Register does not grant approvals or certification.' She added that 'Feed materials that are safe and compliant with Regulation (EC) 767/2009 can be used in pet food. There is no separate approval process for pet foods, but there are different labeling requirements.' Robert E. Jones, President of Cellular Agriculture Europe, said in a statement: 'While it is exciting to see the potential of cultivated meat explored for multiple purposes in the food system, it is critical that accurate information is communicated about how new products are regulated. This was not an EU approval. The company in question has self-listed its cultivated cells in the EU feed materials register, which is managed by the industry-led EU Feed Chain Task Force, and they do not grant approvals or certificates. It is important to clarify that animal feed materials do not require pre-market approval and have nothing to do with the robust EU novel foods process our members will go through to bring delicious and sustainable cultivated meat and seafood to consumers.' A spokesperson from Bene gave us the following updated statement about the news: ' To confirm, Bene Meat is officially registered as an FBO producing cultured cells of mammalian origin in the Czech Republic and registered this new feed ingredient in the European Feed Materials Register. Bene Meat has also extensively discussed the subject with the European Commission and Czech Authorities, and verified the application of classification 12 for cultured cells of mammalian origins and provided them with necessary documentation, description of the material and cultivation process. In this regard, Bene Meat has satisfied all legal requirements to bring the feed material based on cultured cells of mammalian origin to the market and is legally allowed to do so.' Editor's Note: we have updated our reporting to reflect this clarification with statements from Dr Hannah Lester, Robert E. Jones and a spokesperson from Bene Meat. Bene Meat first to list its cultivated pet feed on official EU register The Czech startup was founded in 2020 to make cultivated meat for human consumption but has pivoted to pet food for now, providing cultured meat as a raw material to global pet food manufacturers. It has been developing its own FBS-free growth factors since 2021, and now plans to boost production to produce several tonnes of cell-cultured meat daily by mid-2024. 'Thanks to the obtained certification, nothing prevents us from taking further steps,' said Tomáš Kubeš, Bene Meat's head of strategic projects. 'We're negotiating with feed manufacturers to get this wonderful product into production.' Its tech can be adapted according to manufacturers' requirements, offering an ingredient that can be fully used in the making of any pet food product. 'We look forward to working with manufacturers, as we're doing it for them and their customers,' added managing director Roman Kříž. 'Manufacturers have a unique chance to gain an unprecedented competitive advantage in the market, thanks to the existence of our product.' Kříž told Reuters that the startup is able to scale up its manufacturing at prices that make its meat commercially viable on par with premium and super-premium pet food products. Bene Meat is emerging in a market with strong acceptance of cell-cultured pet food. A Czech survey by NMS Market Research found that 48% of citizens prefer cultivated meat in pet food for health and safety reasons, while 27% cited ethical and ecological factors as purchasing drivers for cultured meat for their furry friends. The startup now plans to test how the meat tastes to pets, and will scale up production in its Prague lab as well as a new facility it's on the lookout for. Bene Meat expects to introduce the first cultured meat for pet food in the EU in early 2024. Meatly takes on the UK Another company planning to launch cultivated pet food in Europe – starting with its home market in the UK – is Meatly. If you've never heard of it, it's because this is the new name of the startup formerly known as Good Dog Food. The company, which raised £3.5M in seed funding earlier this year, has just rebranded as it prepares to launch in the UK. Its chairman Jim Melon, executive director of Agronomics has previously said that it would be easier to earn regulatory approval for cultured meat for the pet industry, rather than for human consumption. Meatly was only launched last year, and makes cultivated chicken by 'taking a sample of cells from a chicken egg just once'. It has already secured 'key partnerships with manufacturers' – including with petcare retailer Pets at Home – to get its pet food on shelves soon. 'Our pets love meat, but old-fashioned meat – produced through factory farming – requires a huge amount of land, water, and antibiotics and is a key cause of environmental degradation,' said Meatly CEO Owen Ensor. 'We need cultivated meat now more than ever. Pet food is the natural starting point, given consumers' excitement. We're thrilled to be at the heart of the future of meat production in the UK.' A kinder seafood brand for pets More recent developments include the formation of Marina Cat, a cultivated pet food brand born out of a collaboration between Canada's Cult Food Science and Singapore-based cultured seafood producer Umami Bioworks. Marina Cat will combine Umami's cultivated red ocean snapper and Cult's patented nutritional yeast ingredient, Bmmune, to make a 'high-protein, low-calorie' feline treat that 'provides benefits to a cat's cognitive function, based on its high levels of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acid chains'. The startup aims to begin production this year, and expects its product to have widespread availability in 2024. 'My vision for the future is that we no longer have to slaughter other animals to feed our cats,' said Joshua Errett, Cult's VP of product. 'This brand brings me one very great step closer to making that a reality.' The AI opportunity More recently, Vienna-based BioCraft Pet Nutrition (formerly Because Animals) unveiled its proprietary AI and machine learning tool to accelerate R&D for optimal cell proliferation and nutrient production. The tool processes publicly available data and synthesises it into 'a picture of the biochemical machinery inside a cell'. It then analyses the data to identify nutritional inputs that can enhance cell growth, nutrient biosynthesis, or other biological processes key to cultivated meat production. 'The main costs and time sinks on the way to commercialization are R&D-related, and our AI has substantially streamlined this process, accelerated our progress, and reduced costs,' said BioCraft founder and CEO Shannon Falconer. 'In this application, AI can surpass the human brain for speed and efficiency, and helps us derive more complex conclusions by making more connections between more facts.' This came a few months after BioCraft had developed a chicken cell line for both cat and dog food, with the cultured chicken ingredient containing all essential nutrients found in conventional pet food, including high protein content, key vitamins, fats and amino acids like taurine. With the help of AI, BioCraft – which has previously unveiled cell-based mice meat – is engaging in fewer, more targeted experiments, to fine-tune its cell proliferation process and improve the health credentials of its meat. Additionally, it can identify less expensive inputs and ingredients, including those less likely to raise regulatory concerns. (So far, no company has received approval from the US Centre for Veterinary Medicine.) Why alternative pet food is crucial Pet food is a $144B market and one that's set to grow annually by 5.3% until 2028. But the industry carries a massive environmental burden. In the US alone, for example, manufacturing cat and dog kibble is equivalent to 25-30% of all animal-consumption-related emissions. And globally, dog and cat food emit around 64 million tons of carbon per year – that's the equivalent of over 13 million cars. In fact, according to one study, if cats and dogs were considered their own nation, they would rank as the world's fifth-largest meat-consuming entity. Moreover, health is an increasing priority for humans, and the continued humanisation of pets has led to a crossover of habits. This is where cultured pet food comes in. A 729-person study last year found that while 32.5% of Brits would be willing to eat cultivated meat themselves, they'd be more willing to feed it to their pets (47.3%). Of those who would try these proteins themselves, 81.4% would be happy to give them to their four-legged friends. A recent study exploring the environmental impact of vegan pets can provide an insight into the climate-friendly nature of cultured pet food too. The research suggested that if all dogs and cats went plant-based globally, it could help feed nearly 520 million people, save more greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those produced by entire nations, and free up land the size of several countries. Further research found that vegan diets can be just as healthy for cats as meat-based ones, shedding the 'obligate carnivores' universally associated with felines. It followed another study published last year that found that vegan diets are the healthiest and least hazardous choice for dogs. In fact, vegan cat food is a $9.2B market that's expected to nearly double by 2030, while the vegan dog food market is currently valued at £11.5bn ($14.1B), and projected to reach £21bn ($25.8B) by 2033, according to the Guardian. All the signs are there for the continued growth of alternative pet food, a category that also includes brands like Wild Earth (cell-based dog food) and Bond Pet Foods (cultured chicken for dogs and cats). These latest developments – notably the approval in the EU – are major markers of what's to come for this sector. This article was updated on November 10th 2023 to better reflect Bene's regulatory announcement. As per CellAgri's reporting and additional statements from Cellular Agriculture Europe, we have clarified our reporting to better represent the company's news. On November 13th 2023, we updated this article with a statement from Bene Meat. by Anay Mridul  -  AGreen Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia.  



Agroloop commissions Bühler to provide proven insect-rearing tech for animal feed

Swiss company Bühler will deliver its proven crate-based nursery and rearing technology, enabling a quick ramp-up of the plant for commercial production. By the end of 2024, Agroloop plans to launch its first products, contributing to a more sustainable animal feed value chain. Industrial-scale insect plant Following its foundation in 2017 and the operation of a pilot facility, Agroloop got the green light to implement an industrial insect plant in Hungary in 2022.  Now, they have selected all execution partners and are working at full speed to construct the plant and get it operational.  In the new plant, Agroloop will produce more than 25,000 metric tons of black soldier fly larvae that will be turned into sustainable feed ingredients for the pet food, aquaculture and livestock sectors.  The plant is only the first step in Agroloop's strategy to make insect feed ingredients available for the Central and Eastern European (CEE) agribusiness.  'The abundance of food processing by-products presents a unique opportunity for Agroloop's multi-plant rollout strategy in the CEE region, ' says István Nagy, co-founder and CEO of Agroloop. 'We leverage our strategic partnership with the leading regional feed producer UBM Group to improve feed quality and sustainability by creating future-proof feed formulas. This enables Agroloop to focus on rapid expansion and solidifies our position as a key player in the region.'  Tech for short ramp-up time  Agroloop's insect growth technology has a big influence on plant yield, directly impacting the performance of business. Agroloop has chosen Bühler's nursery and rearing technology for their insect growth system, which has several years of track record in the insect industry.  'We've assembled a technology supplier portfolio to build our plant. Bühler is crucial in providing this design's framework and core components. By choosing Bühler's technology, Agroloop can enter the value chain with the highest standards,' says István Nagy.   Sustainable protein in demand   In pursuing sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, the CEE region increasingly turns to alternative sources for feed ingredients.  By incorporating insects into the feed supply chain, the region can address environmental concerns, reduce dependence on imported protein sources, and contribute to a circular economy approach. In addition, innovative feed formulations containing insects can optimize animal health and growth, thus leading to more efficient livestock production systems.  Insects can be reared on agricultural and food processing by-products, transforming these materials into high-quality protein. This approach reduces the environmental impact of this value chain and creates a closed-loop system where resources are reused and recycled.  The EU has previously depended on imported protein sources for animal feed, contributing to deforestation and habitat destruction in other parts of the world. By embracing the commercialization of insect-based livestock feed, the region can increase feed efficiency, reduce reliance on external sources, and contribute to local and regional food security.  Andreas Baumann, head of market segment insect technology at Bühler, adds: 'The incorporation of insect ingredients in animal feed presents a compelling solution to the challenges faced by the livestock industry.' 'Besides providing nutritious and sustainable protein sources, insects empower local economies to become self-sufficient. That is why insect protein is key to a more sustainable and resilient food system.'  Yesterday, Food Ingredients First reported that the UK Edible Insect Association said that European Novel Food regulations impose an 'extremely high barrier to entry for edible insect companies and ignore the sector's potential to build a more sustainable food system.' In other insect-based developments, US-based scientists recently revealed they are targeting dairy waste reduction by mass-producing the black soldier fly that feeds on it and evaluating the insect's potential as a feed for livestock and domestic pets. ' by Bühler



Mycotoxins in dog and cat food: how to deal with them?

Mycotoxins are toxic substances resulting from the metabolism of some fungi and molds. For the development of microorganisms that produce these toxins, several factors are necessary, such as physical-chemical factors, type of substrate, temperature, and humidity of the storage place, in addition to the amount of water present in the grains and their pH (MAZIERO and BERSOT, 2010). Mycotoxins do not induce protective immunity since they are not antigenic, and therefore, their effects vary with the type, dose, and even the age, sex, and health of the animal. The main clinical signs reported in dogs and cats poisoned by mycotoxins present in their food are vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, abdominal pain, polydipsia, polyuria, ascites, anorexia, and development of chronic liver damage. In canine medicine, it is common to record mycotoxicoses that occur silently, which makes differential diagnosis difficult (SILVA, 2019; WITASZAK et al., 2019). The main mycotoxins and their respective target organs, identified in the canine species, are aflatoxins (AFLA) and fumonisins (FUMO) in the liver, deoxynivalenol (DON) in the digestive system, ochratoxin A (OA) in the kidneys, zearalenone (ZEA) in the reproductive system, patulin (PTA) in the liver and kidneys, and citrinin (CIT) in the kidneys and digestive system (SOUZA and SCUSSEL, 2012). Contamination of dog and cat foods with mycotoxins can occur directly or indirectly. The first occurs when some of the ingredients are previously contaminated, and even with the elimination of the fungus during the extrusion process, the mycotoxins remain in the food, since they are resistant to high temperatures. The direct form is related to food contamination by toxigenic fungi and the subsequent appearance of mycotoxin production (FERREIRA et al., 2007).   The mycotoxicosis scenario in pet food factories is quite challenging Given this, we need strategies that guarantee the high quality of the ingredients used in the manufacture of food for dogs and cats or find solutions that prevent mycotoxins from being absorbed by the animals' bodies. Implementing a comprehensive mycotoxin monitoring program in the pet food plant is essential. This program should include several steps, from careful selection of ingredient suppliers to accurate and reliable laboratory testing. To address the problem of mycotoxicoses it is essential to adopt an approach that includes the identification, quantification, and understanding of the mycotoxins present in the ingredients which will be used to manufacture dog and cat foods. This involves the use of precise methodologies that allow us to determine which mycotoxins are present, as well as their concentrations, helping to evaluate ingredient suppliers and the possible harm that may be caused to animals. Currently, the most well-known methodologies available for the quantitative analysis of mycotoxins in ingredients are high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Elisa), lateral flow strips (LFD) and near-infrared spectroscopy technology (NIR). These methods allow detection at extremely low levels, ensuring compliance with food safety regulations. It is important to highlight that the choice of a methodology is crucial to have a reliable analysis. However, the real value of managing mycotoxins found in ingredients used in the manufacture of dog and cat foods lies in the ability to interpret the results, evaluate their criticality, and implement corrective plans. Technology is playing an increasingly important role in improving mycotoxin monitoring. Real-time detection systems and predictive analytics based on artificial intelligence are being explored to identify potential risk points in production and enable proactive response. Mycotoxin adsorbent additive's introduction in pet foods has proven to be an effective solution to mitigate the risks of mycotoxins, mainly in factories that do not have control analysis at reception and in monitoring, the silos where these ingredients are stored. For an adsorbent to be considered efficient, it must present some characteristics: it must destroy, inactivate, or eliminate the toxin; not produce toxic or carcinogenic residues in final products or in foods obtained from animals that consumed a detoxified diet; and maintain the nutritional value and acceptability of the product (FREITAS et al., 2012). The adsorbent or chelating agent is an inert material without any nutritional principle, which could adhere to the surface of the mycotoxins present, causing their elimination through the feces of dogs and cats, preventing the toxins from being absorbed by the body. (MOREIRA et al., 2018). Aluminosilicates (clays) are the basis for the development of adsorbent additives. In the 1980s, the ability of certain clays (bentonites, zeolites, and others) to bind to food mycotoxins in the digestive tract of animals, preventing their absorption, was discovered. Currently, we have the most varied types of adsorbents available on the market, products based on volcanic rocks associated with other more technological and broad-spectrum compounds that combine the use of inorganic, organic, and yeast adsorbents. In addition to additives that support the immune system, they restore liver functions and help maintain intestinal integrity. When choosing a mycotoxin adsorbent, it is important to check the mycotoxin adsorption efficiency, which considers the percentage of adsorption and desorption in the intestine. This evaluation includes the stability of the adsorbent-mycotoxin bond and its effectiveness in different pH ranges since the product is expected to act throughout the gastrointestinal tract (Binder, 2007). pH values ​​vary throughout the digestive tract, from acidic conditions to basic conditions. Therefore, the binding capacity of products can be influenced by changes in pH, creating the risk that mycotoxins are adsorbed in one part and released (desorbed) in another part of the digestive tract (Zavarize, 2021). Furthermore, it is necessary to evaluate whether the adsorbent has a broad spectrum, that is, if it is effective for as many mycotoxins as possible. Another extremely important point to consider is the need for the adsorbents to have low inclusion so that they take up minimal space in the food formula and contribute an insignificant amount of mineral matter to the final product. This is especially crucial in premium, super-premium, and especially cat foods, where the amount of mineral matter tends to be lower, compared to dog foods, due to the adjustments necessary to avoid the formation of uroliths. Furthermore, it is essential that the adsorbents do not affect the palatability of the product.   Source: All Pet Food Magazine

By Ludmila Barbi T. Bomcompagni



3+ minutos de lectura


3+ MIN

Next-generation foods: Microbiome, nutrition, animal health and wellbeing

The Microbiome
  With this interest, the term 'microbiome' may be confusing, particularly to a person who is not a trained microbiologist. For instance, one reference may tell us that the microbiome is the complete set of microbiota (microorganisms, bacteria, fungi), its genes, and the metabolites they produce in the microenvironment in which they reside (habitat) either inside or on the body of an organism (e.g. the intestinal tract, the mouth, the skin, the reproductive system) and sometimes the term microbiome and microbiota are used interchangeably though they are different.
One way to grasp the term microbiome is by using a sports analogy. Imagine a football stadium filled with fans from diverse backgrounds and origins. Similarly, the gut microbiome (the football stadium) consists of a diverse population of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and more. What's more, each fan in the stadium has their own unique characteristics and preferences, as do the different microorganisms present in the gut microbiome.
We can expand this analogy further. Inside the football stadium (the gut microbiome), fans communicate and interact with each other and with the players during the game. Similarly, the microorganisms in the microbiome communicate and interact with each other and with the host (human, dog, or cat) through chemical signals and interactions.
This communication results in a strong association between the microbiome and the health of the gastrointestinal tract and other organs such as the brain, liver, skin, and others. And just as a successful football team requires a balance between offense and defense, the microbiome relies on a delicate balance of its microorganisms to maintain health. In contrast, an imbalance or unprepared team can lead to poor performance on the field, and a disruption of the balance in the gastrointestinal tract known as dysbiosis, can lead to health problems for the host.
While there are numerous factors that influence the composition of the microbiome (e.g. host genetics, age, environment), diet plays a fundamental role in the growth and function of certain microorganisms so they can thrive in their respective niches. Nutritional intervention through diet provides a daily opportunity to enhance the health of the microbiome and ultimately the health of the host. Studies show that phyla in the gut microbiome and the composition of bacteria and microorganisms respond predictably to dietary changes – high protein diets, and different types of fiber, to mention a few - in both humans and "healthy" dogs and cats.
It is not only important to know the specific phyla and strains, but also their functionality: what types of metabolic processes take place and what metabolites are generated. Metabolites that have been extensively discussed and researched are short-chain fatty acids, butyric, propionic, and acetic acids. It's important to note that the composition of the microbiota in the intestinal tract is unique to every person, and every dog, cat, and even human also has a unique microbiota profile.
What's next: New generation of foods
For some time now, customized and personalized food has been thought of as a way to tailor dietary recommendations and optimize food choices according to an individual's unique physiological needs for health and wellbeing.
What we already know about the microbiome gives us the starting point for truly personalized nutrition. We should be able to develop personalized food with the desired nutritional outcomes for specific cases and conditions. A study of an individual's microbiome can provide insights into its unique microbial profile and provide personalized dietary recommendations to modulate the gut microbiome to improve and enhance digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall gut health.
Modulating the gut microbiome to enhance wellbeing may seem like a tall order but discovering the secrets that the microbiome holds is key to a long and healthy life not only for our companion animals but also for us humans.   By: Juan Gómez-Basauri
Source: All Pet Food Magazine

By Juan Gómez Basauri, Ph.D.


7+ minutos de lectura


7+ MIN

Worth begging for

Treats and chews are a hot category for pet specialty retailers catering to dog and cat owners. Pet owners want options with which they can reward their beloved animals but are often still seeking products that have added benefits or make for a healthy choice.   "Over the past two years, we saw sales of collagen sticks skyrocket, but not enough to oversell bully sticks or more traditional chews," said Marcus Maximo, CMO at Natural Farm, a manufacturer based in Atlanta. "This makes me believe the trends are still on adding value to popular chews such as bully sticks, collagen or yak cheese by bringing to the market more unique shapes and size variations, combining proteins and adding flavors. Anything that brings value and quality and at the same time makes them more affordable is part of the trend."   When shopping for treats and chews, Maximo said pet owners will look at how safe a product is and what benefits it might provide to their pet. Others factors include the label, how clean the ingredients are and how reliable the company is, he said. "It is always a mix between benefits and safety when shopping for treats and chews," Maximo added.   Natural Farm recently introduced two products. Its Stuffed Cheek Roll is an alternative to stuffed bones, which always raise some concern as they can splinter, Maximo said. It comes in 5 to 6 inches or 9 to 10 inches and in different flavors. The second product, Power Cheese, is part of Natural Farm's Power Chew line.   "It is an alternative chew to traditional yak cheese," Maximo said. "This product combines a hard cow milk cheese on the inside with beef pizzle on the outside. This is a win-win chew, packed with protein that lasts longer than traditional yak cheese. It is made by Natural Farm in our facilities in Brazil so we can guarantee quality, transparency and safety, which is something you can't find with traditional yak cheese from Nepal."   There's no doubt that yak products are all the rage. Sherry Redwine, owner of Odyssey Pets, a pet store in Dallas, said that the biggest trend she's noticed is yak chews flooding the market. "It seems everyone and their yak are getting on this bandwagon," she said. "They now come in flavors too, like strawberry, pumpkin and blueberry. And, of course, collagen chews are hot hot hot—and not going away anytime soon."   Redwine said she has also seen private label products gaining traction in this category. "There are now companies out there doing things on a smaller scale so that single-store independent retailers can now get in on the action," she continued. "It reinforces your brand and keeps your name top of mind with your customers."   Cost is a factor in chew purchases, said Jason Ast, co-owner of Just Dog People, a pet store in Garner, N.C. Pet owners are willing to invest in a good chew, but they want to feel they are getting value out of it. "Customers are always looking for the best bang for their buck," he explained. "They want long-lasting chews that are affordable. This is definitely the No. 1 thing people are looking for when shopping for dog chews. Customers also want to know their treats or chews were made in the USA."   Ast said that they've also seen a surge in puppies in their area and that many of those pet owners are looking for puppy-safe chews. "That means chews that won't cause puppy teeth to fall out prematurely, and they also want chews that won't break off and end up choking their new fur baby," Ast said.   Kim McCohan, chief happiness officer at Bend Pet Express, a retailer with locations in Bend, Ore., said that any alternatives to rawhide—but that still fall into the "solo-ingredient category"—are sought after in chews. "[Earth Animal's] No-Hides are popular but due to their manufacturing process could be financially out of reach for some people," she said. "That is when many turn to cheaper collagen rolls."   Alan Snyder, CEO of Frankly Pet, a manufacturer in Milwaukee, said he's noticed functional treats trending. "Everyone loves indulging their pets, but consumers are seeking products that also contain beneficial ingredients to address specific issues such as supporting dental health, mobility and joints, digestive health and more," he said. "Collagen is an ingredient that's very popular at the moment as it helps build up bones, joints and muscles in addition to supporting a healthy coat, skin and nails."   Frankly Pet is introducing a new peanut butter flavor to its line of collagen rolls. Made in the USA with American-grade beef, Peanut Butter Chew Rolls feature 90 percent protein and 100 percent collagen.   Amy Cairy, vice president of marketing for W.F. Young, maker of Honest to Goodness treats, noted that the emphasis on treats and chews these days is on healthy options. "We have also seen a heightened awareness of the need to 'diversify the diet' as pets, and their people, could all use more fruits and veggies in their daily lives to support overall health," Cairy continued. "This is leading to increasing demand for more plant-based treats to help pet parents add healthy and beneficial options to their treat cabinet." W.F. Young's new Honest to Goodness Plant Snacks for dogs are all-natural, plant-based treats that promote functional health and overall wellness. They are available in six recipes including Happy Feet with Apples and Cinnamon, Way to Glow with Coconut and Flax, Mellow Belly with Pumpkin and Cinnamon, Golden Years with Blueberry and Carrot, Buddy Boost with Cranberry and Pomegranate, and Good Vibes with Chamomile and Ginger.   Taking stock of sales trends in the cat chews and treats category, McCohan said that thanks to TikTok and one particular cat account, their stores have seen an uptick in small dental chews. "The cat in this particular account chews hard treats, and the super-close video and sound of this act are so popular that their account has taken off," she said. Redwine noted that single-ingredient, freeze-dried meat treats that are healthy and palatable for cats remain the biggest sellers in her store.   Selling more treats & chews   Making smart display and marketing choices can help drive purchases of treats and chews. As there are so many options on the market, retailers can help guide pet owners toward the right choice for them. Maximo said that with so many variations, functions and benefits to offer, he recommends displaying chews on a raw bar table. "This is not a new concept, but instead, I'd group them to communicate the simplicity of what they are, their main function, their benefits and then by size recommendations," he said.   As treats and chews are often an impulse buy for consumers, Cairy said she recommends creating fun displays and constantly changing them. "Adding seasonal flavors or packaging that fits your display theme can really spur purchases and a sense of discovery and newness for shoppers," she added. "For example, a 'Happy Spring' treat display could feature treats with brightly colored packaging or highlight plant-based formulas."   Snyder said retailers have many options when it comes to arranging a treats and chews aisle. "Organizing the products can be done in several ways," he said. "This could be by brand, by all-natural products, by function, made in the USA, treats for training, etc. This helps optimize the shopping experience for pet parents. That said, treats and chews are often impulse purchases, so displaying treats and chews on endcaps leading up to the register can help, too."   At Just Dog People, they always have Nylabones and Benebones on a visible wall area since they sell so well, Ast said. "Our body parts can be found on a central display, called the 'Body Parts Bar,' where we have 20 various chews and treats for our furry customers," he continued. "We've found that people enjoy strolling around the body parts bar while shopping—many people are amazed at some of the items for sale—duck heads, chicken feet, etc."   McCohan said she tends to display chews based on category at her stores. "If they are inedible, we display those together, while the edible chews are together," she noted. "One of our locations displays all the edible chews in baskets kind of on their side and at an angle. Customers can grab what they want out of the basket but see more of each. Another location displays them in metal buckets on a pole, so there are many height offerings. I will say the location with the baskets down low allows dogs to pick what they want, and I don't think we allow that enough for our pets."   To that point, Snyder added that it's advantageous to incorporate a "sampling station" in stores and rotate brands and products on a weekly or monthly basis. He summed up: "Not only would this allow customers visiting the store with their pets to try the treats before buying, but it would help further showcase the quality, texture, smell and taste of products, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction."   Source: Pet Product News. 

Dogs The truth about Salmonella and dog food

5+ MIN

The truth about Salmonella and dog food

How worried should I be about Salmonella in dog food?
  It should go without saying, the presence of any pathogenic bacteria is unwelcome and, as 'pathogenic' suggests, carries risk. However, for a healthy, happy canine, Salmonella is typically a minor issue, with the majority of dogs showing few to no symptoms. The real concern lies in the possible transmission to humans, who are far more susceptible to the bacteria than their four-legged counterparts.
  How does Salmonella affect dogs? Salmonella is a type of bacteria that infects the gastrointestinal tract. If present in dogs, they are usually asymptomatic unless they have an already weakened immune system or are a puppy. However, even if a dog doesn't show signs of salmonellosis — the symptomatic infection caused by Salmonella — they can still spread the disease through feces or saliva, which can infect humans. The type of Salmonella that affects dogs is more likely to affect humans as well, making it a zoonotic disease — a disease that in transmissible between animals and humans.
How do I know if my dog has Salmonella? When the disease is seen in an adult dog, they typically have another infection or health problem at the same time. However, puppies are more likely to show symptoms of the disease whether they have an underlying condition or not.  Symptoms of salmonellosis include the following: Severe, sudden onset, watery diarrhea Bloody diarrhea (hematochezia) Vomiting Lethargy Fever Decreased appetite, with or without weight loss Dehydration Though rare, Salmonella can travel to the lungs, causing pneumonia, or to the reproductive tract of breeding female dogs, leading to loss of pregnancy. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, it's important to take them to the vet and follow the recommended steps to recovery.   Causes of Salmonella in dogs The most common sources of Salmonella are contaminated food, water, or the feces or saliva of an infected animal. 'Dogs can get Salmonella infection just like humans through contaminated foods,' says Laura Ward, DFA's nutritionist. 'While a healthy dog is often resilient, certain factors can increase susceptibility. Age, poor nutrition, underlying conditions such as cancer, pre-existing diseases, stress, and even antibiotic treatments are all contributors that can affect your dog's resilience against Salmonella.'   Does raw feeding cause Salmonella? The ingredients used in cooked and raw pet foods have an equal probability of being contaminated with Salmonella. The cooking process and HACCP should mean that Salmonella is killed in production facilities with good hygiene and safety controls. Other means of controlling Salmonella are used in raw food processing, such as HPP. Basically, all kinds of dog food have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, and proper hygiene and handling should be carried out to avoid the spread to humans. 'Washing your hands and exercising good food hygiene is important no matter what kind of food your dog is fed,' says Laura. 'Dogs which lick their owners, especially around their faces can also mean that Salmonella can be easily transmissible to their humans.  'Dogs now live more closely with humans than they ever have before, meaning that the opportunities for Salmonella and other bacteria to be passed on are many.'   Salmonella is more dangerous for you than your dog Even though your dog is the one consuming the contaminated food, people and other pets around the food can still contract the disease from exposure to contaminated food or their contaminated pets. It's extremely important to keep small children away from dog food at all times as little ones tend to put everything in their mouth. A recent report on one particular dog food recall stated that seven people were infected with Salmonella, six of whom were children one year of age or younger.   How do dogs spread Salmonella? Once Salmonella gets established in the pet's gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria when they have a bowel movement, and the contamination can continue to spread through their feces.  For this reason, it's particularly important to clean up your dog's poop in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed, in addition to cleaning items in the home. If you or your child show any signs of illness such as diarrhea, vomiting, extreme lethargy, or other concerning symptoms, consult your doctor and ensure all potentially contaminated areas are cleaned.   What to do if your dog food has been recalled If your pet food has been recalled, stop feeding it to your dog and throw it away in a secure container where other animals cannot access it. Do not donate the food or feed it to the wildlife. It's then important to clean and disinfect all pet supplies, including all storage containers, bowls, surfaces, scoops, bedding, toys, floors, and any other surfaces that the food or dog may have had contact with. Clean up all pet feces and thoroughly wash your hands after handling the product or cleaning up potentially contaminated items or surfaces.   Should I avoid a dog food brand that's been recalled for Salmonella? While you must throw out all recalled food, it isn't necessary to avoid the brand going forward, especially if it is honest and open about the contamination. It might be the case that the brand regularly and thoroughly tests for pathogens, which can be a positive sign. However, if you notice repeat cases of contamination, it may be a red flag and time for a change.   How to treat your dog with Salmonella  If you suspect your dog is infected with Salmonella, speak to your vet. They will likely ask what food your dog has consumed in recent days (it's a good idea to keep a note of their dog food at all times — maybe by photographing the packaging) and if they have been close to any infected animals. In most dogs who develop symptoms, providing them with plenty of fluid is usually sufficient to help their immune system fight off the infection. Treatments can include: At-home hydration Probiotics Intravenous fluids Antibiotics or steroids Blood transfusion    Overall, Salmonella in dogs isn't as scary as you may think and in the rare cases where salmonellosis occurs, it's usually treatable. The majority of the time, you won't even realize if your dog has been infected and they will be able to fight off the bacteria with their healthy immune system. However, if your dog's food has been recalled or you think they are infected with Salmonella, it's essential to take precautions to stop any spread.    Source: Dog Food Advisor



7+ min reading


7+ MIN

Catering to cats

The natural cat food and treat category has taken a positive turn as consumers focus more on their felines' distinct needs and preferences. "So many more people are catering to their cats and recognizing that they are different, not like dogs, and they have unique needs that finally are being addressed," said Diane Dewberry, owner of The Healthy Animal, a retailer in Pembroke, Mass.   The result has been a large cat-owning clientele willing to spend money to ensure their cats get quality food and nutrition, she added. "The new [customers] coming in don't care what they spend; they want the better food because their cats like it," Dewberry said.   With this desire for quality food and nutrition, consumers are turning to natural foods and treats. People's embrace of clean eating for themselves may be an influence as well. "For cats, the emphasis in the natural category tends to be on clean eating—choosing minimally processed, real foods that provide maximum nutritional benefits," said Heather (Acuff) Mendoza, director of research and development for Nulo Pet Food, a manufacturer in Austin, Texas.   Not only do consumers realize that cats need quality nutrition for their overall health, but owners also want and need foods that address their pets' most common needs, said Janet Scott, owner of Rawz Natural Pet Food, a manufacturer in York, Maine. "The current trend favors natural food options offering solutions, such as recipes high in meat, low in carbohydrates and focused on addressing specific needs," she said.   Romina Tasahuaman, store manager for Choice Pet, a retailer in Stamford, Conn., reported an uptick in sales of natural cat foods, especially those that are formulated to address special conditions such as diabetes and urinary tract issues. "When customers find natural foods and try them, and they see their cats have no issues going forward, they stick with that brand," she said.   For those less familiar with premium and natural cat foods, guidance is especially welcome. "Unfortunately, not everyone has access to the education or access to people that feed more naturally, and it can be kind of scary to switch over," said Alexandra Dameron, owner of Noah's Natural Pet Market in San Diego. "Most cat owners are told to just feed dry food and wet food as treats occasionally and so are nervous to branch out." This is where independents often set themselves apart with the education and expertise to help cat owners with questions, concerns, information and coaching. "During this age of information, retailers are faced with the challenge of delivering the right information to consumers, on the right platform, at the right time," Mendoza said. "This sets the bar high for retailer education, but when done right, will build trust and rapport with consumers."   Industry insiders noted several key training topics for retail associates. The unique nutritional needs of cats. "Cats are different than dogs and have very different nutritional needs," Dameron said. "Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they have no carbohydrate requirement. They need meat, fat, organs and bone to survive and thrive." Product knowledge. "Learn about the products. Read about the products, learn the contents, understand why we have it and what it will do for the cats," Dewberry said. Sourcing for quality. "With the many options available, along with marketing techniques, it can be a bit overwhelming for shoppers to determine which products are the best quality," said Fernando Maluf, vice president of international sales for Natoo Pet Foods, a manufacturer in São Paulo. He recommends knowing where a product is made, what ingredients are in a product and where the ingredients come from. "How and where ingredients are sourced can play a key role in the quality of the product," he added. Engaging with customers. Teaching associates what questions to ask to get more information from customers on their cats' needs and preferences is crucial to helping shoppers select appropriate diets, Dewberry said. Personal experience. "The best education … is having experience with the food or treat in question," Dameron noted. Tips for transition. "We all need to know how best to gently guide a customer to the more natural/alternative categories for their kitties while still honoring the cat's preferences," Dameron said. "We all have to be aware of the ways to start introducing new textures and flavors and the tricks you can use to help a cat want to try something new."   Texture trends & flavor preferences    Getting cats to eat new foods can be a challenge, as they have a reputation of being finicky for good reason. This is where Dewberry finds sampling to be very helpful. "Texture is a big thing," she said. "Some cats are imprinted on certain textures or smells. We always sample, which is good when companies offer them." Dry foods remain a best-seller. These diets offer a convenience consumers appreciate.   For those looking for a natural, grain-free, single-protein dry food option, Rawz Natural Pet Food is introducing Limited Rabbit Recipe for Cats this month. The kibble is made with real rabbit, contains marine microalgae oil (algal oil) and features a freeze-dried raw rabbit coating, Scott said, adding that it is free of eggs, potato, corn, rendered fat, dairy, wheat, soy and canola oil. Limited Rabbit Recipe for Cats "is made with easily digestible ingredients and is a great solution for cats with food sensitivities," she noted.   Canned diets have been a feline food staple for decades, and they are very popular in the natural market, with pâté, minced, shredded and stews ranked as top textures, industry experts agreed. At Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla., in March, Nulo launched a line of 10 natural, high-meat canned cat food formulas. Featuring diversified textures, the new diets include fine minces, regular minces and flakes. Proteins include chicken, beef, duck, lamb, quail egg, salmon, tuna, crab and prawn, and the canned diets contain organ meats and broth. "Pâtés have been the classic canned food format for decades, but with recent advantages in processing technology, the ability to innovate in this category is almost limitless," Mendoza said. "This line is focused on providing high animal-based protein, flavorful broths, and functional ingredients like pumpkin and inulin to support gut health."   Raw and freeze-dried fare are gaining attention in the natural pet food market, retailers said, and many independents reported that they encourage customers to feed these foods. "While frozen raw food is the absolute best way to feed your kitty, some cats won't take to the texture," Dameron said. "Softer freeze-dried and air-dried are becoming more popular for cats, and we are helping educate around why these foods are better than traditional kibbles for cats. "We also are seeing freeze-dried and air-dried treats being extremely popular," she added.   For shoppers ready to make the switch to raw, Dewberry uses freeze-dried foods and treats as an effective bridge. "Most cats can't go straight from dry to raw, and it takes cats time," she said. "We always try to slowly transition them from dry to the freeze-dried, then canned and then raw." While customers are less reserved about spending money on quality cat foods, some retailers have found rising prices are affecting raw purchases. The market for raw cat food and treats has certainly grown, Tasahuaman said, but "price increases have made it harder for some to keep feeding raw. Many use raw as a topper or a treat because of the expense."   Toppers in general are gaining popularity as a simple way to add more natural nutrition into any cat's diet, insiders said. This September, Natoo plans to unveil meal toppers for cats in Chicken & Sweet Potato and Salmon & Sweet Potato flavors. The single-protein treats are similar to a wet food, with shreds of chicken or chunks of fish in a broth, and they contain no byproducts, preservatives, or artificial colors or flavors. "Perfect for cats of all ages and sizes, they can be enjoyed alone or mixed with dry food for added nutrition," Maluf said. "Made with limited ingredients, they're easily digestible and great for pets with sensitive stomachs or allergies. Plus, they are rich in folic acid, biotin, antioxidants and fiber, and are fortified with essential vitamins A, B12 and D3."   In addition to texture, flavors and palatability are key considerations. Chicken and fish remain the most common and popular proteins in cat food and treats, according to insiders. "Our poultry- and fish-based formulas tend to be our Nulo fan favorites and top-selling proteins for cats," Mendoza said. "We're also seeing increased interest in red meat options, such as beef and lamb."   For owners who prefer feeding a rotational diet, more products are now available in a variety of flavors and proteins, Scott said, such as turkey, duck, rabbit and pork. Offering lots of protein options can be beneficial to cats, Dameron noted. "We encourage a lot of variety as it helps to prevent the stereotypical 'picky' cat, so we encourage customers to explore more novel proteins and diversify their cats' foods and treats," Dameron said. "If you understand your cat is a predator and carnivore, you can focus on the ways they play and hunt to determine what they might like. Red meats if they are a ground hunter and poultry if they like to fly through the air."   Source: Pet Product News


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3+ MIN

Cats’ noses appear to function like powerful aroma analysis equipment

Published in PLOS Computational Biology, the study was funded by Waltham Petcare Science Institute and led by Ohio State University, Monell Chemical Senses Center and the University of Pennsylvania.   These new findings deepen our understanding of the domestic cat's enhanced sense of smell, aiding new strategies to meet cats' food preferences.   Researchers created an anatomically accurate 3D computer simulation of a domestic cat's nose to understand how cats smell. They used a variety of techniques to create the simulation, including high-resolution micro-CT scans to generate an accurate model of a cat's nose. The simulation of air and odor flow through the virtual cat nose revealed similarities with a parallel coiled gas chromatograph.   In basic gas chromatography, the substance being analyzed is vaporized and carried by a steady flow of gas through a tube. Different chemical components in the substance interact with the tube in distinct ways, which enables them to be separated and identified.  In a cat, its complex nasal structure is made up of multiple tubes, like a parallel coiled gas chromatograph, making the process even more efficient than the basic chromatography technique.   'We have partnered with leading institutions to further understand cats' sense of smell', says Dr. Scott McGrane, sensory science expert at the Waltham Petcare Science Institute. 'Computational Fluid Dynamics (or CFD) is usually used to solve engineering questions related to how fluids flow.  In our case, we have applied CFD to study airflow and how aroma compounds move through the cats' nose.  Cats' noses have a complex structure that enhances their ability to smell, akin to the snail-like coiled cochlea which we know enhances hearing sensitivity'.  'This new research shows a cat's nasal structure is about 100 times more efficient in detecting aroma compounds than having a single straight tube, which most amphibians have', Dr. McGrane added.  The study and findings deepen our understanding of cats' enhanced sense of smell and present the potential for future computational and behavioral studies on the palatability of cat food, including in the area of new sustainable protein sources.  It's a topic we are exploring through our sensory science work, which aims to further our understanding of the sense of smell and taste in cats and dogs.  Our recent research has discovered new insights into the taste perception of pets by studying the sensitivity of taste receptors using a range of approaches, including computational modelling. One study looked into bitterness and its relationship with toxicity for dogs, while another explored the kokumi taste receptor of cats, which is described as a taste enhancer rather than a taste on its own.   We are committed to using scientific research to gain a better understanding of how cats and dogs experience and enjoy the food they eat. It means we can continue meeting their needs nutritionally, while at the same time ensuring they savor their meal, for happy pets, as well as healthy pets. 

Source: Whaltam PetCare

Cats How Long Can Your Always-Hungry Cat Wait For Dinner?

5+ MIN

How Long Can Your Always-Hungry Cat Wait For Dinner?

Many cats put on Oscar-worthy performances to convince their parents they are constantly starving. Often, they start with jumping on your head at 4 a.m., perhaps followed by biting your toes, stealthily pushing priceless breakables off the counters, or pacing in front of their bowls and yowling nonstop. But how can you tell if your cat is really getting enough to eat, and how long can they reasonably wait for their next meal? There are a number of factors that need to be considered to answer these questions. For starters, how old your cat is, the kind of foods your cat eats, and any health conditions your cat has can all influence how often your cat needs to eat.  For example, there are big differences in the nutritional needs of growing kittens and pregnant cats, compared to adult cats who are mostly sedentary indoors. It is always best to consult your veterinarian and defer to their recommendations when it comes to the particular nutritional needs of your cat. Here are some general guidelines that may help. How long can your cat wait between meals? The short answer is that it depends. And no one knows exactly. Wild felines who hunt need to eat many small meals throughout the day but may also go long stretches without food. On average, hunting cats eat about eight to 10 small prey a day, so they spend the majority of their waking time stalking, chasing, and hunting in order to meet their dietary needs. For our pet cats who spend most of their time lounging indoors, they tend to burn many fewer calories and have access to higher quality diets. Their needs for food are quite different. Studies have shown that cats' stomachs empty between four to eight hours after a meal, depending on what they eat. So, while your cat may be able to go up to eight hours between meals, most nutritionists recommend feeding many small, frequent meals throughout the day to attain the best physical and mental health for your cat. So, if you're planning to go out of town, it's important that you instruct your cat sitter as to how often your particular cat needs to eat. Do different foods affect hunger differently? What you feed your cat may affect how often they need to eat and how quickly they become hungry after a meal. Some factors that influence this include protein content, fiber content, and whether you feed a dry kibble versus canned wet food. In cats, protein content influences their satiety, or feeling of fullness, the most. A high-protein diet may keep a healthy cat feeling full the longest. Some cats should not have high-protein diets, such as those with kidney disease, so make sure to speak with your vet before switching to a high-protein diet.   Fiber is also known to play a role in feelings of fullness and to slow down the emptying of the stomach and intestines. This seems to play a smaller role in cats, compared to humans or dogs. Commercial high-fiber cat diets have not been shown to significantly affect fullness in cats, but certain fiber supplements containing inulin do seem to have more of an effect. As always, consider these supplements after consulting with your veterinarian to make sure it is safe and appropriate for your cat. Be aware that adding too much fiber or introducing it too suddenly can lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea and diarrhea.   When it comes to keeping cats full, there is some evidence that kibble actually stays in the stomach longer than wet food, which may keep them feeling full longer. The debate over feeding dry food versus canned food is endless, and there are many valid reasons to choose one over the other. In general, canned food tends to have higher water content, which is very important for keeping cats hydrated. Canned food usually has a pureed consistency, which may cause it to be digested more quickly and easily. In most cases, cats should not eat dry food exclusively for overall good health, but there may be strategic ways to incorporate small amounts of dry food into your cat's diet. How can you keep your cat from constantly crying for food? Depending on your cat's particular life stage and health, there are many ways to help them feel satisfied while allowing you to get some sleep, too. For kittens and pregnant cats that need to eat frequently, a timed feeder may be a good option to provide snacks overnight and in the early morning. Remember that these feeding devices are not usually recommended for cats in other life stages because they can lead to overeating and risk of obesity. For adult cats, food puzzles are a great way to provide smaller, frequent meals while improving your cat's activity level and mental enrichment. These can be homemade or commercially available puzzle-style feeders that require your cat to 'work' for their food.  It slows them down and allows them to snack gradually and also gives them a challenge to figure out how to get the food out. The simplest form of a food puzzle would be just hiding kibble around the room for your cat to seek out. More complex puzzles are also available in a variety of styles.   In general, providing smaller, frequent meals may help your cat to feel more satisfied and for those cats that have no health concerns, adding a little extra fiber and higher protein content may also keep them feeling full longer.   Look for these signs of actual starvation or illness in cats. It is important to note that cats cannot safely skip several meals in a row. This is especially serious for young kittens, pregnant cats, cats with underlying health problems, and overweight and obese cats. If your cat skips multiple meals, it is a sign of illness, and they should be seen by a veterinarian right away. It is also not safe to intentionally skip feedings as a weight-loss strategy. Overweight cats are prone to a condition called hepatic lipidosis, aka fatty liver, that can be triggered by skipping meals. For this reason, it is critical to follow your vet's recommendations on feeding guidelines, especially if you are trying to encourage your cat to reach a healthy weight. by Dr. Amy Fox, DVM




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Laboratory Two essential parameters for pet food launching

4+ MIN

Two essential parameters for pet food launching

The fierce competition in the pet food market not only highlights the need for differentiation and excellence in pet food formulation but also emphasizes the importance of validating their effectiveness. Carrying out digestibility tests and fecal score evaluation is one of the crucial methods for evaluating the nutritional pet food quality.   Two essential parameters for pet food launching   Digestibility test The digestibility test is a crucial tool in evaluating the efficiency with which animals use and absorb food nutrients. This method provides a deep understanding of the digestion and absorption capacity of essential nutrients, which is essential for optimizing diet formulations and ensuring adequate nutrition for living beings. By analyzing the digestibility rate of various components present in food, such as proteins, fats, and starch, the digestibility test contributes significantly to the development of more efficient and sustainable feeding strategies, benefiting pet food products. Fecal score evaluation Assessment of fecal score in dogs and cats is a practical and valuable method for monitoring the digestibility of food consumed by these animals. The fecal score refers to the consistency and appearance of feces, being a visual indication of gastrointestinal health and digestive efficiency.
This method involves assigning an appropriate score to stool, usually on a scale from 1 to 5, based on characteristics such as consistency, color, and shape. When applied to food digestibility studies for dogs and cats, fecal score plays a crucial role. Well-formed stools with adequate consistency indicate good nutrient absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. On the other hand, excessively soft stools, diarrhea, or other abnormalities can be attributed to poor diet digestibility. Fecal score assessment is often performed in experimental feeding studies in which animals are subjected to different diets. By comparing fecal scores over time, researchers can infer the relative digestibility of different food ingredients or formulations. Diets that result in better-formed and more consistent stools generally indicate better use of food nutrients. Visual examination of the fecal score can complement the assessment of digestibility. This approach provides a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of food on the gastrointestinal health of dogs and cats, allowing adjustments to formulations to optimize nutrition and digestibility, thereby promoting pet health and well-being. Evaluating these parameters before launching a pet food product onto the market can give you advantages in comparison with competitors, evaluating whether the processing was done correctly, and identifying in time the need for changes in formulations. A demonstration in practice would be excess carbohydrates in the diet, for example, which leads to accentuated lactic fermentation, and the feces appear pasty with a light color and acidic smell (without a rotten smell). The same occurs when the feed is poorly processed. Normally, to manufacture dry food, a process called extrusion is used, which consists of applying steam and pressure to a crumbled mass, forming those granules that we technically call 'kibbles.' In this process, starch is essential for making the feed expand. However, if it does not undergo good cooking (or gelatinization) there is a risk of causing osmotic diarrhea in the animal fed with the feed in question. (Saad et al., 2014). The use of ingredients with lower digestibility directly impacts the fecal score. Ingredients such as soybean meal, widely used in standard or economical pet food manufacturing, contain 20% non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). Soluble PNAs can reduce the digestibility of nutrients and energy in the diet due to the increase in the viscosity of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the reduction in food passage time, making it difficult for digestive enzymes to access the food bolus and interfering with diffusion and transport of nutrients, resulting in loose stools and large quantities. To minimize the adverse effects of ingredients with less digestibility, their use can be restricted to small inclusions. Otherwise, additives, such as enzymes or adsorbents, can be used. In the case of diets with raw materials rich in NSP and its influence on the fecal characteristics of dogs and cats, for example, the inclusion of a zeolite-type adsorbent additive adjusts the diet fecal score, since this additive, when passing inert through the GIT, adsorbs water and gases and reduces the elimination of ammonia, which improves the fecal characteristics and odors of animals. The animal's fecal score after consuming a feed plays a significant role in consumer satisfaction and can directly influence the repurchase decision. Thus, the digestibility and consistency of the fecal score reinforce consumer confidence in the product. If the food provides healthy and regular digestion, owners tend to associate this quality with the brand, thus strengthening customer loyalty.
Brand trust is crucial for repurchase, as consumers look for products that consistently meet expectations in such a competitive market.

By Ludmila Barbi T. Bomcompagni

Laboratory Quality Control in the Pet food industry through cutting-edge solutions

4+ MIN

Quality Control in the Pet food industry through cutting-edge solutions

However, this trend presents significant challenges. Quality control and laboratory analysis processes are often slow and expensive, resulting in production delays, loss of raw materials, reprocessing of batches, and, consequently, the loss of time and valuable resources. All of this has been an obstacle to the efficiency and competitiveness of companies in the industry. The solution to these challenges lies in near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy technology, which has revolutionized the way the pet food industry approaches quality control, ingredient analysis, and process control. NIR instruments allow multivariate analysis to be performed in less than 10 seconds, providing accurate data for critical parameters such as moisture content, protein, fat, fiber, and ash, among others. As a result, not only is the quality control process significantly accelerated, but a substantial reduction in costs associated with traditional laboratory analysis is also achieved, giving companies the competitive advantage they need to stand out in the industry.   Pet food manufacturing process: critical points   Within the framework of the pet food manufacturing process, there are critical stages identified that require special consideration to achieve efficiency and productivity to obtain a final product of excellence. We cannot reach a good final result if our raw material does not meet the requirements. NIR instruments can quickly provide us with the information necessary to decide whether a batch we are receiving meets them or not. Each food has its recipe, and each variety has its nutritional composition. NIR equipment can help us confirm if the mixture or formula was correctly made prior to entering the extruder. After drying, it is common to apply coatings with fats, oils, or flavorings to make them more palatable, and, in some cases, vitamins and minerals can also be added to strengthen the nutritional content. NIR equipment can monitor the fat or oil content at this stage. Prior to packaging, and after the cooling process, obtaining an accurate reading of the humidity value of the product is essential to prevent common problems, such as the growth of mold or other types of fungi, which can cause deterioration of the product, affect its quality, and lead to significant economic losses. The ideal task for an NIR instrument will not only give us an accurate reading of the humidity value, but also allow us to verify that our final product meets the nutritional requirements we communicate on our packaging. PerkinElmer has been leading the market for years with its DA 7250 analyzer, the third generation of NIR instruments in the company's more than 60-yearhistory. This equipment combines Near Infrared Reflectance technology and a diode array (DA) detector, allowing accurate and reliable results in less than 10 seconds. Thanks to its excellent signal-to-noise ratio, large analysis surface area, and light range used with superior penetration capacity, grinding of raw materials or pre-treatment of samples before analysis is not needed. In addition to its speed in obtaining results, the DA 7250 stands out for its efficiency, simplicity of use, robustness, simple maintenance and cleaning, as well as its extremely friendly operating environment. It also has two online and inline versions, the DA 7440 and DA 7350 respectively, fully compatible with each other in terms of calibrations.     Mathematical models, prediction, and security in the results   Thanks to spectral data from more than 15,000 dry dog ​​and cat food samples from worldwide manufacturers (including kibble, biscuits, tricks, and more), calibrations have been developed to model relationships between NIR spectra and reference chemical results. This has been achieved using Honigs™ Regression (HR) types and Artificial Neural Network Regression (ANN) algorithms, as well as the application of a temperature stabilization pretreatment.

    As an example, the following table shows data from calibrations carried out for samples of dry food for dogs and cats:   The great product variability incorporated in the calibrations, added to the aforementioned characteristics and virtues of the instrument, guarantee accurate and robust measurements over time. The models can be used for whole and ground pet foods with similar prediction accuracy. In parameters such as humidity, protein, fat, fiber, and ash, these models are very precise, with similar differences to the deviations obtained between the two reference laboratories. In conclusion, in a market with increasing demands in terms of quality, nutritional value, and cost, NIR instruments are a powerful solution that offer fast, accurate, and robust results for all stages of the production process, reducing costs and leading to the efficiency and quality of our product at optimal levels.   By: Leonel Fulcheri - PerkinElmer
Source: All Pet Food Magazine



Bühler offers solution to reduce mycotoxin levels in pet food

Mycotoxins, a poisonous chemical found in the corn used in pet foods, are causing animal sickness and irreparable brand damage. To solve this issue, SORTEX LumoVision, a solution developed by Swiss technology group Bühler, uses the spectral scale to kick out mold from pet food, keeping the costs of market recall down and pets safe. In 2021, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) alerted customers of fatal levels of aflatoxin, a strand of mycotoxin that attacks the liver, found in 1,000 lots of pet food. From the bad batch, it is reported that 130 dogs died. This statistic provoked lawsuits and anger from dog owners and the wider industry. However, the damage of mycotoxin contamination does not stop there. RECALLING PRODUCT IS EXPENSIVE One of the major costs of mycotoxin contamination is market recall. Recalling a product from the market is not cheap, in fact, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) discovered that the average cost of market recall is USD10 million in direct costs alone. The financial hits of recalling product include: disposing of the product, reimbursing customers, and business interruption. The GMA survey showed that 81% of respondents deemed the financial risk of market recall to be 'significant to catastrophic'. CONTAMINATED PRODUCT DAMAGES BRAND IMAGE Financial costs and damage to health are not the only repercussions of mycotoxin contamination. Once the media are aware of the situation, brand image can take a significant hit. For consumers, it takes a lot to repair trust in a brand, and while brand damage is difficult to measure, this can further cost companies millions in lifetime value. CONTAMINATED PRODUCT CAN CAUSE MASS WASTE Before the LumoVision, contaminated grain would have been disposed of in large amounts. During testing, if the batch has a high concentration of mycotoxin, in many cases, the entire batch is destroyed. In fact, as few as 2 highly contaminated grains in 10,000 can render an entire batch unsafe. The Food and Drug Association (FDA) estimate that USD932 million is lost per year to crops contaminated with mycotoxin. This removal of the contaminated material may protect the consumer, but it costs businesses and the environment a lot more. WHAT CAN BE DONE? Bühler SORTEX faced the challenge of mycotoxin contamination head-on. After discovering a breakthrough 'invisible indicator' of contamination on the spectral scale, Bühler created the LumoVision, an optical sorter that can reduce the aflatoxin level by up to 90% (as indicated by industrial trials). This reduction brings many samples to regulation levels, saving companies from the costs of large-scale material waste and market recall. It works by analysing the colour each kernel fluoresces as it passes under powerful UV lighting in the sorter. It is known that contaminated kernels fluoresce a specific bright green colour, a substance called kojic acid, which is produced by the Aspergillus fungus at the same time as it produces aflatoxin. LumoVision's proprietary, highly sensitive cameras and a powerful LED-based UV lighting system can precisely detect this colour of fluorescence. Within milliseconds of detection, air nozzles deploy to blow contaminated kernels out of the product stream. When dealing with toxins, early intervention is critical. This is not only important in reducing the toxins consumed by pets, but also to lower wastage and the environmental footprint. Without proper cleaning and sorting, poisonous mycotoxins can cause large-scale wastage of materials, mass market recalls, and harm to pets. Dr Gerardo Morantes, Director of Food Safety-Americas Region at Buhler, had the following to say: 'Mycotoxins are a worldwide concern. However, technology made possible by Bühler SORTEX enables a preventative solution, meaning that mycotoxins can be dealt with early, stopping the spread and removing the contamination to meet regulatory standards.' Without intervention, mycotoxin contamination can bare a large cost for businesses, including, brand reputation, market recalls and material waste. With the SORTEX LumoVision, brands can stay profitable, customers can stay happy and pets can stay safe. By Bühler Group



DON-V™ ONE - The World's FIRST fully quantitative lateral flow strip test for vomitoxin (DON) in finished feed formulations - including pet foods!

DON-V™ ONE offers the world's first lateral flow strip test capable of measuring vomitoxin (DON) in complete feeds and pet foods.  Using a simple, barcode-based universal calibration, DON-V ONE delivers numeric results in minutes while improving safety and sustainability for field, process and laboratory testing environments.  DON-V ONE eliminates high-stakes calibration, reduces time to result and offers unmatched performance for DON monitoring in finished feeds Benefits Safe – Eliminates toxic calibration chemicals
Value – No hidden costs or sample batching required
Fast screening – Actionable results in 5 minutes*
Sensitive – Limits of detection as low as 0.20 ppm
Wide range – 0.20 to 40 ppm†
Convenient – Easily performed on-site or in the lab
Accurate – Results equivalent to HPLC methods   *after extraction † Using high range procedure
This procedure has been validated for a wide range of finished feeds, including pet food by Vicam Source: All Pet Food 



US startup aims to transform pet food with lab-made chow

Most pet food includes animal protein, which requires the slaughter of animals and is ultimately a source of planet-warming gases. Rich Kelleman's Colorado-based Bond Pet Foods, however, is aiming to sidestep both pitfalls by making those same proteins in a biotech process. His inspiration comes in part from his own disgust over the treatment of livestock on its way to the food supply. He was also shocked when he read a study showing that pets in the US consume as many calories sourced from animals as France's population, which numbers more than 65 million. Livestock's impact on climate change added to his resolve, as raising animals for food is responsible for a whopping 14.5 percent of human-linked greenhouse gas emissions, according to UN data. But vegetables alone aren't necessarily enough nutrition for cats and dogs. Kelleman was convinced by research that if a company could 'crack the code' for lab-grown pet food there would be a market for it. 'For dogs and cats, it has to be palatable, but it doesn't have to look like a fully formed steak or breast,' Kelleman told AFP during a visit to the startup. 'It's not about the mouth feel; the sizzle; the taste, and the texture that have to be so precise for people to embrace it.' In development, Kelleman's startup drew blood from a pedigree chicken, extracted DNA from the sample and inserted it into a microbe. The resulting microbe was added to a fermenter to produce lab-grown animal proteins. 'It sounds like a weird, strange process, but it is something that has been around for quite a while,' Kelleman said. – Nutty, with a hint of cheese – His dog, Rumples, seems to enjoy it. And an AFP reporter given a sample noticed its nutty flavor that includes notes of parmesan cheese. But the company has many hurdles to cross in its quest to become the new normal in pet food. First is the price, because even environment-loving 'dog moms' watch their budgets when it comes to the cost of kibble. Using fermentation tanks has enabled Bond to cut the cost of protein to $5 per kilogram (2.2 pounds) from $100 per kilogram. Chief technology officer Tony Day says the price can be driven even lower. It is expected to take at least two years, though, of tests and evaluation to assure regulators that the kill-free pet food is a safe and viable. Bond is aiming to sell their proteins to pet food makers by the second half of 2023. A crucial question is whether the lab-grown pet food passes the smell test with humans concerned about the well-being of their animal friends. In a park not far from the startup in the Colorado city Boulder, dog owners were interested but wary. 'I'd like to think I could give my dogs real meat protein without harming the planet,' Rochelle Loughry said while watching her two Australian Shepherds. 'In theory it looks good, but we should know if, in the long term, the benefits are the same as with real meat,' said another dog owner Jason Ackermann. Meat in pet food often arouses fierce debate. Greg Okin received raging criticism from both conservatives and animal rights activists for his academic study of pet protein consumption, which helped inspire Kelleman's startup.  'I think the fear was that I was telling people kill their cats and dogs, or not feed them, which is not what I was saying at all,' said Okin, a professor at the environment institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. 'I got a lot of hate.' Julie JAMMOT



Controlling Mycotoxin Contamination in Pet Food

The prevention of mycotoxin contamination in the grain components of animal diets is not only an essential goal, but also an immense challenge that requires the combined efforts of pet food manufacturers, their supply chain partners, and the laboratories that test their products. Both the urgency and the difficulty of this shared task lie in the chemical properties, physical characteristics, and complex interactions with environmental factors that define mycotoxins as a persistent and notoriously elusive threat to the wholesomeness of grain-based pet food ingredients. HOW MYCOTOXINS OCCUR IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN AND WHY IT'S SO HARD TO KEEP THEM OUT Mycotoxins are poisonous chemical compounds produced by molds. Their occurrence spans every growing region in the world, every phase of the pet food production chain, and the entire gamut of whole grains and grain byproducts from corn, barley, and soybeans to corn gluten meal, wheat middlings, and distillers' dried grains with solubles (DDGS). A global survey conducted between 2004 and 2013 uncovered mycotoxin contamination in over 76 percent of 25,900 samples of grains and grain byproducts destined for animal diets.¹ These statistics reflect the omnipresence of the soil-and airborne molds that generate mycotoxins as well as the difficulty of controlling all of the factors that favor mold growth. Toxigenic molds are most likely to proliferate in grains that are damaged by insects, hailstorms, or drought stress or exposed to high temperatures and moisture levels. Infections can occur both before and after harvest. Grain stored in damp, dirty, or poorly ventilated areas in silos, mills, or transport vehicles is at particularly high risk for mold infection. Once these fast-growing molds gain a foothold in a storage or production facility, there are few good alternatives to removing  the materials that harbor their toxic metabolites. If mycotoxin concentrations exceed FDA guidelines, entire lots may need to be discarded. FDA rules generally prohibit grain dealers and pet food manufacturers from blending highly contaminated ingredients with clean grain to reduce mycotoxin content to acceptable levels. While mold reduction strategies such as drying and irradiation can help limit the spread of contamination, they're much less effective at destroying the mycotoxins that have already formed. As a result, significant levels of mycotoxins can lurk unseen in lots with no visible mold growth. Heat processing is also likely to leave a substantial proportion of these highly stable chemical compounds intact. Some types of processing actually increase mycotoxin content. For example, the processes that create DDGS and many other grain byproducts tend to concentrate mycotoxins in those ingredients.² Detoxification methods such as ozone and organic acid treatments as well as feed additives that bind to or degrade mycotoxins in an animal's gut also come with limitations. All of these methods are relatively costly. Some may also reduce nutrient content or form toxic residues. RAISING THE BAR IN HAZARD CONTROL The mycotoxins that most commonly occur in grains are aflatoxins, deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisins, ochratoxin A (OTA), the T-2 toxin and zearalenone (ZEA). The most toxic mycotoxin, aflatoxin B1, is the most carcinogenic naturally occurring substance known. Even in doses low enough to be measured in parts per million (ppm) or, in some cases, parts  per billion (ppb), these toxins are potent enough to cause acute illness in susceptible animal species. When consumed in very low doses over the long term, they can result in chronic health problems, including cancer, food refusal and weight loss, organ damage, neurological disorders, and decreased resistance to disease. In the European Union, all six of these mycotoxins as well as the HT-2 toxin are subject to maximum or recommended limits. At present, FDA mycotoxin guidelines are confined to aflatoxins, DON, and fumonisins. (See Table 1.) As a growing number of pet food companies have already realized, compliance with current guidelines may fall short of full coverage of the risks surrounding mycotoxin- contaminated pet food. Mycotoxin sensitivity can vary significantly across age, species, breed, and general health status. Yet with the exception of rabbits and horses, the FDA guidelines that apply to pets don't account for these differences. The guidelines also fail to address another important consideration. Grain ingredients typically contain a mixture of mycotoxins. Mycotoxins that commonly occur together often interact with each other in ways that can dramatically increase their toxicity. Consequently, the negative effects of ingesting a mixture of two or more mycotoxins can be significantly greater than those of consuming each component of that mixture separately. Examples of highly toxic combinations include pairs of chemically similar mycotoxins such as DON and nivalenol and the T-2 and HT-2 toxins. For customers whose pets may have a heightened sensitivity to mycotoxins as a result of advanced age, frail health, or the genetics of their breed, even trace levels of these mixtures are a cause for concern. In response to these risk factors, many companies not only test ingredients for a full range of mycotoxins but  also maintain tighter restrictions of their levels than those proposed by current regulatory guidelines. To confirm raw materials meet their quality and safety specifications, these companies often require supply chain partners to provide a certificate of analysis (CoA) that includes a detailed mycotoxin profile, which will then be checked against test results from their internal or contract laboratory. With the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, comprehensive laboratory data are playing an increasingly vital role in documenting the geographical source of pet food ingredients and verifying the observance of industry-standard safety practices across the supply chain. In addition to helping ensure regulatory compliance, this information serves as reassuring evidence of product safety for pet owners. Frequent monitoring of raw materials benefits every member of the supply chain by not only minimizing the economic and legal risks of contamination, but also demonstrating a proactive approach to hazard control. Routine checks of mycotoxins levels can lead to significant process improvements in storage, milling, and manufacturing facilities. Timely discovery of an uptick in contaminant levels may point to problems such as a leaky water pipe, dirty storage bins, or inadequate attention to rotating stock that indicate the need for internal practices that will help prevent future outbreaks. THE CHALLENGES OF OBTAINING ACCURATE TEST DATA The success of these stricter safety measures hinges on  the quality of the mycotoxin data generated by a company's monitoring program. Without a strategy based on a clear understanding of the complexities involved, the goal of accurately estimating mycotoxin concentrations in large grain loads can prove difficult to reach. One of the most important factors a testing strategy must account for is the uneven distribution of mycotoxins in grain lots. Mycotoxins tend to occur in tiny, widely scattered pockets of damp or damaged grains. A sample collector  who takes a single scoop of grain from the top or side of a load runs the risk of either missing the contaminated kernels completely or gathering materials that contain concentrations of mycotoxins that far exceed the average values for the whole lot. GIPSA-recommended sampling procedures compensate for these risks by calling for a representative sample that consists of incremental subsamples from multiple locations in the lot. GIPSA also advises collecting a minimum of 2 to 10 pounds of grain, depending on the size of the load, and using proper sampling equipment, such as a hand or mechanical probe for stationery grain or a pelican or diverter-type sampler for a moving stream.³ To minimize the chance of variable test results, the entire process should be carefully documented and followed to the letter by all employees. The reliability of the test results also depends of the robustness of the test method. One of the major obstacles to accuracy is the difficulty of detecting and measuring ppb levels of mycotoxins in a complex organic matrix. Grains and grain byproducts contain a diverse array of nutrients and plant chemicals that may interact with the sensitive antibodies that immunoassays use to detect mycotoxins, producing false-positive or false-negative results. Methods that call for purifying the sample before measuring the mycotoxin levels can help minimize these matrix effects. However, methods that require a lengthy, intricate sample preparation process can increase the chances of procedural errors. Whatever their cause, the repercussions of false negatives and false positives are extremely costly. Accurate mycotoxin data are critical to a company's ability to identify which shipments of grain should be rejected and which batches of raw materials need to be treated or discarded to prevent the spread of contamination. The wrong call could lead to losses of valuable resources, time, and raw materials or, in a worst- case scenario, a finished product that contains unsafe levels of mycotoxins. THE VALUE OF A COMPREHENSIVE, TARGETED TESTING STRATEGY Once a company has established consistent, correct, and repeatable sampling procedures, it should develop a testing system that not only satisfies the technical demands of quantifying mycotoxins, but also fits its business priorities. Whether the sample consists of whole wheat or corn screenings, the test method should be officially validated for that particular commodity. At the same time, the test must accommodate the company's budget and deliver accurate test data where and when they're needed. Massachusetts-based test developer VICAM, A Waters Business, offers a range of GIPSA- and AOAC-approved test kits that are specifically designed to empower pet food companies and their supply chain partners to implement practical, cost-effective frequent monitoring programs. The core of its portfolio is a range of quantitative methods that can be used to determine the exact concentration of mycotoxins in raw materials at critical control points in the production chain. In addition to providing manufacturers and grain dealers with convenient and reliable onsite testing options, VICAM equips analytic laboratories with advanced instrumental methods that afford their pet food industry clients with the highest level of confidence in their mycotoxin data. IMMUNOAFFINITY  COLUMNS The most powerful, versatile, and comprehensive solution set in VICAM's portfolio is its line of immunoaffinity (IA) columns. The company offers a variety of columns that are officially approved for determining mycotoxins in a wide range of feed ingredients, including corn, barley, corn bran, condensed distillers solubles, corn flour, corn gluten feed, corn gluten meal, corn meal, corn screenings, corn/soy blend, distillers' dried grains, DDGS, sorghum, soybeans, and wheat. Used to purify and concentrate samples for analysis by fluorometry  or laboratory instruments, IA columns optimize the value of representative sampling by maximizing the recovery of mycotoxins while removing matrix interferences. This method further reduces the chances of false negatives and false positives by eliminating complex, error-prone procedures. Coupled with a portable fluorometer, VICAM's IA columns  can be used to check mycotoxin levels in incoming shipments, to efficiently prescreen samples for instrumental analysis,   and to monitor raw materials in storage and grain processing facilities and pet food manufacturing plants. This cost- effective rapid method requires no special training and provides accurate ppb measurements in less than 15 minutes. To confirm raw materials meet the most exacting product specifications, VICAM recommends combining IA column cleanup with liquid chromatography (LC). The exceptional sensitivity of sophisticated instrumental techniques such as high performance and ultra performance liquid chromatography (HPLC and UPLC) with optical detection and LC with mass spectrometry (MS) detection enable highly reliable and precise measurements of very low levels of mycotoxins in complex grain matrices. There's an IA solution for every major mycotoxin of concern: AflaTest® DONtest™ HPLC FumoniTest™ OchraTest™ T-2test™ HPLC ZearalaTest™
IA columns are also available in fast-flow wide-bore versions to accelerate sample throughput. To help laboratories further boost their efficiency while responding to their clients' concerns about highly potent mycotoxin mixtures, VICAM offers several kits that simultaneously determine ppb levels of two or more mycotoxins in a single test run. AflaOchra™ HPLC (aflatoxin/OTA) AOZ® HPLC (aflatoxin/OTA/ZEA) DON-NIV ™ WB (DON/nivalenol) T-2/HT-2™ HPLC (T-2/HT-2) Myco6in1+® for LC/MS/MS (six major classes of mycotoxins) These  multi-analyte  kits  offer  multiple  advantages: Faster time-to-results Higher throughput Reduced spending on lab consumables and  hazardous  waste  disposal Decreased hands-on time Smaller environmental footprint The multi-analyte method that delivers the greatest efficiency gains and the most detailed and authoritative mycotoxin data is Myco6in1+ for LC-MS/MS. Validated by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), this high-powered instrumental method accurately detects and quantifies 12 different mycotoxins, including aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, fumonisins, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, the T-2 and HT-2 toxins, and nivalenol at or below the strict guidance levels set by EU regulators. QUANTITATIVE STRIP TESTS VICAM's quantitative strip tests combine the speed, affordability, and ease of use with the assurance of accurate numerical measurements. While less precise than instrumental methods, this rapid test is a solid alternative when economical access to real-time data is the most critical factor. No special skills are required for sample preparation or interpreting the test. The test solution develops in as little time as 5 minutes, and results are clearly displayed on the digital screen of a portable optical reader. Strip tests are an appropriate choice for laboratory and onsite applications that require rapid, informed decision making, including: Determining the acceptability of shipments at buying points; High-throughput laboratory screening; and Routine monitoring and quality control checks in storage facilities, mills, and manufacturing plants The line enables untrained users to detect and measure five highly significant mycotoxins at levels that meet rigorous safety standards. Aflatoxins: Afla-V® (ppb levels) DON: DON-V® (ppm levels) Fumonisins: Fumo-V® (ppm levels) Ochratoxin A: Ochra-V ™ (ppb levels) Table 1. FDA action and guidance levels for mycotoxins in pet food   MANAGING THE COMPLEXITIES OF MYCOTOXIN CONTROL Pet food industry stakeholders are well aware of the risks that mycotoxins pose to their financial performance and brand reputation. While many companies are stepping up their investment in the critical task of mycotoxin management, the very nature of these contaminants can complicate their efforts to balance the benefits against the costs. Nevertheless, mycotoxins can be cost-effectively quantified and controlled. As a first step toward accomplishing that goal, companies should develop a knowledge-based strategy that integrates consistent attention to mycotoxin levels with scientifically sound, industry-proven sampling and test methods. References 1. 1G. R. Murugesan, et al., 'Prevalence and Effects of Mycotoxins on Poultry Health and Performance, and Recent Development in Mycotoxin Counteracting Strategies,' Poultry Science, 2015. doi: 10.3382/ps/pev075. 2. Luciano Pinotti, et al, 'Mycotoxin Contamination in the EU Feed Supply Chain: A Focus on Cereal Byproducts,' Toxins, February 15, 2016. 3. USDA Grain Inspection Handbook — Book I Grain Sampling,  https://www.gipsa.usda.gov/fgis/handbook/gihbk1_inspec.aspx (accessed By Vicam


Conveying Systems


Countdown to Pet Food Conveyor Launch: Starting Up On Time and With Confidence

To move delicate pet food products or powders, most processors do extensive homework before purchasing a tubular drag cable conveyor to ensure that it meets their needs in terms of function and price. After the purchase, the conveyor must be expertly assembled and tested to ensure smooth production startup and continued performance. The challenge is that the typical third-party contractors installing various plant systems might need to become more familiar with specialized pet food conveyors and, thus, are more prone to make costly errors. A more prudent choice is using the OEM's team of experienced technicians. The OEM's experts have the advantage of designing the specialized conveyor and understanding its installation, operational requirements, and potential problem areas. 'If a tubular drag cable conveyor is installed incorrectly by a third party, it often needs to be completely pulled apart and rebuilt, which is costly and time-consuming. If the conveyor is run incorrectly, damage will occur, and components must be replaced. All this only delays startup,' says Terry Derby, Director of Parts and Field Service for Automated Handling Solutions (AHS). AHS is the service-focused subsidiary of Cablevey Conveyors, an Oskaloosa, Iowa-based conveyor manufacturer that has been designing, engineering, and servicing enclosed cable and disc tube conveyors for 50 years and is in more than 65 countries. As a solution, pet food processors seeking superior conveyor performance from the start rely on expert-supervised installation and commissioning to ensure they will be ready to run products on time, at the necessary volumes. Today, a tubular drag cable conveyor requires considerable expertise to install. These systems gently move material through a sealed tube using a coated, flexible, stainless-steel drag cable pulled through on a loop. Solid circular discs (flights) attach to the cable, pushing the product through the tube without air.  'This type of conveyor is uniquely engineered to transport delicate materials gently. The tubes form a continuous loop that must be carefully assembled for a tight fit to ensure no misalignment or gaps between sections. While the modular components lend great flexibility to system design, each component must act in concert with the rest for proper conveyor functionality,' explains Derby. After selecting and purchasing a conveyor, the pet food processor's next step is installing it, which often requires professional assistance. Reliability Starts with Supervised Installation Whether relying on internal staff members for installation or contracting the job to an outside team of millwrights or skilled pipefitters, supervised conveyor installation can ensure proper system installation. Getting expert assistance is still essential during installation, even with the manual that has detailed instructions and QR-code links to videos for each conveyor component. 'Supervised installation is important to ensure that your system is installed properly so you don't run into maintenance problems due to an improper install,' says Derby. Derby insists that 'supervised installs are probably the most important support service we offer.' This step is often neglected when a less experienced third party performs the installation, which can escalate costs. At this point, AHS is frequently asked to complete final preparations and correct any problems before production startup, a process known as commissioning.  'When a processor brings us to their facility after declining a supervised installation, we often have to work backward for a day or two to correct issues. Having us there for supervised installation eliminates the need for correction and any idle contractors waiting on us for the repair, so it pays for itself,' says Derby. In the case of AHS, the company's technicians have logged hundreds, if not thousands, of hours on-site in various manufacturing facilities worldwide. This singular focus gives them the knowledge and expertise to streamline the installation process and prevent issues that can lead to system inefficiencies, product loss, or complete system failure. As part of the supervised installation, skilled technicians ensure the correct positioning of the conveyor's hangers and the proper torque for couplings. The system is properly cleaned to remove any metal fragments or foreign contaminants introduced during installation. In addition, the technician confirms that all conveyor inlets are in place and that all discharges are functioning. Even seemingly minor gaps or misaligned areas in the conveyor tubing can become a severe issue. 'If gaps are in the conveyor's tubes, the discs will 'catch' when crossing the joint, causing excessive wear on the cable and motor. If not corrected, this could lead to premature failure, production downtime, and added repair and replacement costs,' says Derby. According to Derby, another common wear item in tubular drag cable conveyors is sweeps, areas where the tube changes direction. He explains that sweeps are where the cable is under the most significant tension and where the discs rub inside the tube. Since sweeps show the first signs of wear, proper installation can reduce the wear and significantly prolong tube and cable life, simplifying maintenance. 'With a supervised install, processors can ensure that their conveyor is assembled correctly to enable seamless startup, reliable production, optimal output, and greater longevity for the system and its parts. Our reputation is on the line to get it right from the start,' says Derby. In addition, a supervised installation includes a full report outlining actions to correct any issues found. Due to the attention to detail, a supervised installation also preserves the standard warranty for the system's components. Of course, operators also play a critical role in conveyor performance. For this reason, having experts onsite can be one of the best ways to train the operators and maintenance crew on properly running, cleaning, and maintaining the system.    Reliable Production Requires Expert Commissioning When the installation is complete, the next step is to schedule commissioning. The average commissioning visit for a single-system installation usually lasts an entire day.  The onsite commissioning process readies the conveyor for total production and identifies any immediately correctable issues to keep the startup on schedule. At this point, the system must be installed entirely, including all mechanical and electrical components. The conveyor material must also be ready for introduction to the system. This is where a botched installation by a third party can come to light without supervised installation by the OEM. 'We are often asked to 'fix' poor installations by third-party contractors. We have had to tear whole systems apart. This frequently requires a complete rebuild and replacement of damaged parts, which adds cost, creates downtime, and delays startup,' says Derby. In the case of AHS's commissioning service, the technician conducts an inspection using a camera that runs through the entire system layout to ensure that everything is correctly assembled and ready for testing. The technician then performs a test run of the product, from the inlet feed through the sweeps to the discharge outlet, and verifies that it flows at the desired speed. 'Tailoring the conveyor to the material conveyed can require adjustments to fine-tune the process. With the commissioning, the goal is to increase efficiency, production volume, and reliability,' says Derby. He adds that 'checking the system's health' also uncovers any issues that might arise, which technicians can address to prevent production downtime. He points out that commissioning also extends Cablevey's standard warranty. As a final step in the commissioning process, the technician issues a report for the processor that documents all findings from the full-system inspection. Completing conveyor installation, commissioning, and start-up is only the start of the OEM's and processor's relationship since the system's lifespan can be decades. In addition to traveling on-site for emergency service calls, the company offers an annual service visit to conduct a detailed system inspection and address any issues, identify worn parts, ensure predictive maintenance is being conducted, and provide any additional training needed. This complete system audit aims to extend the conveyor's lifespan and prevent unexpected downtime. 'Our mission is to provide conveying equipment and ensure it performs as required, with minimal downtime and maintenance. Once a pet food processor buys a system, they become part of our family. We will continue to support them every way we can, even as their needs evolve,' concludes Derby. By Del Williams is a technical writer based in Torrance, California. Source All Pet Food

Conveying Systems


Mobile 'Smart Cart' Automates Food Conveyor CIP for Pet Food Manufacturers

To promote food safety and sanitary compliance, pet food manufacturers are increasingly seeking the ability to clean-in-place (CIP), an automated method of cleaning the interior surfaces of tubular drag conveyors without disassembly. Now, with the advent of mobile tools like an innovative 'smart cart' that quick-connects to any tubular conveyor and enables simple, customizable 'single button cleaning recipes,' CIP is becoming easier, faster, less labor-intensive, more repeatable, and almost fully automated. Tubular drag conveyor systems gently move product through a sealed, enclosed tube using a drag cable and circular discs pulled through on a loop, so they are ideal for delicate items. Designed to handle a variety of different forms and sizes, from kibble to seeds or pellets and nutrients, tubular conveyors maintain both quality and proper proportions. In a wet CIP process, the system is flooded with water, flushed, rinsed, cleansed, and thoroughly sanitized. Although the process is very effective, streamlining its automation and simplifying the process for all a facility's tubular drag conveyors has been a priority for leading innovators in the industry. 'The standard system required port hookups to water lines and installing piping. The processor also had to make decisions, such as which water temperatures to utilize, or whether to use a cleaning solvent - and the correct amount to add manually,' says John Adair, Engineering and Quality Director for Cablevey Conveyors, an Oskaloosa, Iowa-based conveyor manufacturer that has designed, engineered, and serviced enclosed cable and disc tube conveyors for 50 years, and is in more than 65 countries. To simplify the wet cleaning process, Adair and his engineering team at Cablevey have developed a small, mobile 'smart cart' with integrated water line hookups that a single technician can easily take to any tubular drag conveyor in a facility. The cart is specifically designed to be a fraction of the size of similar carts on the market to facilitate mobility. When the cart is in position and connected to water lines, the CIP process is automated and controlled by a programmable logic controller (PLC) that reduces the need for manual labor and virtually eliminates the risk of improper cleaning. 'Once it is set up, all you do is press a button, and it will bring in the required amount of water at the correct temperature with the necessary amount of solvent for cleaning,' says Adair. The smart cart is designed to store and utilize pre-programmed CIP recipes to flush various residual materials from the tubular drag cable conveyors in a facility before new production runs. The cleaning recipes enable even those with very little training to use the cart, which is helpful in today's tight labor market and allows the technician to move on to other tasks once the cleaning process begins. The use of easily executable recipes ensures a superior, repeatable clean that essentially 'error-proofs' the process. This is particularly important when the technician may be new or less familiar with the production equipment. 'Depending on the product conveyed, sometimes all you need is a wet rinse or a specific cleaning solvent. All that information is saved, so after the first cleaning, it can be automatically repeated. Just push a button to start the appropriate recipe, whether you have one conveyor running multiple products or dozens of conveyors running various products,' says Adair. To meet strict compliance standards, the smart cart also documents all critical CIP information, such as water volume and temperature, chemicals used, and cleaning time by date, in an easily retrievable data log. Since decreasing production downtime between conveyor cleanings is a priority for pet food manufacturers, Cablevey provides new capabilities with the cart that expedites the CIP process. Currently, the CIP process floods the tubular conveyor system but is not designed to clean the discs specifically. 'Operators would manually clean each disc and advance the system disc by disc when the discs had to be cleaned of particularly viscous substances,' says Adair.   Once it is set up, all you do is press a button and it will bring in the required amount of water at the correct temperature with the necessary amount of solvent for cleaning.   Now, as an option on the cart, a disc washer can be integrated with the conveyor turnaround to spray a pressurized cleansing solution on the discs. This helps to remove stickier substances that could remain after routine CIP cleaning. 'The disc washer sprays high-pressure water directly on the discs, so it acts like an automatic car wash. At the push of a button, the discs and cable are run through, and spray cleaned, which reduces CIP time and eliminates the need to manually clean the discs,' says Adair. To further reduce downtime, Cablevey also offers a new sanitary blower option. 'After the wet CIP process, a sanitary blower attachment on the smart cart can dry the discs and other parts of the system 75% faster than typical air drying,' says Adair. He points out that the faster the conveyor is cleaned and dried after a product change, the sooner it can be put back into service, which improves profitability. According to Adair, Cablevey's Mobile Smart Cart was already available since it was officially unveiled at Pack Expo, a premier packaging and processing show held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in September. The event featured full-scale setups of machinery in action. The company also offered traveling demo smart cars to customers in September for free so clients could test drive the units. Pet food manufacturers can now purchase the demonstration unit used in their facilities, with hands-on training available immediately. While the pet food manufacturing industry is aware that automated CIP can improve conveyor system production uptime, barriers to implementation have slowed adoption. Utilizing a mobile smart cart with integrated water hookups will help manufacturers easily implement CIP in tubular drag conveyors throughout their facilities: expediting conveyor cleaning, production changeover, and sanitary compliance. By: Del Williams - Technical writer based in Torrance - California Source: All Pet Food Magazine

Conveying Systems


New German test facility allows processors to try solutions before they buy

These systems come as an investment, making it crucial for manufacturers to understand what they're buying before pulling out the company credit card. This is where OEM test facilities come into play, which offer processors the opportunity to try before they buy, often supported by the expertise of seasoned process engineers and salespeople who represent the supplier and its solutions. Testing, testing According to Emmanual Ricohermoso III, Ph.D., testing and facility manager at Automated Handling Solutions (AHS) Germany GmbH, parent company of Cablevey, testing equipment before making a purchase is a progressive approach that can optimize design and material selection for durability, efficiency and environmental impact. 'From the client's perspective, conducting product testing offers them the valuable opportunity to experience the device firsthand before making a purchase commitment,' Ricohermoso added. 'It allows them to assess the device's performance, functionalities and suitability for their specific needs without the obligation of buying it outright. Additionally, during the testing phase, clients can engage directly with our knowledgeable team, leveraging their technical expertise to address any questions or concerns they may have. 'This interactive experience fosters better communication and understanding between our team and the clients,' he added. 'Ultimately, seeing the device in action reinforces the clients' belief and confidence in its capabilities, validating the effectiveness of the solution being offered, or simply, 'to see is to believe.'' The company's 645-square-meter (6,942-square-foot) testing facility is centered around a test workshop equipped with product transfer systems from brands that fall under the AHS and Advanced Material Processing (AMP) umbrella, including Cablevey, Spiroflow, Kason and Marion. The test workshop itself accounts for 71% of the total space. According to Ricohermoso, the German test facility was designed to not only enable testing of conveyors and material transfer systems from point A to point B, but to also integrate relevant processing steps including bag conditioning, bulk bag discharging and filling, dewatering, sieving, mixing and drying. 'Additionally, the test facility boasts a cutting-edge, in-house laboratory dedicated to material characterization,' he noted. 'This enables our engineers to gain a deep understanding of the material properties, allowing them to design tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of our customers. The Friedrichsdorf test facility is now up and running and saw its first customer in early May 2023. Ben Ayrton, managing director and vice president of operations and supply chain for AHS and AMP in Europe, noted that the facility is now fully operational and offers more than 50 products for customer trials and testing across all four brands.  'We are immensely proud to have the most comprehensive testing facility in Continental Europe,' Ayrton said. 'Our expansion and future is exciting, as in addition we are looking forward to introducing a brand new 5,500 m square production facility in the UK in the first half of 2024.' The Friedrichsdorf facility will serve multiple AHS and AMP brands for testing, spare parts, European engineering and sales, as well as aftermarket spare parts and maintenance teams. Prioritizing positive client experiences Understanding why clients want to test or compare equipment performance is the No. 1 consideration when developing a test plan. For example, Ricohermoso said one of the main focuses for today's pet food processors is throughput. Once he has a better idea of a client's priorities, Ricohermoso requests a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to better understand the handing requirements and potential risks related to the product or material in question. He also asks for cleaning, process flow integration, and tolerance information to create a comprehensive test plan for the client. 'If the client's primary objective is to observe the operation without specific test requirements, I take the initiative to design the test plan myself,' Ricohermoso said. 'The clients are then given time to review the plan internally and communicate any concerns they may have. 'By following this streamlined process, we ensure that the test day runs smoothly, with clear communication and alignment between our team and the clients.' Leaning on OEM expertise Cablevey operates in more than 66 countries and has delivered its solutions for the food, pet food, coffee, powder, nut and frozen food industries for over 50 years. Such equipment includes enclosed cable and disc tube conveyors. 'Cablevey provides a gentle conveying solution, making it particularly suitable for products that are sensitive and have low tolerance for breakage,' Ricohermoso said. 'Its unique conveying method ensures that fragile products can be transported without compromising their integrity or quality.' At Cablevey's stateside test facility — which is located in Oskaloosa, Iowa — the company recently launched a 360-degree immersive experience enabling virtual visits in real time. A Zoom-meeting format developed during the COVID-19 pandemic now allows Cablevey to showcase test runs of its machinery in-person and online simultaneously, which provides convenience for those unable to travel or larger work groups, according to the company. Ricohermoso noted the company plans to add this capability to the German test facility over the next few months.  

Conveying Systems


Automated Handling Solutions at FENAGRA 2023 in Brazil

Brad very brieflly introuced himself and the Company, the owners of Cablevey Conveyors and Spiroflow, and highlighted  its prsence in the pet food sector. Brazil has been a key market for them within the LATAM region, so they  have already planned to grow agresively in that market      About Automated Handling Solutions  AHS combines expertise in specialty conveyor and material handling and automation equipment technologies to help processors manage their lines effectively and efficiently. AHS' products target applications in high value environments and can support both wet and dry media. Primary end markets served include food and beverage, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, specialty chemical, and high value industrial. AHS is May River Capital's (May River) newest platform company. by All pet Food   

Conveying Systems Pet Food Industry Trends for 2023

3+ MIN

Pet Food Industry Trends for 2023

Growth is a great opportunity, but it also requires planning when it comes to how pet foods are conveyed in your facility. How are companies preparing to handle this type of growth at their processing facilities?     In October 2022, Cablevey Conveyors commissioned the independent research firm, Ascend2, to conduct a research study titled Evaluating and Implementing New Conveyor Systems. The 16-page study (download for free) asked 290 food processing professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom to provide their insight on critical considerations when evaluating conveyor systems. In this article, we will review and analyze the findings from 72 food processing professionals that are conveying pet food. What are they doing to prepare for growth? Finding #1: Budgeting for Growth. 85% of facilities processing pet foods are increasing their budget for conveying equipment and maintenance in the next 12 months. 35% tell us that they are increasing significantly the budget needed to meet growth opportunities. Why the increase in the budget? The increase is in response to how much these businesses grew in the past year. Finding #2: Can your workspaces facilitate needed growth? An important consideration of growth is your workspaces and facility requirements. What conveying systems are best for the space that you have available? According to the pet food processing experts surveyed, the #1 conveying system (46%) for maximizing available space is cable and disk conveyors. What are a few questions should you ask when evaluating the right conveyor system to optimize the space at your facility? Do you have enough floor space or ceiling height to accommodate certain conveyor types? Does the layout of the conveying system take into account easy access for cleaning and maintenance, worker safety, and operational performance? Here is a short video that shows a pet food conveying layout. Finding #3: Consider maintenance and downtime when you plan. For pet food, what conveying systems are the most efficient? Cable and disc conveyors lead the pack (by a wide margin) at 54% What are a few questions should you ask when evaluating the right conveyor system when it comes to maintenance and downtime?     Questions to ask: How much time will be spent disassembling and cleaning the system? Will maintenance and downtime costs exceed any savings that you realized when purchasing the system? Finding #4: Don't forget energy efficiency. What contributes to energy efficiency? The size of the motor and the amount of horsepower required to run a conveying system can have a major impact on production costs. What conveying systems is the most energy efficient for pet foods? Cable and disc conveyors are #1 at 44%. Here are two questions to ask regarding energy and efficiency: How much energy will this system use?
Is there a high or a low cut-off point at which this system becomes inefficient? Conclusion The pet food industry is growing and evolving. This research study provides insight into the specifics of how industry professionals are preparing for that growth and making the best decisions for their facilities. The research points to cable and disc conveyors as the superior solution for pet foods. Tubular conveyors help streamline pet food processing and maintain both quality and proper proportions in nutritional mixes, snack foods, and other pet food products, product characteristics important to pet food purchasers. To find out if a Cablevey system is the best solution for conveying your pet food, have the Cablevey Testing Center perform a free test for you. The Testing Center will provide you with the data to help you make the most informed decision for your specific need. This article only covers a portion of the finding from the Ascend2 research study. Download Evaluating and Implementing New Conveyor Systems for more insight into the food processing industry.
  by Cablevey Conveyor 

Conveying Systems Your Go-To Guide For Stainless Steel Conveyors In Food Processing

11+ MIN

Your Go-To Guide For Stainless Steel Conveyors In Food Processing

Automated conveyor systems play a vital role in virtually every stage of food processing, from transporting raw ingredients to packaging finished products. What's more, in the food and beverage industry, hygiene is of the utmost importance. That's why stainless steel conveyors are such a popular choice in this sector (especially for conveying  food).   Stainless steel is easy to clean and disinfect, making it the ideal material for conveying foodstuffs in accordance with FDA regulations. In this blog post, we will explore the use of stainless steel construction conveyors in the food production industry in more detail. We'll also look at some of the benefits of using this type of conveyor and explain how you can keep it clean and sanitary What is stainless steel? Let's start by taking a closer look at stainless steel. This is an alloy of iron, chromium, and, in some cases, other metals such as nickel and molybdenum. The main feature of stainless steel that makes it so suitable for food handling is its resistance to corrosion. This means that it won't rust when it comes into contact with oxygen. Regular steel (carbon steel), when exposed to oxygen, will transform into iron oxide (rust). Rust is porous and can flake off, becoming an excellent source of contamination. Stainless steel, on the other hand, forms a protective chromium oxide layer on its surface that prevents oxygen from reaching the iron beneath. As a result, it is much more resistant to corrosion than regular steel. What's more, stainless steel is also non-toxic and non-allergenic, which is important when you are conveying food products. Benefits of stainless steel conveyors Corrosion resistance is just one of the many benefits of using a stainless steel conveying solution in food processing. Let's take a look at some of the others: No product contamination – Unlike other materials that degrade over time and release particles into the product, stainless steel is inert and won't contaminate the conveyed material. It is also non-porous, meaning bacteria and other contaminants cannot become trapped on the surface. Easy to clean and sanitize – Because of its smooth surface, stainless steel is very easy to clean and disinfect. This is essential in the food industry, where hygiene is of paramount importance. We'll get into more detail about cleaning stainless steel conveyor solutions later on. Doesn't change food flavor – Outgassing is a phenomenon that can occur with certain materials, whereby they release gasses that can change the taste of food. Stainless steel is completely inert and doesn't outgas, so you can be sure your product will not be affected.
Resistant to high temperatures – Stainless steel can withstand high temperatureswithout being damaged. This means it can be used in applications where the product being conveyed is hot. Resistant to low temperatures – Just as stainless steel can withstand high temperatures, it is also resistant to low temperatures. This means it can be used in applications where the product being conveyed is frozen. Of course, these are not the only benefits of using a conveyor system for food made from stainless steel. Stainless steel is also a very strong material that is able to support heavy loads, making it ideal for use in the food industry. Is a stainless steel conveyor sanitary? To start answering the question of whether stainless steel food processing equipment is sanitary, we first need to understand what the term 'sanitary' means. In the food industry, the term 'sanitary' refers to an environment or piece of equipment that is free from contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. This is different from the term 'clean,' which simply refers to the absence of visible dirt. A piece of equipment can be clean but not sanitary, for example, if it has been cleaned with a cleaning solution that is itself contaminated. So, are stainless steel conveyors sanitary? The answer is no – no material is inherently sanitary. However, stainless steel is one of the most hygienic materials that you can use in food handling. This is because it is non-porous and non-absorbent, meaning that bacteria and other contaminants cannot become trapped on the surface. It is also made for easy cleaning and disinfection. That said, even stainless steel conveyors can become contaminated if they are not used and maintained properly. It is important to remember that bacteria and other microorganisms are everywhere – on our skin, in the air, and even on stainless steel. If left untreated, these contaminants can quickly multiply, compromise food safety, and cause foodborne illnesses. This is why it is so important to follow good hygiene practices when using stainless steel conveyors. In particular, you should ensure that the conveyor is cleaned and disinfected regularly, even if it is made of a food-grade material. Cleaning and sanitizing stainless steel conveyors Each facility has its own cleaning and sanitizing procedures developed according to the products being conveyed and the level of contamination risk. However, there are some basic steps that you can follow in cleaning and sanitizing your stainless steel conveyor: Remove loose dirt and debris – The first step is to remove any loose dirt and debris from the surface of the conveyor. The reason why it is important to do this first is that you don't want to spread contaminants around when you are cleaning. You can remove loose dirt and debris by brushing, vacuuming, or using compressed air. Pre-rinse – After you have removed the loose contaminants, you should pre-rinse the conveyor with water. This helps to remove any remaining impurities from the conveyor surface. Apply cleaning solution – Which cleaning agent you use will depend on the type of contaminants present and the manufacturer's recommendations. Rinse – Once you have applied the cleaning solution, you should rinse the conveyor with clean water. This helps to remove any remaining cleaning solution and contaminants from the surface. Inspect – Before sanitizing, you should inspect the conveyor to ensure it is clean. In particular, you should look for any areas that may have been missed during the cleaning process. Apply sanitizing solution – The final step is to apply a sanitizing solution to the conveyor. This helps to kill any remaining bacteria and other microorganisms. Once you have applied the sanitizing solution, you should rinse the conveyor with clean water. Note that some sanitizing agents may not need to be rinsed off, so be sure to check the solution manufacturer's instructions. Increase cleaning efficiency It's no secret that cleaning, sanitizing, and maintaining conveyors can be time-consuming. In fact, according to our State Of Conveying 2022 report, 54% of food processing managers and engineers said that cleaning and maintenance are the most challenging aspects of conveying. Reasons for this include: Downtime – When conveyors are taken offline for cleaning, it can lead to significant downtime and lost productivity. Cleaning frequency – The more often a conveyor is used, the more often it will need to be cleaned. This can make it difficult to keep up with the cleaning times and schedule, especially if the conveyor is in constant use. Complexity – Some food product handling conveyors are more complex than others, which can make them more difficult to clean. For example, some conveyors have many nooks and crannies that can be difficult to reach. Fortunately, there are methods you can use to increase the efficiency of your cleaning process. Have you come across clean-in-place (CIP) mechanisms? Clean-in-place systems A CIP system is a method of cleaning that uses special equipment to clean the interior surfaces of the conveyor without disassembling it. CIP systems are often used in the food and beverage industry, as they are an effective way to clean complex equipment quickly and efficiently. Cablevey offers two main types of CIP systems: Dry cleaning – Using brushes, air knives, urethane wiper discs, and special sponges with sanitizers. Dry cleaning is typically used for conveyors that move material that is not wet or sticky. Wet cleaning – Using water jets, sanitizers, and detergents. Wet cleaning is typically used for conveyors that move wet or sticky material. In this day and age, where every minute counts towards productivity, a CIP system can make a big difference. the conveyor type matter? If you choose a stainless steel conveyor for your food processing plant, does the type of conveyor matter? The answer is yes; of course, it does. The material the conveyor is made of is just one small part of the equation. You also need to consider the environment in which the conveyor will be used and the type of product that will be moved on the conveyor. Here are some common food manufacturing conveyors: Belt conveyor Perhaps the most widespread of all conveyors, belt conveyors are generally used to transport light to medium-weight products. A belt conveyor is composed of a belt that rests on two or more pulleys, which in turn rotate on shafts. The pulleys and shafts are powered by an electric motor. The belt on this type of conveyor can be made from a variety of materials. You can get plastic belt conveyors, rubber belt conveyors, and even metal belt conveyors. Not all of these represent a food-grade conveyor, though. Benefits: Good for fragile materials Can transport a variety of products Drawbacks: Not for steep inclines or vertical conveying Not for wet or sticky products If not enclosed, it poses a high risk of contamination Bucket conveyor Bucket conveyors, or bucket elevators, are composed of a series of buckets that are connected to a belt or chain. The buckets lift materials, such as grain, up to the top of the conveyor, where they are discharged into a chute. Even though horizontal bucket conveyors exist, incline conveyor options are more common, as they take up less space and can be used in a variety of settings. Benefits: Low driving power – energy efficient Good for facilities with small floor plans Good for inclines and vertical conveying Drawbacks: Ridiculously difficult to clean and maintain because of a lot of moving parts Pneumatic conveyor The main principle of material conveying in pneumatic conveyors is entrainment. In this type of conveyor, air is used to move materials through a system of tubes. A blower or a vacuum pump can generate the airflow. Benefits: High conveying speeds Low preventative maintenance and cleaning costs Flexible design – suitable for a variety of settings Drawbacks: Extremely hard on conveyed materials – material damage is common It requires a lot of power to control the speed Can be noisy Tubular chain conveyor A tubular chain conveyor is composed of a chain that runs inside a tube. Circular discs are evenly spaced along this chain, creating space between them for the conveyed material to fit into. The discs move along the tube, propelling the material forward. Benefits: Fully enclosed Can be used for inclines and vertical conveying Gentle conveying Drawbacks: Chain is in direct contact with conveyed material – high risk of contamination Difficult to clean and maintain Tubular cable and disc conveyor We saved the best for last. For specific material types, such as breakfast cereal, snack foods, nuts, beans, coffee beans, rice, and similar, tubular cable and disc conveyors are the best option. These conveyors work on a similar principle as tubular chain conveyors, with one major difference – instead of chains and discs, they use cables and discs. There is no direct food contact with the cable, which decreases the risk of contamination. Also, these conveyors are easier to clean and maintain. Benefits: Fully enclosed Gentle conveying – suitable for fragile materials Extremely low risk of contamination Easy to clean and maintain Drawbacks: Not for viscous or sticky materials Which conveyor to choose? A stainless steel conveyor system is only as good as the application it's being used for. Different conveyors are better suited for different tasks. To help you make a better decision, here are the top considerations you need to take into account: Conveyor type – As we've seen, there are many different types of conveyors. Make sure to choose the one that's best suited to your needs. Material type – Not all materials can be conveyed by all conveyors. Some materials are too fragile, while others are too dense. Make sure that the conveyor you choose can handle your material. Conveyor throughput – The amount of material that needs to be conveyed will play a big role in deciding which type of food processing conveyor to choose. Conveyor size and layout – Not every conveyor is suitable for every facility. The size of your facility and the layout of your production line will play a big role in deciding which conveyor to choose. Some other considerations are the cost of the conveyor, the energy efficiency, and how easy or difficult it is to clean and maintain the conveyor. Go for a sanitary design We've already explained how no material is completely safe from contamination. Even if you choose a food conveyor system that's easy to clean, there's always a risk of bacteria and other germs getting into the food. That's why it's important to go for a sanitary conveyor design. A hygienic design minimizes the risk of contamination. It includes: Easy access for cleaning – The conveyor should be designed in a way that allows easy access for cleaning. All parts of the conveyor should be accessible for cleaning, and there should be no dead spots where bacteria can accumulate. No traps in the conveyor frame – The conveyor frame design has to prevent food from getting trapped in it. All food should be able to fall freely from the conveyor, without getting caught in any nooks or crannies. No areas where water can accumulate – The conveyor should be designed to prevent water from accumulating anywhere on it. All wet areas should drain quickly, and there should be no places where water can pool. No fasteners – Welds should be used instead of fasteners to prevent food from getting trapped in them. It stands to reason that deciding exactly which type of stainless steel conveyor to choose for your food processing facility is a big decision. But with the right information, you can make the best choice for your needs. Conclusion Here are the main takeaways from this article: Stainless steel isn't sanitary by default. But it is an excellent material for conveyors because it's easy to clean and doesn't rust. The cable and disc conveyor is the best type of stainless steel conveyor for food processing applications. These food conveyors are fully enclosed, gentle, and have a low risk of contamination. When choosing an industrial conveyor, consider the type of conveyor, the material you're conveying, the throughput, the size and layout of your facility, and the cost. Make sure to choose a conveyor with a sanitary design to minimize the risk of contamination. A sanitary design includes easy access for cleaning, no traps in the conveyor frame, no areas where water can accumulate, and no fasteners. Ready to buy a stainless steel conveyor for your food processing facility? Cablevey Conveyor  can help you find the perfect one for your needs. Contact Cablevey today to get started By Cablevey Conveyor Source: All Pet Food  

Packing Machine

Packaging Siegwerk’s new coatings enable recyclable monomaterial pet food packaging

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Siegwerk’s new coatings enable recyclable monomaterial pet food packaging

Printing ink and coatings leader Siegwerk has announced a breakthrough in sustainable pet food packaging. Partnering with printing machine manufacturer Windmöller & Hölscher and bag-making and machine producer B&B, Siegwerk has developed a fully recyclable monomaterial pouch for dry pet food using its CIRKIT functional coatings. This innovation addresses increasing pressure from EU regulations on packaging circularity.   'New approaches are needed to meet the upcoming regulatory requirements for circular packaging,' said Belal Habib, head of Brand Owner Collaboration at Siegwerk. 'The challenge is to find a recyclable design that also meets the respective performance requirements of the packaging.'   Pet food packaging needs to be food-safe and have specific barrier properties such as grease resistance, in order to maintain freshness and structural integrity. Traditionally, these requirements meant complex, non-recyclable multimaterial structures with metallised layers.   'The problem: they are not recyclable,' added Habib. 'This is where innovative barrier coatings applied in thin layers and inline with regular printing inks can help to switch from an incompatible multimaterial structure to a fully recyclable monomaterial solution in the sense of a circular economy.'   The solution utilises two CIRKIT coatings: CIRKIT GreaseBar: An inline-printable grease barrier coating. CIRKIT HeatGuard: A coating that enhances sealing efficiency and heat resistance on film surfaces, also inline-printable.   These coatings, combined with full polyurethane inks suitable for mechanical recycling, enable the mono-polyethylene bag to achieve the same performance as traditional multimaterial structures while being fully recyclable. Importantly, the inks and coatings are solvent-based, deinkable, and inline-printable without sacrificing print quality.   'Together, we have succeeded in developing an innovation that is circular, delivers on performance and maintains current process efficiencies due to inline and high-speed conversion,' said Habib. 'This shows that, by joining forces, we are in a position to make recyclable monoplastic packaging a reality and thus counter the still wide presence of multimaterial laminated structures with future-oriented flexible packaging solutions made for circularity.'   Siegwerk's expertise spans the entire packaging life cycle, from raw material selection to recycling. This allows it to partner with companies to redesign packaging structures for sustainability according to current guidelines.   Source: Packaging Gateway.


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Foundation and Company History   The company was founded in 2008 as a joint venture between two renowned companies, BT Wolfgang Binder, and BINDER+CO AG. Both companies had already been active in the packaging and processing industry since the 1970s and brought many years of experience and expertise to the partnership. The merger created a new player in the packaging industry, STATEC BINDER. Over the years, STATEC BINDER has impressed with over 1800 successfully installed plants on all continents and in over 85 countries, underlining its global presence and expertise. The company continuously expanded its product range, from stand-alone machines to complete solutions for customers. Thanks to innovation, teamwork, and the pursuit of perfection, STATEC BINDER has always been able to meet the requirements of global markets and provide customized solutions for its customers.   Innovation and Product Portfolio   A key factor in STATEC BINDER's success is continuous innovation and the development of customized solutions for its customers. The product range of STATEC BINDER includes fully automatic as well as semi-automatic packaging systems for bags from 5kg to 50kg, BIG BAG filling stations, palletizing systems, and bag closing systems, which are developed specifically for customers' needs. Whether it is bulk materials such as grain, animal feed, fertilizer, plastic granules, or other materials, STATEC BINDER offers solutions for a wide range of industries.   Quality and Customer Service STATEC BINDER places great emphasis on the quality of its products and services. The packaging solutions are manufactured in a production facility and are subject to strict quality controls to ensure they meet the highest standards. The company is ISO 9001 certified, which underlines its commitment to maintaining high-quality standards. In addition to product quality, customer service is another key factor that distinguishes the company. STATEC BINDER's customers appreciate the personalized advice, individualized customer services, and comprehensive support the company offers. Working closely with customers enables the company to better understand their specific requirements and challenges, and to offer customers an all-around carefree package once they have purchased the equipment.   International Success STATEC BINDER's reputation extends beyond Austria, reaching a global scale. The company exports its packaging solutions to over 85 countries worldwide and maintains an extensive network of distribution and service partners across various regions, ensuring exceptional onsite support and guidance for its customers. This international presence reflects the trust customers worldwide place in STATEC BINDER's products and services.   Conclusion STATEC BINDER is a company that stands out in the packaging industry for its innovation, quality products, and dedicated customer service. With a strong focus on the needs of its customers, STATEC BINDER remains a major player in packaging technology and will continue to play a significant role in the industry in the future.   Source: All Pet Food Magazine



STATEC BINDER and NUPAC successfully conclude project together

Their goal was to increase bag filling capacity while reducing manual handling. For this, they turned to NUPAC in Australia, known as reliable suppliers of processing and packaging machinery and STATEC BINDER partners, who share a commitment to finding high-quality solutions for their customers. The Challenge: Enhancing Efficiency Massel Australia recognized the need to improve their bulk bagging process. The objective was straightforward: streamline operations, reduce labor requirements and elevate efficiency. They needed a partner who could not only provide cutting-edge machinery but also understand the unique constraints and demands of their production facility. Choosing NUPAC and STATEC BINDER: A partnership founded on individuality Massel Australia's journey toward a solution led them to NUPAC. What set NUPAC apart from the competition was more than just state-of-the-art equipment. Michael Caine, General Manager of Massel Australia, commented that they proceeded with NUPAC because "they displayed a genuine interest in coming up with a solution for us, listened to our needs and constraints, and were able to come up with a creative and efficient solution." The Solution for the customer: STATEC BINDER´s Acropac-T Machine NUPAC recommended the STATEC BINDER Acropac-T machine with gross weighing system and stainless steel execution. ACROPAC-T is a fully automatic open-mouth bagging machine which was perfectly tailored to Massel's requirements. This state-of-the-art equipment not only increased bag-filling capacity but also significantly reduced the need for manual operator input. One of the critical aspects was its ability to deliver substantial cost savings per bag filled. This cost-effectiveness made the investment in the new equipment an attractive proposition for Massel Australia. Overcoming Space Constraints Massel Australia faced a particularly challenging constraint—limited space, especially in terms of height. NUPAC worked closely with STATEC BINDER to overcome this challenge and find a solution that was compatible with the space available. This commitment to meeting every challenge head-on impressed Massel Australia and reinforced their trust in NUPAC as well as in the quality of STATEC BINDER machines. Massel Australia's encounter with NUPAC and STATEC BINDER was notably favorable. Michael Caine, in particular, emphasized that the entire process was an "overall excellent  xperience." He commended their professional handling of all queries and questions, creating a relationship that streamlined communication, especially during the planning and execution phases. When asked if they would recommend NUPAC and STATEC BINDER to others, Massel Australia responded with a resounding "Yes." Their recommendation is rooted in the positive purchasing experience and their trust in the post-sales support. They are confident that the ongoing support will maintain the same high standards of professionalism, positivity, and effectiveness as their initial interaction. In conclusion, this partnership has not only enhanced Massel's bag-filling process, thereby improving operational efficiency, but has also instilled confidence in NUPAC and STATEC BINDER's ability to provide unwavering support in the face of any challenge. By Statetc Binder Source: All Pet Food 



Purina calls on consumers to recycle pet food cans

The #PurinaRecyclesChallenge encourages pet owners to take aim at the recycling bin — rather than the trash can — when disposing of their used pet food cans. According to the Can Manufacturers Institute, the pet food industry utilizes roughly 7 million metal food cans annually. Approximately 25% of these are steel and typically used for dog food, and 75% are aluminum and normally used for cat food. While these cans are infinitely recyclable, there is ample room for improvement in their recycling rates, including among pet owners. An estimated 32% of American consumers recycle, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2019 American Community Survey. The US Energy Information Administration claims the use of recycled aluminum cans to manufacture new cans requires 95% less energy than creating new cans from raw materials. 'We launched the #PurinaRecyclesChallenge to show just how easy it is to make an impact, and to help break down some of the barriers that keep people from recycling their pet food cans,' said Gopi Sandhu, vice president of environmental sustainability at Purina. 'Aluminum and steel are infinitely recyclable, and given the billions of cans produced in the United States each year, a seemingly small act of recycling can make a big difference.' The challenge invites pet owners to film a 'trick shot' of them banking a pet food can into the recycling bin and share on Instagram and/or TikTok with the hashtag #PurinaRecyclesChallenge. The company will donate $10 for every original post and $1 for every like, share or comment on those posts to The Recycling Partnership to support recycling education and infrastructure across the United States. The campaign will run through Dec. 15. Aside from this can recycling initiative, Purina has also committed to improving packaging sustainability across its entire portfolio. According to the company, almost 90% of its plastic packages used for pet food are designed to be recycled, a figure it hopes to increase to 95% by 2025. By Jordan Tyler - Pet Food Processing



Pet Food Label Modernization is Coming Soon!

A final draft of the updated model regulations for pet food and specialty pet food was voted on by the executive committee and will be presented to the full membership on July 31st for a vote.  There are numerous changes to the regulations that will impact the labeling for all pet food, pet treats and specialty pet food and treats. Below is a discussion of some of the main changes that will impact your pet food label design. Please note that small and very small packages with a total printable area of 40 or 12 square inches or less respectively will have different layout requirements due to space constraints Changes to the front of the pack include the requirement for a verbatim intended use statement. This statement must be in the bottom ⅓ of the principal display panel and parallel to the bottom of the panel (front panel for packages that sit upright on the shelf and also on the bottom butt panel for packages that lay flat on the shelf), must be at least as large as the net quantity statement per FDA 16 CFR 500.21, must be in the same color and style font and on the same background color as the statement of net quantity and must be separated from the statement of net quantity and any other label material by the height of the 'N' above and below and by twice the width of the 'N' on either side.  Some examples of the verbatim intended use statements include:  'Complete Dog Food' for foods that are complete and balanced for all life stages, including growth of large size dogs. 'Complete Puppy Food' or 'Complete Food for Puppies' for growth products that include growth of large size dogs.  'Complete Food for Adult Cats' for adult maintenance cat foods. 'Complete Food for Puppies (<70 lb. as an adult)' for growth diets that are not appropriate for the growth of large size dogs. 'Complete Food for Dogs (except puppies >70 lb. as an adult)' for all life stages products that exclude the growth of large size dogs. Another major change is the replacement of the Guaranteed Analysis with a Pet Nutrition Facts section. This change was made to more closely align the nutritional information with the format on human food labels in order to help the consumer better understand what they are buying. The Pet Nutrition Facts is required to be included on all pet foods in a prominent place on the label (but not necessarily on the principal display panel). On most packages (except very small labels), this will be in a box set off by hairlines and will be all black or one-color type, printed on white or neutral background.  The heading 'Pet Nutrition Facts' will be centered in the top row of the box and must be twice the size of the other text in the box. The familiar household unit (cup, can, treat, etc) will be right justified in the next row and must include the weight in grams. A bold line must separate this information from the next row. Calorie content will appear in the next line of the box and will no longer be stated as kcal/kg. It must be stated in kcal/'familiar household unit' and will be left justified. If the calories are determined by a feeding study, the word '(fed)' will appear after the value. Maybe provide an example of a few familiar household units. Underneath the calorie content, indented text will appear indicating the calories from protein, fat and carbohydrates. The Modified Atwater formula is still the correct way to determine the calorie content.      Following the calorie content will be the guaranteed nutrient levels. Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates (calculated value), Total Dietary Fiber and Moisture are the required guarantees for every label. These will be expressed in % and also in grams/'familiar household unit.' If you don't have dietary fiber data for your recipes, now would be a good time to begin testing to obtain these values. If you have additional nutritional guarantees, they may be included similarly to today's labels. Essential guarantees must still follow the order of the AAFCO nutrient profiles and nonessential nutrient guarantees are listed following the last essential guarantee. The verbatim nutritional adequacy statement will still be required and must now live within the Pet Nutrition Facts box so that placement is consistent across all products. Feeding directions must be included on all labels and should be consistent with the intended use statement that is on the principal display panel. There are some other minor changes that may impact your labeling, but the information above captures the most impactful of the proposed updates to the regulations. The implementation workgroup is proposing 6 years for the timeline for labeling in the market to comply with the new regulations. Consumer outreach and education has been a top priority and as more brands launch compliant labels, pet parents will be looking for this new format. This could potentially become part of the buying decision for savvy pet parents. The North River Enterprises team is involved in several AAFCO workgroups helping to develop educational materials explaining the required changes once PFLM becomes a reality.  by Melissa Brookshire



A world-class line in pet food industry

A constantly growing trend: Cats and dogs have become part of the family. But not only them. According to Euromonitor data, pet population in Italy at the end of 2021 accounted for 30 million fish, 13 million birds, 10 million cats and 9 million dogs. The lockdown period played its role while the industrial world didn't wait on the sidelines but, on the contrary, continued competing with an ever-larger offer that paid greater attention to petfood quality, packaging design, and communication. In this scenario, GPI – Geo Project Industries, with cemented know-how in robotics and packaging, developed a plant for a revolutionary governance of the production line: Every phase from depalletization to primary and secondary packaging, to palletization, to flexibly and efficaciously meets customer's requirements. A turnkey solution featuring easily openable/closable display boxes, for capacity of 500 piece/minute, that manages 4 different flavours that can be further increased to 6 and 8 by adding robot isles. Things do not change when it comes to pouches/doypacks, increasingly popular thanks to their utmost practicality and small size, and dry pet food boxes or pouches. GPI paper department designs the ideal packaging upon customer's requirements and grounding on three fundamental criteria: The best product protection, enticing aesthetics to conquer the purchaser, use of techniques and sustainable materials, such as cardboard, for higher respect of the planet and minimum impact on the environment. GPI management says 'We are close to our customers and their pets. When we meet our partners the first sentence is not 'Our machines operate this way' but rather 'What can our machines do for you?'. A tailored approach that has helped us grow in these years in terms of know-how, relationships, and markets.' GPI new machine – studied to guarantee a complete production cycle in the pet food industry – is likely to become an international one of a kind for its very high flexibility in production, and utmost customization upon the goals of the various players of the sector. by GPI Group




What Nutrients are Essential for My Pet?

 Here's a breakdown of all the essential nutrients according to the  Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) that are required for foods to be called complete and balanced for adult and growing cats and dogs. Included are also links to other blog posts that describe some of these nutrients and why they're essential. Protein and Amino Acids While the amount may differ between dogs and cats, and between adults and seniors, all pets have a minimum requirement for protein to make muscle in the body and help in many important body functions. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and there are approximately a dozen essential amino acids in addition to a minimum of overall protein that all pets need: Arginine Histidine Isoleucine Leucine Lysine Methionine Cystine Phenylalanine Threonine Tryptophan Valine Taurine (cats)
  Fats and Fatty Acids All pets have a minimum amount of total fat that they need in their diet and there are also some specific types of fatty acids that are also required for different lifestages. Overall fats and specific types of fatty acids help your pet maintain a healthy skin/coat, regulate inflammation, and aid in development in growing pets. Linoleic Acid Arachidonic Acid (cats) Alpha-Linoleic Acid (growth) EPA + DHA (growth)
  Minerals  Minerals, some of which are also called electrolytes, are critical to keeping fluid balance, growing and maintaining bones, and helping to regulate many processes running in a pet's body, such as movement of muscles. The amounts required can vary between growing and adult animals, and there is also a required ratio of certain minerals such as calcium and phosphorus for optimal health, especially for growing large breed puppies. Calcium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Chloride Magnesium Iron Copper Manganese Zinc Iodine Selenium
  Vitamins  Cats and dogs require many of the same vitamins as we do (except for Vitamin C, which they can make themselves!), but the amounts can be very different. One example is Vitamin D, where dogs need less than 1/10th the amount that humans do, so we have to be very careful about using human products (or any supplements for that matter!) in pets to avoid toxic amounts of vitamin D. Vitamins perform many functions in the body from supporting the immune system to breaking down food for energy, and are either water soluble (the B vitamins) or fat soluble (vitamins A, D, E and K). The essential vitamins for dogs and cats are listed below with common alternate names that you may see on your pet food ingredient lists. Vitamin A (retinol) Vitamin D (cholecalciferol) Vitamin E (tocopherol) Vitamin K (phylloguinone, cats) Thiamine (Vitamin B1) Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Niacin (Vitamin B3) Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) Folic Acid/Folate (Vitamin B9) Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Choline
   Where Can I Go To Learn More?  If you'd like to learn more about the exact amounts required of these nutrients in different lifestages and species, booklets are also available online from the National Resource Council with more details on each of these essential nutrients for dogs and cats. How Do I Know My Pet Is Getting All These Nutrients? Foods that have AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements that state they are complete and balanced have to include all these essential nutrients and stay between the minimum requirements and any maximums. Providing extra through supplements may actually harm your pet because you may unknowingly be providing a toxic amount of some nutrients that have narrow safety ranges! We recommend only giving supplements with any of these essential nutrients when recommended specifically by your veterinarian. by Deborah E. Linder, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Nutrition)



Darling Ingredients Inc. Completes Acquisition of Brazil's Largest Independent Rendering Company, FASA Group

The company first announced the acquisition in May 2022 for a purchase price of approximately R$2.8 billion Brazilian Real in cash ($542.6 million USD at today's exchange rate), plus or minus various closing adjustments and a contingent payment based on future earnings growth. As part of the transaction, Darling Ingredients has acquired 14 plants that process more than 1.3 million metric tons annually, with an additional two plants under construction. "Brazil will play a big role in feeding a growing world population, which makes it a premier location to grow our specialty ingredients business," Randall C. Stuewe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Darling Ingredients. "FASA is a well-run business, will be immediately accretive and further de-risks the supply chain by providing an additional source of non-food based, low-carbon waste fats to be used in the production of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel." About Darling Darling Ingredients Inc. (NYSE: DAR) is the largest publicly traded company turning edible by-products and food waste into sustainable products and a leading producer of renewable energy. Recognized as a sustainability leader, the company operates 250 plants in 17 countries and repurposes nearly 15% of the world's meat industry waste streams into value-added products, such as green energy, renewable diesel, collagen, fertilizer, animal proteins and meals and pet food ingredients. To learn more, visit darlingii.com. Follow us on LinkedIn. Contact: Suann Guthrie
VP, Investor Relations, Sustainability & Communications
(469) 214-8202, [email protected]



Trace minerals in pet food: what are their benefits and challenges?

However, there are conflicting positions! In this article we analyze the types of trace minerals, the different voices, advantages and disadvantages of incorporating this ingredient into pet food recipes. Pet owners, and especially millennials, are increasingly interested in providing the best nutrition, care and quality of life for their pets. In this sense, trace elements such as zinc, copper, iron and manganese are an essential part of this formula for well-being, since they play a key role in cellular functions, oxygen exchange and other bodily processes.   What are trace elements or trace minerals? Trace minerals are elements that are required in very small amounts to achieve a balanced diet, but which have a wide range of benefits for the proper functioning of various systems such as the immune system, musculoskeletal, skin and coat health, for example. Some of them are zinc, copper, iron and manganese. In the animal world, it must also be taken into account that the trace elements necessary for dogs and cats are not the same.   When we talk about the incorporation of these components into a pet food formula, 2 aspects should be taken into account: • The shape of the mineral offered. • The amount provided. These data significantly influence the bioavailability of the mineral in the animal's body.   Forms of the minerals offered Inorganic They are generally found in the form of sulfates or oxides. They are relatively soluble. Since many reactions that occur when ionized make them unavailable, inorganic trace minerals are often inefficient and must be supplied in greater amounts. As they come from extracted sources, safety and traceability must be part of the quality assurance process to avoid the inclusion of heavy metals which, if present in a diet, can be harmful to health. Organic These can be divided into complexes and chelates: Complexes They are compounds that help keep the mineral stable or non-reactive and available for absorption. Chelates These have more bonds than complexes, which improves stability while preserving their availability to be absorbed if necessary. This increases the likelihood that the mineral will reach the small intestine in a way that it can be absorbed.   Trace minerals, an element of interest (and controversy) Trace elements are a component that is equally interesting and confusing in the pet food industry. Historically, pet food formulas have relied on extracted or inorganic minerals to reach nutrient levels recommended by different associations, such as the AAFCO. What happens, as we previously discussed, is that inorganic minerals are difficult to absorb, which is why additional amounts used to be added. Voices against this practice claim that this approach does not necessarily meet the real needs of pets, especially in the stages of infancy, pregnancy, or old age.   Seeking to transition to organic trace elements The truth is that organic trace minerals are the most natural and the best option for pets. Opting for this option in food formulas facilitates the availability and absorption of its nutrients. However, the use of inorganic minerals has become widespread throughout the food industry (and not only for pets), which, although they are in common use, are often ineffective. Organic minerals have high stability, so they work better, they resist much more in the digestive tract, and as a result, the animal's body can absorb what it needs. Minerals are essential, but if they are ingested in excess, they can cause toxicity.   Why are inorganic trace minerals poor in absorption? The structure of the inorganic mineral makes it interact with other components during the digestion process. As a result, it forms an indigestible complex that eventually ends up outside the body without being absorbed. This is equivalent to poor bioavailability because, even though the food has trace minerals, they cannot be used by the body. The form in which the trace mineral is present can influence the absorption of other nutrients in the intestine, such as: Impact on the stability of vitamins The oxidation of vitamins, such as vitamin E, can lead to a reduced vitamin function and, the cause can be the oxidation of fats by the action of trace elements. Compromised antioxidant function Research has confirmed that commonly used antioxidants can be compromised by inorganic minerals. In cases where the mineral bond is weak, there is a significant negative impact on antioxidant activity. However, and despite the possible complications of the use of trace elements, various studies insist on verifying the great benefits of their use and incorporation in pet food formulas. The latest published study, which was completed in 2020, lasted 12 weeks and included 46 older dogs between the ages of 7 and 14 with an average age of 9.8 years. It looked at skin and coat health, hair growth, activity levels, weight, and body condition. They were observed, after a period of feeding them with formulas containing organic trace minerals, an improvement in all the aspects mentioned above. Summarizing we can say that today's pets are part of the family, and thanks to the relevance they have gained over the years, the industry has invested more and more resources in improving their quality of life. In this sense, food has become a priority factor for those owners who seek to provide their four-legged friends with the best on the market. With regard to today's topic, the responsibility of producers is to keep trace minerals as available as possible for their proper absorption, and preferably to use them in an organic format, in order to ensure successful nutrition and avoid any risk of intoxication. Definitely, continuing to work on optimizing nutrition by trace elements will lead to healthier pets with stronger and longer-lasting immune, musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal systems.   By: All Pet Food

By Luciana Chippano



Mineral choice matters: Maximizing pet food nutrition

These can be broadly classified as either inorganic trace minerals (ITNs) or organic trace minerals (MTOs). The latter are so named because they are complex, or otherwise associated, with organic linking groups. These linking groups include amino acids, small peptides, and organic acids, which influence the strength of mineral absorption. When comparing organic trace minerals, many factors must be considered, but basically the interaction force between the mineral and the binding group is the most important factor influencing bioavailability. By improving the binding of MTOs, finally, the bioavailability of the mineral can be increased. Therefore, the choice of the linking group is critical to the effectiveness of organic minerals. In recent years, research has highlighted the differences that exist between individual products. A poor choice of the linking group can result in the production of products that offer no benefit over inorganic mineral sources. In essence, not all MTO products are the same.   Antagonisms in food and feed Increasingly, interactions between food components, such as trace minerals, are under scrutiny, for possible negative interactions with other components of the diet, often overlooked. Recent studies have focused on evaluating these potential antagonisms. In this regard, it is useful to highlight the differences, not only between inorganic and organic trace minerals, but also to illustrate that not all MTO products are produced equally.   Impact of minerals on the stability of vitamins The oxidation of vitamins, such as vitamin E, can reduce the function of vitamins, and its cause could be the oxidation of fats but, frequently, it is due to the action of trace minerals. The type and particularly the form of the trace minerals will influence their effect on the stability of the vitamin. When it comes to trace minerals, oxidation-reduction reactions are the predominant cause of vitamin instability. The type of trace mineral will influence its reactivity, and, more critically, the way the trace mineral is presented plays an even more important role in its influence on the stability of vitamins. Studies examining the stability of vitamin E in the presence of inorganic or organic minerals show that in the inorganic form, the minerals can be detrimental to the stability of the vitamin molecule. However, depending on the source of MTO, the use of chelated minerals may not cause such a dramatic decrease.   Antioxidant function may be compromised by mineral choice Additional research evaluating the effect of minerals in food components has established that commonly used antioxidants can be compromised with the use of inorganic minerals. Furthermore, the data indicate that in cases where MTOs have shown weak mineral absorption, there is a significant negative impact on antioxidant activity. The choice of organic trace minerals, therefore, plays a fundamental role in ensuring the quality and stability of food components.   Conclusions When it comes to mineral choice, organic trace minerals are much less likely to adversely affect essential nutrients, such as vitamins, compared to inorganic sources. However, not all forms of organic minerals react in the same way. Therefore, we encourage diet formulators to pay more attention to their ingredient choices in order to not only maximize nutrition, but also the quality and stability of pet food.   Source: Alltech

Minerals Yeast and Derivatives for Companion Animals: From Palatability to Immunomodulatory Properties

2+ MIN

Yeast and Derivatives for Companion Animals: From Palatability to Immunomodulatory Properties

Continuing its program of BioEvolution Webinar Series, Biorigin promotes on October 29 th at 9 am (Singapore time – SGT) the webinar 'Yeast and derivatives for companion animals: From palatability to immunomodulatory properties' presented by Thaila Cristina Putarov, Biorigin Global Technical Manager Pet food, a specialist in companion animal health and nutrition.  Yeast and its derivatives products are well known for their benefits in animal nutrition and are mainly used to help balance the intestinal microflora and help stimulate the host's natural defenses, besides the effects on palatability of pet food. 'Exploring and understanding the world of yeast and how these ingredients could be applied to pet food to reach the right objectives in a formulation are the mainly goals of this webinar', complements Mrs. Putarov. The webinar is free of charge and the registration is open on the link: https://gonatural.biorigin.net/webinar-pet-asia About Thaila Putarov Animal scientist with focus on companion animal nutrition and pet food processing. Her masters and PhD degrees were taken on companion animal health and nutrition and her postdoctorate training was based on the evaluation of pet food processing. From 2014 to 2020, Thaila was the coordinator of a center of research in companion animal nutrition. Since last July she is the technical manager for pet food at Biorigin.  About Biorigin Biorigin is a Brazilian company, founded in 2003, which mobilizes knowledge and technology to, using biotechnological processes, develop innovative solutions in 100% natural ingredients for the animals' health and well-being. Its portfolio is composed of 100% safe ingredients, assured by the total traceability of the vertically integrated production process, in addition to the quality assured by certifications FSSC 22000, ISO 22000, ISO 14001, GMP+ (Feed Safety Assurance), Kosher (food produced according to Jewish norms) and Halal (food produced according to Islamic requirements). It is the first company in its segment certified by The Bonsucro Chain of Custody for yeast extracts and derivatives produced from fermentable sugar and sugarcane yeast cream, as well as Ecovadis gold rating and Smeta audit showing the Biorigin's commitment to social, environmental, and economic practices through sustainable supplying.  www.biorigin.net   by All Extruded

Minerals Essential Nutrients for Companion Animals

2+ MIN

Essential Nutrients for Companion Animals

They're our walking partners, service pets, and loyal friends. They're our children's secret keepers, snugglebugs, and playmates. They're our front door greeters and unofficial therapists. They support and bring joy to our uniformed men and women abroad and at home. They are, in the fullest sense of the word, our companions, and that's why we work so hard to make sure they get the trace minerals they require—and deserve—for exceptional health and wellbeing. Trace minerals, including zinc, manganese, and iron, are often referred to as micronutrients. Although they are required only in small daily amounts, they play an essential role in numerous metabolic functions. When fed as part of a well-balanced diet, trace minerals provide dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs with multiple benefits, including skin and coat quality, growth and development, reproductive performance, paw pad integrity, and energy metabolism. With Zinpro Performance Minerals® in a companion animal's diet, you'll see a visible difference in the health and appearance of your walking partner, your service pet, your child's best friend—companions that are essential to our own wellbeing and happiness. The Difference is Noticeable As trace minerals with the highest biological efficacy on the market, Zinpro Performance Minerals® allow companion animals to absorb more of these trace minerals to receive their full benefit. With the addition of Zinpro Performance Minerals to food, treat, and supplement formulations, you'll see a noticeable difference in the health and appearance of companion animals, such as: Health & Wellbeing Zinc, manganese, copper, and selenium have been shown to enhance and support immune function, including antioxidant activity to remove free radicals and protect cell membranes Skin & Coat Quality Zinc and manganese facilitate wound healing and skin integrity through improved epithelial production and repair, and they, in addition to iron, are important factors in optimal coat, hair length, and shine Paw Pad Integrity & Healing Zinc and manganese have been shown to aid in keratin synthesis for toenail hardness, antioxidant activity to protect cell membranes, and cell division for paw pad growth and repair Growth & Development Zinc is shown to improve skeletal soundness, manganese plays a vital role in bone matrix development and joint maintenance and repair, and iron contributes to overall growth and development Reproductive Performance Manganese has been shown to aid reproductive hormone production, while research shows zinc to improve reproductive performance in both males and females Energy Metabolism Zinc, manganese, and iron contribute to energy metabolism, including carbohydrate,
lipid, protein, and nucleic acid metabolism Source: ZINPRO