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‘Peas of Mind’: Pulse Ingredients in Dog Food Not Linked to Heart Problems, Says New U of G Research
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4+ MIN

‘Peas of Mind’: Pulse Ingredients in Dog Food Not Linked to Heart Problems, Says New U of G Research

It's a reassuring finding for dog owners worried about grain-free diets, which have surged in popularity and now make up almost half of the dog food market in Canada.  The diets have been under scrutiny after 'pulses' – the collective term used for peas, lentils and beans – became associated with a serious heart condition in dogs called dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM.  This latest U of G research, which appears this month in The Journal of Nutrition, found that dogs fed diets containing up to 45 per cent whole pulse ingredients and no grains over 20 weeks showed no indications of heart issues.  As well, the dogs' body composition altered less than 0.1 per cent from baseline no matter which diet they were on, suggesting they also maintained lean body mass.    'This study is the longest, controlled feeding study to date to assess cardiometabolic health in healthy adult dogs fed pulse-inclusive diets,' said lead author Dr. Kate Shoveller, a professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences in the Ontario Agricultural College and Champion Petfoods Chair in Canine and Feline Nutrition, Physiology and Metabolism.  Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe, clinical studies professor and Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Endowed Chair in Canine and Feline Clinical Nutrition at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), added: 'This research is important to help veterinarians make evidence-based diet recommendations for their patients. Some dogs might be healthy, but others could have specific health conditions for which protein sources and content are targeted.'  Pulses a dependable protein alternative in pet food Pulses are an attractive protein source in pet foods and need to be included in plant-based dog food formulations to provide sufficient dietary protein. Yet there have been concerns pulses may be limited in key amino acids for the body to make taurine, needed for proper heart.  Poor bioavailability of key amino acids has also been linked to inadequate protein absorption and muscle wasting in dogs.  To investigate the potential effects of pulse ingredients on cardiac function of healthy dogs, the researchers recruited 28 Siberian huskies for a randomized, controlled trial. Huskies are not genetically at risk of DCM, meaning any changes to their heart health would reflect diet, not genetics.   Each dog was assigned to a diet containing either zero, 15, 30 or 45 per cent whole pulse ingredients, specifically green and yellow peas, pinto beans, chickpeas and lentils. All diets included chicken as the animal protein source and were formulated with the same protein and fat levels.   All pulse ingredient concentrations reflected current formulas in commercial dog foods, said lead author Pawanpreet Singh, a U of G PhD student in animal biosciences.  'We wanted to keep all aspects of the diets the same except the amount of pulse ingredients so that any changes we saw in the dogs' cardiac function could be attributed to the differing amounts of pulses and not nutrient intake,' said Singh No changes to dogs' body composition or heart function Champion Petfoods funded the study and all experimental diets were processed in its facilities. The company did not influence the findings or conclusions of the study.   Echocardiograms were performed by veterinary cardiologist Dr. Shari Raheb, a professor in OVC's Department of Clinical Studies, to detect heart changes. Singh routinely collected blood samples to assess cardiac biomarkers or amino acid changes.   Verbrugghe and registered veterinary technician Shoshana Verton-Shaw performed scans to assess body composition at the beginning and end of the study, and all dogs were weighed every week.  'We took the highest precautions to monitor the health of these dogs. We made sure to conduct monthly health checks and evaluate their heart blood markers to make sure there were no signs of cardiac stress,' said Singh. 'We found that regardless of the amount of pulses consumed, none of the dogs showed changes to indicate the development of DCM or body composition changes.'  Shoveller said previous clinical studies were not able to pinpoint whether pulse ingredients played a role in DCM in dogs not genetically predisposed.  'Our data suggest the inclusion of pulse ingredients in dog food is not a causative factor and emphasizes the importance of understanding the nutrient composition of each ingredient and ensuring that foods exceed minimum nutrient requirements,' she said.  'Ultimately, pulses are a dependable protein alternative in the food industry and this study emphasizes their safety even when incorporated at high concentrations.'  Contact:  Dr. Kate Shoveller 
[email protected]  All Pet Food
 

U of I study gives a thumbs up to carefully formulated vegan diets for dogs
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3+ MIN

U of I study gives a thumbs up to carefully formulated vegan diets for dogs

New University of Illinois research shows at least two human-grade, lightly cooked vegan diets provide adequate nutrition for dogs. 'The trends of vegan foods and human grade foods are increasing for dogs. Because people are feeding these diets to their pets, it's important they be tested like all other foods to make sure they're safe and 'complete and balanced,'' says study co-author Kelly Swanson, professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at U of I. Swanson's team tested two human-grade vegan formulas (with and without a grain ingredient) from Bramble against a leading brand chicken-based kibble diet. They fed the diets to beagles for three weeks and sampled the dogs' blood chemistry, fecal quality, and microbiome, the collection of microbes present in the poop. Their results are published in the Journal of Animal Science. The team also analyzed the foods themselves – the vegan diets were veterinary nutritionist-formulated mixtures of whole foods like lentils, garbanzo beans, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apples, blueberries, peas, and carrots – and confirmed both vegan diets and the chicken-based diet met standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for 'complete and balanced' nutrition. 'One thing to remember is that animals don't have ingredient requirements, they have nutrient requirements. As long as they're consuming the essential nutrients in the correct amounts and ratios, dogs can be vegan, vegetarian, or meat-eaters,' Swanson says. 'Knowledge of ingredient composition and nutrient needs are critical, however. Anyone can slap together a vegan meal for their dog, but without careful formulation, you might have something that's really imbalanced.' In earlier studies, Swanson's group showed human-grade, fresh dog foods to be highly digestible, resulting in dramatically less stool. That wasn't exactly the case for the vegan diets in the current study. All diets were highly digestible, but the vegan diets didn't generate any more or less stool than the chicken diet.   'It's not a surprise, really. With these ingredients, there's more fiber and oligosaccharides, which could be good for dogs that need to stay regular,' Swanson notes. The research team was surprised to find certain blood metabolites – chemicals in the blood that can indicate health status – differed between the vegan diets and the chicken-based diet. Notably, blood triglycerides and cholesterol, measures of circulating fats, were significantly lower in dogs fed the vegan diets. Swanson says that could benefit obese pets and help maintain a healthy weight. When they analyzed the fecal microbiome and the chemicals produced by those microbes, the team noted more positive changes. 'There were some interesting and beneficial changes in the microbial community that I think reflect the blend of fibers that were present in the vegan diets. The fecal metabolites phenol and indole, both of which contribute to fecal odor, were dramatically decreased in those diets too. It's still going to smell, but probably less,' Swanson says. 'Overall, it looked like there were some beneficial shifts from a gut health perspective in dogs fed the vegan diets.' Swanson says he'd like to do head-to-head comparisons between human-grade diets with and without meat and dairy products, but for the first study showing how fresh vegan diets perform in dogs, the results are promising. 'No one had tested digestibility of these diets in dogs before this. We showed that these vegan diets resulted in desirable fecal characteristics, high nutrient digestibilities, and positive changes to certain blood and fecal metabolites,' he says. 'For people who are interested in feeding their pets a vegan diet that aligns with their personal values, the diets we tested are a good choice.' Swanson reiterates the diets were formulated by veterinary nutritionists, and that homemade vegan dog foods may not provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs. The article, 'Apparent total tract macronutrient digestibility of mildly-cooked human-grade vegan dog foods and their effects on the blood metabolites and fecal characteristics, microbiota, and metabolites of adult dogs consuming them,' is published in the Journal of Animal Science [DOI: 10.1093/jas/skad093]. Additional authors, also from the Department of Animal Sciences and the Division of Nutritional Sciences in the College of ACES, include Leah Roberts and Patricia Oba. Bramble, Inc. funded the study. by Kelly Swanson

Seaweed for dogs
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4+ MIN

Seaweed for dogs

If you've ever taken your dog to the beach, you may have caught them trying to munch on the seaweed that's made its way to land. Dog food with seaweed is a nutritious snack that can boost your dog's overall wellness due to its iodine concentration. The safest way to take advantage of the benefits of seaweed for dogs is to use a powdered supplement or processed seaweed without seasoning. Adding a sprinkling of powdered seaweed for dogs can help them take advantage of its nutrient and mineral-based composition, including iodine Is seaweed safe for dogs? Seaweed is safe for dogs – so long as it's not wild seaweed. The issue with wild seaweed is that it shrinks due to heat exposure, meaning it will absorb water when it enters your dog's digestive system and expand, which could lead to blockages. Wild seaweed is also risky for your dog as it can contain pollutants that you could make your dog unwell. Processed seaweed is safe for dogs in small quantities. The best choice of seaweed dog food is a powder supplement or a small amount of processed seaweed free of seasoning or pollutants. Seaweed powder for dogs can make it easier for your dog to consume this nutrient-rich supplement or snack. You should always consult your vet before starting your dog on any new form of food. You'll also want to consider the quantity of dog food with seaweed that you're feeding your pet. Due to its iodine content, you want to avoid your dog overconsuming seaweed in any form. Seaweed for dog benefits If you've stumbled onto this article, you're probably wondering, 'is seaweed good for dogs?'. The answer is that seaweed snacks for dogs can be the perfect way to ensure your pet is getting their daily nutrients. Dogs eat seaweed for its nutrient-rich properties as it contains iron, iodine, magnesium, protein, and omega-3s. Your pet dog needs these nutrients just as much as you do. The sea may seem like an unusual place to look for a nutrient-rich snack, but our oceans contain more seaweed – at least 10,000 different types – than herbs that you'll find on land. With thousands of different types of seaweed, everything from their taste to colour and nutritional value can be different. Every variant of seaweed has its own nutrient makeup – but each contains the mineral Iodine – the major selling point of any seaweed supplements for dogs. It's an essential mineral for your dog's long-term health as it boosts energy levels, prevents thyroid issues, helps to calm nerves, and supports your dog's immune system. When your dog is deficient in iodine, it can lead to restlessness, unexplained weight gain, and heart and lung problems. Iodine isn't a mineral typically included in dog food, but the rise in hypothyroidism in dogs has led to an interest in dog food with seaweed for its iodine content. Kombu seaweed is the variant with the highest iodine content, although any form of seaweed without additional seasoning or pollutants is suitable for your dog. It's also rich in calcium, copper, and vitamins A, B, C, and E. The most popular seaweed for dogs is true kelp – also known as laminaria. This brown alga is made up of 25% protein with over 60 types of vitamins and minerals, along with more than 20 amino acids. Iodine isn't the only reason you should start using seaweed dog food.  When dogs eat seaweed, it can help promote the overall health of their skin and fur to prevent fur loss or skin irritation. Most seaweed for dogs is also an ideal source of vitamin B12, a necessary nutrient for maintaining your dog's nervous system and promoting their brain health. Incorporating seaweed snacks for dogs into your pet's diet can help improve their gut health and tackle constipation. Seaweed supplement for dogs With seaweed becoming a popular supplement and snack of choice for humans, it's no surprise that seaweed supplements for dogs are rising in popularity. Seaweed for dogs' benefits focus around its mineral and vitamin composition – but you want to be mindful of what type of seaweed you're giving your dog. Seaweed dog food is only suitable when it is not produced with additional seasoning. Adding a seaweed supplement for dogs into your pet's food is the best way to give them the benefits of seaweed. You can use seaweed powder for dogs to sprinkle into their food to boost their overall health. When you start using dog food with seaweed or seaweed powder for dogs, it's best to monitor your pet's reaction. Look out for any change in their behaviour, overall health, and energy levels. If your dog has pre-existing thyroid issues, it's best to consult your vet closely about how much seaweed you should incorporate into their diet. The easiest and safest way for your dog to consume seaweed is through supplements or by grounding seaweed into their food. You'll want to ensure that the seaweed supplement that you use is suitable for your dog's size and breed by Bygora 
 

Growing Demand for Prebiotics in Pet Food
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7+ MIN

Growing Demand for Prebiotics in Pet Food

For some time now, animal digestive health has been tracking the popularity seen in human nutrition. In fact, even before the pandemic had made pet owners more health conscious, a study showed that 76% of cat and dog owners believed that actively looking after their pet's digestive health was essential for their overall health.  Following its global research in 2021, BENEO was able to identify ten key drivers that cat and dog owners perceived were vital to making pet foods seem healthier.  Ten key drivers to healthier pet food perceptions Almost 90% of cat and dog owners said that using natural ingredients was their number one way for pet food to seem healthier to them, closely followed by using less or no preservatives and additives. Reducing fat and adding fibre were seen as strong influencers by over 80% of pet owners, and of similar importance was having recognisable ingredients on the label, that were also not genetically modified. Three quarters also wanted to know where the ingredients had been sourced from and they wanted to see a short ingredients list on pack. Interestingly, plant-based ingredients and the addition of prebiotics also made products seem healthier to over 70% of cat and dog owners.  Digestive health becomes mainstream With added fibre and prebiotics two of the key drivers to make a pet food seem healthier to pet owners, it is no surprise that digestive health has well and truly moved into the mainstream. In fact, 83% of dog and 84% of cat owners consider digestive health as extremely or very important. Today around 1 in 4 global new pet food products promotes a digestive health claim or prebiotic benefit on package.  The link between a pet's digestive health and their overall health has been made by pet owners, however, not all fibres are the same. At present, a wide range of fibres can be used in dog foods. These include insoluble fibre sources such as cellulose or blends of insoluble and soluble fibres, which include sugar beet pulp and wheat bran, as well as fully soluble fibre sources such as inulin-type fructans. Based on the fibre type, they behave differently in a pet's digestive system, significantly influencing their potential digestive health benefits. Why is prebiotic fibre important? Dietary fibre is the indigestible part of plant material and can be soluble, insoluble or a mix of the two. Insoluble fibres can create bulking and a longer feeling of fulness, while also supporting bowel function. Soluble fibres include fermentable fibres (such as those found in sugar beet pulp) and prebiotic fibres. While both are dissolved and fermented in the colon, only prebiotic fibre sources like inulin-type fructans specifically feed healthy gut bacteria when they reach the colon. Prebiotics are 'a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit'.  Both the criteria for feeding beneficial bacteria and conferring a health benefit need to be fulfilled for an ingredient to be defined as a prebiotic. In comparison to other fermentable fibres, chicory root fibres - namely chicory inulin and oligofructose - are natural prebiotics for many animals like cats and dogs and they support a healthy microbiota along with other health benefits.  Products masquerading as prebiotic With almost 80% of respondents stating that 'prebiotic' on-pack communication affects their interest in buying a certain food for their pets,  this has led to some suppliers making unfounded 'prebiotic' claims for their products. In the pet food industry at present, there are a profusion of products that are being promoted as prebiotic but in fact aren't (such as fermentable fibres-containing ingredients, or even resistant starches). However, the only established prebiotics that have been scientifically proven to selectively encourage the growth of good bacteria and deliver related health benefits in humans - with corresponding evidence in pets as well - are inulin-type fructans, including BENEO's natural chicory root fibres Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose.      When the chicory root fibres reach the colon, they are selectively fermented by the good microbiota residing in the pets' intestine, such as bifidobacteria, and selectively stimulate their growth and proliferation. Additionally, their fermentation by selected microbiota results in the production of Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs), namely acetate, propionate, and butyrate. These fatty acids decrease the lumen pH in the gut and enhance its structure. They also strengthen the gut mucosa's barrier against pathogenic bacteria, as butyrate is the primary source of energy for the intestinal cells.  Scientifically proven prebiotic effect BENEO's Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose have been studied extensively for over two decades both in human and animal nutrition, and the scientific foundation for their prebiotic effect is strong. In human nutrition, a recent systematic review with meta-analyses that applied the Cochrane methodology (considered the strongest methodology in the hierarchy of scientific evidence) and was based on intervention studies, confirmed the prebiotic effect of inulin-type fructans sourced from the chicory root.  In dogs and cats, studies have shown that the selective fermentation of chicory root fibres Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose by specific beneficial bacteria leads to an increase in SCFA production, and  is linked with nutritional benefits for pets, that go beyond the gut. For instance, as part of their prebiotic effect and effect on digestive health, chicory root fibres support calcium and mineral absorption in dogs. ,  Further research has shown that chicory root fibres can support blood sugar management in dogs , as well as weight management in both, dogs and cats.  Absorption of minerals and bone health The absorption of minerals is essential to an animal's growth and bone strength. From their selective fermentation which produces SCFA, inulin-type fructans reduce the luminal pH and nurture the intestinal mucosa with butyrate, thereby allowing for additional calcium absorption in the lower gut (the colon). Studies with oligofructose have demonstrated increased mineral uptake in dogs, and among others calcium, therefore supporting bone health.    Supporting weight and blood sugar management Being overweight or obese are common in companion animals, and according to a 2019 report from the UK's Pet Food Manufacturers' Association, 51% of dogs and 44% of cats in the UK are classified as such.  As well as supporting a pet's intestinal health, chicory root fibres also show positive effects related to weight management in pets and blood sugar management in dogs. First studies show that including Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose in a pet's diet can curb their appetite, improve satiety and hence decrease voluntary food intake. In doing so, chicory root fibres help to maintain the healthy condition of a pet's body. Additionally, since inulin-type fructans are non-digestible carbohydrates and dietary fibre, they do not trigger a rise in postprandial blood glucose or insulin concentrations. Hence, they support blood sugar management in dogs. What's more, studies in dogs have shown that feeding them with chicory prebiotics can allow for a lower blood sugar response after a meal ,  and this benefit can extend to a subsequent meal taken hours later, even if that meal doesn't include chicory root fibres; which is called the second meal effect.  Support of renal health in cats Cats are sensitive to kidney disorders as they age, and one indicator of a problem can be elevated levels of blood urea nitrogen. Typically, in healthy animals the liver produces urea to clean up the nitrogen from the blood, which then travels to the kidneys through the bloodstream, where it is then filtered and excreted in the urine. In ageing cats, this renal metabolism might become less effective and nutritional solutions, amongst other things, could be supportive. Inulin-type fructans such as Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose have been shown to induce a shift in nitrogen metabolism, through increased nitrogen excretion via the feces ,  and decreased clearance in the urine, therefore representing a potentially valuable nutritional support for renal function.  With owners concerned about ingredients labels and their pet's long-term health, chicory inulin-type fructans are well placed for both cat and dog food product development that delivers natural support to a pet's intestinal health. BENEO's Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose are produced from non-GMO chicory roots, which are locally sourced from farmers close to the production sites. Processed in two state-of-the-art plants in Belgium and Chile, both of which have food and feed certification, these functional dietary fibres meet the highest safety and quality standards. They are acknowledged as feed materials in the EU  and some of them by the AAFCO in the US.  Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose can be qualified as natural ingredients and used in both dry and wet pet foods, or in snacks. BENEO offers a customisable range of chicory prebiotics that is suitable for a wide range of life stages and animals.  Natural, recognisable, and health-promoting ingredients are key drivers to pet food purchasing. With more and more owners making label-based choices, BENEO's chicory root fibre ingredients are valuable assets that help manufacturers deliver quality pet food products with a range of health benefits, and whose natural credentials appeal to pet parents. For further information on BENEO and its ingredients, please visit: www.beneo.com and www.beneo.com/news or follow BENEO on Twitter: @_BENEO or LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/beneo  BENEO-Animal Nutrition offers a broad range of natural ingredients with nutritional benefits. The product range is comprised of vegetable proteins, digestible carbohydrates, prebiotic chicory root fibres and specialty rice ingredients. BENEO-Animal Nutrition extends BENEO´s unique expertise in human food to the world of pet food, livestock feed and aqua feed. BENEO, a division of the Südzucker Group, employs more than 1000 people and has production units in Belgium, Chile, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands
  Source:  BENEO source references for this article are available on request  

Plant-based proteins for more sustainable pet food
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5+ MIN

Plant-based proteins for more sustainable pet food

According to the latest data, the number of dogs and cats in the world is around 471 and 370 million respectively, however, this population is constantly increasing, especially due to Covid-19 when many people decided to adopt a pet for company. This has resulted in a huge increase of pet food production, with annual worldwide sales currently at 102.6 bn USD. This in turn, also has consequential impacts on the planet. Environmental impact What is the global environmental impact of the pet food industry? To produce dry food for our dogs and cats, around 41-48 million hectares of land (an area twice the size of the UK) is used annually. This is linked to 56–151 million tons of CO2 emissions annually, which represents 1,1% − 2,9% of global agricultural emissions. The main cause of this problem is due to the high amount of meat included in pet food. To produce meat, land is needed for both livestock breeding and for the crops to produce their feed. Moreover, a consistent component of commercial pet food are animal by-products (ABPs). To be in line with the latest human trends, the usage of ABPs will most likely be reduced in the coming years. The decrease of ABPs in pet food would be also important for sustainability reasons. In fact, contrary to the common belief that ABPs are zero-impact ingredients, their use provides a financial return to livestock industry that incentives increased animal production, with negative consequences on the environment. Therefore, to reduce the impacts of ABPs, meat industry can find some alternative and maybe more sustainable uses of them, such as in fertiliser and as biofuel, creating a new balance in the market. Switching to plant-based products Data shows the need to minimise the use of animal proteins and the need to replace these products with more efficient plant-based products which are sustainably grown and harvested. This is not only better for the planet, but also for our pets. According to the review research of Mueller et al. (2016), the most common food allergens causing negative cutaneous reactions in dogs (see figure 1) are beef (34%), dairy products (17%), chicken (15%), lamb (14,5%) and wheat (13%). A similar situation (also figure 1) can be found in cats, where the main food allergens were reported to be beef (18%), fish (17%), chicken (5%), wheat and dairy products (4%) and lamb (3%). To conclude, partly replacing meat and fish products with plant-based ingredients will most likely also help to reduce food-derived allergic reactions in pets. Organic and vegan Taking this all into account, it is not a surprise that we are seeing a huge increase of pet food trends such as; natural, organic, sustainable, vegetarian and vegan. In fact, recent market research (see figure 2) shows that the global organic petfood market value is expected to grow from 4,9 billion USD in 2020 to 9,1 billion USD in 2028. The global vegan pet food market value is expected to grow from 9,6 billion USD in 2020 to 15,6 billion USD by 2028. In the future we also expect more human food trends to influence the pet food market. For example, one currently emerging human trend that could potentially become popular for pets is the flexitarian (or flexible vegetarian) diet. This means reducing, without eliminating, the consumption of meat and animal protein in favour of plant-based proteins. All these trends are starting to increase the demand for alternative, non-animal protein ingredients in pet food. Innovative plant-based proteins Due to the popularity of plant-based ingredients, the percentage of plant-based proteins in pet food formulations has increased. The most used products are traditional ingredients such as; corn gluten meal, vital wheat gluten and soy protein, as well as other options like rice, pea, potato and sunflower. More recently, innovative ingredients like single cell protein and Lemna protein, have started to make an appearance in pet food formulations. Various solutions Since there are several plant-based ingredients currently available on the market, it is important to choose the right product for each application. Below are listed some possible plant-based solutions with their recommended usage in pet food formulations. Rice protein Rice protein is a great ingredient for both wet and dry pet food which is particularly beneficial for hypoallergenic diets and in formulations for puppies and kittens. It is highly digestible, has a balanced amino acids profile and is a source of energy. Pea protein When it comes to grain free, gluten free and hypoallergenic diets, a perfect solution is pea protein. Thanks to its high digestibility and palatability, pea can be used in all kinds of formulations. It also acts a stabilizer, improving the consistency of pet food. Another great solution for hypoallergenic and grain/gluten free diets, is potato protein, characterized by a highly digestible and balanced amino acid profile. Sunflower protein Last but not least, another sustainable and natural protein source is sunflower protein. This protein source can be used in both dry and wet pet food, also acting as a colouring agent. It can be a great solution for grain/gluten free and hypoallergenic diets, it is highly digestible and has a neutral taste that does not create palatability issues. Single cell proteins and Lemna protein In addition to sustainable ingredients, more innovative products have started to appear in the pet food ingredient market, such as single cell proteins or Lemna protein. Single cell proteins are the dried microbial cell or total protein extracted from pure microbial cell culture (algae, bacteria, filamentous fungi, yeast). Due to its origin, it can be successfully used in all kinds of pet food diets, i.e. hypoallergenic, grain free, natural, etc. Water lentils or Lemna protein is highly digestible and palatable, with a high level of antioxidants and minerals, like calcium and phosphorous. Thanks to its omega 3 content, it is also a good solution to improve immunity and skin and coat conditions. Yeast-based protein Yeast products can also be used as sustainable alternative protein sources for animal products. Beside the more traditional brewer's yeast, pet food diets can also be supplemented with other yeast-based products like yeast extract, hydrolysed yeast or autolysed yeast. The benefits of these products are mainly related to the high palatability and digestibility, plus their good content of MOS, β-glucans and nucleotides for a better immunity. As a leading global life science ingredients distributor, Barentz Animal Nutrition can supply all the above-mentioned plant-based proteins and help pet food manufacturers find the right products for their formulations. By barenz  Source: PetFood Pro  For more information visit https://www.barentz.com/animal-nutrition/pet-food/    

ADM celebrates 120th anniversary
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ADM celebrates 120th anniversary

ADM, formally known as Archer-Daniels-Midland Company and one of the world's largest human and animal nutrition companies with 41,000 employees in around 200 countries, celebrated its 120th anniversary. ADM was incorporated on Sept. 30, 1902, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as a regional linseed oil business. Today, ADM – with 41,000 employees serving customers in nearly 200 countries – is an indispensable global agricultural supply chain manager and processor, a premier human and animal nutrition company, a trailblazer in groundbreaking solutions to support healthier living, a cutting-edge innovator in replacing petroleum-based products, and a leader in sustainability. 'Over the past 120 years, our company has evolved from a regional startup into an irreplaceable leader providing needed nutrition to billions around the globe. We've transformed at many moments along the way, but unlocking the power of nature to enrich lives has always been at the heart of everything we do,' said Juan Luciano, Chairman and CEO. 'Every day, our 41,000 colleagues demonstrate our purpose and our values, not only by feeding the world, but by building a stronger, better future, whether through innovations in sustainability, or our commitment to the communities where we work and live. I'm proud of the work they've done and the journey we've taken together, and I'm excited about our bright future.' To celebrate the milestone, ADM conducted a Fight Hunger Challenge to bring employees together around the world to raise money for hunger relief. As a result, ADM Cares has donated 1.2 million meals in partnership with the World Food Program, Feeding America and Food Banks Canada. by ADM

BENEO invests in pulse-processing plant.
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2+ MIN

BENEO invests in pulse-processing plant.

BENEO, one of the leading manufacturers of functional ingredients, has announced a €50 million investment in a new pulse processing site in Offstein, Germany. The site will produce protein rich pulse ingredients for food and animal feed. It will focus initially on protein concentrate, starch rich flour and hulls from Faba bean, with the option to process other pulses in the future. The new production site further strengthens the company's plant-based protein portfolio and enables BENEO to meet growing demand for plant-based food and feed ingredients. The plant-based protein trend is here to stay. It is predicted that by 2027, 75% of all protein demand will be vegetal(i), while products using these proteins are expected to reach 11% CAGR between 2020-2027(ii). There is also growing popularity for pulses, with pea and Faba bean considered the rising star ingredients of new product launches worldwide, having achieved a CAGR of 20% between 2016-21(iii). Throughout BENEO's entire supply chain sustainability is top of mind. Pulses help to reduce green house gas emissions at farm level. For example, Faba beans provide nitrogen for themselves and subsequent plants and therefore nitrogen fertilisation is not necessary. The Faba beans will be locally sourced from farmers that are certified by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) and thus follow sustainability standards. As BENEO is manufacturing Faba bean protein, starch rich flour and hulls, the crop will be fully used and completely valorised for functional ingredients. Furthermore, the production process has been chosen for its low energy consumption in comparison to alternative processes; overall contributing to BENEO's carbon neutrality and sustainability targets. Work has already begun on constructing the plant and is expected to be completed within the second half of 2024, creating up to 25 jobs at the Offstein site. However, to ensure that food and feed customers can benefit as soon as possible from Faba bean ingredients, BENEO will process the raw ingredients in intermediate production facilities, until the new plant is fully operational. This means that first quantities of BENEO's Faba bean ingredients will be available from the start of June 2022 onwards. BENEO's Faba bean protein concentrate and starch rich flour will be used for protein enrichment and texture improvement in meat and dairy alternatives, as well as (gluten-free) bakery and cereals. Faba bean hulls and starch rich flour will be used in feed as a vegetal protein or fibre source for sustainable petfood, aquafeed and livestock nutrition. Christoph Boettger, Member of the Executive Board at BENEO: 'The recent investment by BENEO into a new pulse production site is only the starting point. We strongly believe in plantbased ingredients and therefore see the new plant as an important first step in enlarging our protein offering moving forwards. This will enable us to produce a wider variety of sustainable plant-based protein ingredients over the coming years.' by Beneo

Reformulation of Petfood diets with AMN Pea Concentrates
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Reformulation of Petfood diets with AMN Pea Concentrates

The quality of ingredients and type of protein used in pet foods are very important factors for pet owners when considering selecting a diet. Protein is an essential nutrient which one requires great attention in terms of quality, quantity and indeed, sustainability. Sustainability has remarkably emerged in the consumer awareness. 'The food that is good for our Pets, it should also be good for the planet'. Pea concentrates represent excellent alternative ingredients in reformulation. Pea concentrates are clean label and sustainable sources of protein, starch and dietary fiber, as well as essential minerals and vitamins. Why choosing Pea Concentrates? – Sustainability matters Pet owners are concerned about the welfare of their pets but also about the environment by placing emphasis on traits like kindness and compassion. Pets have an important role in society, and this fact has been even more noticeable after the COVID pandemic. There is indeed an important driving demand for ingredients in pet food, which places social and corporate responsibility at the forefront of our strategy.
 
Our pea ingredients are excellent ingredients which fits nowadays` and future trends to support claims on health, clean label, functional and sustainable pet food.  At the same time, the combined use of cereals and pea concentrate matches the amino acid profile in Petfood formulation. This is mainly due to peas are high in amino acid lysine and arginine while are low in sulfur containing amino acids, such as cysteine and methionine; while cereals such as rice, corn and wheat have higher content of sulfur containing amino acids and having a lower lysine content. Please, contact us for information on reformulation of Petfood diets at https://www.am-nutrition.no/pet-food/  by Laura Gil Martens, Chief Nutritionist, R&D Manager AM Nutrition

Can dogs be healthy on a vegan diet?
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3+ MIN

Can dogs be healthy on a vegan diet?

As more humans turn to vegan alternatives, more vegan options are popping up on pet food shelves as well, and you may be wondering whether they provide complete and sufficient nutrition for your pup. Are they healthy? Do they provide all the nutrients needed? Aren't dogs carnivores? Let's take a look at what the science says.   Dogs are not carnivores  Yes, the dogs who are now our loving pets may have ancestry from wolves running wild and hunting for prey. But, a lot has changed throughout the process of taming these wolves and breeding them into the loyal, domesticated dogs we know today. Dogs being carnivores is still a common misconception, but research has shown it is not the case. A 2013 study published in the journal Nature showed that dogs have co-evolved with humans and adapted to a starch-rich diet, proving that dogs are, in fact, omnivores, and their intestines are now well-equipped to handle grains and starches. In addition, according to a study by Dr. Andrew Knight, Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics and Director of the Centre for Animal Welfare at the University of Winchester, plant-based meals are just as palatable and appetizing to dogs as traditional meat-based meals. In the study, 2,308 dogs were observed by their caregivers, who watched for ten behavioral indicators of palatability at meal times. The study states, 'There was no consistent evidence of a difference between vegan diets and either the conventional or raw meat diets.' Okay, so dogs can and will eat plant-based meals. But what about their health? Is it actually good for them, or will it cause them to be deficient in nutrients, weak, or sick? Can dogs be healthy on a vegan diet? In 2019, Wendy Brown and her colleagues studied the health of 12 sprint-racing Siberian Huskies. In the study, six dogs were fed traditional meat-based dog food for active dogs, and six were fed a vegan alternative formulated to the same nutrient specifications. The experiment lasted 16 weeks, including ten weeks of competitive racing, and blood tests and veterinary health checks were conducted several times during its course. The consulting veterinarian assessed all dogs to be in excellent physical condition throughout the study. No dogs developed anemia or any other detectable health problems. The study concluded that 'a carefully balanced meat-free diet can maintain normal haematological values in exercising dogs.' In an article titled Plant-based diets for dogs, published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the authors (Sarah Dodd et al.) state, 'Dogs have dietary requirements for energy and essential nutrients, but they do not have a recognized requirement for animal-derived ingredients per se. In accordance with the current understanding of pet nutrition, any diet that meets or exceeds the minimum nutrient requirements of a dog for a specific life stage would be considered nutritionally sufficient for that animal, regardless of ingredients.' A new study by Andrew Knight studied guardian-reported indicators of health in 2,936 dogs fed either a conventional meat diet, a raw meat diet, or a vegan diet for at least one year. Seven general indicators of ill health were studied: unusual numbers of veterinary visits, medication use, progression onto a therapeutic diet after initial maintenance on a vegan or meat-based diet, guardian opinion and predicted veterinary opinion of health status, percentage of unwell dogs, and number of health disorders per unwell dog. As it turns out, dogs who consumed conventional dog food seemed to fare worse than dogs in the raw meat and vegan groups: 49% of dogs on a conventional meat diet were considered to have suffered from health disorders. In comparison, the numbers for dogs following the raw meat diet and the vegan diet were 43% and 36%, respectively.  The benefits of a vegan diet In a previous blog post, we talked about the potential benefits of feeding dogs a meat-free diet. To refresh your memory: a vegan diet can have several positive effects on a dog's health, including reduced allergy symptoms (the most common allergies in dogs are, in fact, chicken, beef, dairy, and egg), healthier skin and fur, and even a reduced risk of cancer. We also told the success story of Bramble, the vegan dog who lived so long she was featured in Guinness World Records as one of the world's oldest dogs.  by Sabine - Pawco foods     

Food supplements in pet food: An example in dogs with essential oils and melatonin as functional ingredients
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8+ MIN

Food supplements in pet food: An example in dogs with essential oils and melatonin as functional ingredients

The word nutraceutical mixes the terms "nutrient" and "pharmaceutical." It was coined by Stephen DeFelice in 1995, who defined nutraceuticals as "foods (or part of a food) that provide health benefits, including prevention or treatment of a disease." Today, the term "nutraceutical" applies to a wide range of products, such as food and dietary supplements, botanicals, specific processed foods (functional foods), and isolated nutrients. The European Nutraceutical Association defines nutraceuticals as substances that differ from pharmaceuticals being "synthetic substances or chemical compounds formulated for specific health indications." The terms "food and dietary supplements" and "functional foods" are used without distinction as synonyms, although there are substantial differences between them that are not always obvious. On the one hand, food supplements contain nutrients derived from food products commonly concentrated in capsule, powder, liquid, or tablet forms. On the other hand, functional foods contain the nutrients necessary for survival, while nutraceuticals are complementary to the diet; they also help in disease prevention and health dysfunctions. There are numerous classifications of nutraceuticals, functional foods, and food and dietary supplements. Previously, they were classified as potential or established nutraceuticals based on food material and nutrients or concerning their positive effects on health. Their classification is mostly based on the chemical components or active ingredients. During the last couple of years, we have seen many new nutraceuticals. This resulted in a long nutraceutical list whose active ingredients are as diverse as surprising. It includes: phenolic compounds (i.e., flavonoids, anthocyanins, resveratrol), organic acids (vitamin C), tocopherols (vitamin E), carotenoids (provitamin A), anthraquinones, isoprenoids, alkaloids, isothiocyanates, and mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs, PUFA), among others. A particular type is prebiotic and probiotic products. Consumers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan show great acceptance of these products and easily pay the high prices that most of them command. Perhaps, for companies producing nutraceuticals, the potential nutritional interest is dwarfed by the prospective market value that reached US$250 billion in 2018. In general, plant-based nutraceuticals tend to be better accepted by consumers than others, as they come from vegetal sources. In this sense, nutrition-based health throughout human history can be explained by Prof. Rowe's humorous comment: 2000 B.C.—Here, eat this root. A.D. 1000—That root is pagan. Now say this prayer. A.D. 1850—That prayer is superstition. Now, drink this potion. 1940 A.D.—That potion is poisonous. Now take this pill. 1985 A.D.—That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic. 2000 A.D.—That antibiotic is not natural, better eat this root. By synergy, nutrition in pet food has been conquered by nutraceuticals and functional foods as well, constituting a category of products booming in the sector. Pet food companies are considerably increasing the incorporation of functional foods in the diets of companion animals, complementing the offer of conventional products (Ruiz-Cano, Sánchez, & Arnao, 2022). The global market for functional pet foods, including organic foods, reached a value of US$ 1,955 million in 2020 and is estimated to reach US$ 4,676 million in 2030, forecasting a growth of 8.8% in that period. Within this market, the dog segment accounted for 69% in 2019, representing approximately 50% of the global functional pet food market in 2020. This trend is expected to continue over the forecast period (Kamble and Deshmukh, 2021). Generally, veterinary professionals agree with the use of functional foods, as long as their recommendation has scientific data support for the safety and efficacy of these new products (Ruiz-Cano, Sánchez, and Arnao, 2022). There are many types of ingredients that constitute the new functional foods. Thus, the classics such as minerals, vitamins, fibers, various polysaccharides, mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, etc., have been joined by others, which alone or in combination, are presented as novelties or even as "foods or ingredients miracle." In the pet food sector, we can mention novel compounds such as: 1) Polyphenols (flavones and isoflavones, flavonols and flavonoids, anthocyanins and pro-anthocyanidins); simple phenols such as phenolic acids and their alcoholic derivatives, ellagic acids, coumarins, stilbenes such as resveratrol, colorants such as betalains (betacyanins and betaxanthins) and curcuminoids, very topical, with wide and varied applications in health. 2) Aliphatic, aromatic and indolic glucosinolates, and their hydrolysis products, isothiocyanates, where their role as anti-oncogenic substances stands out. 3) Terpenoids, one of the most traditional in their use, are the carotenoids, although several xanthophylls with excellent characteristics have been added to the classic carotenes (α- and β-carotene, lycopene). Another group of terpenoids with growing applications are essential oils, composed of mono-, di- and sesquiterpenes, as well as various phenolic compounds. Aspects such as its enormous diversity, ethnopharmacological background, and progressive scientific study are opening up multiple applications as functional ingredients with a promising future. Triterpene saponins such as squalene and others have attractive applications as hypocholesterolemic and anti-inflammatory. 4) Alkaloids used pharmacologically for their psycho-and neurophysiological properties, which have been recently revisited with extensive studies (capsaicin, piperine, barbaloin, hypericin, etc.), are also the case of anthraquinones, studied for their antibacterial properties, among others. The key source of these compounds are various plants, constituting a great and diverse store of functional ingredients with enormous prospects for application in nutrition and health. With increasing momentum, large companies are chartering expeditions of scientists in search of novel plant ingredients, especially in Asian countries. Lately, other sources provide interesting ingredients and functionalities, such as microalgae. In this case, counting to its excellent qualitative and quantitative protein and fatty acid content, a mineral and vitamin content is added that is difficult to surpass by other sources. In addition, its good relationship between production costs and yields makes it possible to boast increasingly affordable prices. One of the most novel sources of ingredients is that of insects. Even though nutritionally speaking, they are high-quality biological materials, especially for their protein, it is difficult to think that their limited production can cover the sector's needs. Among the functional properties of these ingredients with interest for the pet food sector, we can point out, from general actions with non-specific benefits for health such as healthy, energetic, invigorating, restorative, anti-aging, etc., to more or less specific impacts such as anti-: bacterial, fungal, viral, parasitic; ingredients with regulatory activities of metabolic functions such as those related to cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, ureides, etc.; we can also mention the ingredients against pain, nausea, dizziness, hypertension, vasodilators, etc.; those with organic activity such as hepato-protectors, protectors of the renal, urinary, coronary, pulmonary, arterial, gastrointestinal, oral, nasal, etc.; without forgetting those aimed at mood and sleep such as antidepressants, relaxants and sedatives, and finally, those with an activating capacity of the immune system and anti-cancer and anti-aging, which means a whole arsenal of natural compounds to improve against health dysfunctions in our pets. We must not forget  they are not drugs and, therefore, only adequate and generally continued use could - presumably - alleviate specific minor dysfunctions. For example, increased intake of certain functional ingredients (vitamin D, omega-3 PUFA, phytogenics such as some essential oils and tea catechins) affects positively immune function, improving defenses and reducing the risk of infection (Bobeck, 2020). Next, we are focusing on the development of a range of food supplements for dogs. In this case, a preliminary study was carried out on those aspects related to the health of animals that could be improved or alleviated with functional ingredients. In this range, aspects such as oral hygiene, fur, gastrointestinal, liver, and kidney problems; muscle and joint performance aids; aging and stress problems, remedies against fear, and some more were addressed. In this work, we will focus on exposing four of the food supplements developed, with health objectives in joint health (Joint), intestinal health (Intestinal Parasite), fur health (Skin & Hair), and nervous health (Relaxing-Anti- stress). These products complement an adequate diet for the dog since they do not provide fundamental nutritional constituents, so the easiest and most controlled way of supplying the product was thought of. Due to the nature of the functional ingredients selected, a common denominator based on high-quality salmon oil was chosen. Salmon oil, considered a nutraceutical of great interest (thanks to its anti-arteriosclerotic and anti-inflammatory qualities), has multiple health benefits for pets, such as: atopic dermatitis, musculoskeletal system, osteoarthritis, joint health, gastrointestinal tract, cognitive function, neurological health, and behavioral disorders (aggressiveness) among others. Thus, it can be used as a base material to formulate the rest of the functional ingredients.   Table 1. Packaging and formulation of food supplements for dogs.   Table 1 shows the functional ingredients used in the mentioned food supplements development. Essential oils used since ancient times present enormous baggage of historical and ethnographic knowledge (Baser and Buchbauer, 2015). Our experience and studies have allowed us to design appropriate formulations for each of the health objectives previously set. Stability and dosage studies (considering the synergistic interactions found) present each essential oil used (and their integration as a whole) as unique and specific supplements. The excellent antioxidant properties of essential oils come to complement that of other ingredients such as tocopherols and carotenoids, all of natural origin and perfectly integrated into salmon oil. The other functional ingredient used in these food supplements is melatonin. This natural compound has numerous excellent beneficial properties for animal health (Arnao and Hernández-Ruiz, 2018). Although there are few studies on pets, this molecule is one of the most studied in animal and human models. In our case, melatonin is incorporated as a functional ingredient under two aspects: as a regenerating agent of hair follicles, also used in treatments for seasonal (cyclical) alopecia of the flanks, and as an anti-stress and sedative agent against episodes of fear, anxiety, and nervousness that some dogs suffer; also in sleep disorders in elderly dogs. In addition, melatonin has excellent antioxidant properties, which reinforces the actions of essential oils, contributing to the stability of the whole. The food supplement is added to the food ratio indicated according to the dog weight (from 0 to >48 kg corresponding to a proportional amount of product between 4 and 16 ml). The functional ingredients used (terpenoids, polyphenols, tocopherols, carotenoids, EPA and DHA, and melatonin) contribute to the diet gradually improving the well-being of dogs due to their positive effects. Excellent palatability and subsequent acceptance of the developed products by animals have been verified, without causing adverse or secondary reactions in dogs, due to the balance between its components. Doctor Domingo Ruiz-Cano / R & D Department of Alinatur Pet Food, S.L., Lorca, 30817-Murcia, Spain.              Author for correspondence: [email protected] Mr. Ginés Sánchez Carrasco / Department of Production of Alinatur Pet Food, S.L., Lorca, 30817-Murcia, Spain. Professor Marino B. Arnao / Department of Vegetable Biology (Plant Physiology), University of Murcia, 30100-Murcia, Spain. [email protected]   BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Kamble, A., Deshmukh, R. (2021). Global functional pet food market. Allied Market Research, https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/functional-pet-food-market-A11855 2. Ruiz-Cano, D., Sánchez, G., & Arnao, M.B. (2022). Current vision of functional foods in the diet of cats and dogs. International magazine about pet food industry, edition nº 10, volume IV. 3. Bobeck, E.A. (2020). Nutrition and health: companion animal applications: Functional nutrition in livestock and companion animals to modulate the immune response. Journal of Animal Science, 1, 98: skaa035. 4. Baser, K.H.C., Buchbauer, G. (2015). Essential Oils Used in Veterinary Medicine. In: Handbook of Essential Oils; CRC Press, NY. ISBN 978-0-429-15566-6. 5. Arnao, M.B.; Hernandez-Ruiz, J. (2018). Phytomelatonin, Natural Melatonin from Plants as a Novel Dietary Supplement: Sources, Activities and World Market. Journal of Functional Foods, 48, 37–42. Fuente: Alinatur

Humanization of pets driving innovation in natural ingredients
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6+ MIN

Humanization of pets driving innovation in natural ingredients

For many Americans, the humanization of pets has moved beyond trend and into the norm. Increasingly, pet owners see their furry friends as part of the family, and desire to provide their pets with human-like products, experiences and care. For example, SPINS data show that 50% of dog owners, and about a third of cat owners celebrate a pet's birthday with a treat, gift or party, while 40% of dog owners and 25% of cat owners bought clothing for their pet in 2020. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) reported that consumers spent $103.6 billion in 2020 on pets and $42 billion of that was on pet food and treats. And the pet industry shows no signs of slowing down. For Markets projected steady growth, predicting the global pet care market will reach $358.62 billion by 2027. Pandemic accelerated pet ownership According to the 2021-2022 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by APPA, pet ownership during the pandemic grew to an all-time high of 70% of U.S. households (about 90.5 million homes); 12% of adults with kids under 18 adopted pets during this time. Pets provided a welcome distraction at home for many experiencing increased stress and time spent on lockdown. A 2020-2021 Statista survey revealed that Millennials represent the biggest share of U.S. pet owners, at 32%. This was followed by Baby Boomers with 27%, and Gen Xers representing 24% of pet owners. As go pet parents… As pet owners increasingly humanize and accept pets as family, pet owners not only want to keep pets fed, but also healthy and happy. Per SPINS, nearly 70% of Millennials want natural and organic products for their pets, and 73% of Gen Zers and 68% of Millennials are willing to spend more on sustainable pet products. Further, in 2020, proprietary Mintel data identified 'make it mine' as a key consumer trend, and highlighted that 61% of U.S. pet owners are willing to pay more for pet foods that help support specific dietary needs of their pets, including gut health, healthy weight and healthy aging. Pet owners spent more than ever in 2020 on products to keep pets comfortable, healthy, entertained and calm. Interestingly, we are seeing these same drivers reflected in the purchase decisions of consumers for their own needs. Increasing consumer demand for natural and healthy ingredients is driving leading manufacturers to source higher quality materials and ingredients and to innovate product lines like never before. The pet food and treat industry is definitely stepping up to the challenge, offering an unprecedented variety of options for pet foods, treats and supplements. APPA noted over 40% of both dog and cat owners purchase 'premium' pet food, and organic pet products saw 22% growth during 2021. Today's innovation is pushing into an increasing number of pet food and specially formulated treats that contain 100% natural, plant-based, ingredients, including specific attention to sustainability as well. Just as consumers want clean, simple and sustainable ingredient labels for their own products, the same is true for their pets. An APPA pandemic insights study showed in 2020, 70% of pet owners claimed they spent much more time with pets during lockdown and social distancing, and 72% of pet owners agreed that spending time with their pet helps reduce stress and increase a sense of well-being—both for themselves, and for the pets. This is a real win/win in a time when stress and mental health top the charts, and are affecting so many people (and pets) around the globe. Pets are known to help their humans with everything from mood and stress to exercise and security. As we bond with pets, the tendency is to humanize them. Nutrition and condition-specific Many pet parents are looking for the highest-quality, most nutritious food they can find for their pet, and are willing to use supplements and functional food and treats to help promote wellness. Several areas that consumers are concerned about for themselves are also key drivers in the pet space, including things like: Immune health  Gut and digestive health Allergies  Anxiety/stress  Weight management  Healthy inflammation Joint health Increasingly, consumers are taking vitamins and supplements in efforts to improve nutrition, and some are changing their diets and routines to help ensure long-term health and overall wellness. Pet parents are also using pet supplements, functional treats and lifestyle changes to help give their pets all the support they can to help ensure a happy, healthy and comfortable life. Packaged Facts recently highlighted findings from its survey of pet owners, noting that pet owners stated COVID-19 spurred greater concerns about pet health. Among both dog and cat owners: Over 40% are paying closer attention to pet health and wellness Nearly 25% are especially concerned about their pet's anxiety and stress About 20% are especially concerned about their pet's immune system About 15% have made changes to the pet health care products they buy            According to Mintel's Global New Product Database, digestive health is among the fastest-growing claims within the pet food functional nutrition category. And SPINS reported 22% growth in 2021 for pet items containing CBD. Metabolic oxidative processes influence most inflammatory conditions (Circ Res. 2018;122:877-902). Inflammation derives from the activation of specific pathways by external stimuli, or metabolic ROS (reactive oxygen species) buildup. Most pets and people can benefit from antioxidants to help keep oxidative stress in check. Natural, Clean-Label Some of the trending natural botanical ingredients used functionally or additively in pet foods, treats and supplements, include: Hemp and CBD Citrus flavonoids Pomegranate extract Green tea extract Rosemary extracts Sweet blackberry extract Rhodiola extract Ginkgo extract Epimedium Mango leaf extract Seaweed extract The pet food and treat market is also turning in mass to natural preservation solutions to meet consumer demands for clean label and natural. Lipid oxidation in pet food can result in loss of nutritional value, as well as noticeable off-putting rancidity, which can lead to both the consumer and pets rejecting the food. A number of botanical solutions are successfully being used as natural preservatives, including rosemary and green tea. Not a passing trend Pet humanization is far from a passing fad. The connections between pets and their owners are only growing stronger, and brands are increasingly innovating as pet owners are looking for more humanized options for pets. These bonds and friendships are tight, and why wouldn't pet owners want many of the same health and wellbeing for their pets as they do for themselves and the rest of their families? Similar, but not identical Many of the health challenges humans are experiencing are distinctly reflected in pets as well. However, of course, humans and animals are not exactly the same, and there are some considerations in varying nutritional needs for pets and humans. Foods that are not properly balanced to meet a dog's needs can lead to health problems. For example, calcium and phosphorus must be balanced, and dogs need more taurine. And, while vitamin C is considered an essential vitamin for humans because the body requires it, but can't make it, for dogs it is not considered essential, because they actually form vitamin C in the liver. It is important to work with animal nutrition experts in making formulation choices for pet foods, treats and supplements. Many safe, tested, natural, clean label, organic and sustainable options are available that can help 'up-level' pet brands to meet the discerning and premium demands of pet owners today. by Collette Kakuk, - VP of global marketing at Layn Natural Ingredients, has three decades of experience in branding, customer experience, qualitative and quantitative market research, predictive modeling and competitive analysis—including food service, food processing, manufacturing, restaurant, banking and Fortune 100 business consulting. Her passion for people, animals and the planet helps fuel her interest in natural botanical ingredient marketing and innovation. Kakuk proudly served in the U.S. military and holds an MBA from the Ross School at the University of Michigan.
 

Plant-based Pet Food, from myth to reality: is it a viable product?
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4+ MIN

Plant-based Pet Food, from myth to reality: is it a viable product?

By Luciana Chippano

As we´re already said plant-based Pet Food wants to step stronger. The truth is that, from science, it is not advisable to feed 100% vegan products to all Pets, as is the case with Cats, for example, who need certain nutrients that can only be obtained from meat products. However, the humanization of Pets is increasingly evident: people - especially millennials - want to raise their animals according to their own values and ideologies. In this sense, it is to be expected that, with the trends of organic and sustainable consumption, foods that are not part of the consumption chain will be sought. In fact, the latest 2019 statistics from the United States found that, with more than 80,000,000 Pets, there are currently more Pets than children under 18 years of age. A 100% plant-based diet, is it viable? The most recent study at the MDPI, conducted by Dr. Andrew Knight, stressed that it is entirely possible to feed a Dog a 100% vegan diet, as long as the food chosen is complete and nutritionally balanced. This is possible mainly for one reason: Dogs are no longer what they used to be. Historically they have been compared and associated with wolves, but our companions have evolved throughout the evolution of the human being. Their genetic component has been moving more and more away from what allowed comparison with wolves, which allows them to survive today - and live fully - with a type of diet, which is not based on animal protein. Ingredients that were previously unthinkable in your digestive system, such as starch, today are even absorbed and used for energy production. For proper nutrition, Dogs don´t need meat, they need protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, all of which can be found in a plant-based diet. Today's domesticated dogs have the ability to metabolize carbohydrates, and in most cases, subsist and thrive on a diet with considerably less protein than their wolf ancestors; today it is considered that dogs are not facultative carnivores, but omnivores.   The most important thing to achieve a quality vegan Pet Food: proteins The great challenge when creating vegan formulas for Dogs is the replacement of the protein provided by meat products. When choosing which protein to include in the formula, it is not only important to consider its nutritional quality, but also its long-term sustainability since, if we are making a change towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly food, it is prudent to ensure that its environmental impact is the least possible. Likewise, producers must take into account the availability of the product in order to obtain it continuously and supply the market with the requested demand. Some of the most used vegetable proteins, both for humans and animals, are soybeans, peas or peas, lupins, wheat and corn. At the moment, it is innovating with chickpeas, lentils and beans, and particularly it is studying the benefits and the nutritional component of two plants: duckweed and microalgae. Both are an interesting protein source because they can be grown in water all year round, in the right climates. Due to their natural habitat, both can grow in areas where many other foods cannot be grown, so they would not compete with other agricultural activities either. Duckweed is an aquatic plant in the Lemnoideae subfamily. It has a higher amino acid concentration than other plant proteins and is comparable to animal protein, including fish meal, in terms of protein content. Its main disadvantage is that it can´t be grown in very cold climates. Seaweed, meanwhile, can be an alternative source of protein for reasons similar to duckweed. In terms of production levels, it´s estimated that a single hectare of algae can produce more than 40 tons of protein, which is very beneficial. Like duckweed, you need the right environment to be able to grow them throughout the year. Its main disadvantage is that its cell walls are more durable than those of other plants, so more processing is needed to obtain its protein. As Dogs and Cats became domesticated over time, human food scraps have become more and more prevalent, inevitably leading to physiological adaptations to process more plant-based foods and components. In addition, most pet owners who seek to lead a more sustainable life every day (which includes a plant-based diet), understand that eating certain animals and protecting others is, in short, an irony. By opting for vegan Pet Food they reduce the killing of living beings and the pollution that comes with the treatment of meat and the depletion of the oceans.   The real test: palatability As with any other Pet Food, palatability is essential, because it is they, the dogs, who will give the last "thumbs up." The latest published data shows that very good palatability performance can be achieved using ingredients of plant origin. To achieve this, it will be essential to take advantage of flavor modulation and masking technologies to ensure that the vegetable protein has a primitive aroma and textures similar to those of meat. It is likely that the development of a plant protein alternative will require additional ingredients. Brands and manufacturers can - and should - prepare today to meet the growing demand for plant-based Pet Food, because it's a movement on the rise. As Pet Food trends closely follow human trends, plant-based protein ingredients are increasingly dominating the market. The energies of the industry should be focused on manufacturing vegan alternatives and of sufficient nutritional quality to be the exclusive food of those Dogs owned by the children of millennials and for those who bet on food, human and animal, free of animal protein. By: All Pet Food

The Sustainable, Nutritious, Functional Power of Algae
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6+ MIN

The Sustainable, Nutritious, Functional Power of Algae

Seaweed (a macroalgae) has long been a dietary staple in Asian countries such as Japan, China, and Korea, while consumption of spirulina (a microalgae) dates to the Aztecs, who harvested it from the surface of Lake Texcoco. In the United States, algae may be best known in the food industry as a source of key hydrocolloids, including carrageenan, agar, and alginates. Today, food & beverage uses of algae continue to expand. The global $4.7 billion algae products market is expected to reach $6.4 billion by 2026, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 6.3%; North America has the largest share (MarketsandMarkets 2021). Functional and nutritional attributes, as well as the potential sustainability benefits of algae, are driving demand and positioning it as a promising pet food & food of the future. 'Algae has a number of interesting traits that make it stand out as a future food crop, including high quality protein and overall nutritional content, promising scalability and cost, and consumer familiarity,' says Priera Panescu, senior scientist–plant-based specialist at The Good Food Institute. 'Moreover, cultivating algae requires little to no habitable land or agrochemicals, so algae's use as a crop would contribute significantly to a more sustainable food system.' What Are Algae? Algae is a broad term used to describe aquatic, eukaryotic organisms that can undergo photosynthesis but lack the vascular system and structures such as leaves, stems, and roots that are found in plants. Microalgae like Chlorella are unicellular, while macroalgae, such as red and green seaweed, are multicellular. Cyanobacteria (so-called blue-green algae) have traditionally been grouped with algae despite being prokaryotic. Arthrospira platensis, or spirulina, is a well-known cyanobacteria. The algae category is extremely diverse and includes anywhere from 30,000 to over 1 million species (Guiry 2012). While only a tiny fraction of them have been consumed by people, the nutritional benefits of those species are impressive. Chlorella and spirulina, for example, contain up to 70% dry weight protein with all the essential amino acids, while edible seaweeds are known for their fiber content, particularly their soluble fiber (Wells et al. 2017). Other key nutrients that can be found in algae include omega-3 fatty acids (docosahexaenoic [DHA] and eicosapentaenoic [EPA]), vitamins (B12, C, and E), minerals (calcium and potassium), and a wide range of carotenoids, including lutein, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin, and beta-carotene. In some cases, it's the functional properties of algae—such as thickening, gelling, and emulsifying—that make them important to the food industry. Algae Ingredients Mineral Complex. One emerging use of algae is as a natural source of minerals. The Aquamin line of ingredients by Marigot features a marine mineral complex of calcium, magnesium, and 72 trace minerals derived from the red algae Lithothamnion, harvested off the coast of Iceland. Known as a calcified or calcareous seaweed, Lithothamnion deposits calcium within its cell walls, making it a concentrated source of this essential mineral. Besides being easily absorbed by the body, Aquamin doesn't impart a chalky mouthfeel, unlike some other calcium sources. It's available in dispersible, acid soluble, and water soluble options. Aquamin is currently being used in ready-to-mix sports nutrition powders with additional opportunities in bakery, snacks, and confections. Protein. Algae is also becoming recognized as a sustainable and animal-free protein ingredient. Algenuity offers a line of protein-rich whole algae powders from Chlorella vulgaris in white, yellow, and lime colors called Chlorella Colours. Besides protein fortification applications in cereals, bakery products, and ready-to-mix powders, Chlorella Colours also contribute functionality in products like plant-based cheeses and yogurts. Back of the Yards Algae Sciences (BYAS) produces both high-protein Chlorella and spirulina powder, with a focus on 'finding better and more environmentally friendly sources of plant-based protein to feed our planet,' according to Marc Geytenbeek, chief of public affairs at BYAS. The company's zero-waste philosophy is driving development of a range of algae ingredients at its urban farming facility, including algae-based colors and animal-free heme to flavor plant-based meats. DHA and EPA Omega-3 Oils. DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids continue to be in-demand nutrients, with fish as the primary dietary source. However, fish don't actually produce these nutrients—they get them through the microalgae they consume. DSM's algae-derived omega-3 oils, which include life's DHA and life's OMEGA, capitalize on this to offer vegetarian sources of DHA and EPA. Algal omega-3 oil may also provide a more sustainable option than fish oil since it doesn't contribute to overfishing. Ongoing research into the health benefits of EPA (for heart health) and DHA (for brain and eye development) are supporting the popularity of these ingredients, especially in dietary supplements and functional beverages. Astaxanthin. One species of algae, the freshwater Haematococcus pluvialis, is among the most concentrated natural sources of astaxanthin—a carotenoid with strong antioxidant capacity that supports mitochondrial health. AstaReal has been optimizing this ingredient for over 30 years, according to Karen Hecht, scientific affairs manager at AstaReal, with ingredients that range from astaxanthin oil to liquid emulsions to water dispersible powders. While there's a greater awareness in the Asia Pacific region of astaxanthin (a popular antioxidant ingredient in functional yogurts and ready-to-drink juices), it is also beginning to show up in the United States in natural energy and immunity drinks, sales of which have been growing since the advent of COVID-19. Since astaxanthin imparts a red color to products, Hecht recommends orange-to-red formulations like cherry or blood orange. 'The color is what people look for in astaxanthin,' says Hecht, who notes that astaxanthin is what makes salmon red. Beta-Glucan. Another algae ingredient being used in immune support products is algae beta-glucan. While beta-glucan is a type of soluble fiber often associated with the cardiovascular benefits of oats, research into different types and sources of beta-glucan indicates a number of bioactive properties. The linear beta-1,3-glucan found in the algae Euglena gracilis, for example, is gaining attention for emerging research on its potential role in the immune system. Current applications of algae beta-glucan include gels, gummies, powders, and functional foods with immune support positioning. Kemin offers two options: BetaVia Pure, a 95% beta-glucan dried whole algae fermentate, and BetaVia Complete, which contains over 50% beta-glucan, along with protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Algatech's BioGlena is similar to BetaVia Complete, with a minimum of 55% beta-glucan plus other essential nutrients. Algatech recommends formulating with up to 450 mg per serving of BioGlena in food applications. Natural Color. The range of pigments found in algae, which include chlorophylls, carotenoids, and phycobiliproteins, has expanded the use of algae as a source of natural colors—particularly natural blue colors. GNT's 'spirulina-based EXBERRY colors provide a range of naturally vibrant blues,' says Jeanette O'Brien, vice president at GNT USA. This has been the Holy Grail for beverage and confections manufacturers seeking a stable blue color for use in clean label formulations. The high-intensity blues of spirulina-based EXBERRY colors create eye-catching beverages. Photo courtesy of GNT USA 'There are very few naturally occurring blue shades available in fruits and vegetables,' O'Brien notes. Even the anthocyanins found in blueberries 'are only blue at very high pH values, and the color intensity and stability at those values is very low.' GNT relies on evaporation to process its spirulina, avoiding the use of chemical solvents. By blending spirulina with yellow raw materials, GNT can also offer shades of green that 'deliver a spectrum from turquoise to lime green,' says O'Brien. Future Applications A current research initiative gives insights into what might be next for algae. One project at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology aims at texturizing red seaweed proteins to create seafood alternatives. A Technion team, led by Yoav Livney in the Department of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, previously worked on extracting proteins and starches from macroalgae using the emerging technology of pulsed electric field processing. Now the team has turned its attention to algae-based fish substitutes that capitalize on the nutritional benefits of algal protein, the texturization properties of algal biopolymers, and even the potentially similar 'sea flavor,' explains Livney. 'These are exciting times to be a food engineer and tackle these important global sustainability, animal welfare, and health challenges,' says Livney. New algae-based bioactives will likely be another key growth area for algae ingredients. Algaia is one company at the forefront of this research, discovering and developing new bioactives from algae lipids, proteins, micronutrients, and pigments. Algaia is evaluating bioactive properties ranging from antioxidant to antimicrobial to immune-stimulative—all potentially valuable to the food and dietary supplement industries. In addition, the photoprotective effects of certain algae are useful to the personal care industry, while the biostimulant effects are being tapped in agriculture to reduce fertilizer usage. Looking ahead, the sheer versatility of algae will help ensure a steady stream of innovation in algae ingredients. Consumer interest in algae is expected to keep growing, along with algae's reputation as a healthy and sustainable ingredient. by Miranda Grizio
 

Hemp in Animal Food: Sure , It's there, but is it legal?
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Hemp in Animal Food: Sure , It's there, but is it legal?

What are the problems with these unregulated products being in the marketplace? Why should we care? And what can be done about it? The first concern is around animal health and safety. The second is the safety of the food from production animals entering the human food chain. And finally, there are legal implications for animal food manufacturers looking to market animal foods or animal products produced with hemp ingredients. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is stepping in to address the growing use of illegal hemp products in animal food, including snacks and treats. This week, in collaboration with 16 industry organizations, including the American Feed Industry Association, AAFCO sent an open letter to lawmakers and other agricultural leaders addressing the trend of state legislatures introducing bills that allow the use of hemp and hemp byproducts in commercial livestock feed and pet food. It is confusing for consumers to see hemp-based products offered for sale for their pets or livestock, and the hodgepodge of state legislation allowing it creates an unlevel playing field for other ingredients that follow the proper regulatory pathways. The letter highlights concerns that hemp and hemp byproducts (e.g., CBD) are being used in animal food before federal approval affirms they are safe and legal to use. Some in the hemp industry are actively lobbying legislators and state departments of agriculture to support legislative pathways for the sale of hemp and hemp derivatives for use in animal food, rather than following recognized regulatory structures. State leaders and proponents of hemp in animal food are encouraged to work through the defined regulatory pathways used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and AAFCO to assure ingredients undergo a thorough safety review before they are commercially available as feeds or pet food. The letter states: 'Currently, no hemp ingredients have been approved through the established animal feed ingredient review pathways. It would be imprudent to bypass these established procedures needed to protect both human and animal health and unilaterally legislate approval of animal feed ingredients at the state level.' How can hemp products be researched for use in animal food? Well, someone has to pay for it. The letter encourages proponents of hemp-based animal foods to support research through universities or private labs so that the safety and utility of hemp can be fully understood before it is allowed for commercial purposes. This is what companies do when they want to have new ingredients approved. They don't circumnavigate regulations and move straight to store shelves. They spend the money and time, and have their new products undergo the appropriate testing and review before they are put in animals' mouths. The resulting data supports applications submitted through the established animal food ingredient review process. We agree with AAFCO that it is impulsive to legislate approval of animal food at the state level, bypassing the robust safety reviews imparted by the FDA and AAFCO. Every day, Americans purchase food for their livestock and companion animals with the reasonable expectation that it is safe, and that the nutritional benefits claimed on the label are supported. The AFIA continues to stand by the FDA and AAFCO review processes to provide the necessary protection for consumers regarding safety and efficacy of products. by Louise Calderwood - AFIA

Global pet food survey: Demand for recognisable and health-promoting ingredients.
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Global pet food survey: Demand for recognisable and health-promoting ingredients.

With the majority of pet owners expecting their pet's food to be the same quality as their own, there is significant demand for high quality, natural and healthy ingredients. The survey included 2,500 dog and cat owners in the UK, USA, Brazil, Germany and China (i). The research highlights how pet food trends continue to mirror those in human nutrition. It demonstrates the vast market potential for the use of clean label, health-promoting and no- or low-allergenic ingredients, with sustainability and plant-based origin also now of increasing importance. Naturalness and clean label drives pet food purchasing According to the survey, consumers are increasingly considering natural aspects when buying food for their pets. Using less or no additives makes pet food appear healthier for more than 4 in 5 pet owners. BENEO's findings also demonstrate that pet foods featuring natural ingredient claims have a significant influence on their purchase prospects, with 79% of pet owners checking the label for any ingredients they dislike. Many potential customers are also calling on brands to make it easier to track what's contained within pet foods, making this an important area of focus for producers. Alongside the demand to eliminate additives from pet foods, a spotlight is also being placed on allergenic ingredients: three quarters of pet owners agree that using no allergens, such as soy or corn, makes food for pets seem healthier(i). BENEO's rice ingredients are a viable way to reduce the allergenic components in pet foods and enhance their appeal to consumers. Support of healthy digestion a priority As in human nutrition, healthy digestion is also driving buying behaviours in pet foods. More than 90% of pet owners say that supporting digestive health improves the likelihood of them purchasing a product, inducing them to actively look for easy-to-digest products. Notably the demand for prebiotics is gathering pace and their benefits are widely perceived, with 70% of respondents agreeing that adding such fibres to pet food makes it seem healthier. A recent Mintel study further confirms this interest in prebiotic ingredients for pets, with half of the product launches of dry cat and dog food in Europe now containing inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides or chicory derived products(ii). Increasing sustainable focus Another consumer trend that is further shifting into the realm of pet foods is that of sustainability, with more than half of owners now stating that they pay attention to sustainability and the carbon footprint in purchase decisions of their pets' food. According to the survey, using claims such as 'environmentally friendly' improves consumer interest in buying a pet food product. BENEO offers a range of chicory root fibres and rice ingredients that help manufacturers address the increased demand for clean label and healthy pet foods. Besides their nutritional benefits, BENEO's range of rice ingredients have outstanding technological properties, making them suitable as natural alternatives to modified starches and hydrocolloids or enhancers of physical characteristics in many types of pet foods and snacks. The company has also built its business around the sustainable sourcing of all its plant-based ingredients. Maygane Ronsmans, Product Manager Animal Nutrition at BENEO, comments: 'The findings of this latest pet survey highlight the rising demand from owners for understandable, cleaner ingredients labels and for healthier nutrition for their pets. We are also seeing this reflected through the rising number of customers favouring BENEO's clean label and hypoallergenic rice starches and proteins, which are the ideal plant-based solutions for premium pet foods. 'The technical properties of our functional rice ingredients allow producers to use them as natural ingredients, and their nutritional benefits make them suitable for sensitive pets, or those with allergies. The combination of BENEO's natural and plant-based ingredients and its expertise in healthy nutrition help manufacturers bring to market new and relevant pet food products that meet these consumer demands.' by Beneo

Alternative Proteins, Functional Foods Driving Pet Food Ingredient Trends
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Alternative Proteins, Functional Foods Driving Pet Food Ingredient Trends

To learn more about current pet food ingredient trends, we asked Jorge Martinez Carrillo, President of Pet Solutions at ADM, to share some insights and discuss how manufacturers can respond to these trends while providing pets with the best possible nutrition.  With the humanization of pets driving many of the emerging trends in pet food, 'pet food manufacturers are therefore challenged to understand how trends in human nutrition may be affecting pets,' Carrillo said, 'and how they can adapt them in a nutritionally safe and beneficial way.' All natural, sustainable ingredients In pursuit of optimal nutrition for their pets, pet owners are looking closely at ingredients — not just what they are, but where they come from, how they're produced, and how they support pet health and wellness. 'Our research finds that 30% of global pet owners spent a significant amount of time researching the best food options in the last year,' said Carrillo.  One of the things they're checking for is that the food contains only natural ingredients, nothing artificial. Carrillo pointed to The Future of Pet Food Market Report 2021 from Mintel, which reported a 41% increase in 'all natural' pet foods launched globally.  And as concerns about sustainability rise, more pet owners will be looking into the sustainability aspects of the pet food they purchase, including its environmental footprint and the treatment of animals used in the recipes. 'During the next year, we anticipate increasing consumer demand for ingredients that are traceable and sustainable,' Carrillo said. 'Awareness and interest in ethical and environmental claims are set to grow, and brands that are transparent about their sourcing will be more likely to win with conscientious consumers.' More protein options - Plant-based proteins Just as many consumers have increased their intake of plant-based foods, more than half of pet owners are showing interest in feeding more plant-based proteins to their pets. For pet owners who wish to completely eliminate animal meats, some pet food companies have already introduced meatless pet foods that include plant-based proteins and/or eggs — Freshpet, Natural Balance, and Wild Earth, to name a few. But many pet owners are simply seeking out pet foods that incorporate more beneficial fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based ingredients. 'There is growing interest in flexitarian-style, plant-forward pet foods that feature alternative proteins like beans, pulses, and ancient grains,' Carrillo said.  Ancient grains Grain-free diets haven't gone out of style, but 'grain-free foods do not offer additional health benefits over a food that contains traditional or ancient grains,' Carrillo noted. As pet owners become more aware of this, they may be exploring more grain-inclusive diets for their animals.  Ancient grains, Carrillo said, 'deliver protein, starch, and dietary fiber. Additionally, traditional grains like corn and wheat are as biologically appropriate as other popular sources of carbohydrates in today's pet foods.' Insect-based proteins Insect protein could become more prevalent in the pet industry as consumers seek a more sustainable lifestyle for themselves and their pets. While there may be some who are squeamish about this idea, it looks like many pet owners are willing to give it a try — 43% are open to the idea of feeding insect protein to their pets. And the opportunity for pet food manufacturers to begin researching and formulating pet foods with insect protein could be on the horizon, as the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) tentatively approved the use of dried black soldier fly larvae in adult dog food last year.   Functional ingredients and superfoods  ADM is also seeing 'greater demand for science-backed, real-food solutions that support proactive and holistic health management,' Carrillo said. This may take the form of foods that address health challenges like obesity, allergies, and aging or boost overall immune, digestive, and oral health. Personalization trends may also drive up demand for pet food that targets the needs of specific age groups, breeds, and sizes. These formulas rely on functional ingredients that support healthy systems. For example, 'botanical extracts may contain phytonutrients that help increase the integrity and maintenance of the intestinal tract or natural antioxidants that can support immune function,' Carrillo explained. 'Probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics are increasingly common to manage the gut microbiome and support overall health.' Providing safe, healthy diets with novel ingredients  The first step toward bringing new ingredients into the mix is extensive research. 'It's important to understand that pets need nutrients, not ingredients,' Carrillo noted. 'Before a novel ingredient makes its way into pet foods or treats, it should be validated through research to ensure it is acceptable for pets and will nutritionally support a balanced diet.' That's why ADM partnered with University of Illinois researchers to further study plant- and yeast-based proteins and their applications in pet food. They concluded that pea, potato, faba bean, and soy protein concentrates, as well as dried yeast concentrates, are quality sources of proteins and essential amino acids. Combined with the right ingredients, these protein concentrates can help meet the nutritional requirements of dogs and cats while providing new and alternative protein sources. Veterinary recommendations are also a major influencer of how consumers feel about feeding certain ingredients to their pets and can help clear up misunderstandings. Carrillo referenced ADM's research on consumers' longstanding avoidance of soy in pet food. After exposure to veterinary research about the unlikelihood of canine and feline soy allergies, 28% of pet owners said they'd consider feeding soy to their pets in the future. Younger generations were more likely to have this changed opinion about soy. Of course, when working with new ingredients, pet food manufacturers also have to ensure they're complying with federal regulations and labeling requirements and selecting suppliers that reliably provide safe, quality ingredients. Pet owners often chase after trends because they're looking to give their pets longer, healthier lives. So it's not worth trying out new ingredients if they could potentially do more harm than good. 'No matter the ingredient,' Carrillo concluded, 'safe and healthy pet food is developed as a complete formulation to meet the animal's optimal nutrient requirements for all life stages, from puppy or kitten to senior.' by Krystle Morrison- Food Industry Executive

BENEO announces multi-million investment program
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BENEO announces multi-million investment program

 The first step will see more than €30 million invested. The entire program will ensure a significant capacity increase of more than 40 percent of BENEO's global chicory root fibre production to meet rising customer demand and drive further growth within the market. The work on both production sites is beginning in 2022. Current market trends see a high demand in prebiotic chicory root fibre due to the versatile benefits it offers in product development. Over the past four years, the number of new product launches containing chicory root fibre inulin has grown by 50 percent globally , with the market expected to reach 11.48 billion USD in 2028 . BENEO's latest investment will allow for continued fulfillment of market needs within the food and feed industry, while demonstrating the company's commitment to growing its chicory root fibre business. Christoph Boettger, member of the Executive Board at BENEO comments: 'BENEO's chicory root fibres meet key consumer needs of today and we are convinced that they will continue to play a central role in healthy nutrition in the future. With increased capacity, BENEO continues to offer a secure supply to its customers and partners worldwide.' The chicory root fibres inulin and oligofructose are the only plant-based prebiotics. According to the International Scientific Association for Pro- and Prebiotics (ISAPP), they belong to the very few proven prebiotics. The use of chicory root fibres in product development allows manufacturers to respond to leading consumer trends such as digestive health and immunity, inner well-being, weight management, blood sugar management and bone health. With two production sites in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, BENEO provides flexibility to customers, ensuring secure supply of prebiotic chicory root fibre around the world. Boettger continues: 'As announced previously, in summer 2022 a second refinery line in Pemuco will already increase the production capacity significantly. But we won't stop there. The recent investment decision will ensure that BENEO's production capacity is further growing. On top of this capacity increase, CO2 emissions are being reduced. This means that the production site in Pemuco will be carbon neutral in a few years. Additionally, the site in Oreye will have reduced the specific energy consumption per ton of product by more than 50 percent by 2030.' Such an achievement is only possible because BENEO can ensure that sustainability resonates in everything it does, with the highest level of energy efficiency being applied to the factory developments. These efforts are contributing to the company's goal of being carbon neutral in 2045.  As well as contributing to BENEO's carbon neutral ambitions, the investment will create a number of job opportunities as a result of expanded production facilities. At the Pemuco plant for example, an increase of approximately 15 percent in employees is foreseen over the next few years. by Beneo

3 Major Dog Product Trends to Watch in 2022
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3 Major Dog Product Trends to Watch in 2022

'Humanization trends are driving the dog food category in new directions as people treat pets as members of their family,' said Vic Mason, president of World Pet Association (WPA), which hosts SuperZoo each year. 'As more human-grade foods hit the market, dog owners are eager to try fresh options that promote health and vitality.' James Restivo, client director, pet lead, for The Nielsen Co., pointed out that 95 percent of pets are considered family.. 'Even in the indulgent treat side, we're seeing health and wellness at the underpinning,' he said at the Petfood Innovation Workshop at 2018 Petfood Forum, held in Kansas City, Mo. 'Grain-free treats, meat-first treats, all those treats that are pushing through.' As a result, Future Market Insights estimated in a recent market survey that sales of dog food are projected to grow by a 6.2 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) worldwide through 2031. Organic and plant-based options are anticipated to drive sales in the worldwide dog food market, which is estimated to be about $45 billion this year and expected to hit more than $81 billion by 2031. All of this makes sense as we consider that dogs are widely regarded as 'the best friend' of the pet community. However, the growing trends in dog food are no longer as simple as 'organic' or 'natural.' As people experience the benefits of certain diets, they want the same for their pets. For example, dog owners can now find food that mimics their own paleo or ancestral diet, features sustainable ingredients, is made of 'next-gen' ingredients or is inspired from foodie culture and imitates human cuisine. But as every shop owner knows, any area dominated by trends or disruptors can be overwhelming. That's why we've broken down a few dog food categories experiencing steady growth that should extend into the next year and beyond. Organic, Natural Ingredients While sales of natural, organic food have been growing for years, they show no signs of slowing down. In a study done by Farm Journal, more than 82 percent of households in the U.S. buy organic food on a regular basis—accounting for 5 percent of total U.S. food sales, with organic pet food sales close behind. When buying a holistic dog food, owners not only want optimal nutrition, they also want a food that can boost skin and coat health, good digestion and joint strength. Earlier this year, Chewy conducted a survey of 1,500 dog and cat owners to gain insight into their food choices. In the survey, 73 percent of owners demonstrated their pets' health is as important as a family member's. Seventy percent made food choices for their pets that mirror their own, with 80 percent of respondents revealing that health concerns led to higher-quality food purchases. Specifically, millennials and Generation X pet owners looked for grain-free, organic and non-GMO food, with 75 percent choosing these options. 'Last year at SuperZoo, over 300 exhibitors featured natural products,' Mason said. 'With organic and holistic products in such high demand, expect to see even more products at SuperZoo next August in our dedicated show floor areas, like Nature's Pathway and Health and Wellbeing.' Vegan and Specialty Diets As more Americans embrace plant-based diets, many pet owners are also seeking to feed their dogs in accordance with their values. Fruits and vegetables are becoming more common in foods for their nutritional value and flavor. Even though many people consider dogs to be carnivores, dogs can benefit from the fiber and antioxidants in berries and vegetables, including strawberries, raspberries and sweet potatoes. Additionally, while dogs need protein, some owners are choosing foods that contain alternative sources. As with humans, obesity in pets is a big concern, with specialty diets becoming more science based and sophisticated each year. Expect foods customized for life stage, lifestyle, weight and breed to remain hot sellers in the months to come, including low-calorie diets and mono-protein diets to treat allergies. You're also likely to see owners asking for more transitory trends they see on TikTok—like a perfect 'bark-cuterie' board made of bacon and blueberries or 'pup-sicles' made from frozen yogurt. Sustainability It's important to note that the concept of sustainability goes beyond ingredients; it also influences choices of packaging and operations. Eighty-four percent of respondents in the Chewy survey indicated they are interested in homegrown, domestically produced food. Even beyond where food is sourced, customers are also interested in how animals are raised as well as a manufacturer's commitment to sustainability. As dog owners continue to explore new diets and alternative products for their pets, this is a great time to be a pet retailer. By providing specialty and sustainable products, you won't just gain customers, you'll also gain their trust and loyalty. If you want to know more about which trends and treats to stock, then mark your calendar for SuperZoo 2022, Aug. 23-25.'SuperZoo is the ideal place to learn about nutrition, speak directly with manufacturers and suppliers, and connect with other pet retailers who have experienced success with certain brands and diets,' Mason said. 'While we are all incredibly passionate about our four-legged customers, ultimately, we learn through our human connections.' The World Pet Association (WPA) brings the pet world together so quality interaction and education between and among product suppliers and pet owners can create healthier, happier pets and a healthier, more productive pet industry. Founded in 1950, WPA brings thought leadership, innovative thinking and best practices to the pet industry, working to inform and educate the general public in order to ensure safe and healthy lifestyles for our animal friends. by  The World Pet Association

Scoular to Begin Producing Sustainable Barley Protein Ingredient For Pet Food
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Scoular to Begin Producing Sustainable Barley Protein Ingredient For Pet Food

Emerge was developed by Scoular to help meet the growing demand for plant-based, sustainable ingredients in pet food and aquafeed. Scoular also recently announced it has broken ground on a new 14,400-square-foot marine protein processing facility in Warrenton, Ore., that also will serve the pet food and aquafeed industries. 'Scoular is proud to develop this innovative feed product and partner with Idaho's barley farmers and pet food and aquafeed manufacturers to add value throughout the supply chain,' said Paul Maass, chief executive officer of Scoular. 'Scoular has a long history of success with our Jerome, Idaho, teams and customers, and we are thrilled to make additional investments in this region.' Joining Mr. Maass at the ribbon-cutting ceremony in Jerome were David Faith, chairman of Scoular's board of directors; Laura Wilder, executive director of the Idaho Barley Commission; and Mike Williams, city administrator of Jerome. 'Idaho is the top-producing barley state in the US, growing 37% of the nation's crop in 2021,' Ms. Wilder said. 'Scoular's new facility will bring expanded opportunities for growers, further strengthening Idaho's place as the No. 1 source of consistent, high-quality barley in the US.' Emerge, both traceable and non-GMO, is created through a patent-pending process that concentrates the protein naturally found in whole barley kernels, creating a nutrient-dense ingredient for use in pet food and aquafeed, the company said. The facility is expected to begin commercial production in January. Along with the state of Idaho and city of Jerome, key project partners include the Jerome 20/20 Economic Development Organization, Scott Jackson Trucking, Starr Corp. and Bratney Companies. In August, Scoular began construction on a marine protein processing facility in Warrenton. The plant is expected to be operational by the summer of 2022. The $12 million project is a joint venture with Da Yang Seafoods and Bornstein Seafoods and 'will create a larger supply base for our pet food and aquaculture customers,' Scoular said. Scoular said its new plants in Oregon and Idaho underscore its growing commitment to expand its presence in the pet food and aquaculture ingredient space. The company began operations at its $50 million freeze-dried ingredient production plant in Seward, Neb., in October 2020. This business segment, Petsource by Scoular, develops, procures, freeze-dries and packages whole organ meats and meat analogues specifically for pet food manufacturers. By Arvin Donley

Kemin Industries celebrates 25 years of rosemary innovation
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Kemin Industries celebrates 25 years of rosemary innovation

Kemin Industries, a global ingredient manufacturer that strives to sustainably transform the quality of life every day for 80 percent of the world with its products and services, is celebrating 25 years of growing its proprietary line of rosemary to create sustainable solutions for foods. Kemin pioneered the use of rosemary molecules in ingredients in the late 1990s and has since established itself as a leader in the market. 'The Kemin team is incredibly excited to celebrate this major milestone, and we are proud to offer our partners solutions that come from our sustainable, vertically integrated rosemary program,' said Dr. John Greaves, Vice President of Specialty Crops, Kemin Industries. 'Being one of the first suppliers in the marketplace, we have dramatically evolved our offerings and continuously improved the production of these specialty crops over the last 25 years.' Today, rosemary is recognized alongside tocopherols as a major component in maintaining natural freshness and flavor. As one of the largest vertically integrated producers of sustainably grown rosemary, Kemin offers a well-tracked supply chain and can trace its crops from cuttings to final product. The company's proprietary rosemary is formulated into effective clean-label solutions to help keep food fresher, safer and more flavorful. Prior to the innovation and initial investment by Kemin in developing its own vertically integrated rosemary program, the plant was mainly wild harvested in southern Europe and North Africa. 'We quickly realized wild harvesting was not sustainable, and we needed to put a rosemary cropping system in place to improve biomass through plant breeding. Kemin developed one of the first rosemary-breeding programs, which took the plant from a Mediterranean evergreen shrub to a high-performance 'phytochemical manufacturing plant',' said Greaves. 'Our scientists analyzed and selected the most potent lines of rosemary from around the globe,' said Greaves. 'Then, our team used conventional plant-breeding methods to begin a continuous improvement program, which resulted in one of the largest collections of rosemary in the world.' Demand for products with simple labels and natural ingredients has skyrocketed, and sustainability in ingredients continues to drive growth. According to Mintel, 42 percent of U.S. consumers feel a strong sense of responsibility to live more sustainably. Kemin rosemary crops are CSCS Sustainably Grown® certified by SCS Global, a certification that recognizes leadership in environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic stability. 'As we look to the future, Kemin continues to invest in innovation as our scientists and growers work together to discover new molecules for new natural antioxidants,' said Greaves. 'We are actively developing new botanical sources of antioxidant molecules to complement rosemary-based formulations and are continually working with extraction and formulation methods to produce the most effective rosemary products.' To learn more about the Kemin portfolio of natural ingredient solutions to delay food oxidation, extend shelf life and protect color, click HERE.   Source: Kemin Industries

Cruciferous vegetables in Pet Food formulas
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Cruciferous vegetables in Pet Food formulas

Pet food manufacturers are in a constant bid to find the best formula: the healthiest, the tastiest, the most convenient ... In this article, we discuss cruciferous vegetables that are incorporated into Pet Food formulas in search of a healthier food.   First: what vegetables are cruciferous? Cruciferous vegetables are the vegetables of the Brassicaceae family, a family of dicotyledonous angiosperms made up of a monophyletic group with 372 genera and 4,060 accepted species. The best known and most consumed are cauliflower, kale, cabbage, watercress, broccoli and Brussels cabbage, among others. Vegetables in the cruciferous family are known as "super vegetables": they contain vitamins, fibers and phytochemicals that help the human immune system fight disease. In fact, it is recommended for human consumption several times a week. Now, as we have already seen in previous articles that everything that is imposed on humans is imposed, sooner rather than later, in the lifestyle of pets, and this trend is no exception: the consumption of vegetables and the replacement of animal meat is on the rise.   Are cruciferous vegetables also good for Pets? The answer is yes: the vegetables in this family are healthy, safe and nutritious to include in pet food formulas. Broccoli, for example, is packed with fiber, which helps with digestion and weight control; It contains many vitamins (A, B, C, D, E and K) that help promote the general well-being of the animal and lutein, a nutrient that promotes eye and cardiovascular health. What's more: Cabbage, for its part, is the one with the highest amount of vitamin A. Brussels sprouts and broccoli contain high levels of folic acid and omega-3s. Brussels sprouts have the highest amount of vitamin A, C, K and B complex vitamins. Kale is high in fiber, vitamin K and E, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. 'You have to follow the advice of the grandmother: everything in moderation! Crucifers are warrior vegetables that prevent cancer; Dogs should not be denied the benefits of indole-3-carbinol found in these foods, but they should be used in moderation, and the crucifers should be made from organic soils to avoid contamination with thallium by environmental pollutants. " Dr. Karen Becker, expert in Comprehensive Veterinary Medicine   Benefits of incorporating cruciferous vegetables into the Pet Food formula • Prevention of oxidative stress: Thanks to the antioxidants in these vegetables, oxidative stress in pets can be reduced or prevented, which occurs when there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the animal's body. Free radicals are unstable molecules with an odd number of electrons. We could say that they are a natural "by-product" of the daily processes of the body's functioning, although they are also caused by environmental toxins such as pollution and smoke. To try to stabilize, free radicals interact with other molecules, which can damage proteins, DNA, and other cells. • Carotenoid intake: Carotenoids are plant pigments rich in antioxidants that protect dogs from free radicals. Kale, for example, contains three main carotenoids: lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, a provitamin A carotenoid, that is, it converts into vitamin A upon entering a dog's body, and benefits the skin, coat, and endings muscular and nervous. Lutein and zeaxanthin are beneficial to the health of the retina of the eye, and related research claims that they help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy, among other conditions. Studies show that lutein and zeaxanthin improve cardiovascular health. Lutein and zeaxanthin also help increase levels of glutathione, an antioxidant produced in canine cells that is involved in detoxifying the liver. In fact, low glutathione can cause up to 45% of liver disease in dogs. This antioxidant participates in various processes, such as stress, aging, and protection against environmental toxins, and cannot be easily replaced. • Intake of flavonoids: like carotenoids, flavonoids are plant pigments found in fruits and vegetables. They are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, with the two most common being quercetin and kaempferol. Quercetin is known for its ability to fight allergies, because it is also an antihistamine. For its part, kaempferol helps reduce inflammation, improves cardiovascular health, protects the brain, and controls diabetes. Both flavonoids also protect against cancer. 'Kale is rich in some minerals that, compared to AAFCO or FEDIAF standards, are in short supply in many meat-based diets. So the choice often comes down to using moderate amounts of kale and similar vegetables, finding other foods that provide the minerals, adding mineral supplements, or having a diet that may be deficient in some important minerals. Mineral-rich vegetables reduce the amount of supplements we need to add to meet standards. " Steve Brown, expert in Pet Nutrition.   Sumary Vegetables are once again making their way into pet food. In this case, we can affirm that the incorporation of cruciferous vegetables into pet food formulas for dogs is positive; However, certain precautions must be taken, such as, for example, that the vegetables are grown in organic soils or that they do not exceed 10% of what the animal's diet will be. It will be crucial to deepen the research and tests in our sector of the industry to be able to include the right measure of these vegetables with total safety in the pet food formulas that are committed to healthy, nourished animals and at the forefront of what their human owners seek. Did you know all the benefits of these vegetables? Let us know!   Source: All Pet Food

What are Microalgae and what are its benefits for Pets
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What are Microalgae and what are its benefits for Pets

The Pet Food Industry is in a boom and growth, due to all the changes and processes that speed up after 2020. Pet owners no longer want the cheapest food, on the contrary, they choose the food that provides increased nutrition, health and wellness to your best four-legged friends. In this article we will tell you what microalgae are, Pet Foods being used and benefits.   What are microalgae? Microalgae are photosynthetic, polyphyletic and eukaryotic unicellular aquatic organisms, which can grow autotrophically (they synthesize all essential substances for their metabolism from inorganic substances and do not need other living beings) or heterotrophic (they feed on other carbon sources organic, mainly plant or animal matter). They are generally highly efficient in fixing CO2 (the conversion of inorganic carbon into organic compounds) and in using solar energy to produce biomass. They grow and develop in open pond or closed tank systems.   What are they used for? Currently, microalgae are used mainly as additives, both in balanced food and in supplements or snacks in pet food for Dogs and Cats.   What are the main benefits for Pet Food? Microalgae are a great source of protein, fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They contribute: Essential nutrients, such as proteins, fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and minerals (phosphorus, iron, zinc and magnesium, among others). Superior quality nutrition, as it is a natural product, free of metals, pesticides, microbes and other contaminants. An improvement in intestinal health: It is proven that microalgae improve intestinal health and activate the immune system of animals. An improvement in general health, since it increases oral hygiene and the shine and strength of the coat. For brain development, some microalgae burn macronutrients as a source of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which contributes to brain development. Its consumption in puppies, pregnant and lactating animals is essential. What are the most common Microalgae used in Pet Food? • Spirulina and Chlorella: These microalgae absorb light. They are currently used in supplements, treats, and whole foods for dogs and cats. Spirulina is very rich in nutrients, and it is said to improve the health of the skin and the immune system, although there are still no studies that have been carried out exclusively to testing this effect in dogs and cats. -In a study carried out in rats, it was found that, thanks to its intake (incorporated in 0.2 to 1.3% in dry food), the production of immunoglobulin A improved. Chlorella is considered to detoxify and purify the body systems of pets, although there is no scientific evidence on its effects yet. -In rodents, oral administration of a chlorella extract (between 0.9% and 2.8%) increased resistance against an intraperitoneal infection with Escherichia coli or Listeria. In addition, a small-scale study suggests that incorporating chlorella powder into dry food by 0.6% can reduce the consequences of canine dermatitis. Currently, products that contain microalgae in their formulas come in the form of: • Seaweed flakes, of different sizes and thicknesses, which are suitable for use in croquettes and chews. • Seaweed powder, an easily mixed powder used for granules and specialty products. • Seaweed paste, easily soluble and used in dry food or feed. • Small croquettes, easy to process once defrosted.   Algae rich in DHA Green algae are characterized by having a higher percentage of DHA than other algae, such as Shizochytrium sp. The intake of Omega 3 EPA and DHA can improve atopic dermatitis and osteoarthritis and some indicators of modular immunity in dogs. -It was found that the inclusion of 0.4% DHA-rich algae in dry foods increases the apparent protein -A small-scale study with 3 dogs fed a diet that included 0.4% DHA-rich algae for 30 days showed that DHA produces beneficial changes in canine electroretinography. However, cognitive tests were performed with elderly dogs and the incorporation of 0.4% dehydrated whole cells of Schizochytrium sp in dry food did not show strong improvements.   The composition of the microalgae most used in Pet Food Dried seaweed, oil and seaweed extract and meal are included in the European catalog of feed materials. Some approximate numbers of the composition of each can be given: • Spirulina and autotrophic chlorella contain 57% crude protein in dry matter, 11% crude fat, 8% ash, 6% crude fiber, and 18% soluble carbohydrates. Dried spirulina and chlorella contain about 1% chlorophylls and 0.1% carotenoids (although these numbers can vary widely). Both algae have a negligible content of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA, and have a high molecular weight polysaccharide, which comprises approximately 0.75% of the dry weight of microalgae; it differs in composition from a glycosyl group but shares the high solubility in water. • Spirulina also has 10% phycocyanin as a photosynthetic pigment and 2% GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), absent in chlorella. The soluble polysaccharides in spirulina are mainly glucose and rhamnose, but there are some differences between species. • Dried algae rich in DHA contain approximately 22% DHA, and less than 0.6% EPA. • For Schizochytrium sp, the heterotrophic DHA vehicle, the values ​​are: 11% of crude protein in dry matter, 51% of crude fat, 9% of ash, 2% of crude fiber and 27% of soluble carbohydrates.   Summary Currently, the use of microalgae in Latin America is much more widespread exclusively for human consumption, with Brazil being the country with the most companies producing food based on microalgae, followed by Mexico, Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Cuba. While studies and experiments continue to ensure the benefits of these components in Pets, we can prepare and make our own research and conclusions on how to take advantage of these discoveries and create new formulas with more nutrition and benefits to improve the quality of the Pet Food Industry.   Source: All Pet Food

Ingredients that are making their way into the Pet Food Industry, did you know them?
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Ingredients that are making their way into the Pet Food Industry, did you know them?

By María Candelaria Carbajo

Trends are, in general terms, what mark the path of innovation and growth of companies. In our pet food industry, alternative fruits, vegetables and proteins are becoming increasingly popular.In this article we will tell you about the trends in new ingredients in Pet Food. As we discussed in a previous article, the type of food that is chosen for a pet increasingly reflects the eating style that its owners practice on a daily basis; This is already an indisputable trend that is increasing constantly. A spokesperson for the US Highbush Blueberry Council states: 'A few years ago there was very little fruit in pet products. Back then, the idea of fruits and vegetables in pet food for dogs and cats seemed unusual, yet intriguing to many in the industry. "   More fruits in the pet food formula Fruits as an ingredient are a relatively new category within the content of pet food; have been added to the classic ingredients embodying the concept of health, since the nutrients and fiber of the fruit have been proven to increase the overall nutritional value and, in some cases, improve the taste, texture, color and control of humidity. In addition, these ingredients allow you to take advantage of inherent nutraceutical or phytonutrient qualities, especially fruits rich in antioxidants. The fruits and components that are being used today are: Pureed strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, since it`s rich in fiber, and both dogs and cats get the benefits of fiber. The apple and its dried version, due to its high fiber value, as well as its water content that helps maintain moisture in moist foods. Citrus fruits and their fiber: At the beginning of 2019, the citrus fiber used in the production of pet food had increased by 437%. More vegetables among the components of pet food Currently, vegetables are also being incorporated into pet food recipes, as they offer significant nutritional benefits. This change occurs essentially because there are certain nutrients that animals cannot obtain from ingredients that come from animals. Thus, accompanying the trend of choosing organic and little processed products, the market is replacing the adherence of synthetic vitamins and minerals with those that can be obtained from organic fruits and vegetables and natural supplements. Vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants can also help pets overcome and fight serious diseases, such as cancer. The vegetables and their components that are being used the most today are: • Dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli or kale, for their high content of calcium, potassium and magnesium. • Carrot and celery.   Alternative plant proteins Dogs and cats are considered carnivores, so meat is an essential component of their diet. Still, they don't always have to come from an animal. For some time now, the United States has been working on injecting animal muscle protein genes into microbes such as yeast, to then be fed and fermented. This results in proteins that are nutritionally identical to those from meat. In parallel, pets that are allergic to conventional ingredients are pushing the development of exotic proteins to continue to appeal to pets' taste buds while improving their health.   What are the downsides of these changes? Although it is true that, like people, animals need fruits and vegetables in their daily diet to have a balanced and nutritious diet, when it comes to replacing a percentage of meat products with more vegetables and fruits, a problem arises: The sustainability. The Pet Food Industry is a fundamental part in sustainability and circular economy, mainly due to the use of meat by-products that are considered waste unfit for human consumption. Some manufacturers use animal by-products humans do not consume to produce pet food, since, despite being 'waste' for people, they are basic components full of nutrients. For example, fat from poultry is commonly used in the pet food industry to add calories and flavor. The human consumption of these animals leaves internal organs, feathers and many other parts without consuming. That said, we can affirm that yes, fruits and vegetables are essentially necessary in the pet diet, and their increase and incorporation are beneficial for the health and general well-being of domestic animals. Even so, the great challenge for the industry will be to find a new destination or purpose for human meat food waste, or a way for it to coexist with the increase in plant ingredients in the pet food market. Conclusion It should be noted that companies in the industry have a responsibility, in a way, to educate consumers about the changes and improvements they make in their products and food. They can do it through their networks, their packaging, and by providing accurate information to local vendors and retailers, who are pretty close to the end consumer. On the other hand, while pet owners increasingly prefer plant-based, organic and natural ingredients, the real reason is they really believe it will be in the best interest of their pets. Thus, the question that arises is: will it improve my pet's health? Will it have fewer digestive problems? Will it have more energy? Ultimately, the function of the food formula is what is truly important. Either way, it's safe to say that plant-based ingredients are much more than just a trend, but rather a beneficial addition to the health and well-being of pets. Are you already aware of these new additions to the industry? Tell us, we are interested in knowing your point of view. Source: All Pet Food  

Can vegetable protein replace animal protein completely on a Pet Food formula?
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Can vegetable protein replace animal protein completely on a Pet Food formula?

'Pet foods with a higher content of plant-based ingredients provide a sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly option for pet owners,' says Jennifer Adolphe, Nutrition Manager at Petcurean. Yes, studies affirm that it is necessary to look for fewer polluting options for the meat industry, but the question that arises is: does vegetable protein provide the same nutrients? How safe is it to remove meat protein from animals that are essentially carnivores? In this article we deepen into the debate about whether pet food can (or should) be 100% vegetable or not. We will review the different aspects of this debate that, beyond nutritional, it is also moral for each of the future consumers, and we will focus on the cases in which a food based on vegetable protein is recommended or preferred. Nowadays, speaking globally, you can already find foods with formulas 100% of vegetable origin, that is: strictly vegan foods, which do not contain any type of ingredient of animal origin. There are also some intermediates, which can be considered "vegetarian", in the sense that most of their ingredients are of plant origin and not animal. Which is the industry challenge? Compared to the manufacture of food for humans, the big problem is that, when it comes to feeding pets, balanced food must be perfectly designed to be "complete and balanced." All the nutrients, vitamins and proteins that a dog or cat needs have to be in the food (and in the right proportions). What happens with humans is that we consume a very varied diet every day, so if a food has a certain nutritional imbalance, we do not even know it because we supply it, in most cases, with the nutrients of another food. Instead, pet owners feed the same food for years, if they are satisfied with it. So if cats and dogs are carnivores, how do we get meat protein out of their diet? Well… yes and no. They are and they are not. Cats are obligated carnivores: they need to consume meat to develop. They can eat other foods, but they do need meat, simply because they cannot efficiently digest all the nutrients in plant matter. In contrast, a scavenger or facultative carnivore, such as dogs, is the animal that consumes meat as its main food, although it could survive only on plant matter. Yes. Survive. Not develop, that is, grow vigorously. Dogs could exist on a properly balanced meatless diet, although most would rather not. Cats, for their part, require meat products in their diet due to their need for taurine and their inability to convert carotene to retinol. Hence the great moral debate arises: A dog could be fed vegetables and grains, but would you be deciding for him (and against his instincts), considering that, most likely, he would choose a piece of meat to a serving of legumes? What are the nutritional requirements of a dog and a cat? Dogs and cats need twenty-two different amino acids to fulfill the functions necessary to develop properly. Of these 22 amino acids, the dog can produce 12, and 10 are nutritionally essential. In the case of the cat, 11 amino acids are essential. This means that we, from the industry, are responsible for providing through food the missing amino acids, such as: • Arginine: stimulates the immune system, induces the release of growth hormone and supports the liver. • Histidine: releases histamines, is associated with pain control, and widens small blood vessels to stimulate the stomach. • Methionine: helps the functions of the gallbladder, prevents fat deposits in the liver and balances the pH of the urinary tract. However, there are certain essential amino acids for dogs and cats that, very often, are not present in plant proteins. Some of them are: arginine, taurine, methionine, lysine and tryptophan. This leads to the conclusion that when considering creating a plant-based formula to meet the demands of this market sector, it is essential to consider the difference between the various amino acid profiles of plant and animal proteins. It is because of these different amino acid profiles that animal protein has historically been considered "complete", due to the fact that vegetable protein (such as grain, corn gluten or soy flour) does not contain all amino acids by themselves (properly proportioned) necessary for the proper development and growth of a dog and / or a cat. Does vegetable protein have any advantages? The digestibility of plant proteins depends on two main factors: their source and the processes by which they are incorporated into pet food. For example, if they are undercooked or overcooked they can lead to digestibility problems, but if they are handled correctly, they can be as valuable and digestible as animal protein. For example, isolated soy protein, hydrolyzed soy, corn gluten and wheat gluten are purified sources of highly digestible plant proteins. Wheat gluten has been shown to be nearly 10% more digestible than beef. This brings us to the main benefit of plant protein: a food based on plant protein is recommended for pets with gastrointestinal problems or diseases. This is mainly because undigested proteins can overstimulate the gastrointestinal immune system, increasing the risk of causing a food intolerance (allergy). Likewise, an undigested protein can also promote the appearance of bacteria that are harmful to the colon and the pet, as a result of the fermentation of these proteins, which brings a strong fecal smell, flatulence and diarrhea. It is proven that humans suffering from liver disorders and susceptible to hepatic encephalopathy (HE) they lean on vegetable or dairy proteins rather than sources of meat protein, as it helps them control symptoms and maintain natural body condition. In correlation, there is evidence that similar nutritional choices for HD dogs were beneficial, given the change in blood ammonia concentration that occurs when leaving a meat protein-based diet and replacing it with plant protein. In the case of pets that suffer from EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) and skin diseases, a diet based on hydrolyzed soy and rice protein is suggested specifically, since it could significantly improve their clinical condition. The latest discoveries related to animal protein Soy, which is high in protein and has an amino acid composition similar to that of meat, has been found to be more complete than previously thought. Research and studies continue on how to enhance its digestibility. Wheat gluten has been found to be high in crude protein and digestible, which is why it is increasingly included in diets in Europe or the United States. Recently, corn gluten meal was identified as a highly digestible vegetable protein suitable for use in a canine diet. In conclusion The fact that an animal will always prefer a piece of meat to a vegetable or legume is undeniable, both by us, who create and improve the products of the pet food industry, and by the owners themselves. It's their nature. Even thought, more and more owners decide for options with more and more plant ingredients, due to an anti speciesist issue (that is, no animal species are more valuable than another), and sustainable (meat production consumes many natural resources). Because of that, from our sector, we have to be up-to-date regarding trends and new market demands, in order to develop products that satisfy their wishes and, in turn, increase the profitability of both manufacturing companies and companies input suppliers. Tell us your opinion about vegetable protein. Do you think this type of food will be successful? We read you. By: All Pet Food        

Organic and Natural Pet Food Market: Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2020-2025
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Organic and Natural Pet Food Market: Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2020-2025

The global organic and natural pet food market grew at a CAGR of nearly 12% during 2014-2019. Natural pet food consists of organic ingredients that are free from synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, artificial coloring, and chemical by-products. Organic pet food offers several health benefits for pets, including boosting immunity, reducing skin ailments and allergies, minimizing digestive disorders, improving life expectancy, and maintaining a healthy weight.  Based on the texture, the food mostly comes in the form of snacks, treats, kibble, liquid supplements, pellets, etc., available in bags, pouches, cans, and trays of varying sizes and shapes. The increasing demand for organic and natural pet food can be attributed to the growing number of pet ownerships coupled with rising consumer awareness towards pet health. Additionally, rapid urbanization coupled with the high prevalence of family nuclearization has led to the rising adoption of pets, across both developed and emerging regions.  In line with this, the elevating consumer living standards supported by their increasing disposable income levels have propelled the per capita expenditures on premium pet care products. The prevalent trend of pet humanization where the pet owners treat their pets as a family member, is also driving the demand for high-quality and organic pet food. Apart from this, the wide availability of natural pet food across several distribution channels coupled with the emergence of e-commerce platforms has also augmented the market growth.  Moreover, the rising demand for pet food with customized diets and pet meal plans accompanied by door-step delivery is driving the online sales of pet food. In addition to this, numerous celebrity endorsements along with various awareness programs are promoting the demand for nutrient rich pet food that is healthy and safe for consumption.  Competitive Landscape: The competitive landscape of the industry has also been examined with some of the key players being PetGuard Holdings LLC, Newman's Own LLC, Nestle, Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Company, Inc., Lily's Kitchen, Avian Organics, Castor & Pollux Natural Petworks, Yarrah etc Breakup by Ingredient: Natural Organic Breakup by Pet Type: Dog Food Cat Food Others Breakup by Product Type: Dry Pet Food Wet and Canned Pet Food Snacks and Treats Breakup by Packaging Type: Bags Cans Pouches Boxes Breakup by Distribution Channel: Supermarkets and Hypermarkets Specialty Stores Online Stores Others by Research and Markets

What Cat Owners Want in Natural Foods
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What Cat Owners Want in Natural Foods

As cat owners seek the best nutrition possible for their pets, natural diets quickly come into play, and qualities such as safety, sustainability and high protein are sought after. The natural cat foods category is experiencing many of the same trends as other pet food segments, according to industry insiders. For example, product manufacturing transparency is a top concern among consumers, pet specialty retailers report. 'Locally and ethically sourced, traceability and sustainability are the hot trends,' said Dave Fedorchak, vice president of procurement and research and development for PetGuard, a Sewickley, Pa.-based manufacturer of natural pet foods. Mary Helen Horn, president of Ziwi USA, an Overland Park, Kan.-based manufacturer, agreed, adding that cat owners 'want clean, safe and sustainable sourcing from countries and companies that are known to be trustworthy.' This focus on safety and sustainability doesn't end with the food itself. Even pet food packaging is on the cat-owning customer's radar. 'With the increase in global sustainability awareness and efforts, a large majority of customers prefer packaging that follows the reduce, reuse, recycle methodology,' Horn said. 'Many pet parents around the world want to see less plastic and more packaging that is recyclable or has multiuse functionality.' However, the desire to protect the environment does not trump demand for food packaging that is easy to open and store, insiders said. 'They're looking for packaging that is recyclable and functional,' Fedorchak said. 'Our food comes in cans that are easily recycled, and our dry food bags are resealable, which means they can last on the shelves after they're already opened.' Taylor Foster, store manager at Bon Pet Supply in Colorado Springs, Colo., reported, 'Tetra Paks are increasing in popularity because of their earth friendliness and the fact they can be sealed easily for storing until the next feeding.' Lisa McKitrick, co-owner of Boofy's Best for Pets, a pet supply store in Albuquerque, N.M., said that, over the years, wet food pouches have become quite popular. And cat owners shopping at The Natural Pet Outlet's two Connecticut locations appreciate easy-open cans, said partner Ray Arabia. 'A lot of customers are looking for pop-top containers or a block of meat they can cut and refreeze themselves,' he said. As for the contents of the packages, pet owners are seeking minimally processed, natural ingredients, high-protein content, variety and function. 'Pet parents are doing more research and getting better educated on the nutritional needs of their cats, so they are buying higher-quality products that contain more meat, without all the fillers, gums and binders,' Horn said. Chanda Leary-Coutu, director of consumer experience for Wellness Natural Pet Food, a brand of Tewksbury, Mass.-based manufacturer WellPet, reported seeing 'cat parents [looking] to experiment with trending ingredients,' such as incorporating grains into cats' diets and seeing 'wholesome ingredients that they'd eat themselves, like flaxseeds, carrots and cranberries.' At Bon Pet Supply, natural cat food shoppers want lower-carb diets. 'Grain free versus grain in doesn't seem to be as big of a concern as it used to be, as long as the ingredient panel reflects a wholesomely sourced, high-protein-content, low-carb diet,' Foster said. 'Limitations in ingredients is also popular, where people are asking for only one category of protein—poultry or fish or red meat exclusive.' Ultimately, owners want a healthier cat, Arabia said. To achieve this, he finds more customers switching from dry food to wet food, and then migrating to raw. 'They want a food that won't cause UTIs or obesity,' he said. 'They want fewer vet bills, and they think more natural and raw food will do that.' Education - A Knowledgeable Staff Better Educates Customers Nutrition is a critical factor for health and longevity, so pet specialty retailers and natural pet food manufacturers place a huge emphasis on education. '[It's] key to a consumer's understanding of why natural foods are so beneficial to pets,' said Chanda Leary-Coutu, director of consumer experience for Wellness Natural Pet Food, a brand of Tewksbury, Mass.-based manufacturer WellPet. 'Learning about the key health and overall wellness benefits that natural recipes have over other products that may contain fillers and artificial components is likely to be the reason why consumers choose to purchase natural recipes over anything else.' Because of this, both manufacturers and retailers make consumer education a priority. The first stop is store staff, industry insiders said. 'We want our retail partners to be as passionate about our food as we are, so we've put in place store associate trainings for their employees so that they can understand all things PetGuard,' said Dave Fedorchak, vice president of procurement and research and development for the Sewickley, Pa.-based pet food company. 'That way, if someone has a question or concern about our food formulas, they'll be prepared with the information to not only assuage concerns, but to recommend our food.' Some manufacturers offer in-person training, while others provide digital options or a combination of both. 'We partner with our retailers to provide in-person training as well as our new online training module that educates retailers and their team on the benefits of a natural cat food diet and proper pet nutrition,' said Mary Helen Horn, president of Ziwi USA, an Overland Park, Kan.-based pet food manufacturer. Video is a significant communication technique for consumers, said Lisa McKitrick, co-owner of Boofy's Best for Pets, a pet supply store in Albuquerque, N.M., so she asks brand reps 'to participate in live video broadcasts to talk about their foods.' Still, video and other digital options do not eliminate the importance of face-to-face communication, retailers said. 'An educated sales staff is the most effective way to introduce customers to natural diets,' McKitrick said. 'And we expect our team to speak knowledgeably about the foods we offer as well as pet nutrition in general. 'We want all of our customers to be able to read an ingredient panel and know what constitutes a 'good' ingredient and a 'bad' ingredient,' she added. 'Decisions should never be made based on a cute commercial or misleading packaging, but that's what influences many purchases.' Testimonials from staff educate customers and build trust and repeat business. 'We share our personal experiences with them about issues we've had with lesser-quality foods and hope they understand that we aren't just 'making a sale' when they come in,' said Taylor Foster, store manager at Bon Pet Supply in Colorado Springs, Colo. 'We want what is best for their cats, so we suggest and recommend things we actually think are helpful and good. This helps build trust between us and them, and then they are more comfortable asking for help and more inclined to take our advice.' Defining the Terms: Juggling Organic and Natural
In the natural pet food category, there remains much confusion. Because the term 'natural' is unregulated, definitions can vary and remain subjective, industry insiders said. Add in the term 'organic,' and customers can get overwhelmed. To simplify things, Dave Fedorchak, vice president of procurement and research and development for PetGuard, a natural pet food manufacturer in Sewickley, Pa., describes the terms this way: 'Organic diets refer to the way that produce and livestock are grown and raised, whereas natural is food without artificial ingredients, coloring, flavors or preservatives.' Sometimes, consumers confuse the two. 'Some customers think that 'natural' is synonymous with 'organic' and will come in asking for organic food,' said Lisa McKitrick, co-owner of Boofy's Best for Pets, a pet supply store in Albuquerque, N.M. 'Then they get sticker shock!' To help customers with their sticker shock, McKitrick spends time educating customers on the differences. 'Organic cat foods are made from ingredients that have been raised or grown without synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics and added hormones,' she said. 'The foods will also be GMO free. At least 95 percent of the ingredients in the food must be organic for the food to be certified and labeled as organic. 'When the difference is explained, most realize that 'natural' is what they are seeking and that there are plenty of excellent options for almost any budget,' she added. Helping consumers understand natural foods can mean breaking down misinformation. 'The priority and challenge in educating pet parents about natural food is ensuring they have access to both appropriate and factual information,' said Mary Helen Horn, president of Ziwi USA, a pet food manufacturer in Overland Park, Kan. 'In today's age of the internet and access to so many social media sites, we have encountered and spoken to so many pet parents who have been misinformed or misguided on the principles of feeding a natural food with natural ingredients.' by SANDY CHEBAT   
 

The Ingredients that are making their way in the Pet Food Industry, did you know them?
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4+ MIN

The Ingredients that are making their way in the Pet Food Industry, did you know them?

Trends are, in general terms, what mark the path of innovation and growth of companies. In our pet food industry, alternative fruits, vegetables, and proteins are becoming more prevalent. In this article we tell you about trends in new ingredients in pet food. As we mentioned in a previous article, the type of food that is chosen for a pet increasingly reflects the style of eating that its owners practice on a daily basis; This is already an indisputable trend that is constantly increasing. A spokesperson for the US Highbush Blueberry Council says: 'A few years ago there was very little fruit in pet products. Back then, the idea of ​​fruits and vegetables in pet food for cats and dogs seemed unusual, yet intriguing to many in the industry'. More fruits among the components of pet food Fruits as an ingredient are a relatively new category in the content of pet food; have been added to the classic ingredients embodying the concept of health, since it has been proven that the nutrients and fiber of the fruit increase the overall nutritional value and, in some cases, improve the flavor, texture, color and control of moisture. Furthermore, these ingredients allow to take advantage of inherent nutraceutical or phytonutrient qualities, especially fruits rich in antioxidants. The fruits and components that are being used the most today are: Strawberry or strawberry, raspberry and blueberry puree, since it is rich in fiber, and both dogs and cats reap the benefits of fiber.
The apple and its dried version, due to its high fiber value, as well as its water content that helps to maintain humidity in wet foods.
Citrus and its fiber: In early 2019, the citrus fiber used in the production of pet food had increased by 437%. More vegetables among the components of pet food Vegetables are currently being incorporated into pet food recipes as well, as they offer significant nutritional benefits. This change occurs essentially because there are certain nutrients that animals cannot obtain from ingredients that come from animals. Thus, accompanying the trend of choosing organic and low-processed products, the market is replacing the adhesion of synthetic vitamins and minerals with those that can be obtained from organic fruits and vegetables and natural supplements. Vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants can also help pets overcome and fight serious diseases, such as cancer. The vegetables and their components that are being used the most today are: Dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli or kale, for their high content of calcium, potassium and magnesium. Carrot and celery Alternative plant proteins Dogs and cats are considered carnivores, so meat is an essential component of their diet. Still, they don't always have to come from an animal. Some time ago, in the United States, work has been done on injecting genes from animal muscle proteins into microbes like yeast, so that they can then be fed and fermented. This results in proteins nutritionally identical to those from meat. In parallel, pets that are allergic to conventional ingredients are pushing the development of exotic proteins to continue to please pets' taste buds while improving their health.  What are the disadvantages of these changes? Although it is true that, like people, animals need fruits and vegetables in their daily diet to have a balanced and nutritious diet, when it comes to replacing a percentage of meat products with more vegetables and fruits, a problem arises: The sustainability. The pet food industry is a fundamental part of the chain of sustainability and circular economy, essentially due to the use of meat by-products that are considered waste not suitable for human consumption. Manufacturers use the parts of animals that humans do not consume to produce pet food since, despite being 'waste' to humans, they are nutrient-packed components. For example, poultry fat is commonly used in pet food to add calories and flavor chicken. The human consumption of these animals leaves internal organs, feathers and many other parts unconsumed. If it weren't because they are largely used to make pet food, these parts would form an unthinkable amount of waste. That said, we can affirm that yes, fruits and vegetables are essentially necessary in the feeding of pets, and their increase and incorporation are beneficial for the general health and well-being of domestic animals.
Even so, the great challenge of the industry will be to find a new destination or purpose for the waste from human meat, or a way to coexist with the increase in vegetable ingredients in the pet food market. In conclusion It should be noted that companies in the industry have a responsibility, in a way, to educate consumers about the changes and improvements they make in their products and food. They can do this through their networks, their packaging, and by providing accurate information to local sellers and retailers, who are closest to the end consumer. On the other hand, while pet owners are increasingly increasing the preference for ingredients of plant, organic and natural origin, the real reason is that they believe it will be the most beneficial for their pets. Thus, the question that arises is: will it improve the health of my pet? Will it present fewer digestive problems? Will it have more energy? After all, the function of the food formula is what is really important. In any case, it is correct to affirm that the components of plant origin are much more than a mere trend, but rather a beneficial addition to the health and well-being of pets. Are you already aware of these new additions to the industry? Tell us, we are interested in knowing your point of view. Author: All Extruded

2 Plant-based Protein Ingredients enter Clean Label Pet Food Space
Vegetable Origin
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2+ MIN

2 Plant-based Protein Ingredients enter Clean Label Pet Food Space

Ingredion on April 24 added two plant-based ingredients to its pet food portfolio for the US and Canada, both of which are derived from peas. The high-functioning, grain-free and clean label ingredients cater to manufacturers looking to replace other starches and flours in new formulations. PURITY P 1304 pea starch and VITESSENCE Pulse 1550 pea protein concentrate are applicable in canned pet foods, gravies, dry kibble, treats, biscuits and other formats. They provide texture and structure, improve water and fat binding, and act as a thickening and gelling agent in pet food and treat formulations. PURITY P 1304 pea starch specifically helps bind ingredients, while VITESSENCE Pulse 1550 pea protein concentrate can increase extrusion and injection molding efficiency, according to Ingredion. VITESSENCE Pulse 1550 pea protein concentrate can be incorporated by manufacturers to create more complete protein profiles and offers flexibility in developing new products or reformulating existing products. 'Today's health and wellness trends are driving pet owners to seek clean and simple foods for themselves as well as their pets,' said Patrick Luchsinger, marketing and business development manager of pet food for Ingredion. 'Ingredion's PURITY P 1304 pea starch and VITESSENCE Pulse 1550 pea protein concentrate give pet food manufacturers two new options for creating grain-free, clean label products that will satisfy even the most discerning pet owners and pets.' Ingredion invested $140 million to grow its plant-based protein capabilities in December 2018. These two new pet food ingredients will be sold under a joint venture with Verdient Foods, Inc., a part of its overall investment that has supported Ingredion's capacity to develop pulse-based protein ingredients from peas and other legumes for human food applications. "We've identified plant-based proteins as a high-growth, high-value market opportunity that is on-trend with consumers' desire to find sustainable and good tasting alternatives to animal-based proteins," said Jim Zallie, president and CEO of Ingredion. "We're excited by what these investments represent for Ingredion. Being a sustainable and trusted source of plant-based proteins provides us with another major ingredient platform to complement our offerings in clean label, wholesome, texture and nutritional ingredient solutions." Consumer preferences have long been driving pet food trends. The push for clean label, sustainable pet food products have placed plant-based proteins front and center as pet owners become increasingly concerned about the overall health and wellness of pets and purchase products that match their human-food preferences. By Jordan Tyler  

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