Latest Formulation contents

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

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

By Ludmila Barbi T. Bomcompagni

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

Biorigin Celebrates 20 Years of Commitment to Quality, Excellence, Innovation and Sustainability
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2+ MIN

Biorigin Celebrates 20 Years of Commitment to Quality, Excellence, Innovation and Sustainability

Biorigin has stood out over the years for its dedication to product excellence. The company has continually invested in research and development to provide innovative and customized solutions to meet the customers' specific needs and increase their production capacity. Biorigin's commitment to quality and excellence is reflected in its rigorous quality control and global certifications that ensure the consistency and safety of its ingredients. Innovation has been a fundamental pillar of Biorigin's journey over the last two decades. The company has constantly explored new solutions to create ingredients that improve food taste, quality, and the health of people and animals. Through continuous research and development, Biorigin has launched products that have notably benefitted the food industry. Furthermore, Biorigin's determination to promote the well-being of people and animals is demonstrated by its responsible business practices. Biorigin's primary raw material is sugarcane, produced by Zilor, which applies responsible agricultural practices and respect for the environment, ensuring full traceability of its products and reflecting its commitment to an ethical and sustainable supply chain.
Sustainability is an essential element of Biorigin's DNA. The company is committed to reducing its environmental impact and developing ingredients that contribute to the health and well-being of our planet, as shown by its constant pursuit of cleaner production practices, promotion of environmentally friendly packaging, and waste reduction. Biorigin's member of the Board, Maurício Da Barrosa, shared his excitement about this 20-year milestone: 'We are extremely proud of Biorigin's achievements over the past 20 years. Our journey has been defined by dedication to quality, excellence, innovation, commitment to the health and well-being of people and animals, and the tireless promotion of sustainability. We look forward to continuing our mission of creating a better world using biotechnology solutions.' As Biorigin celebrates two decades of innovation, quality, and commitment to sustainability, the company reaffirms its mission to be a trusted partner in the food industry. With a clear vision for the future, Biorigin remains committed to leading the way toward a healthier, more sustainable, and thriving world. For more information on Biorigin and its achievements, visit www.biorigin.net . About Biorigin: Biorigin is a biotechnology company that produces high-quality natural ingredients derived from the fermentation of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the human and animal food industries. Since its foundation in 2003, the company is committed to quality, excellence, innovation, and sustainability. Biorigin's mission is to promote the health and well-being of people and animals while fostering sustainable and responsible business practices. Headquartered in Lençóis Paulista, SP, Brazil, Biorigin operates globally and is acknowledged for its leadership in developing innovative biotechnological solutions. For more information, visit www.biorigin.net. Source: Biorigin By: All Pet Food 

Purina creates carbon-reduced pet food range
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2+ MIN

Purina creates carbon-reduced pet food range

The brand has reduced its environmental impact by making changes to its manufacturing, recipes, logistics and packaging, such as by using renewable electricity in the factories where the range is made and selecting ingredients with a lower carbon impact. Logistically, where the infrastructure exists, pet food products have been transported between countries using multimodal transport – a combination of road and rail systems – instead of purely road. Purina ONE DualNature features mono-material packaging, which can be recycled in stores in the UK, while the bags have been made with 40% recycled plastic. So far, the range has successfully reduced its carbon footprint by 15.7% compared to a 2019 baseline. The range contains natural ingredients with health benefits such as spirulina and cranberry and comes in a variety of meat and fish flavours. Adjustments to recipes have been made without compromising the nutritional value, quality and taste of Purina ONE DualNature, the company maintains. Purina Europe marketing director Fabio Degli Esposti said: 'At Purina, we're committed to producing healthy, nutritious pet food that you can trust. But that's not all. We believe the health of our environment is as important as providing high quality pet food products. 'Purina ONE DualNature is the first Purina product range that has announced a reduction of its carbon footprint, but it's just the beginning. Purina Europe is striving to contribute towards Nestlé's wider ambition of reducing its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030. 'Our journey goes on and we'll be working to further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions over the coming time, so that pet owners can confidently choose products that contribute positively to both their pets and the environment.' The range is being launched in selected countries across Europe. The RRP in UK grocery stores is quoted as £6.60. By All Pet Food
 

Did you know about all the control stages commercial food should go through to guarantee the quality that reaches the pet's plate?
Formulation
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3+ MIN

Did you know about all the control stages commercial food should go through to guarantee the quality that reaches the pet's plate?

By Candela Bonaura

There is a large offer, and veterinarians should have tools to be able to discern between the different nutritional proposals, not only about the pet's needs according to species, age, size, and particular situation or physiological state but in the knowledge of the manufacturing company and interpretation of the quality offered. On the one hand, we must consider the table of centesimal composition as well as the specific protein contribution, fat and metabolizable energy. However, it should always be linked directly to the list of ingredients to determine not only quantity but quality. This list should have its ingredients in descending order, so those foods that contain animal protein in the highest order are superior to those that do not. On the other hand, there are more ways to add value to food and improve diets with nutraceutical ingredients and upgrade the proposal according to specific needs, such as oral, joint, and urinary care, among others. Likewise, manufacturing companies must or should go through multiple controls, from raw materials selection to final product preparation. The goal should not only guarantee the contribution of the necessary nutrients but also their safety. Some of these controls are physical, chemical, sensory, and microbiological, and they are carried out at different stages of the process. In addition, there are standards and entities that regulate the production process and may differ by country. For instance, EU regulations detail which safe ingredients and additives can be used in pet food manufacturing. The ingredients can be of animal or vegetable origin. Many of the animal-derived ingredients used in pet foods come from parts of them not consumed by humans for cultural or habitual reasons. Today the importance of caring for finite resources in many parts of the world is a fact, and sustainability has also taken an important place in this area. Plant-based ingredients are often common in both human and pet nutrition (corn, rice, wheat, oats, etc.). Others are specific to pet food. Pet food manufacturers include intake instructions on the food label, including storage and handling requirements. Guardians should evaluate the container for information on the expiration date and batch of the product. A responsible pet food manufacturer will take safety and quality very seriously and have their own defined processes and standards that help ensure the safety and quality of their ingredients and products. These should start with trusted suppliers and go all the way to feeding the cat or dog and are likely to include: Reliable suppliers selection Defined specifications for raw materials, periodic inspections, and tests They may require a certificate of analysis from the supplier. Nutritional profile, color, texture, digestibility and palatability, and technical parameters such as moisture content. Routine product testing. Visual inspection of the grinding process Measurement of quantities of raw materials Controlled temperatures and cooking times Regular sampling and testing of final products Registration of ingredients through batch records, final product pallets, and their destinations to ensure traceability Microbial testing routine Regular verification of packaging integrity Metal detection or contamination with foreign objects Verification of nutritional adequacy through analysis of raw materials or final products or feeding studies using nutritional guidelines A responsible manufacturer may choose to implement voluntary third-party audits and certifications through a third-party accreditation institute.   Stages that lead the raw material to be the food consumed by pets   Source: All Pet Food Magazine

Pet Treats Continue on an Upward Trajectory
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4+ MIN

Pet Treats Continue on an Upward Trajectory

With his mid-1800s introduction of the first dog biscuit, Mr. James Spratt probably suspected he was onto something big. But there's no way he could have known he was lighting the fuse on a $60 billion market for pet food and treats. During 2022, pet treats (including rawhide chews) represented about one-fifth of those dollars, closing in on $12 billion, and treats remain a leading pet market category. Like many types of pet products, treats were at the right place at the right time during the pandemic, which helped to boost sales by 20 percent in 2020 and 18 percent in 2021, and the annual percentage gains remain in the low double digits thanks in part to inflation-related price hikes.  As of May 2023, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of dog and cat owners used treats to bond and spend quality time with their pets, and nearly half (49 percent) were treating their dog/cat more frequently as a result of spending more time at home. The enduring success of pet treats is, of course, more than a function of luck. As much as any pet product, treats dovetail pet health and pampering, and from that first biscuit, the market has been segmented every which way. The products are, in other words, anything but one size fits all, closely aligning with key trends in human foods and pet food overall. Grain free, natural/organic, functional ingredient, novel protein and human grade are among the most sought-after types, with more indulgent items also in demand along with dental chews and treats that meet both functional and pet pampering/entertainment needs.  Topping the chart as of May 2023 was U.S. sourced, with 49 percent of the dog owners and 40 percent of the cat owners who had purchased treats in the previous 12 months opting for made in USA, with no artificial ingredients/preservatives, organic, grain free, natural, and limited ingredient also high on the list. The COVID-19 effect has not been all good news for pet treats, which have been facing the same post-pandemic headwinds as most consumer categories in the form of record- high inflation. A potentially longer-term and not altogether positive impact is the acceleration in online shopping, which was already going strong. Frequently strategically placed on endcaps or near the checkout, treats are often a spur-of-the-moment purchase more likely to happen instore.  Over three-quarters (76 percent) of dog/cat owners buy pet food and treats on the same shopping trip instead of separately, and more than two-fifths (42 percent) view pet treats as an impulse purchase. In an omnichannel world where sales continue to shift onto the internet, it's on e-tailers and marketers to cross-promote treats to online shoppers in the market for pet food. As of 2022, e-commerce represented approximately 34 percent of dog and cat treat sales, but by 2027 that share is expected to rise to nearly 40 percent Helping to pick up some of the slack is the slew of online-based subscription box programs that have popped up in the past several years. BarkBox, one of the earliest and now the largest, delivers on a monthly basis a range of products to pet owners including at least one treat sample.  Subscription boxes present an ideal opportunity for marketers to introduce products to pet owners on a "try it, like it, buy it again" basis, as well as to help offset the negative impact of missed in-store purchases. With the success of BarkBox and similar programs, treat-specific subscription programs have popped up, allowing pets and pet owners to try out a different selection of treats on a steady basis. Harkening to the potential, even pet specialty retailers have gotten on board, with Petco teaming up with PupBox and Chewy offering Goody Box. At the same time, the business continues to shift in the direction of functional treats, which are increasingly doing double duty as, and competing with, pet supplements. In addition to catering to health-focused pet owners, functional treats appeal to value-conscious pet owners swayed by the idea of getting "two in one" value in treats that address specific conditions.  Functional treats serve as an integral part of many pet owners' pet health and wellness routines; as of May 2023, a large majority (70 percent) were willing to spend more for treats that addressed specific health concerns. Another flourishing segment is cat treats, as more marketers expand their offerings to embrace this "second-class pet," which is currently outpacing dogs in population growth. Looking ahead, pet owners' commitment to pet health and pampering will remain key market drivers, and treats will continue to benefit from being a frequent pet market entry point and crossover opportunity from other categories such as pet food, pet supplements, pet toys, etc. Taken together, these trends portend a healthy outlook, with U.S. retail sales projected to near $18 billion in 2027, reflecting a compound annual growth rate north of 9 percent and billions more dollars' worth of Mr. Spratt's stroke of genius. by David Lummis. Senior pet market analyst for the Packaged Facts brand within The Freedonia Group, a division of MarketResearch.com.

How is a feed formula designed?
Formulation
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4+ MIN

How is a feed formula designed?

By Armando Enriquez de la Fuente Blanquet

The main problem when formulating foods is to satisfy the nutrient requirements. Then, we talk about formulating a balanced food. There are several methods used to balance rations, from the simplest to the most complex and technical ones. Among them, we can find trial and error, simultaneous equations, Pearson's square, and linear programming. For balancing rations, ingredients are combined to meet the protein, fat, fiber, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that pets require for health and well-being. Within the formula of the balanced pet food (the recipe), two ingredients require special attention in their precision. I am talking about the vitamin premix and the mineral premix, which are generally separate formulas, as they are made up of more than one nutrient inside. The amounts of vitamins and trace minerals required are few, and they are in the order of micrograms or a few milligrams per day. That is why it has been decided to add them through a premix. Vitamins and trace minerals are essential substances for life. If we supply less than their daily requirement, we will certainly see how the subject develops severe deficiency symptoms that lead to manifestations of deficiency or syndromes. Regularly, the pet food formula contains 1 or 2 of these ingredients: a premix of vitamins and minerals when it is one, or a premix of vitamins and premix of minerals when it is two. Now we analyze the design of the premix formulation that will be included in the complete pet food.   The steps in a premix formulation are   Defining the premix The first step will be to know which species it aims for: dog, cat, or something else. Then it has to be decided which pet's life stage is: age, size, weight, activity level, race, physical problems, and the like. Our "claim," or value proposition, which can go into the premix. What kind of pet food are we going to manufacture? This can be dry, humid, or semi-humid, in very general terms. Gathering the data of the process parameters, as well as temperatures, humidity, pressures, and times, among others. Knowing the rest of the ingredients of the complete formula of the balanced food: corn, meals of animal origin, oilseed pastes, additives, etc. Having a well-defined shelf life which we must guarantee, be it one or two years.   Ingredient selection Speaking of vitamins, their forms must be selected according to the production process the food will undergo: microspheres, spray-dried, coated crystals, adsorption, etc. Regarding trace minerals, we must consider that the inorganic source will affect the vitamins more than the organic or hydroxy sources. Also, we should keep in mind that trace minerals vary in molecular structure as well as in performance in animals. It must also be considered that the premix can be the means to add other ingredients that require precision, such as omegas, some vegetables, mycotoxin binders, and natural or synthetic antioxidants, among others. The vehicle is an important player in the design because it will give it density and properties for correct mixing. They can be vegetables, minerals, or both.   Estimating the super-addition, mainly in vitamins Any portion of food must meet the nutritional requirements indicated by international guides such as AFFCO, FEDIAF, or NRC. Therefore, the final product must contain this recommended minimum level at the end of its shelf life. I always suggest starting with a safety margin, that is, above the minimum level suggested by nutritional guidelines. This way, even if the dog or cat eats a little less, or has a higher consumption than the average, that daily dose would ensure that symptoms of vitamin deficiency will not occur. The food manufacturing process involves temperature, humidity, pressure, oxygen, and more. If one or more of these elements affect the vitamins, an over-addition is necessary to compensate for the loss due to processing, so we can reach the desired level. Once the food leaves the production line, it will travel to the market, where it will be available for the pet parent to purchase. In addition, it can also remain on the shelf for some time, and we must also consider a loss due to storage.   Premix test The design of the premix on paper is one and, in reality, things may be different. That is why it is important to produce a sample and carry out a mixture, content, and physical analysis. If the premix complies with what was designed, food manufacturing should be run and, once again, carry out a content analysis – now of the pet food–. We should not forget the shelf life analysis.   Final part When the premix complies with the design, and we know the product physically, we need our plant personnel to be trained on the importance of this ingredient and the care that must be given to it. Once we have finished the premix, let's take it to production!   Pet food formulation must be adequate and precise, particularly with two micronutrients that must have our attention during the formulation: vitamins and trace minerals. The design of the vitamin and mineral premix is ​​as relevant as the design of the food itself, and their development process should be as meticulous as possible.   By: Armando Enríquez de la Fuente Blanquet Source: All Pet Food Magazine

Torula yeast for a more palatable, digestible, and nutritious cat food
Formulation
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3+ MIN

Torula yeast for a more palatable, digestible, and nutritious cat food

Yeast in pet food Sustainability in the pet food industry is an ongoing debate that often focuses on the ingredients used in it. Today, protein sources are under scrutiny, especially for their effects on ecosystems and societies, since the resources and conditions needed to develop them can be harmful to various ecosystems. Currently, the best-known type of yeast is nutritional yeast, used to add protein to various foods, although it is also a flavoring agent. There are many different strains of inactivated yeast, and each has a different flavor. One deactivated yeast is Torula yeast, but others used in the market are active, such as beer or bakery yeast.   Torula yeast Torula yeast (Candida utilis) is a type of inactivated yeast and is one of approximately 1,500 types of tiny, single-celled fungi. Torula edible yeast grows on wood alcohols and is used when deactivated and dried for flavoring and nutrition. The truth is that, generally, being low on the food chain reduces the environmental impact of a protein source, and mushrooms live near the bottom of it. Raising mushrooms as new pet food ingredients as one that would otherwise go to waste, reduces the environmental impact of animal nutrition. This yeast feeds on the woody biomass left over from the manufacture of wood products, and because wood waste is plentiful, renewable, and does not compete with human food crops, considerable sources of protein can be extracted. Indeed, it's possible to affirm it has favorable properties for extrusion as well as benefits for the animal's digestive system. Torula yeast is free of allergens and heavy metals.   Torula yeast in pet food For pet food, Torula yeast may have an advantage over other novel proteins. It is an AAFCO-approved ingredient with a history of safe use. In 2019, feeding trials tested it in dog food and found the fungal protein source works on par with chicken meal, and a more recent study found evidence that torula yeast can also serve for producing cat food. A study at the University of Kansas looked at the use of yeast in pet food. Torula yeast, as well as brewer's and whey yeast, have been categorized as nutritional yeasts when fed as inactive microbial biomass, primarily for their nutritional value. Among the most traditionally used in livestock nutrition, Torula yeast is the most favored in terms of its flexibility of carbon sources and growth capacity. It can metabolize xylose and its oligomers, allowing growth on low-value cellulosic waste materials. Thus, it enables large quantities of microbial protein to be produced from a sustainable and cost-effective growth medium. In addition, producing yeast from cellulosic material has a lower carbon footprint compared to soybean, pea protein, and chicken meal, the elements on which the study's comparisons are based. All four cat foods, with these ingredients, were prepared using single screw extruders under similar processing conditions. The study found that Torula yeast is highly digestible by cats and even increased their preference for food containing it while aiding processing and kibble formation. Furthermore, under similar processing conditions, this yeast resulted in a more extended product, particularly in the radial direction, which caused the lowest density and hardness. The study determined that Torula yeast can be safely included in feline diets, with levels limited for fecal quality considerations. In palatability tests, cats chose more food with Torula yeast than those with chicken meal. However, there was no difference from the other ingredients. On the other hand, the crude protein of Torula yeast digestibility was similar to the other three formulations, with an average of 89.97%. Yet, fats digestibility was lower for this (92.52%) than for the other protein sources.   Conclusion Yeast-based ingredients are playing an increasing role in the premiumization of pet food as a source of improved health and wellness for pets in hundreds of pet food markets worldwide. Yeast is no longer only used to improve palatability, but interest is now growing in the value and impact it might have in increasing immunity levels and improving gut health. In this sense, Torula yeast seems a great alternative to incorporate into formulas, although, and while even there is very recent research, experts in the field recommend further investigation to evaluate postbiotic analysis, the mechanisms of the functionality of raw materials, and the implications of protein ingredients on urinary health in cats.   Source: All Pet Food Magazine

Tapping Into China's Pet Food Market: Opportunities For Success
Formulation
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3+ MIN

Tapping Into China's Pet Food Market: Opportunities For Success

As she has so much experience in the pet food industry, we asked her to share some valuable insights into the current state and future prospects of the Chinese pet food market. China's pet food market has seen significant growth over the past few years, driven by the rising number of pet owners who prioritize the health and well-being of their furry companions.  The market continues to evolve, which means there are ample opportunities for pet food companies to tap into this growing demand and establish a strong presence.  A psychological portrait of a Chinese pet owner The majority of pet owners in China are young, with limited experience in pet care. That's why they rely heavily on online platforms for pet-related information and advice from veterinarians. Pet health is a top priority for these owners, as they know that a well-balanced and nutritious diet is vital for their pet's overall well-being. Pet food manufacturers that supply high-quality raw materials, accompanied by clear functional claims and authoritative verification reports, are most likely to stand out in this growing market. One crucial factor to consider is the growing population of senior pets in China. In most cases, this is a new and unfamiliar situation for many pet owners, as this is the first time they are going through such moments. Therefore, brands entering the market should focus on addressing crucial factors like pet emotional health, cognition, and specific issues related to aging. By addressing these needs, brands can establish a strong position and build trust among pet owners. Advice for Western brands entering the Chinese market For Western brands looking to work with Chinese pet food manufacturers, understanding the cultural nuances, the needs of pets, and the preferences of Chinese consumers is essential. A Chinese end-user, especially one who prefers to buy premium food and treats, wants to see a European touch on the product.  It's important to mention this on the package, point of sales, and in their marketing campaign. This will undoubtedly build trust, help increase product recognition, and will make the product more liked among buyers. The future of the Chinese pet food market As said, the Chinese pet food market is experiencing rapid growth, along with various complexities and opportunities. The pet food industry in China offers an abundance of products with diverse claims and formulations, addressing the needs of pet owners of different ages, from various cities. Online transactions play a significant role in this market too, opening up new avenues for exploration and expansion.  Cats are expected to dominate the pet population growth in China, particularly among young women who are conscious of their pets' health and nutrition. Streamlining product claims and using professional design elements will help pet owners save time in choosing pet food. At the same time, this will also allow them to spend more quality time with their pets and enrich their overall pet-owning experience.  Aker BioMarine's collaboration with Chinese pet food brands Aker BioMarine, the biotechnology company behind the QRILL Pet products, has been committed to having a local presence in China since 2011, recognizing it as the world's largest market for marine ingredients. In recent years, Aker BioMarine has been collaborating with leading pet food producers in China, establishing krill as a premium pet food ingredient in the country.     These partnerships focus on customizing raw materials, sharing best practices, and promoting the development of pet health food through scientific research, technology, and consumer insights. In conclusion Understanding the preferences and expectations of Chinese consumers, as well as the evolving pet ownership trends will be critical for success in these coming years. By collaborating with local partners and offering high-quality, innovative pet food products, brands can tap into the growing love and concern for pets in China.Focusing on health, nutrition, and sustainability, the future of the Chinese pet food market is bright for both manufacturers and pet owners. by Suha Zhou - Sales Director QRILL Pet China

Challenges for the canine and feline nutritionist and pet food formulator for the upcoming years
Formulation
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3+ MIN

Challenges for the canine and feline nutritionist and pet food formulator for the upcoming years

By Ludmila Barbi T. Bomcompagni

Proper nutrition: The main challenge when formulating and developing products for the pet food market is ensuring proper pet nutrition. Each species has specific nutritional requirements, and products must be formulated to fulfill them. In addition, we have to consider factors such as age, size, breed, and individual health conditions. Formulating nutritionists must ensure that products are balanced and meet all necessary nutritional requirements. Knowing the ingredients in depth: Finding and using quality ingredients is another challenge facing pet food developers. It is important to ensure that the ingredients used are safe, healthy, and meet regulatory standards. Knowing the nutritional composition of each raw material, the digestibility of the ingredients for each species, and thinking about the interactions between nutrients during the digestive process of animals should also be questioned by the formulating nutritionist. Not only do the points mentioned above matter, but the choice of ingredients must also be very well thought out since it must comply with the minimum cost proposed for the formula, the availability of purchase considering the seasonality of each raw material, and the possible fluctuations in the availability in the market. In addition, some tutors are increasingly concerned with the origin of the ingredients, so their choice must also be guided by the product market positioning of the product that the nutritionist is formulating. Finding reliable suppliers and establishing long-term partnerships is essential to ensure the consistency and quality of the ingredients used in pet foods. Understanding additives, their functions, and purposes: The industry of additives for animal nutrition is constantly evolving thanks to the development of new products and technologies. A pet food formulator must keep up with these updates and advances in the field of additives to optimize pet food formulations and deliver high-quality products. Some additives are used as preservatives to extend the shelf life of pet foods. A pet food formulator must understand how these additives work, as well as the proper dosages to ensure food safety and good shelf life. Palatability: Pet food can be nutritionally balanced, but if it is not appetizing and acceptable to pets, it will be rejected by guardians and the animals themselves. Palatability is a major challenge when formulating new products. Pets have individual preferences, and their tastes may vary. Companies and their development teams must invest in extensive research and testing to ensure that their products are tasty and attractive to animals, while also meeting nutritional needs. Processing considerations: Pet food processing is an additional technical challenge. It is necessary to ensure that food is manufactured consistently, maintaining the integrity of ingredients and preserving essential nutrients. The pet food formulator must know the extrusion processes and their pre- and post-processing, as so many parameters can affect product quality, such as grinding, time/temperature inside the extrusion barrel, shear, friction, density, dried, and covered. Extrusion is one of the types of processing that the formulator must master, but the dynamics of product diversification for this market require that these professionals learn about new forms of processing, such as autoclaving, dehydration, freeze-drying, and other innovations that may arise. Innovation and market trends: The pet food market is constantly evolving, driven by trends and consumer demands. Product developers must be aware of the latest trends and innovations in the industry, which includes the development of specialized products for specific needs, such as food for pets with food allergies, diets for weight loss, and organic and natural foods, among others. Keeping up with these trends and innovations requires continuous market research and flexibility to adapt to changes. The pet food market presents significant challenges for formulators and product developers. Proper nutrition, choice of quality ingredients, palatability, processing considerations, and innovation is critical to success in today's marketplace. With so many challenges, a pet food formulator must be a multi-faceted professional. The association and collaboration between the pet food nutritionist, researchers, and alliances between public and private institutions are important for the training of these professionals. They also promote science and technology for this market and to overcome these challenges, develop healthy and attractive food for pets, ensuring the health, and longevity of pets and owners' satisfaction. By: Ludmila Barbi T. Bomcompagni and Erika Stasieniuk Source: All Pet Food Magazine

 Low Glycaemic Properties of Isomaltulose Confirmed in Dogs
Formulation
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Low Glycaemic Properties of Isomaltulose Confirmed in Dogs

The study results demonstrate that isomaltulose is a suitable low glycaemic ingredient for use in dog food, triggering a lower blood glucose rise after consumption. This property makes it a particularly interesting solution with the potential to support metabolic health and weight management. Numbers of overweight and obese dogs have steadily increased over the last few decades and exceed 50% in Western countries.  Excessive weight is linked to metabolic and skeletal associated disorders and impacts the quality of life of both dog and owner. This is reflected in pet owners' interest in tackling such issues: More than 8 in 10 pet owners worldwide agree that on-pack communication about helping to control their pet's weight naturally (87%), or having a lower impact on blood sugar levels (85%), very much or somewhat affects their purchase intention of a pet food product.   Here, nutrient choice has an important role to play, especially in regards to which carbohydrate is used in a dog's food. Firstly, because overweight or obese pets are at risk of developing impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Secondly, low glycaemic diets have been shown to support weight loss and improve metabolic health in both humans and dogs . Therefore, finding suitable low glycaemic ingredients for dog food is key.   In total, three studies were carried out by the teams from universities in Utrecht and Wageningen. The first, an in-vitro study of small intestinal tissue samples from three dogs, evaluated the small intestinal hydrolysis of isomaltulose compared to sucrose, maltose, maltodextrin, lactose and ɑ-trehalose. The aim was to confirm if dogs have the ability to digest isomaltulose, as well as compare it with other carbohydrate sources. The findings showed that it can be digested by canine intestinal enzymes, with a lower enzyme activity compared to high glycaemic carbohydrates, indicating a slower rate of hydrolysis. The second and third studies compared the effects of isomaltulose, sucrose and maltodextrin in an in-vivo set-up. One of the studies assessed the glycaemic effects of the three carbohydrates in nine dogs and using a 3x3 Latin-square design . After an overnight fast, the blood glycaemia and insulinaemia were measured 0-180 minutes after the administration of a single dose of either isomaltulose, sucrose or maltodextrin. The results showed that isomaltulose significantly lowered blood glucose and insulin responses in the dogs, compared to maltodextrin or sucrose. The goal of the final study was to assess the glycaemic properties of isomaltulose in dogs, after continuous intake. This was based on the assumption that the abilities to digest isomaltulose might evolve through adaptation, so that its impact on blood glucose levels would get closer to the other carbohydrates. In this study, 18 dogs received a 50:50 mix of isomaltulose and sucrose (1g per kg bodyweight) daily for two weeks. They were then split into three equal groups which each received a single dose of either isomaltulose, sucrose or maltodextrin after an overnight fast. Following this, the dogs' blood glucose and insulin responses were measured. Even after continuous intake over two weeks, the low glycaemic and insulinaemic properties of isomaltulose were confirmed. Commenting on the findings, Dr Maygane Ronsmans, Product Manager Animal Nutrition at BENEO says: 'This research is of great importance as it offers the first comprehensive characterisation of isomaltulose with respect to its digestibility and metabolic effects in dogs. The low glycaemic properties of isomaltulose already shown in other species, including humans, pigs and rodents, have now been confirmed in dogs. The combined results of this study suggest that isomaltulose would be a suitable energy source in dog food, which contributes to a more stable blood glucose response, and may improve the dog's metabolic profile and overall health.' Isomaltulose is a disaccharide which occurs naturally in honey. It is composed of glucose and fructose, characterised by a stronger glycosidic bond than that of usual sugar. Isomaltulose is a direct source of energy that generates a more balanced blood glucose response, distinguishing it from high glycaemic energy sources, such as heat treated cereals and conventional sugars (e.g., dextrose). BENEO derives isomaltulose from sugar beet at its production plant for functional carbohydrates in Offstein, Germany.  by BENEO-Animal Nutrition For further information on BENEO and its ingredients, please visit: www.beneo.com

Pet Treats Sales Fueled by Inflation in 2022, Packaged Facts Reports
Formulation
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2+ MIN

Pet Treats Sales Fueled by Inflation in 2022, Packaged Facts Reports

Growth in the pet treats market has slowed since the large pandemic-era increases in 2020 and 2021, with much of the growth in 2022 fueled by inflation-related price increases rather than by growth in unit sales, according to Packaged Facts.  Online sales makes up the largest portion of pet treat sales at 34 percent. By type of pet, dog treats represent the majority of sales, at 78 percent, although cat treats sales are increasing at a faster pace. By product type, indulgent treats make up the largest share of the market, at 36 percent, followed by rawhides/long-lasting chews, functional treats and dental treats. Prolonged inflationary conditions have cooled the pet treats market somewhat, with Packaged Facts survey data showing that 57 percent of pet owners are concerned about rising prices in the pet treats category. Many pet owners are reducing their spending on discretionary items, making multi-functional treats, such as dental treats and those that offer health and wellness benefits, more attractive, Packaged Facts officials reported. Two of the top trends driving growth in the pet treat market include humanization and an increased focus on using pet treats as part of pets' health and wellness regimen, officials said. Behind both of these trends, however, is the pet owner sentiment that pets are part of the family. For many pet owners, pet treats are an opportunity to solidify the pet-owner bond.  'Not only do pet owners use treats to encourage good behavior (for training purposes, for example), they use them to express feelings of affection; 'treat time' has become a way for pet owners to show their pets just how much they mean to them,' said Shannon Landry Brown, brand manager for Packaged Facts pet market research.  Despite the challenging economic conditions, Packaged Facts projects the pet treat market to continue to grow over the next five years, with key opportunities including value-positioned treats, treats for cats, and treats featuring alternative proteins.   by Packaged Facts  

Kemin Nutrisurance unveils new wet pet food pilot lab
Formulation
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Kemin Nutrisurance unveils new wet pet food pilot lab

During the ribbon cutting celebration on July 20, Kemin employees, customers and local guests were invited to tour the new pilot lab, which will be able to mimic the production of wet pet food in a smaller-scale plant environment. Chris Nelson, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, Kimberly Nelson, president of Kemin Nutrisurance, and Jason Shelton, Ph.D., vice president of research and development at Kemin Nutrisurance, addressed attendees and shared the mission of the new business unit and pilot lab facility. 'There is enormous potential still left in wet pet food — to understand a lot about the chemistry and how to improve this overall product,' Chris Nelson explained. 'This facility allows us to test those new ideas for our customers.' The state-of-the-art facility offers Kemin Nutrisurance the opportunity to work with current and existing customers to create, test and validate pet food and treats to help better predict large-scale results. The pilot lab offers a dedicated space to develop wet pet food, as well as test dry kibble coatings. It features more production capacity and testing capabilities than most R&D labs, but its smaller scale plant environment provides more flexibility to produce smaller batches and adjust formulations during the process. The opening of the pilot lab served as a platform to introduce customers to Kemin's advancement in its R&D offerings under the new Research and Explorations Services umbrella. 'This is really a celebration of our formalization and the elevation of our service in R&D,' Kimberly Nelson said during the ribbon cutting. 'Services as a platform has been critical to our success for years, but bringing research and exploration as an element to it formerly is the next step in our commitment to our customers.' 'With Research and Exploration Services, we are able to elevate our own R&D efforts, building on Kemin's legacy of market-leading solutions and helping customers test, create and validate pet food products with unmatched accuracy and efficiency,' Shelton added. 'Now, with our expanded customer-service offerings, Kemin Nutrisurance delivers the industry's most comprehensive approach to R&D.' Kemin Nutrisurance's Research and Explorations Services will expand beyond the United States with pilot labs and innovation centers in Brazil, Italy and China. Source: Kemin Industries  

Diversified Diets
Formulation
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7+ MIN

Diversified Diets

Pet owners are incorporating more freeze-dried, air-dried and gently cooked options into their dogs' diets, thanks in part to the perception that these foods feature high-quality ingredients that offer multiple health benefits. Freeze-dried, air-dried and gently cooked diets were once viewed as meal toppers for dogs to enjoy as an occasional treat. However, today's pet owners are choosing to use these products regularly as an enhancement to their dogs' daily meals, said Molly Keveney, spokesperson for Champion Petfoods, the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based manufacturer of the Acana and Orijen brands. "Deterring flavor fatigue or mitigating potential dietary sensitivities are some of the reasons consumers continue to diversify their pet's food," she said. "Rotating dry food recipes alone is not cutting it, so pet lovers are looking for new ways to create crave-able meals that are more enticing and exciting for pets." Freeze-dried foods are great options for pet owners who want the benefit of frozen raw nutrition, Keveney noted. The freeze-drying process maintains the nutritional value of fresh ingredients by locking in flavor and nutrients, creating biologically appropriate nutrition for dogs and offering peace of mind for owners that want to amplify their pet's everyday meals, she added. "Our freeze-dried diets are made with 90 percent quality animal ingredients and are available in a variety of recipes," Keveney said. "Acana Freeze-Dried Food comes in two different sizes, patties or morsels, and features a savory bone broth for an added boost of flavor and protein." FOCUSED ON NUTRITION The humanization of pet food has been driving the market for alternative food formats such as freeze-dried, air-dried and gently cooked the past few years, according to industry insiders. "The alternative food category is one of the fastest growing in the pet space," said Dan Markenson, head of retail at Dr. Marty Pets, a Los Angeles-based pet food manufacturer that recently introduced a 48-ounce bag for all its recipes. "Pet parents are looking for ways to nutritionally build up their pet's food bowl by feeding whole foods and adding superfoods and extra nutrients where they can. A focus on whole real food that is bioavailable to the pet is what pet parents are looking for." Jason Ast, co-owner of Just Dog People, a pet store in Garner, N.C., has seen similar trends. "These food types are a great way to begin feeding dogs a more biologically appropriate diet," Ast said. "Freeze-dried foods have been popular at Just Dog People for several years now, and many people use these options as toppers and training treats." Innovation in this category has a broader focus on specific, health-targeted ingredients, especially those aimed at digestive health or joint health, according to insiders. Pet owners are looking to build a diet for their pets that drives optimum health and wellness, said Kelly Walters, brand leader of pet foods at Redbarn Pet Products, a pet food and treats manufacturer in Long Beach, Calif. "Consumers looking for better ingredients led to a premiumization of the category," Walters said. "They are also looking for ingredients to be less processed, which is driving the growth in the alternative categories. Air-dried, freeze-dried and gently cooked are all processed in ways that better maintain nutrients in the raw ingredients, as compared to a typical dog food kibble." Redbarn Pet Products released several trial-size options for its air-dried lines in December 2022 and will launch largesize options soon. "The trial sample sizes were driven by consumers who are looking for an opportunity to try out the product prior to making a more significant investment," Walters said. "Many pet parents have been interested in checking out the category, but prices have kept them from diving in. Once people try the product, they are hooked and are ready to make a commitment to feeding more regularly, whether as a full feed, topper or training incentive." Tyler Maneth, vice president of marketing at Ziwi USA, an Overland Park, Kan.-based pet food and treat manufacturer, said consumers are also looking for diets that offer variety, including textures, price points and ingredients "As pet parents continue to educate [themselves] and desire to provide their pets with better nutrition, manufacturers push to provide foods that meet and exceed their expectations for optimal health," Maneth said. "This also coincides with the quality of the ingredients and sourcing, with a strong focal point on ethical and sustainable practices being integral to the products." Ziwi recently made improvements to its air-dried line, which included increasing organ meat inclusions. Amy Snell, national sales manager for Northwest Naturals, a manufacturer in Portland, Ore., said the freeze-dried category has grown in popularity because it is so versatile. "Pet parents can use freeze-dried recipes as a complete and balanced treat," Snell said. "These diet options are great for training and as a topper due to the meat smell and palatability, and are perfect for traveling." With the awareness and growth of frozen raw, freezedried foods have become a great option for those who are uncomfortable handling raw. Pets still get the same nutritional benefits from diets in this category, but without the pet owner having to handle wet raw meat, insiders report. "Consumer awareness has increased, and pet parents want more wholesome and rewarding choices for their pets," said Christie Dilling, assistant manager and clinical pet nutritionist for We Lov Pets, which has four locations in Ohio. "They now know what is important in a dog's diet but still need convenience due to busy lifestyles. This makes air-dried, freeze-dried and gently cooked foods an extremely appealing choice." More shoppers understand the benefits of providing a more nutrient-dense diet for their pets, and air-dried and freeze-dried options help pet owners to do that in a more economical way than feeding a completely raw or homecooked diet, said Heather Blum, co-owner of Petagogy, which has three stores in Pittsburgh. "For many customers, these diets represent an entirely new way to feed their pets," Blum said. "Introducing them slowly as a way to boost an existing kibble diet has been an accessible way for many pet owners. Air-dried and freeze-dried diets especially can be used as toppers and are great for pets that are growing tired of basic kibble and need a boost to their bowls." CONSUMER EDUCATION Many retailers do a good job educating consumers about the best nutrition for their dogs, Keveney said. "It is a brand's responsibility to arm retailers with the information and resources needed to encourage more diverse feeding practices," Keveney said. "The nutritional benefits, production process and overall convenience factors are important qualities for retailers to highlight to help increase awareness around this pet food category." Retailers should inform customers about different manufacturing processes that are used to maintain more of the nutrients in the raw ingredients, and help them understand the benefits, Walters noted. "Shopping this alternative feeding space can be daunting for pet owners, between the different options and the higher price points," Walters said. "Retailers should continue to focus on the ingredients in the foods that manufacturers bring to them and splitting apart the marketing messages from the food those messages represent." Ziwi has an online training module available to its retail partners and their associates to help educate customers about its brand and products, Maneth said. "Taking advantage of the resources and training made available by brands is an absolute must," Maneth said. "Within the store, having a dedicated space for this category is extremely helpful so a store associate can easily walk and educate customers through the different options." More pet owners are discovering the power of raw foods for their pets. "Communication in the aisle is a great way to let pet parents understand the value of raw," Markenson said. "The scale of this category is at the point where pet stores can have alternative feeding sections that are differentiated from the kibble section and offer educational information on the power of raw food. In-store demos and sampling programs can help educate as well as demonstrate the palatability of many of these recipes." When retailers explain the biological nutritional needs of dogs, consumers are more inclined to try these diets."Once pet parents understand how convenient these diets can be, they can't wait to buy more," Dilling said. "For most of our customers feeding completely in these categories of food is just too expensive. When we explain that there are huge benefits for even using it as supplemental feeding, many pet parents are much more open to the idea of adding these nutritionally packed diets." Availability and acceptance helped these foods expand, and people are willing to try alternatives to kibble, Ast said. "The more you talk to your customers, the more you'll find that they are looking for alternatives to their dog's current diet," Ast said. "It is surprising how many people are receptive to feeding a non-kibble diet." Snell said starting with small steps can be valuable. "In the freeze-dried category, a little raw is better than no raw," Snell said. "Recommend the customer start with a treat or a topper. Starting small is a great way for pet parents to add nutrition to their dogs' current diets." BY ALEXIS MATTSON THIS ARTICLE IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY CHAMPION PETFOODS  

KND Labs & ReaGenics Announce Partnership to Expand Food Line & Nutraceutical
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KND Labs & ReaGenics Announce Partnership to Expand Food Line & Nutraceutical

As a producer of many ingredient forms including powdered isolates, distillate oil, and liquid or powder water-soluble solutions, KND Labs currently serves many industries and is an ingredient partner to many of the world's largest product brands.  'As a proven partner across many industries from food and beverage to nutraceuticals, pet, and cosmetics, KND Labs is thrilled to expand our supply chain and product offerings through this partnership with ReaGenics,' said Nich Wilson, KND Labs president. 'This capability directly supports the company's growth goals and allows us to target, extract and commercialize revolutionary ingredients within the KND Labs platform we are known for.' ReaGenics is a Nes Tziona, Israel-based plant molecular harvesting company that provides technology to support the growth of living plant stem cells economically and at scale, without having to depend upon nature's elements. Through its proven technology and process, the company is able to access molecular materials that are of interest in various industries including food and beverage, herbal medicine, and other applications.  With processing plants in the Denver area, KND Labs will utilize the ReaGenics partnership to move into new areas of expertise in the coming years, while offering ReaGenics access to its established production facilities and customer distribution network. 'Our world urgently needs a way to keep up with the growing demands of medicines, food supply chains, and the problem of so many of the world's plant species on their way to extinction,' said ReaGenics CEO Dr. Michael Kagan. 'We believe ReaGenics will be part of the solution to ensure these global needs and challenges are met. This partnership with KND is an important first step.' The partnership will benefit both companies' growth efforts in the nutraceutical, food, and pet industries, with KND Labs focusing on making new products available. 'Many customers are looking to KND Labs for our industry expertise and scaling capabilities as they aim to diversify their ingredient supply chains,' said Dave 'Swany' Swanwick, KND Labs director of sales. "This partnership with ReaGenics enables us to offer a greater variety of ingredients, at scale, to our direct partners as well as for network marketing sellers of hemp plant-derived products, and it will allow us to further grow our footprint as the premier provider of high-demand nutraceutical ingredients. We are very excited to be improving supply chain access and commercializing rare ingredients worldwide.' Source : Pet Business

ADM president: Feed additives market – 2023 and beyond
Formulation
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ADM president: Feed additives market – 2023 and beyond

According Roig, there are 4 main dynamics will affect the 2023 additives market. Global politics 'One factor is global politics,' he explains. 'We have increased tension between large countries, mainly US-China tensions and the upheaval with Ukraine and Russia. This has caused a second factor to emerge, disruption of global value chains and a corresponding increased focus on food security.' Food security Roig notes that the entire global feed industry is re-evaluating which feed product categories are critical to food security and which products should be produced in-country. He notes that as it stands right now, most global production of vitamins and amino acids and fermentation-based feed ingredients are primarily produced in China. Energy security & prices Energy security has also come to the forefront due to rising global political upheaval. Because of this, says Roig, the cost of making feed additives and getting them to market will continue to be high going into 2023. Europe is experiencing natural gas and electricity shortages, and high electricity and energy prices are also now the norm in North America. High fuel costs are also making global transport of ingredients and finished products by sea and land more expensive. 'This is challenging for the industry in terms of margins and pricing,' says Roig. Plant-based protein food A fourth factor is the growth of plant-based protein food products over the last few years, mostly in North America. 'There are many lessons being learned about how to make plant protein foods efficiently, and if cost points come down and if it is scaled up as some expect it to scale, we may see plant protein replacing animal protein at scale in developing countries,' Roig explains. 'There may be a bridge effect in this, a leap-frogging like what happened with phone technology, skipping over landlines and going right to cell phones. Also, the cost curve for making cultured meat is coming down and this may also displace livestock production.' 2022 summary When asked the major issues for the global feed industry in 2022, Roig says that supply has not been too problematic. However, there has been a lowering of demand due to a mix of cost pressures and inflation for consumers. That is, people are eating less meat. Demand for feed ingredients has also been lowered by the decreased production of pigs and poultry due to African swine fever and avian influenza outbreaks in various parts of the world over the last few years. However, Roig says aquaculture has been growing and that will continue to occur. There have been supply chain disruptions for some specific ingredients, but Roig notes that some categories like amino acids have benefited from these disruptions. That is, because of tensions with China, amino acid firms based in other countries have stepped in to fill market needs. Looking forward to 2023 – 4 major levers 'When I look at 2023 and beyond, I think the industry will have to keep a close watch on 4 major levers,' says Roig. Industry structure 'One is whether the industry structure and competitive environment is sustainable. We have seen much consolidation in Europe and China and other parts of the developed world in the compound feed industry (commercial feed) but in the ingredients and pre-mix sector as well. How these industries will scale themselves in this tough environment remains to be seen.' Conversion efficiency The industry must also keep watch on the importance of conversion efficiency. Roig explains that a great deal of progress has been made with increased feed efficiency in developed countries but there is also a lot of opportunity there for further progress. 'If you can get it higher in poultry and aquaculture, the more animal protein will become viable compared to plant-based protein and/or cultured meat,' he says. Consumer demands The feed and livestock industries must also stay aware of the consumer desire for health and wellness – including a desire for less or no antibiotics in livestock production, especially those used for disease prevention and higher production efficiencies. More care must be taken to address livestock health, says Roig, and reduce early-stage mortality. Therefore, Roig foresees health and welfare product categories will see stronger demand – both those that prevent disease like mycotoxin binders and probiotics, particularly in early-stage production, and botanical products that improve digestion, reduce inflammation and increase feed uptake. One example from ADM is their AquaTrax product, based on published peer-reviewed research on Pichia guilliermondii, a novel yeast with demonstrated positive effects on shrimp immune function. Among other findings, multiple in vivo challenge tests involving various pathogens show approximately 80% higher survival rates in shrimp fed P. guilliermondii compared to the control. Sustainability 'Sustainability is also an issue the industry must leverage,' notes Roig. 'People want the least climate impact and water use possible in meat, milk and egg production. Mechanisms to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in the whole life cycle of the animal are needed. The use of seaweed additives in the diet of ruminants to virtually eliminate methane has been a huge step forward. About a fifth of the world's carbon emissions are from agriculture and most of that is from ruminants. It will continue to be important for livestock farming to prove that it is reducing emissions.' On the ingredient availability side, Roig says shipping rates have calmed down, and production of amino acids and vitamins has resulted outside of China. 'So availability concerns for ingredients are not high,' says Roig. 'The costs are still high but they are on an improvement trend.' Long term outlook Roig predicts that over the next 5 or 10 years, growth rates in the industry will not be what has been expected. 'Consolidation is part of company strategic thinking now, and the realisation that we are in a lower demand environment, as mentioned, will make the industry look at animal health, sustainability and higher conversion efficiency,' he says. There will be growth in animal-based protein (layers and broilers) in Africa, if it is not displaced by plant-based protein, and Roig also expects growth in poultry production in Mexico. 'The other market that will perhaps grow the most is aquaculture and swine in Asia,' he says. 'Those in Asian countries are not willing to move away from animal protein anytime soon. Fish and poultry are the most efficient feed converters, so that's where the growth will be, and they also offer good value proposition for sustainability and animal health.' Environmental impact figures According to a 2013 FAO study, animal agriculture accounts for 7-8 gigatonnes of CO2-eq emissions, or about 15% of the total 50 billion gigatons emitted globally. Global estimates of emissions by species* Source: All About Feed 

Dramatic changes to pet food labels proposed by AAFCO
Formulation
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4+ MIN

Dramatic changes to pet food labels proposed by AAFCO

 Well, there is good news on this front! The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) published their proposed changes to pet food labels recently and the public comment period ended on October 31st. These new changes have been in the works since before 2018 and, if approved, would be added to the AAFCO model regulations, which are published yearly. These changes even after approval wouldn't be implemented immediately – manufacturers would likely have several years to get in full compliance. However, as they have been in the works for so long, it's likely that many manufacturers are anticipating the changes and so, if approved, we could start seeing new labels come out relatively soon after the final guidelines are published (which could be as soon as 2023 or 2024). With the caveat that these are just proposed changes, here are some of the highlights: 1- The Guaranteed Analysis will be replaced with a white box called 'Pet Nutrition Facts' that is designed to look like the 'Nutrition Facts' box on human foods. This box will include the calories per cup or can or other common unit, how many calories come from protein, fat, and carbohydrate, and the amounts of protein, fat, fiber, and moisture plus any additional nutrients that the manufacturer wants to highlight.  There will be variations for different size packages, but the example below would be similar to what would be seen on most dry food packages.While I'm all for additional information and a more standardized format, the proposal to provide nutrient concentrations based on cups or cans or other volume units is really frustrating as comparing the amounts of nutrients between 1 cup of two different dry foods, or between 1 cup of dry food and a can of wet food will be useless if the foods provide different amounts of calories in that same volume unit! In previous posts, we've explained why the best way to compare nutrients between foods is on a calorie or energy basis, and these new labels are an opportunity to 'do it right' that AAFCO seems to be ignoring. AAFCO mockup from 2018. Since then, the 'intended use' line has been removed, but the rest is similar in the latest proposal 2- More clarity on nutritional adequacy. We're discussed 'AAFCO statements' or 'nutritional adequacy statements' before – they are the one item on a pet food label that lets you know whether the food contains all essential nutrients for a particular life stage of a pet. Instead of playing hide and seek with the statement on a large bag full of marketing or in micro print on a small can, it has been proposed that manufacturers will include specific icons on the front of the package to make it clear from a glance whether a product is complete and balanced and for what life stages it is appropriate. If a diet isn't nutritionally complete, such as a treat or a food topper or mixer, this will also be clearly stated. This is a very welcome change as there are a number of diets currently on the market that are not nutritionally balanced, but are labeled in a way that can mislead consumers into thinking that they are balanced. 3- Fiber concentrations on the new label will reflect total dietary fiber, like on human foods, rather than crude fiber. This really excites nutrition nerds like me because crude fiber measurements include less than half of the fiber in some foods, so it is a poor choice to use to compare foods and nutritionists have been complaining about crude fiber for years! Total dietary fiber is a much more accurate measurement of the fiber in a diet. 4- Changes in rules for large breed puppy diets that have undergone feeding trials. Currently, diets that are labeled as being appropriate for large breed puppies (over 70 lb adult weight as defined previously by AAFCO) can either be 'formulated to meet' the AAFCO nutrient profiles for large breed puppies, which put an additional limitation on the calcium concentration compared to diets for smaller puppies, or they can complete a feeding trial. However, that feeding trial is not currently required to be in large breed puppies nor is the calcium required to be limited as in diets that are 'formulated to meet' for large breeds. The new proposed regulations will close that loophole by giving manufacturers the choice of doing a feeding trial in large breed puppies, or doing a feeding trial in smaller puppies but meeting the calcium guidelines in the AAFCO nutrient profiles for large breed growth. While I'd prefer a requirement to use large breed puppies in feeding trials for large breed puppy diets, this change will be an improvement from the current regulations. 5- Instructions for safe handling. Packages will now require the safe handling instructions to be included, which could be in the form of standardized icons for how to store the food, such as to keep frozen or refrigerated, keep in a cool, dry place, etc. Proposed safe handling instruction icons, AAFCO 2022 While these proposed changes aren't perfect, they address a number of the issues that my colleagues and I have had with the current labels for many years. The biggest remaining issue is the current plan to have the Pet Nutrition Facts boxes report nutrients based on volume measurements rather than calories. I know that many colleagues submitted complaints about this specific proposal, so fingers crossed that AAFCO will reconsider this plan.  We'll keep you posted! by Cailin R. Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVIM (Nutrition)  

Critical points in the development of wet food
Formulation
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4+ MIN

Critical points in the development of wet food

By Ludmila Barbi T. Bomcompagni

According to Euromonitor, in 2021, the volume of wet pet food sold in Brazil was approximately 72,000 tons, with a turnover close to 2 billion brazilian reais. This results in a growth of 18% for wet food for cats, and 5% for dogs in the year 2021, compared to 2020. Moist foods, those with humidity greater than 60% according to FEDIAF (2021), are the ones that most resemble fresh foods, which in turn refer guardians to the feeling of providing health and wellbeing to their pets through the food. The development of wet food differs from dry extruded on several points, one being processed. Among many process options, we have extrusion, moist or dry heat cooking, autoclave sterilization, and freezing, among other technologies that guarantee the quality and safety of the final product. But, in addition to the production process, we point out other factors that we consider important in the development of this category of food. Formulation Initially, the formulation of wet foods differs in the choice of ingredients. We can use cereals, flours, and bran in the formula, but there is the possibility of using inputs with a lot of moisture, such as fresh meats and organ meats, vegetables, and fruits, in addition to other sources of nutrients that are limited in the composition of dry foods. As the natural moisture of the ingredients is still present in the final product, its energy density is lower since the nutrients are more diluted. Therefore, in moist and semi-moist food, even if they are complete, the metabolizable energy tends to be up to 4 times lower than in dry extruded food. The metabolizable energy (ME) of cat and pet food is the most accurate measure to express its energy density. The way to calculate the ME of food can be through live digestibility or through prediction equations. Recent studies (Calvez J et al. 2012a, Calvez J et al. 2012b) that compare the precision between the modified Atwater method versus the equations cited by the National Research Council (NRC, 2006) to estimate ME have shown that both provide an equally moderate precision of estimation of the ME, for wet food for dogs and cats. Therefore, formulating the complete wet feed using the FEDIAF (2021) recommended nutrient profile table, based on caloric content rather than dry matter, is the best option to ensure that the requirements of each essential nutrient will be consumed (every 1000 ME kcal of food intake). Palatability The nutritional composition and functional benefit claims attributed that pet food is a strong influence on the owner's purchase decision. However, it is useless to offer pets a correctly balanced food with functional ingredients if it does not consume it. To ensure the correct consumption of industrialized food, whether dry, semi-moist, or moist, it must be tasty and stimulate the pet's appetite through factors known by the pet food industry as "palatability drivers". For this reason, having scientific proof of dogs' and cats' food preferences is essential to develop a palatability agent and test its performance in the product intended. Wet food, by itself, is already recognized by guardians as more palatable or attractive to pets than dry foods. However, the basic composition of the product, the type of processing, the palatability, and the type of packaging, in addition to the pet's eating habits and familiarity with this category, still have an influence. Palatabilizers can be found in liquid or powder form and are produced through the process of enzymatic hydrolysis of animal products and their main function is to attract the dog or cat through the release of aromatic molecules when food is offered. After being applied to the food, palatability measurements must be carried out in specialized panels to verify the increase in performance provided by the additive. The factors that drive palatability in wet food still need to be further explored, but it is already known that the use of plants in the formulation has the ability to increase its appeal compared to the same version without them. Water activity (AW) The control of water activity in dry or wet-processed foods is essential to ensure their quality. The water must not remain entirely in the form of free water since it acts as a means of dispersing nutrients for the development of microorganisms and chemical-enzymatic reactions. To prevent the activity of fungi, yeasts, and bacteria in dry extruded food combined methods are often used, such as drying or dehydration, so that the wáter activity reaches between 0.6 and 0.62. In the case of moist food, high water activity is normal, which if not adjusted will approach 1, reducing its shelf life. To reduce these, we can add solutes, pH control, and conservation methods. However, there is still the possibility of increasing the occurrence of enzymatic and non-enzymatic browning reactions, including fat rancidity, which makes difficult its process (and antioxidants and acids are used to lower the pH). Even so, free water is necessary so that the sensory qualities (softness, chewiness, palatability, among others) are the best possible. In general, in moist and semi-moist products for dogs and cats, we reduce aw with the use of technological additives such as thickeners, stabilizers, and emulsifiers: gums, glycerin, lecithin, propylene glycol, carboxymethylcellulose and even ingredients that also help reduce it, such as starches, sugars and sources of soluble fiber. By: Eliane Gil Gatto, Ludmila Barbi and Erika Stasieniuk

Natural Pet Food
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Natural Pet Food

The pet food industry instilled the idea that only dry extruded pet food had all the nutrients and the rest of pet food sources were not correct. Research has come a long way, and today industries can already produce foods with a high inclusion of protein sources and nutrients. Research has gone further, and even medicated foods have been manufactured with the aim of  alleviate bone wear, heart problems, obesity and urinary problems in our beloved pets. It turns out that, in recent years, it has been proven that all this is not exactly true. There are foods that dogs and cats can´t really eat due to the toxicological conditions that these type of pet foods can cause to them.  But in general, it´s possible to balance a diet for dogs and cats using the same foods we eat and even giving a touch of refinement to the formulas. In some of them you can use mushrooms, pumpkins, seeds such as flaxseed and yeast for better digestion. Oils with excellent sources of fatty acids are also used, which help fight diseases and regenerate cells in the body, preventing heart disease, among others. The most used are coconut oil, linseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, as well as the  tastiest and cheapest... lard. Other ingredients can also be used, such as whole grains, meats, vegetables and legumes, turning the animal's food into an explosion of flavours, nutrients and, of course, providing satiety. The process of this mixture of ingredients is done as we do it at home. Ingredients are properly mixed and packed, the packages are placed inside an autoclave (equipment that resembles a pressure cooker), which will cook the ingredients for a certain period of time. The cooking time will depend on the formulation and the temperature varies between 100 and 110ºC. The distribution of these products has been a challenge for the companies committed to this new market niche, since it´s a food with high percentage of moisture. Logistics are required, in addition to packaging that ensures the product has a shelf life and expiration date as long as that of its main dry pet food competitors. Another point to take into account are the oxidative sources, light and oxygen, which can reach these foods and reduce shelf life.Some companies make the presentation of these products in vacuum transparent plastic containers, but later, they are placed in a cardboard container, to protect them from light. Companies offering canned products have less risk; however, the investment is greater in this type of packaging. Canned goods are assured the product will have the validity shown on the label, unless the packaging suffers any damage.This market niche is going down an uncertain path, because in less than 2 years there has been an explosion of brands that offer products with different formulations.
They are products with good prices in the market, but since the market is so competitive, few companies will remain on top. The rest of the companies will compete to guarantee their products on the shelves The best way to work with this product is to enter a market niche that encourages people to feed their pets a natural diet, free of GMOs and colorants. Examples of this are pet parents who are concerned about the health of those pets that suffer from food allergy problems or need to lose weight, vegan parents who want to incorporate their pets into eating habits or a different lifestyle such as a vegetarian diet. In these cases, products such as milk, eggs, meat meal or even pieces of meat will be excluded from the diet, which will be replaced by vegetable ingredients, enriched with omega 3 and 6 vegetables, supplemented with essential vitamins and amino acids such as Vitamin A, L-Carnitine and L-Taurine in the case of cats.     The market is very encouraging for the development of new products, technologies and flavours. We need to take advantage of the technologies that are within our reach, to make life easier for parents and thus prolong the life of their pets. Today it´s possible to offer a healthy and nutrient-rich diet to our pets, either in the form of dry or natural food. The important thing is to be updated on the news and opportunities offered by the market. The lesson we take from all this is that our parents, grandparents or even ourselves, in the past we did well to share our food with our pets. It´s likely we didn´t give them a balanced diet, but we weren´t contributing to their illness, since there was almost always meat, cereals and sometimes some vegetables within the food we offered to them. by Rafael Resende Silva - R2S Consultoria
www.portalr2s.com.br   Source: All Pet Food
 

Soft Kibbles in Pet Food:  A step forward in the trend towards humanization
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Soft Kibbles in Pet Food: A step forward in the trend towards humanization

Many pets prefer wet food over dry food because they have textures similar to meat and are easy to eat or chew. On the other hand, they can be more complicated to offer, they are usually less available in the market and are almost always more expensive. Some owners may not like them because they generate some mess during the intake. Soft kibbles combine the benefits of wet foods with the ease, availability and practicality of dry foods. Soft or semi-moist kibbles refer to dry kibbles with a soft, elastic texture and a higher percentage of moisture compared to traditional dry pet foods. They´re an intermediate between dry and wet pet food or sauce. In the market you can find pet foods with only soft kibbles or in combination with dry foods. Every day there are more and more manufacturers that incorporate this type of innovation in their formulas, since many pets prefer them and we can produce them on the same production line as dry pet food.  For the manufacturing of soft kibbles, it´s necessary to incorporate additives that provide plasticity, moisturizing properties, emulsifying, texturizing and palatant agents. The elaboration process includes variables whose purpose is to achieve high gelatinization and expansion of starches, moisture retention (15-17%) and care for the integrity of the kibble itsef. The success lies in great extend on the managment to keep the soft kibbles stable over time, even if they are mixed with dry food. The final product achieves higher moisture at a low Aw (0.65) thanks to the inclusion of moisturizing ingredients. These help keep this value low, helping to keep pet food free of microbial growth and with a long shelf life. By achieving a stable increase of moisture within the Kibbles, it´s possible to recover row material, which will be reflected in economic terms at the end of the day. Palatability and acceptability are markedly increased in dry pet foods that include a percentage of soft kibbles. As we can see in Table 1, the intake ratio is consistently higher in a food with 15% soft kibbles, compared to a food without inclusion. Both textures, soft and crispy, and meat flavors are synergistically combined, generating greater attraction to the food. For this test, the kibbles  were produced using the formula proposed by Callizo Aromas and incorporating the Zoasoft additive.     The production of soft kibbles also requires paying special attention to the selection of the ingredients included in the formula, and to the conditioning and extrusion process. These are going to be key to the successfull production of  this type of pet  food. Drying, mixing and packaging are variables that must also be managed to ensure the product keeps its properties. With the inclusion of soft kibbles in the mix, it´s possible to overcome a barrier towards humanization, which constitutes a very important innovative marketing tool. Undoubtedly it has become in an instrument of marketing, differentiation, relaunch and positioning of the brand. Written by Callizo Aromas Source: All Pet Food 

How to give your cat Wet and Dry Pet Food: The perfect combination is Mixed Feeding
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How to give your cat Wet and Dry Pet Food: The perfect combination is Mixed Feeding

Our cats walk, sleep peacefully, play on the carpet or do any other cuteness that gets thousands of likes on Instagram. Raise your hand whoever hasn't stopped for a while to look at cat reels and time has run out. They are so enigmatic, elegant, special, interested, sensitives and funny... and they have been living with us for approximately 10 thousand years. In Spain, almost 4 million domestic cats were registered in 2020, according to the European pet food industry, a figure somewhat lower than that the one of dogs, but higher than the previous year. And yet, many times we still have doubts about how to feed them so they don't get too fat or get sick, and also to make them happy. Is it better to give them only dry pet food? Only wet pet food? Both? It is a frequent question among cat parents. The answer is easy: both. This is what is called 'mixed feeding', a method that consists of combining dry and wet pet food in your cat's daily diet to obtain the maximum benefits of both formats for the well-being of your cat. Both dry and wet pet food are suitable for your cat if you choose them correctly and adapt them to their daily needs Dry food has multiple benefits, such as helping to keep teeth cleaner; convenience when dosing and keeping it; the fact that it keeps better if we leave it in the bowl all day (something useful for the cat who eats just a  little during the whole day, as it would in nature), and that´s  somewhat cheaper than wet food. Wet pet food is attractive to felines, which are generally very demanding with food, and it is emerging as a great option to stimulate their appetite. It´s fragrant, its texture is juicy, its flavors are delicious and varied... Cats prefer it since kittens choose food for its smell and texture and not so much for its taste.     The great benefits of wet pet food are two. On one hand, it provides a lot of water, essential for a species that -due to its desert origin- tends to drink little and concentrate its urine for a long time. 'Cats are prone to urinary tract problems and wet pet food can help them prevent this type of pathology,' explains Beatriz Martínez, a veterinary expert in nutrition at Hospital Veteralia Movet. On the other hand, it is a great supplement that provides essential nutrients to our cat, especially if he is a kitty with little appetite (a classic), a senior (the soft texture will help him chew more easily) or a cat with some type of illness. And it is that the variety is the taste: by having a wide range of alternatives and textures, it´s easier to find your preferences. Truths and Myths of wet pet Food Wet cat food is more unknown than dry. There are many myths surrounding this format of feeding for kittens, which usually comes rationed in individual bags or cans with pieces of meat or minced meat in sauce, creamy pâté, fish fillets, mousse, puree, jelly or broth. For example, there is a tendency to think that wet food will make the pussycat fat, when the reality is that, due to its humidity, it is less caloric than dry food. The key to keeping your cat from gaining weight is, above all, to respect the portions and the calories that the cat needs. When choosing a wet diet for our cat, we must pay attention that it meets its nutritional needs and is adapted to its age and condition (whether it is sterilized or not, if it suffers from any disease...). It will be your veterinarian who can best detail what amount is recommended based on his age, energy and state of health. 'The ideal is to combine both diets, the dry one for better conservation and comfort and the wet one to continue stimulating its appetite with tasty textures, in addition to compensating for that possible lack of hydration, and also in special cases of disease or age of the feline' , states the veterinarian. by La Vanguardia

What are phospholipids and why are they important for your pets?
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What are phospholipids and why are they important for your pets?

And there's more to phospholipids than being an integral part of cells, they are responsible for carrying long-chain omega-3s EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) into your pets cell membranes.  Now, these essential fatty acids in the form of EPA and DHA are more effectively incorporated into cell membranes when bound to phospholipids which is crucial to obtaining the health effects of omega-3s. Once in place in the cell membranes, the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA can support the health of many vital organs, including the heart, kidney, liver, joints, brain, eyes, skin, and coat. The importance of phospholipid omega-3s Dogs and cats can't produce these essential fatty acids by themselves, that's why they need a specific diet to get enough of these essential nutrients and live a long and healthy life. Antarctic krill is a superior source of marine omega-3s because its essential fatty acids EPA and DHA are bound to phospholipids. This means that pets can take full advantage of the health benefits associated with these essential omega-3 fatty acids. Marine omega-3s can improve the skin and coat of your pets, can reduce cardiovascular risk or ensures normal brain and vision development, among many other important health effects. Phospholipids vs triglycerides There are also other marine sources of omega-3s, like fish oil, where these fatty acids are delivered in triglyceride form. Now, this type of omega-3 has been a long-term ingredient in pet food. When pets have a diet based on triglyceride omega-3s (or fish oil), their body has to first convert these essential fatty acids into phospholipids before they can be incorporated into cell membranes. It has been shown that triglyceride omega-3s are also more likely to be used as energy or stored as fat. All this means that a smaller amount of this type of omega-3s will actually reach the cell membranes and have an effect on the health of your pet.  As phospholipid omega-3s are less available as energy, they are more efficiently incorporated into cell membranes where they can make a difference in your pet's life. What are the studies saying There are multiple studies showing the benefits of a diet based on phospholipid omega-3s for dogs and cats. The difference between phospholipids and triglycerides has been investigated in a 6-week study done by Aker BioMarine. The study was done on 20 Alaskan Huskies, 10 of them receiving a daily diet based on EPA and DHA from krill meal, while the other ten received EPA and DHA from fish oil. At the end of the study, there has been a 62% increase in the Omega-3 Index in the krill meal group, with the triglyceride fish oil group having only a 21% increase. This study shows that phospholipid omega-3s from krill are more effective in raising omega-3 levels in a dog's body compared to triglyceride omega-3s from fish oil.  QRILL Pet is a unique marine ingredient for pets QRILL Pet is one of the super-premium krill ingredients you can find out there. Made only from whole Antarctic krill, QRILL Pet is a functional marine ingredient that is added to pet food, treats and supplements. In addition to phospholipid omega-3s, QRILL Pet is naturally rich in the essential nutrient choline, the antioxidant astaxanthin and highly palatable marine proteins.  by Aysen Korucu - Marketing Manager - Qrill Pet

Pet Food gets a Human Makeover.
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Pet Food gets a Human Makeover.

Pets are playing an increasingly large role in our lives – Nielsen data shows that the number of consumers who consider their pet a family member increased by 7% between 2007-2016, and 42% of UK pet food buyers consider their pet a 'foodie' [often defined as a gourmet; a person with a refined taste and particular interest in food] (Mintel, 2020). According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 'Trends in companion animal nutrition often mirror trends in human nutrition, reflecting the desire for of pet owners to feed diets they consider healthy and beneficial for the well-being of their pets.' Little wonder, then, that as people become more aware of their personal health and nutrition, pet-food companies are successfully appealing to them with attributes that they can understand and personally relate to, including: Sustainability: Sustainability is becoming a key concern for Western consumers, and a well-thought-out sustainability strategy is a basic 'must-do' for every company in every corner of the food and beverage industry – now also including pet food. Words such as 'sustainably sourced' and 'grass-fed' are increasingly seen on pet-food packaging. Pet-food manufacturers have a unique opportunity to valorise by-products from human food manufacture that would otherwise be thrown away. Provenance: There is rising demand for products made by local and smaller producers, with such products often considered more sustainable, safe, genuine and authentic. In human food and beverage, 75% of consumers consider country of origin to be as important – and sometimes even more important – than other purchase criteria such as quality or price (Nielsen). It's no different in the pet-food world, where products that carry claims such as 'locally raised' and 'proudly made in…' abound.  Clean label and natural: Promoting pet-food products as 'all natural' or 'organic' is becoming increasingly popular – a reflection of what is happening in human nutrition, where consumers increasingly prefer natural foods made in a kitchen to over-processed products with long ingredient lists. Plant-based: This is perhaps one of the more unexpected trends to have spread into pet nutrition (mainly dog nutrition), with dogs generally being considered strict carnivores. But 34% of UK dog food buyers believe it is good for pets to regularly have a plant-based meal instead of a meat-based one (Mintel). This belief is supported by vets and scientists, although always with the warning that pet owners must ensure their dog's diet is balanced and nutritionally adequate. Digestive wellness: With many pets having sensitive digestive systems, the desire to care for this is a key priority for many owners. According to Mintel, 76% of cat and dog food buyers believe that actively looking after pets' digestive health is essential for their overall health and 44% buyers said they would have positive beliefs about pet-food products claiming to contain 'good bacteria'.  Personalisation: The past few years have seen a fragmentation of consumers' beliefs about what 'healthy nutrition' entails, with people making up their own minds about what is good for them and why. Personalised nutrition has grown in popularity and started to spill over into the pet nutrition market. Research has shown that nearly half (45%) of pet-food buyers would be willing to pay to have their pet's DNA tested to identify the healthiest diet for their animal friend. Some pet-food manufacturers now offer personalised meal kits, with some brands even offering to base this personalised diet on the animal's blood work. The spread of human nutrition trends into the world of pet food is likely to continue. Pet food manufacturers need to monitor the situation and adapt accordingly. As consumers are becoming more aware of their own personal health, there is a significant opportunity for the pet food industry to capitalise on that by offering products and concepts that humans can relate to, believe in, and consider 'healthy' or 'good' enough to feed their pet. by  Julian Mellentin, New Nutrition Business
 

Majority of Pet Owners Are "Obsessed" With This Food, Says Data
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Majority of Pet Owners Are "Obsessed" With This Food, Says Data

Only the best for our fur babies! This is according to a new Chewy.com survey about premium pet foods, which has fetched some telling new trends. When it comes to feeding our pets, it's clear that the majority of us are adamant that our fur babies eat as healthy as we do. The online pet products destination polled 1,500 cat and dog owners about what they look for when it comes to mealtime, and found that millennials and Gen X shoppers are "health-obsessed," with 52% of shoppers looking for pet food that has strictly "clean" ingredients. Meanwhile, 75% of millennial and Generation X pet parents "are especially interested in grain-free, organic and non-GMO food with 75 percent choosing these options," reports Pet Product News. Meanwhile, 87% said it's important to check the label, searching for keywords like "premium, natural, organic and USDA organic, high-quality nutrition, high protein, weight control, healthy, superfood, ancient grain, limited-ingredient, non-GMO, farm-fresh, and preservative-free." Similar to the local-ish ways we shop for ourselves, 84% of us are looking for pet foods that are made in the U.S., the survey found. Based on these findings, maybe it's not surprising that 89% of respondents believe it's important for pets to eat the highest-quality ingredients available, and 82% are willing to pay for those. With all this in mind, Chewy has partnered with Canada's Champion Pet Foods to launch specific destinations on their site where pet owners can find premium foods, or what Chewy calls "the highest-quality ingredients for superior nutrition and health." For pet owners and the cats and dogs we love, finding a one-stop destination for pet food that comes minus fillers, artificial ingredients, and dyes is definitely a treat. by Krissy Gasbarre   

Dogs Are Not Small Humans
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Dogs Are Not Small Humans

As a veterinary nutritionist, I must first focus on the differences in nutrition and feeding behaviors in dogs. As humans, we hopefully eat a varied diet which may help to meet our nutritional requirements. (Note, I am not a human nutritionist.) That said, most of us do not understand or calculate our total nutritional needs nor do we measure each nutrient in our meals to ensure we are getting enough, or too much of, each nutrient. My guess is that this likely leads to subclinical or clinical deficiencies in nutrients we are typically blissfully unaware of until there is an issue. What we eat is often dictated by availability, cost, and culture. I often think we do better with nutrition for our pets. Over the years we have studied canine nutrient requirements and have identified essential nutrients that when fed at specific amounts prevent deficiencies over time. We have also identified functional ingredients that further help to improve health when given at specific amounts. We utilize this information when formulating complete and balanced dog foods. When feeding dogs human table foods and creating homemade diets which do not take these requirements into consideration, we can see many nutrient deficiencies.1,2,3,4 The most regularly encountered in the literature are zinc, choline, copper, EPA + DHA, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, cobalamin, vitamin D, and vitamin E.1,5 Based on experience another common nutrient deficiency when dogs are fed homemade poultry-free diets is linoleic acid. In addition, since it is not commonplace for most owners to calculate the energy content of the diet they are feeding, dogs will often be underfed if they are large dogs and over-fed if they are small dogs resulting in weight loss or gain, respectively. Humans and dogs have significantly different nutrient requirements. Dogs have a higher protein requirement, and they cannot produce vitamin D from the sun. For humans, vitamin D is only conditionally essential since it can be synthesized with ultraviolet B radiation of the skin from 7-dehydrocholesterol. Therefore, supplementation is only needed when exposed to ultraviolet light is limited.  However, dogs (and cats) have very little 7-dehydrocholesterol in their skin and so they can't produce vitamin D in this manner, and it must be in the diet. Unlike humans, dogs can produce vitamin C during the normal metabolism of glucose and thus do not have a vitamin C requirement. Dogs also have unique feeding behaviors as anyone who has watched them gobble up cat litter-covered poop pops from the box can attest. At this point in their domestication dogs are dependent on humans for food. As for their natural feeding behaviors, we can look to feral populations and laboratory environments to gain information. Wild dogs hunt in packs and typically hunt medium-sized to large prey including deer and caribou. A dog can readily consume their entire daily caloric needs in just a few minutes in a single meal.   Conversely, dogs offered free access to food in a laboratory setting will eat 4 to 8, or frequent smaller meals throughout the daylight hours with some breeds also eating during the night as well.6 So although adult dogs often do well with multiple small meals throughout the day they can also tolerate twice-daily feedings. Our dogs seem to enjoy certain foods, treats, and novelties and these offer a way to stimulate them in what could otherwise be a monotonous environment. Yet, we would not expect a dog to smell and take the time to savor its meal the way we might if we went home for Nonna's cooking. That means that using food and food dispensing toys to encourage environmental and mental stimulation and hand-feeding while training is very important. However, please keep in mind that many dogs do well, or even better, with a consistent well-balanced diet and do not necessarily need a rotation of flavors or types of food.  There is one area where dogs and humans are similar. Each dog, like each person, is an individual. While one dog may benefit from a high-fat, high-protein diet, fed once daily to accommodate for its athletic activities, another dog may experience severe GI upset when fed in that manner. It is common for nutritional fads for humans to make their way into marketing for new dog foods which can pose nutrition and health risks. One concerning trend is to try to incorporate new and novel ingredients that are not well understood into the diet and supplements. While benefits of these ingredients are certainly possible so is the risk of toxicities and nutrient interactions. Companies should exercise caution when investigating new ingredients and owners should be careful about using novel or multiple supplements without discussing it with their veterinarian. It is not just nutrition and metabolism that makes dogs different from humans, but fundamentally who they are as a species. Dogs are meant to run and sniff. They need their human to fulfill their part of the human-animal bond by providing an enriching life alongside rules and boundaries that keep dogs safe and happy. Their individual breeds may also be genetically wired to herd, hunt, protect, or be a companion. When we try to make them into small humans by carrying them when they can walk and not giving them opportunities to explore and be comfortable in their environment with and without us, we cut off a portion of who they really are. When we do not help them understand appropriate or inappropriate behavior through consistency and training and providing appropriate outlets for behaviors that can be dangerous in certation situations, we see an increase in anxiety and destructive behaviors. Over the years I have had more and more dog owners requesting medication to modify anxiety and undesirable behaviors when it would be more appropriately managed with behavioral modification and preventative measures such as training and exercise. While there are times when medications can reduce stress enough to help make behavioral modification more successful, it is not meant to be the quick-fix people desire. The best measure to take against having your beloved pup live its healthiest life mentally and physically is to remember they are in fact dogs, with different nutritional and behavioral needs than humans. by Renee Streeter, DVM, DAVCIM - BSM Partners    

Myth-Busting False Claims about Pet Food
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Myth-Busting False Claims about Pet Food

In this feature of The Whole Bowl, we want to provide facts that debunk the most startling false claims often made about pet food.  PFI's members make 98 percent of all U.S. pet food and treats. For us and for our members, pets are part of the family. We understand the careful thought pet lovers put into what they feed, and how they care for, their dogs and cats. As pet food makers, our members know they are responsible for providing the sole source of nutrition for most of America's pets—they take the responsibility of producing safe, healthy pet food very seriously.  Myth: Feeding dry pet food will 'de-hydrate' your pet.  Fact: Dry pet food is one of many healthy, nutritious pet food options available.  As we addressed in another blog post, pets need plenty of fresh drinking water, and pet food companies include hydration guidelines in feeding guidelines on pet food packages. Ensuring your pet is properly hydrated helps keep its body systems functioning normally and better able to absorb and digest the nutrients provided in pet food.  In addition, most commercial pet food recipes — wet, dry, fresh, limited-ingredient or raw-infused — are formulated to be 'complete and balanced,' meaning they provide total nutrition for the life stage of your pets – more than 40 different nutrients in all. Each of these recipes include protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and certain amino acids.  Myth: Carbohydrates are bad for pets.  Fact: Carbohydrates are beneficial to dogs and cats. Carbohydrates often get a bad rap, but carbohydrates actually provide your pet with quick energy that can help spare protein for use in supporting other bodily functions. Carbohydrates also can be a good source of fiber, which promotes gut health and motility. Certain sources of carbohydrates (such as corn) also provide essential nutrients such as protein, fat, fiber and vitamins.  Did You Know: Dogs, along with their human companions, became more adept at digesting carbohydrates about 5,000 years ago, once farming replaced hunting and gathering?  Myth: Using unhealthy by-products in pet food is a cheap way for pet food companies to keep production costs low.  Fact: By-products are nutrient-rich ingredients. By-products are the animal- and plant-based ingredients produced during the processing of human food and provide key nutrients that your dog or cat requires. Some animal-based by-products may not seem appealing to us, but they are safe, nutrient-dense and flavorful for pets. However, if you choose to purchase pet food that does not contain animal-based by-products, there are many options on the shelf.  Myth: No one regulates pet food.  Fact: As the sole source of nutrition for most dogs and cats, pet food is among the most highly regulated of all food categories in the United States. Commercially prepared pet food is well-studied and well-understood. Pet food companies are committed to food safety, and they invest millions of dollars to advance food quality and safety. In addition, they must also meet strict standards set by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture and state regulators.  Did You Know: In order for an ingredient to be used in a commercial pet food recipe, it must either follow the FDA approval/review process or be recognized by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which develops model regulations for state-level regulation of pet food? Claims that pet foods are made of low-quality fillers and 'toxic' ingredients do not stand up to the facts.  Myth: Commercial pet food causes allergies and seizures.  Fact: Just like people, some pets are predisposed to food allergies, or develop an allergy later in life. Less than 10% of pets are diagnosed with a food allergy. If you think that your pet is suffering from a food allergy, it is critical to take your pet to a veterinarian, who can help identify the environmental factor that may be bothering your pet. If your pet does have a food allergy, there are commercial pet foods available designed to help support pets with severe allergies to certain proteins and other food ingredients.  Myth: The 2007 pet food melamine recalls are proof there is a problem with the pet food industry.  Fact: Recalls are a critical preventative step in the U.S. food safety system. Pet food makers conduct safety testing throughout the manufacturing process and, should they detect a potential issue, they can quickly remove a product from the market through a recall. PFI members support the Food Safety Modernization Act and cooperate with the U.S. FDA to ensure the safety of pet foods. A list of all FDA-regulated human and pet food recalls is available online.  The 2007 pet food recalls were the tragic result of intentional, criminal adulteration of safe ingredients used in human and pet foods (wheat gluten and rice protein) for economic gain. As soon as the adulterated ingredient was identified, pet food makers worked with FDA to ensure the affected products were recalled from the market. Pet food makers now test for a variety of substances, and work within their supply chains to confirm ingredient safety.  Myth: Commercial pet food is the cause of rising prevalence of pet obesity.  Fact: Weight gain is the result of too many calories consumed and too few calories burned — no matter the food. It's easy for pets to consume more calories than they need, just as people can. Pet owners need to closely monitor pets' food intake and provide them with sufficient exercise. For this reason, pet food packages include feeding guidelines to help pet owners and their veterinarians determine the appropriate amount of food to give a cat or dog based on life-stage, activity level and other factors.   by Pet Food Institute 

Scoular is 4 years ahead of its 5-year pet segment plan
Formulation
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7+ MIN

Scoular is 4 years ahead of its 5-year pet segment plan

Known by many worldwide as a grain ingredient supplier across the human food, pet food and animal feed industries, Scoular has also supplied animal protein ingredients for several years. In Sept. 2020, the company launched Petsource as a wholly owned subsidiary of Scoular to co-manufacture freeze-dried ingredients, treats and complete and balanced diets for the pet food industry. Scoular expected to eventually expand the Petsource facility but the need for that occurred more quickly than expected. We designed the layout in order to expand,' said Amy Patterson, president of Petsource. 'We anticipated doing that in three to five years but based on significant demand, the growth that our customers are seeing in their brands and our desire to continue to be a support and a solution for them, we are launching into the expansion far faster. 'Initially we anticipated doubling our footprint but, again because of capacity needs and the knowledge that we have built, we have the confidence to actually triple the capacity of the facility,' Patterson shared. 'That's specific to freeze drying but it also allows us to triple all of our raw processing and our refrigerated food solutions for our customers. We're excited to bring that to the marketplace far earlier than we anticipated and to continue to help grow with our customers. It will be one of the largest [freeze-drying facilities] dedicated to pet food through this expansion.' It's unique for the established ingredient supplier to offer finished product manufacturing. 'Traditionally, full-scale manufacturing isn't a space where Scoular has spent a lot of time, but we had confidence that we could,' said Paul Maass, chief executive office of Scoular. 'We reached out to Amy for her experience, and she's done a terrific job. 'The foundation for Petsource started with listening to our customers and what solutions they needed,' Maass explained. 'There was capacity constraint in the marketplace, and somebody had to step in there. So, we looked at it and said why can't Scoular take that step and solve that for our customers and that's where the creation of Petsource came from. We've had a long history of listening to customers and looking for solutions.' With the pet food industry's sustained growth, Scoular customers were reporting inadequate capacity in the marketplace in several areas including the freeze-dry marketplace, particularly capacity in freeze drying dedicated to pet food manufacturing. The Petsource facility in Seward, Neb. is an end-to-end solution from ingredients entering the raw side of the facility through meat processing, freeze drying and finished packaging solutions. 'High value proteins and the ability to offer a finished manufactured solution was an opportunity for us to not only be confident in the raw material supply but now also in the manufacturing of those finished goods, and knowing that we had control over each of the steps was really important to us,' Patterson said. 'At the end of the day, the freeze-dried product is still a raw feeding option for pets. To control the process from the frozen protein state all the way to the freeze-dried finished good is important from a food safety perspective. We married the knowledge we had around the raw material side and our manufacturing expertise to deliver what we believe is a really exciting and high-trust product to our brand owners.' Maass said in the pet food industry there are still a lot of functions in the freeze-dried space where meat processing is done in one location, freeze drying in a different location and packaging completed somewhere else. Petsource is able to focus on food safety and high-quality freeze-dried production dedicated to the pet food market all under one roof. Designed for raw safety Patterson emphasized that Petsource believes, as does many of its brand partners, in raw food options for pets. To maintain the quality and confidence in its raw formats, Petsource employs high pressure pasteurization (HPP), stringent quality testing protocols and hold-and-release processes at each stage of the manufacturing. 'Some manufacturers may see that as cumbersome and unnecessary,' Patterson said. 'We see it as absolutely critical to ensure that each step of our process builds that confidence before product goes out our door.' The Petsource facility is designed with two sides, a raw side and a ready-to-eat side. Even though the finished product is considered a raw state, there are different handling standards within each side of the facility. All the color schemes on the raw side of the building are red, from the floor to the sanitation sites to the clothing the operators wear. And similarly on the ready-eat side, a gray color scheme is used. All employee welfare areas – the locker rooms, the break rooms, the production rooms – are specific to employees' work zone.  Everything is duplicated within the facility in order to maintain that separation between raw and ready to eat. 'With high pressure pasteurization, that is a multi-log step reduction and we have that done outside of our facility,' Patterson explained. 'That is the only part of our process we do offsite. But the product enters in through separate dock doors. It goes through specific handling so that it can enter into the ready-to-eat side of the facility with the clear separation and segregation of not only our people but also the environment, with the air handling units and the temperature control managed independently in the two portions of the facility.' Less than six months after manufacturing began, Petsource received an SQF audit and scored an excellent rating.'These are our four-legged family members that we are feeding,' Patterson said. 'Every decision we make ensures that a food safety mindset is top of mind and building that within a team that is brand new was a collective effort with our operations, our food safety and our quality teams. I'm extremely proud of that third-party validation.' Investing across all market segments Recent investments by Scoular specific to the pet food industry include the opening of Petsource in Sept. 2020 plus its planned expansion announced Nov. 2021; the opening of the Emerge™ facility Dec. 7, 2021, which produces concentrated barley protein for use in pet food and aquafeed; and a new partnership to build an Encompass™ fishmeal processing facility in Warrenton, Ore., which will provide fishmeal and fish oil to pet food and aquaculture manufacturers.   Maass pointed out that these are just a portion of the company's overall investments across its core business segments. Notable projects include last year's opening of its new high-speed flax processing facility  in Regina, Canada, the move to a new global headquarters in Omaha, Neb., on Dec. 15, 2021, and  expansion of several  grain handling and storage facilities in Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. 'We have a lot of investments that we are making to support our businesses and the growth opportunities that we see,' Maass said. 'These investments, including those in the pet segment, speak to the broad depth of what we have going on across the entire company. We are absolutely all in on pet food. We're investing in it and love it. And we're equally as invested in our other core businesses and we're investing in them as well.' Maass says Scoular strives to be a trusted partner providing innovative solutions to the industries it serves. 'We are listening to our customers,' Maass explained. 'We have curiosity about what's really going on in their world and we are a trusted partner to deliver an answer for them. In the freeze-dry space, we've taken the steps to offer something that is very unique from a safety and quality perspective, and we continue to see more demand than there is supply.' That steady demand is what prompted Scoular to quickly move ahead with the Petsource expansion and triple its capacity. 'We have a lot of confidence in our customers, and we have a lot of confidence in our team,' Maass said. 'We couldn't triple our capacity [at Petsource] if we didn't believe in both. As a team, we make sure we are engaging externally, have a pulse on what's happening and make informed decisions of how best to offer solutions that will help our customers. We recognize the pace of change is accelerating every day. We've got to be agile.' Patterson attributes the company's longevity and success to being a responsive company to both its customers and its team members, as well as embracing flexibility. 'Having the ability to be responsive to customers' needs and to do it in a responsible way has guided Scoular through the last nearly 130 years,' Patterson said. 'We lead with that mindset of integrity and doing the right things in the right ways. It's why I've been so proud to be part of Scoular the last several years.' By Jennifer Semple - Pet Food Processing

Krill for Cats and Dogs
Formulation
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2+ MIN

Krill for Cats and Dogs

Research shows that consumers are spending more money on their pets' food than ever before, with the aim to keep them healthy and happy. According to recent data, Americans spent more than $103 billion on their pets in 2020. With each consecutive year, US pet industry expenditures have gone up. It's safe to say that a well-balanced diet comprised of essential nutrients is key. In the next few years, we will likely see more pet food and supplement brands utilizing functional ingredients that offer proven health benefits. The inclusion of nutraceutical ingredients such as probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins will become the norm. It's very likely that these ingredients will rank at the highest quality, comparable to human-grade level. Omegas for Pet Health Every pet food formula contains fats, which should be a balanced combination of the essential omega 6s and omega 3s. Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most important nutrients to support long-term health for humans and pets. Since pets and people cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids in their bodies, we all need to include them in our diets. There are many omega-3 choices on the market, making it essential to understand the important differences in sources and how they are delivered in the bodies of animals. Omega-3 fatty acids can be plant-based from sources such as flaxseeds (in the form of ALA) or can come from a marine source like fish or krill (in the form of EPA and DHA). Krill-Based Omega 3 Supplements Krill is increasingly popular. The tiny crustaceans called krill make up one of the largest biomasses on our planet. Krill happens to be an increasingly popular option in the pet nutrition space for many health benefits, including skin and coat; liver, joint, brain, and heart health; and immune system function. In fact, krill may be more efficient than other omega-3 options and can start to show results for pets at an early age. Its high incorporation and uptake of EPA and DHA into your pet's cells makes it a great option for pets of all ages. In addition to its many health benefits, krill is a sustainable ingredient. People consume omega 3s as part of their healthy lifestyle, but at the same time, it's important to know that these supplements come from sustainable sources. Pets can now benefit from all the same omega-3 benefits from krill as their human companions. By Andrew Fuente -  Sales Director QRILL Pet - Americas

Two companies join forces to help extend the lives of dogs
Formulation
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2+ MIN

Two companies join forces to help extend the lives of dogs

With an investment of over $25 million pesos and exhaustive research and scientific development work applied to canine medicine, Juvenia Nutrition was created, a new dry pet food for adult dogs produced by Grupo Molino Chacabuco, with a powerful antioxidant core based on of resveratrol, developed exclusively and in the process of being patented by Microsules. The Argentine laboratory with more than 53 years of experience in the pharmaceutical sector managed to transfer to veterinary nutrition, an antiaging substance of natural origin and widely used in human medicine. The result: a functional food that nourishes and incorporates a powerful antioxidant into the body, that helps reduce muscle, cognitive and bone deterioration in canines as a result of aging. This is in line with the growing trend of pets in Argentine households (three out of four households have at least one canine companion); and responsible ownership entails paying special attention to their diet; especially in the case of adults who require special care, and it's there where those pet food that can improve their quality of life are a priority For his part, Mr. Tomás Crespo Tassara, General Manager of Grupo Molino Chacabuco, was "very proud to be part of this alliance between two Argentine companies that keep investing in technology to achieve quality products that are at the forefront of the demanding quality standards of the Industry." "By adding Juvenia Nutrition, it  allows us to reach the consumer with a novel proposal at the most sophisticated level of the pet food market, complementing our portfolio of products with which for more than twenty years we´ve been participating in the intermediate brand segment, being Raza one of the benchmarks in the category, currently exporting to several countries of the region", Crespo Tassara concludes by All Pet food

Feeding Puppies
Formulation
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3+ MIN

Feeding Puppies

Well don't worry, we're here to help! With a quick look at some of the fundamentals of feeding you'll soon have no trouble finding the very best food for your brand new best friend! Puppy nutritional needs After weaning, which usually occurs when the puppy is 4-6 weeks of age, puppies essentially require all of the same nutrients from their diet as adult dogs but because they are growing they need more of some of them per pound of bodyweight than their fully-grown counterparts. It's particularly important that puppies receive plenty of good quality protein from their diet as well as the right level of fat and certain important minerals like calcium and phosphorus for healthy development. Meat is the best source of protein for dogs as it tends to be easier for dogs to digest and utilise than other forms of protein like those from plants. A good diet for a puppy should therefore include meat as the first ingredient and meat should make up a good proportion of the food as a whole. Puppy-specific vs all-lifestage foods For puppies, store-bought pet foods come in two forms: 1. Puppy-Specific foods
These foods are made to cater specifically for the nutritional needs of puppies. For that reason they usually feature higher levels of protein, fat and the important minerals to allow for healthy growth and development. 2. All-lifestage foods
Another way to increase the amount of protein, fat and minerals going into your puppy is just to feed a 'regular' food, but more of it. This is essentially the idea behind 'all-lifestage' foods. Although this approach is not as tailored as a puppy-specific food, it is arguably the more 'natural' way to feed puppies since dogs in the wild, along with all other mammals including us humans, tend to eat more or less the same foods throughout our lives after weaning, only varying the quantity of food rather than the type of food.
As long as the diet is of a high quality and agrees with the puppy, either approach can work equally well. Like all pet foods, both puppy foods and all-lifestage foods can vary enormously in quality so be sure to take a look at the nutritional ratings on the Dog Food Directory to get an idea of how the different options compare. Making the change Going to a new home for the first time is usually an extremely stressful period for puppies so the last thing you want to do is add to the stress by switching the diet. For this reason, it's always best to stick to whatever food the breeder has been feeding for at least the first 2 weeks before making any changes. Once your puppy is properly settled in, it's still important to ensure that any dietary changes are made gradually, slowly introducing the new food over the course of a week or two to give the system plenty of time to adjust. Feeding the right amount Any complete food that is labelled as suitable for puppies should have suggested puppy feeding guidelines on the packaging. This is certainly the best place to start but as all puppies are different it's important to keep an eye on the individual's weight and adjust feeding amounts accordingly. You can find our brief guide on how much to feed here. From puppyhood to adulthood While 12 months is generally regarded as the point when dogs reach adulthood, some breeds mature at very different rates than others. Smaller breeds, for example, may reach full size as early as 9 months old while some giant breeds can continue growing until 18 months or even older. As their growth slows, puppies naturally need less food and many have a reduced appetite. At this stage it is important to change on to an adult food (or reduce the feeding amounts if feeding an all-lifestage food) to avoid any excessive weight gain. by David Jackson

Alltech releases 2020 Sustainability Report
Formulation
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2+ MIN

Alltech releases 2020 Sustainability Report

Despite the challenges, Alltech believes that agriculture has the greatest potential not only to meet the global demand but to positively impact the future of our planet. The company's bold vision of Working Together for a Planet of Plenty is reflected throughout the pages of the newly released 2020 Alltech Sustainability Report. 'This dawning of a new age in agri-food will require us to continue working together across geographies and industries to create a more sustainable future,' said Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech. 'Agriculture has made extraordinary strides in sustainable production, but the next few decades will be crucial. Our sustainability report demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing smarter, more sustainable solutions for producers while harnessing the power of collaboration and human ingenuity to create a more promising future.' While Alltech's Planet of Plenty vision looks toward the future, it's also rooted in long-held values. In 1989, Alltech founder Dr. Pearse Lyons committed to a guiding ACE principle, requiring that the company's endeavors prioritize the safety and well-being of the Animal, the Consumer and the Environment. Today, Alltech's vision for a Planet of Plenty propels its founding ACE principle into a new world of possibility. In 2019, Alltech became a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and committed to nine of the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, climate action, life below the water, life on land and partnerships for the goals. Throughout the 2020 Alltech Sustainability Report, each of the company's contributions is accompanied by the corresponding UNGC principles and SDG goals. 'We compiled our report with input from our teams across the globe,' said David Butler, head of sustainability at Alltech. 'I am excited by the level of energy and enthusiasm shown by our colleagues as they explore the positive impact of their work. Their determination reveals that sustainability is reflected not only in our core business but also within our culture. That purpose-driven engagement will help guide our success for years to come.' The report further details how Alltech's Planet of Plenty Partnerships are creating opportunities for advancing the implementation of science-led sustainable practices that improve profitability and animal and environmental welfare. 'This year has affirmed the vital importance of collaboration, trusting our scientific experts and welcoming diverse perspectives,' said Dr. Mark Lyons. 'Together, instead of leaving a footprint, we can leave a legacy.' Click Here to read the 2020 Alltech Sustainability Report. by ALL Pet Food

Optimal nutrition for dogs and cats
Formulation
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4+ MIN

Optimal nutrition for dogs and cats

By Erika Stasieniuk

Unlike farm animals, pet nutrition must follow a nutritional concept beyond the minimum and functional, remaining within the optimal range, according to Figure 1. However, this range allows many variations for each formulation, being able to cover a very wide diversity of diets, creating products with variations in ingredients and even nutrients, but which in the end achieve optimal health   Figure 1- Graph that represents the dose-response curve of nutrient consumption.   Based on the figure above, we can imagine where the products of the main commercial categories that exist today in pet food fit: economy, premium and super premium. Inexpensive rations present the nutrients on the optimal area curve, but closer to the minimum. Premium products, on the other hand, move further towards the highest point of the curve. The super premium portions, meanwhile, are at the highest point of the graph without reaching the "excess" area. As the trend is always to develop superior quality products, the formulator must be aware of the balance between the great and the exaggerated of nutritional fashions so as not to reach excesses that compromise the health of dogs and cats. Thus, the new trend is to satisfy the essential nutrient needs in an optimal way for each species and, together, to present products with functional and nutraceutical properties that promote beneficial effects on health, guaranteeing the customer the longevity of their pet.   We mention three points that the knowledgeable formulator must add to diets to achieve optimal nutrition:   1) INTESTINAL HEALTH The gastrointestinal microbiota plays an important role in animal health. Prebiotics and probiotics are food additives capable of maintaining an adequate balance of the microbiota (Bielecka et al., 2002). Several studies have shown beneficial effects on the health of dogs and cats, such as improvement in the consistency and smell of feces, regulation of the immune system, prevention and improvement in cases of diarrhea and anti-inflammatory and regulatory effects in the intestine in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. (Vasconcelos et al., 2018). Microorganisms used as probiotics are usually non-pathogenic components of the normal microbiota, such as lactic acid bacteria (major genera Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Bifidobacterium, and Enterococci). In general, the recommendation is to incorporate probiotics after extrusion of the food, due to the high temperature used in the process. However, we know that with the advancement of research and product development, probiotics for industrial use, capable of withstanding the heat of extrusion, are coming to the market. Prebiotics, for their part, are non-digestible nutritional ingredients that act selectively on the microflora, stimulating the growth and activity of one or more beneficial intestinal bacteria (ANFALPET, 2010). They can be obtained naturally in the seeds and roots of some vegetables such as chicory, beets, artichokes, asparagus, barley, rye, soybeans, chickpeas and lupine. The most common forms available on the market are Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell walls or yeast cell walls or mannanoligosaccharides (MOS), which together with fructooligosaccharides (FOS), include inulin and oligofructose.   2) ANTIOXIDANT REINFORCEMENT As with food, oxidation reactions also occur in the cells of living tissues. In this process, radicals with unpaired electrons are formed in the last layer that present intense chemical reactivity, forming so-called free radicals. They are normally produced to neutralize unwanted attacks on the body, such as bacteria and viruses, but when they are in excess and / or are not neutralized, they can often cause irrecoverable damage to membranes, DNA and enzymes (Borges et al., 2003). Thus, the role of antioxidants in the diet came to have a broader connotation and, when they are present or incorporated in food, they can be effective in combating the formation of free radicals in animal tissues (Borges et al., 2003) . The most widely used antioxidants have been alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), beta-carotene (precursor of vitamin A), ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and polyphenols.   3) INFLAMMATION CONTROL Fatty acids are capable of attenuating the effects of the inflammatory process by reducing the synthesis of eicosanoids and inflammatory cytokines. The fatty acids linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities by the body, so they must be provided through the diet. In some species, the fatty acids EPA and DHA can be synthesized from linolenic acid, but dogs and cats have a limited ability to carry out this conversion. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that they are provided in the diet. The profile of these fatty acids in a diet can be changed according to the source of fat provided: animal tissues, such as those of marine animals that feed on algae and have high concentrations of DHA in their tissues, while sources of plant origin have higher concentrations of ALA in its constitution. Fish oil, for example, is a great source of EPA and DHA.   BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES: ANFALPET - Manual do Programa Integrado de Qualidade Pet. 2010. 612p. BORGES, F. M. O., SALGARELLO, R. M., GURIAN, T. M. Recentes avanços na nutrição de cães e gatos. In: SIMPÓSIO SOBRE NUTRIÇÃO DE ANIMAIS DE ESTIMAÇÃO, 3, 2003 São Paulo. Anais... Campinas, p. 21-60, 2003. BIELECKA, M.; BIEDRZYCKA, E.; MAJKOWSKA, A. Selection of probiotics and prebiotics for synbiotics and confirmation of their in vivo effectiveness. Food Res. Int., Amsterdam, v.35, n.2/3, p.125-131, 2002 GROSS, K. L.; YAMKA, R. M.; KHOO, C.; FRIESEN, K. G.; JEWELL, D. E.; SCHOENHERR, W. D.; DEBRAEKELEER, J.; ZICKER, S. C. Macronutrients. In: HAND, M. S.; THATCHER, C. D.; REMILLARD, R. L.; ROUDEBUSH, P.; NOVOTNY, B. J. (Ed.). Small Animal Clinical Nutrition. 5 ed. Topeka, EUA: Mark Moris Institute, 2010. p 49-105. VASCONCELOS, S. S. R. S. L.; Uso de probióticos manipulados e seus efeitos na saúde de cães e gatos: uma revisão de literatura. João Pessoa, 2018.   Source: All Pet Food

Animal Flours: Alternatives to Enhance formulations for Dogs and Cats Foods
Formulation
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10+ MIN

Animal Flours: Alternatives to Enhance formulations for Dogs and Cats Foods

Between 2013 and 2018, there was an increase of almost 7 million domestic animals in Brazil, according to IBGE and the Instituto Pet Brasil. This report also revealed the preference of families for dogs, there are more than 54 million in all regions of the country. However, the number of cats was the one that grew the most in the period studied, there were more than 23 million pets in 2018. The significant growth of the domestic animal population in Brazil supports the growth of the PET product market, which, in 2018 alone, moved more than 34,000 billion Brazilian reais. More than R $ 15 billion was spent on food alone! The opportunity for pet food producers to win a share of this market is very clear. But just as important as selling is offering products that ensure the quality of pet food from consumers willing to show their love by spending more and more on animals. To develop and deliver adequate rations for the health and well-being of PET, all the care is little. Producers must know the nutritional needs of each species and choose the best ingredients so that their products are a balanced diet option for animals, since there are several composition options such as beef, chicken, pork, fish, cereals, vegetables, vitamins and minerals. Next, we are going to read more about the nutrition of dogs and cats and how their nutrient demands must be considered for the correct formulation of the rations.   The nutritional needs of dogs Like all pets, dogs need a balanced diet to lead healthier lives. Here are the essential components of the diet of these pets. Proteins: have the function of building muscle tissue, transporting substances and communication between organs, and strengthening the immune system. They can be of plant or animal origin, the latter of high biological value. While they are puppies, dogs need to grow. In their later years, when they tend to lose muscle mass, they need to make up for this loss. Therefore, in these phases, the diet must be rich in protein to respond to these needs of the animal. Still, according to the guide "Your dog's nutritional needs" produced by the National Research Council (NRC), puppies up to 5 kg should consume about 56 g of protein each day. For adult dogs, with a body mass of about 15 kg, the recommendation is that they consume 25 g of protein. For elderly dogs, the NRC indicates a formulation with higher protein content, around 75g of protein per 1000 kcal. Fats: responsible for maintaining healthy skin and coat, helping brain and vision development, and playing an important role in the structural function of cells. Puppies fed low-fat diets develop thick, dry fur and skin and are more vulnerable to infection. The NRC guidance also reveals that dogs with a body mass of up to 15kg should consume 14g of fat daily. In the case of older dogs, whose metabolisms are less efficient, lower calorie diets and lower fat content are essential to prevent obesity, a recurring problem in this age group of the animal. Animal oils such as poultry oils and pork fat - which use fresh raw material - are great sources of lipids for canine formulations. Being of animal origin, they have a high digestibility and palatability, in addition to guaranteeing essential fatty acids for the development of the pet. Carbohydrates: they are the main source of energy in dog food. This rule applies to all stages of development of the animal. In terms of energy, the NRC guide says that puppies with body mass up to 5 kg need 990 kcal / day. Active adult dogs with a body mass of approximately 20 kg need 1353 kcal / day and active elderly dogs with a body mass of 20 kg need 1093 kcal / day. Fibers: guarantee a good functioning of the intestine. In special cases, abundant fibers should be part of the diet, as is the case in dogs with constipation problems. In general, the NRC reports that the daily diet of an adult dog can contain up to 50% carbohydrates of the total mass of the food, including between 2.5 and 4.5% fiber. A minimum of about 5.5% of the diet should come from fat and 10% from protein. Vitamins: they are related to the health of vision, skin, antioxidant activity, clotting factors, among others. According to the guide, some vitamins are necessary in the diet of dogs, such as vitamins A (379 µg), D (3.4 µg), E (8 mg) and thiamine (0.56 mg). Vitamin A is directly related to the prevention of diseases in the vision and respiratory diseases and with an increased susceptibility to infections. Dogs fed diets lacking in vitamin E show signs of skeletal muscle deterioration, reproductive failure, and retinal degeneration. Thiamine deficiency can lead to brain damage and other neurological abnormalities. In addition, vitamin K is responsible for blood clotting, and the B-complex vitamins are involved in the activation of ions and the synthesis of neural tissue. Minerals: participate in metabolic reactions, nerve impulses, muscle contraction and promote healthy bones and teeth. According to the NRC, calcium (1.0 g) and phosphorus (0.75 g) are essential for strong bones and teeth. The guide describes that dogs need magnesium (150 mg), potassium (1.0 g) and sodium (200 mg) for the transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contraction and cell signaling. In addition, the NRC notes that many minerals that are present in only small amounts in the body, including selenium (90 µg) and copper (1.5 mg), act as auxiliaries in a wide variety of enzymatic reactions. A calcium deficiency in the diet can result in severe bone loss, skeletal abnormalities, and pathological fractures. Excess mineral, on the other hand, can also cause skeletal abnormalities, especially in large puppies.   Cats Cats are carnivorous animals, so most of the nutrients they need are of animal origin. Below we highlight the composition of the ideal diet for domestic cats. Proteins: provide essential amino acids for various vital functions, such as the synthesis of antibodies, enzymes (which regulate numerous metabolic functions), hormones, tissues, as well as providing a source of energy and promoting an appropriate pH balance for the body of these animals. Protein raw materials of animal origin are more digestible for cats, such as poultry, cattle, pork, fish and eggs. These sources have high-quality complete proteins, capable of supplying all the essential amino acids. Taurine, for example, is an essential amino acid for cats, the minimum daily requirement is between 35 and 56 mg for an adult cat. This amino acid helps prevent eye and heart disease. According to the 'Your Cat's Nutritional Needs' guide prepared by the National Research Council (NRC), 10g of protein / day is recommended for kittens with approximately 800g of body mass. For adult cats with a body mass of around 4 kg, 12.5 g / day of protein is recommended. Fat: it is involved in cell integrity since it is an essential part of plasma membranes. In addition to participating in metabolic regulation, they add shine to the animal's coat. In addition, fats improve the taste and texture of food, making it tastier and more attractive. Among the unsaturated fatty acids, some polyunsaturated are characterized by being essential for the health of cats, such as those of the omega 3 family. According to the guide, 4 g / day of total fat is recommended in the diet of kittens with a body mass of about 800 g. For adult cats with a body mass of about 4 kg, 5.5 g / day of total fat is recommended. Carbohydrates: they are the main source of energy in dog food. Apparently, they are not essential in the diet. When there is adequate protein and fat content in their diet, they provide glycerol and glycogen amino acids for the animal to obtain the necessary energy. This is one of the reasons that cats are classified as true carnivores. Minerals: are involved in almost all physiological reactions in cats. They act in the formation of enzymes, the pH balance, the absorption of nutrients, the transport of oxygen, among other functions. Vitamins: participate in metabolic regulation and normal growth of animals. Some of them also have other functions, such as the prevention of night blindness (vitamin A) and antioxidants (vitamin E). The daily recommendation of the NRC guide, mainly includes vitamins A (63 µg), D (0.4 µg), E (2.5 mg), K (82 µg), B1 (0.33 mg), riboflavin ( 0.27 mg), B6 ​​(0.16 mg), B12 (1.4 µg), among others.   Animal Flours to enrich pet food As we have seen before, an important part of the feed for dogs and cats is of animal origin, hence the importance of choosing the raw material well to produce a quality food. That is, industrialized from ingredients that, in fact, satisfy the specific needs of nutrients to supply the different physiological states of pets. An important aspect for making decisions about ingredients is the identification of the nature of the inputs used and their relative digestibility and bioavailability. In the same way, we must take into account contamination by microorganisms such as Salmonella ssp and metabolites produced by fungi such as mycotoxins, which are very harmful. For all these reasons, raw materials of animal origin are the most suitable to enrich the formulation of feed, due to their high content of digestible proteins, the balanced presence of essential amino acids and the absence of anti-nutritional factors. Next, we will present some of these raw materials, animal meals that are recommended to compose high quality food for dogs and cats.   Flour from bird viscera Meal from poultry viscera is produced by cooking, pressing and grinding the viscera, offal, cartilage and pieces of meat. According to a study by Greg Aldrich, published in Petfood Industry, meals made from chicken entrails and those produced exclusively with chicken meat have the same nutritional value for dogs and cats. In other research, published on Engormix, Dr. Greg found that meat meal and chicken offal are highly digestible by cats and dogs, contain the necessary essential amino acids, and have no anti-nutritional factors. In the same analysis it was concluded that flours, especially for cats, should contain less than 14% and 11.5% ash, for meat and chicken offal respectively. He also warned that they are susceptible to oxidation. Therefore, it is important to take into account the levels of peroxide and acidity when composing the food. Rather than feeding pets, Greg Aldrich states that poultry fat is well accepted by pets as its taste is preferable to other sources of fat. Developed with an eye on all these aspects, Bird Viscera Flour (Low Ash) is, therefore, a great alternative for the composition of food for dogs and cats. After all, in addition to its high palatability and digestibility, it contains a lower ash content and a higher crude protein content (73%), essential for the growth of pets.   Chicharrón meal Another animal meal that stands out as an alternative for its application in dog food is Chicharrón meal. This ingredient is produced through the cooking, pressing and grinding the skin and the pork mask in natura and chicharrones. Chicharrón meal is produced with fresh and high quality raw materials, which are not considered by-products of the pig supply. It is also a rich source of protein, at least 80%, and essential amino acids. It is worth mentioning that this flour has a high palatability and digestibility, with a great consistency, little mineral matter and is naturally pleasant and attractive to the taste of animals. Thus, Chicharrón meal is also a good alternative for the composition of dog and cat food.   Feather Flour Feather meal is another ingredient that can be used in the industrialization of food for dogs and cats. A great advantage of this ingredient is the high concentration of protein, at least 80%. Precisely for this reason, it is used in pet food, increasing the protein content. The flour is developed so that it does not present antinutritional factors, reducing the chances of an allergic reaction in the animal, which is proven by an article by Anton Beynen, published in All About Feed. Beynen revealed that dry foods with 14% feather meal in their composition are well accepted by dogs. To take advantage of all the nutritional qualities of Feather Meal in the manufacture of feed, it is important to remember the importance of choosing reliable suppliers that maintain quality processes, using clean and fresh feathers obtained in the poultry supply production chain and with low mineral content.   Feather meal and blood Feather and blood meal can also be used in feed for dogs and cats, because in addition to presenting all the advantages of feather meal, blood improves palatability, increases the balance of amino acids and, according to a study published in the Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia makes them reach satiety more quickly. Blood also enriches the formulation of pet food, because proteins such as plasma and hemoglobin are very important to improve the regulatory functions of metabolism, such as absorption, transport and synthesis of nutrients. Feather and Blood Flour is an interesting alternative from a nutritional point of view and, like the others, it must be purchased from a reputable supplier so as not to compromise the health and quality of life of pets.   Conclution There is no doubt that the health and well-being of dogs and cats comes first when the consumer chooses the food. Therefore, the manufacturer cannot hesitate to choose the most nutritious ingredients to produce a feed that truly meets the needs of the animals. To do this, knowing each of these flours and finding trusted suppliers is a very important step in the development of suitable feed. Since only by choosing quality inputs, the producer will be guaranteed the delivery of feed containing highly digestible and palatable nutrients, which ensure growth, healthy development and quality of life of the animals.   Source: BRF Ingredients

The most important nutrient for our pets: Water
Formulation
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9+ MIN

The most important nutrient for our pets: Water

By Luis Miguel Gómez Osorio

Excess consumption of water may also be indicating some pathology or collateral effects of some medication as part of a treatment, among other causes. There are also some dogs and cats that are not good 'water drinkers' and their consumption should be encouraged to avoid severe dehydration that ends the life of the pet. This article summarizes the importance of water for the physiological functions of dogs and cats and its contribution to homeostasis, the main causes that alter its consumption, quantities that should be supplied according to the physiological state and activity level and some recommendations for stimulate the consumption of this important nutrient.   Definition Chemically, water is the combination of hydrogen and oxygen, which are united at a rate of 2 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen (H2O). Water is vital for life and is considered the most important nutrient of all (1). Water is the most abundant component in the animal's body, varying between 40 to 80% of its total body weight. The percentage of water varies between species, condition and age. Generally, lean body mass contains between 70-80% water and 20-25% protein, while adipose tissue contains 10-15% water and 75-80% fat. The younger the animals contain more body water and the overweight and / or obese animals have less water in their body compared to non-overweight animals. Once the animals mature, they require proportionally less water per unit of body weight and therefore have a lower urinary water loss. Furthermore, adults have less surface area per unit of body weight resulting in less evaporation from the skin.   Function Water is an essential nutrient, but perhaps the least discussed with respect to the other dietary requirements such as protein, energy, vitamins, etc. Contradictorily, it is the nutrient that is required in the greatest quantity (Figure 1). Water is offered daily separately from food and is also included in it, as we must not forget that food contains water and is not 100% dry matter. In addition, when water is supplied in sufficient quantity, healthy cats and dogs can self-regulate their consumption and satisfy their nutritional needs. However, its contribution as a nutrient to the total diet is largely ignored, unaware that it is a vital ingredient for the functioning of body cells and body fluid. The functions of water in pets are quite a few, but among the most important, it can be mentioned: it is a solvent for most extra and intracellular chemical processes, the main component of tissues and fluids, the main component of blood, a facilitator for digestion and absorption of nutrients, thermoregulation, excretion of waste in urine and feces, moistening of the lungs, protects and lubricates internal organs such as joints and supports the functioning of the nervous system. Figure 1. The six basic nutrients. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are the nutrients from which energy comes, but they also serve as structural components. Kg: kilograms, d: day, mcg: micrograms, mg: milligrams, EAA: essential amino acids.   Regulation of water consumption in dogs and cats The loss of water in both dogs and cats occurs mainly as a function of respiration, urine production and feces. While water is constantly being lost throughout the day, access to water is periodic. The sensation of thirst is correlated with the body water content and the osmolality (amount of particles dissolved in a liquid) of the plasma, although this sensation cannot be stimulated unless there is a slight degree of dehydration.   How much water should a dog drink per day? A simple rule that we could easily memorize would be one ounce per pound of the dog's weight. That is, almost 30 mL of water for almost 454 g of the animal's weight. A dog weighing 4.5 kg should drink 300 mL of water per day (4). However, this may vary with the physiological state, activity level or the presence of some pathologies. Also, dogs that consume kibbles drink more water than those that include canned or semi-moist foods in their diet. Although there are water requirements for dogs and cats, to date the optimal volume of water consumption or the impact that hydration may have on the health of our pets is not known with a high level of precision. Additionally, all nutritional recommendations for pet food declare that there must always be fresh water available at will, seeking a state of eu-hydration (hydration in optimal balance). Daily water consumption requirements have traditionally been reported in mL / kg (milliliters per kilogram) of body weight (PC), mL / kg of dry matter consumed and the relationship between water and calorie consumption measured as mL / kcal (kilocalories ) of metabolizable energy (ME) consumed. All these methods rely on water from different sources such as food moisture, direct water consumption and metabolic water. In general, the water-calorie intake rate for healthy dogs has been estimated at 1.0: 1.0 mL water: kcal of ME. However, this metric can change dramatically over time (weeks to months) with different levels of physical activity such as exercise or work while maintaining the same CP. However, some exceptions have been reported for dogs exercising long-distance runs in extremely cold climates. As a general rule, a sport dog, its water requirements are 2.4: 1.0 mL water: kcal of ME. It has recently been reported in humans that small changes in body hydration status (less than 2%) impact cognitive status, mood and performance during exercise. It has been speculated that, in working dogs, mild dehydration may affect tasks such as search and rescue of people, detection of narcotics and explosives, hunting and sports, and biomedical detection services including COVID19-positive patients (6). There is an imminent need to know much better the amount of water that can potentiate the level of hydration for pets and working dogs in different stages such as rest and work-related tasks, ensuring optimal health and performance. Even when the activity is between little and moderate, the hydration status is not the same during the day due to the routines of dogs and cats, sometimes generating states of hypohydration with respective increases in serum and urinary osmolality just from minutes to hours. Some diseases have been associated with dehydration states such as hyperglycemia, diabetes progression, high risk of chronic kidney disease, recurrence of kidney stones, and possibly a high contribution to hypertension and lower urinary tract disease.   How much water should a cat drink per day? Compared to dogs, cats drink less water. In general, an adult cat consumes between 150 mL and 300 mL ounces of water per day, depending on size, activity level, type of food, and other factors such as health and environmental temperature. If the cat is fed kibble, its water consumption will be closer to 300 mL per day and if it is fed canned food, it will be closer to 150 mL per day. Cats may be drinking too much water, which can be detected by a greater number of visits per day to the litter box or because the cat is passing through the fountain several times a day or playing with it already empty. The causes that make the cat drink too much water are the same as dogs, however, the most common are: kidney disease, diabetes, cancer and hyperthyroidism. If you notice a large amount of urine in the litter box or even see urine in the water container, you should immediately consult your veterinarian.   How to know if the pet is consuming enough water? Checking the pet's hydration status is very important, which is evidenced by a good elasticity of the skin, (if the skin is pulled it immediately returns to its place), pink and moist gums, bright eyes and good levels of energy. The urine of a properly hydrated dog or cat is normally odorless and pale yellow or clear. A dehydrated cat or dog is lethargic, their eyes may be sunken or look sad, their saliva is thick, their gums are dark and dry, and their skin elasticity is reduced. Urine has a strong, dark yellow odor. However, in dogs and cats with kidney disease the urine may be light yellow.   Water quality Salinity, nitrates and nitrites, toxic organic and inorganic chemicals, and microbial contamination can affect water quality. Routine measurements of the water and the concentration of all its dissolved components (known as TDS or total dissolved solids) should be carried out. Salinity (salt content in water) is an indicator of its ionic capacity and is closely related to TDS. The water must contain less than 5,000 parts per million (ppm) or mg / L of TDS. However, this data has been extrapolated from birds and pigs and it is generally accepted that the water that our pets should drink should not be greater than 500 ppm, which has been taken from humans (US EPA, 1976). Other aspects of water such as hardness (sum of calcium and magnesium salts in relation to calcium carbonate) have little effect on the well-being of the pet. High levels of Mg in drinking water in cats are closely related to cases of urolithiasis, however, the amount consumed in water is negligible compared to that ingested through food (up to 10,000 times the difference). Cats susceptible to urolithiasis may benefit from drinking distilled water more than water that has been softened with sodium chloride.   Why is your dog thirstier than usual? Dogs should normally consume 13.3 mL of water for every kg of live weight. Puppies and lactating females can consume more water. Several things can affect the amount of water dogs drink, including weather and activity level. However, if your pet drinks a larger amount of water without explanation, it may be indicative of a health problem. Among the most frequent causes of increased water consumption can be mentioned. Dehydration: hot days, days of high activity, illness and infection, can cause dehydration in dogs and activate the active search for water to drink. In addition to signs of being thirsty, the pet may also show other signs such as lethargy, dry tongue and gums, and thick saliva. Dehydration can quickly become life threatening and if severe dehydration is suspected the dog should be taken to the vet immediately. However, if it is moderate dehydration, a teaspoon of water can be given in small breed dogs and 2 teaspoons in large breed dogs every 10 minutes for a minimum of 6 hours. Do not allow the dog to have access to large amounts of water at will when dehydrated, because drinking large amounts can cause vomiting. Illness: Several pathologies can cause excessive thirst or dehydration, including diabetes, Cushing's syndrome, cancer, diarrhea, fever, infection, kidney disease, liver disease, among others. Sometimes it is not the pathology itself that causes dehydration but the medications used to treat them. The veterinarian should be inquired about the adverse effects of the medications and if they cause dehydration, lower doses could be tried. Among the medications that can generate excessive thirst in dogs can be mentioned: prednisone, furosemide, phenobarbital, etc. Diet: A dry diet, which corresponds to a food between 5-10% humidity, can cause thirst and slight dehydration in the animal. High sodium content can trigger the dog to drink more water. High amounts of salt can be poisonous to dogs and the most characteristic signs of this can be tremors, diarrhea, depression and vomiting. Some sources of fiber used in food may be altering the amount of water consumed in dogs and cats.   How to stimulate water consumption in dogs and cats Some cats and dogs are not good water drinkers even if all the water is needed. Cats in particular are very notorious for this condition. For this reason, these suggestions should be taken into account, which can help stimulate the consumption of water in both dogs and cats and thus avoid dehydration. For cats: 1. Try to have a water source. Some cats do not like water in a container and instead prefer moving water. In general for cats and dogs: 1. Serve the water at room temperature and not cold. 2. Wash the fountain frequently and make sure the water is fresh and clean daily. 3. Change the location of the fountain, some cats are very particular and like to have the fountain near their bed or in the resting area or where the cat does not walk frequently. Do not put the waterer near the litter box. 4. Leave several drinking fountains in different areas so that the animals can drink calmly. 5. Flavor the water with small amounts of tuna juice, bone or chicken broth, or even liver. Make sure to wash the containers of the water that were flavored well. 6. Treat your pet to a snack after he drinks water. 7. Add water to food, or supplement pet with semi-moist food. 8. Offer dogs flavored popsicles.   Final Recommendations It is relatively easy to tell that your pet is thirsty or has an unusual change in water consumption by the amount of water served in his cup. Therefore, the water bowl should be filled routinely at the same time of day to notice any changes. Fill it to the same level every day and pay attention to how much you take and how much you leave in the drinker each day. Water is critical to your pet's health and well-being, never restrain your dog from the water. If you are concerned that your dog is drinking too much water, or not enough, do not hesitate and consult your trusted veterinarian.   Source: All Pet Food

Can Food affect Anxiety in Pets?
Formulation
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5+ MIN

Can Food affect Anxiety in Pets?

By María Candelaria Carbajo

According to one of the most recent studies, 70% of the dogs analyzed suffer from symptoms or have a tendency to suffer from anxiety, a considerably high number. Now, what can be done, from feeding these pets, to reduce their anxiety levels? In this article we will tell you if there is the possibility of reducing stress and anxiety in pets through pet food and how it can be implemented. First: what is it that causes anxiety in dogs? It must be remembered, first, that a dog can suffer from anxiety for several reasons, including: • The separation of the owners from him (even for a working day of 8 hours). • The phobia of loud noises, such as vacuum cleaners, electrical storms or fireworks. If the dog has a trauma that relates to a sound, he will also become more anxious when he hears that noise or a similar one. • Social anxiety, which manifests itself when there are more people than he is used to, and he can react either shyly or violently. In the case of Pets, and especially dogs, they are animals that learn through experience, so you can work on providing experiences with which you learn to deal with those elements that trigger anxiety. Even if a dog had a traumatic situation, the anxiety he feels when listening to, seeing or perceiving a certain element or object can be reversed, even if he needs a little more time and dedication. Now, the big question that concerns us is: Can food have a positive or negative influence on anxiety levels? We have the answer: if a dog's diet is adequate, it can significantly improve and decrease anxiety and stress levels. Rather as a holistic treatment, which contemplates the animal in a comprehensive way and not only from a neurological or psychological point of view, feeding is a factor that can trigger or reduce an animal's anxiety and alertness. What can be done, from the industry, to help reduce anxiety levels? Several studies have tied the effectiveness of some implementations in food. We will list them below for you to evaluate them and, perhaps, produce a new anti-stress pet food formula. Increase L-tryptophan This amino acid generates serotonin, a neurotransmitter especially involved in the control of behaviors such as aggressiveness and anxiety. An increase in dietary levels of L-tryptophan will consequently lead to greater synthesis and utilization of serotonin, resulting in more stable emotional states. This result has been tested in both dogs and cats. L-Tryptophan can be found as an added supplement or in foods like lentils and chickpeas, and its availability depends on competition with other amino acids for blood transport. What causes this amino acid? In simple words: a feeling of relaxation. Increase alpha-Casozepine This supplement arises from the hydrolysis of casein, the main protein in milk. Its function is to enhance GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system, which participates in: Inhibition of neuronal activity. The management of behavior, cognition and the body's response to stress. The control of fear and anxiety when neuronal overexcitation occurs. Its main effect is similar to that of an anxiolytic, but without the adverse effects, and it is generally used in conjunction with the amino acid L-tryptophan. Low protein content in the formula This can be an alternative to make foods that help reduce anxiety. As we discussed earlier, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has a relaxing effect. Reducing the consumption of protein impacts the production of serotonin, thus increasing that feeling of calm and / or relaxation. This protein reduction also has a positive impact on the availability and absorption of L-tryptophan. High vitamins content The deficiency of certain vitamins can lead to a psychological imbalance in dogs. You can take into account and evaluate increasing the dose of the following vitamins, if you are evaluating making or improving the formula of the anti-stress food. The lack of vitamin A leads to fatigue and physical and mental anxiety. Vitamin E maintains cognitive abilities in condition and prevents anxiety. Vitamins B1, B6 and B12 contribute to the mental balance of dogs. So far we have seen all supplements that can be incorporated into pet food to enhance its anti-stress function, but are there natural foods that have a "calming" effect on dogs? Yes, there are, and here we tell you the ones that have the greatest benefit: Blueberries: Provide many additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can help reduce the effects of stress. Kale: Swiss chard, spinach, and green leafy vegetables generally contain a high level of vitamins A, B6, C, and K, calcium, magnesium, copper, potassium, and iron. Kale specifically is also a great source of fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and carotenoids. Sweet potatoes: it is one of the healthiest foods in the world. It has antioxidants, vitamin E, A, B6 and C, calcium, iron, folic acid, potassium, copper, thiamine, and iron. Potassium especially helps to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance, which has a positive impact on reducing anxiety. Beef: It is considered a natural antidepressant due to its content of vitamin B, folic acid and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which are excellent for controlling anxiety. Vitamin B5, in particular, enables the production of anti-stress hormones in the adrenal gland, which controls the release of cortisol. Turkey: it is a great source of L-tryptophan, the precursor amino acid of serotonin that we presented before. So what can we do from the pet food industry? From our Industry, the best we can do is focusing on creating and continuously improving food formulas adapted to the needs of these pets, which are, unfortunately, more and more. It is also important that, if you already have an anti-stress or anti-anxiety food, you inform the owners and consumers that, although it is a fundamental factor, it is not enough; Once again, food packaging can be used to raise awareness and also generate a more solid, respectable brand that is connected to its consumers. Conclusion A dog food specially formulated to reduce stress levels will not cure an anxious animal. Still, it can help to significantly decrease behavior and other inconveniences resulting from anxiety and stress. If, from our side we take care to inform the importance of combining a suitable food with a behavior improvement program, pets, who wait for our food every day, will suffer less stress and will be happier. Did you know that including any of these supplements or foods you can help reduce stress? Tell us, we need your opinion. By: All Pet Food

Insect-based pet food?
Formulation
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5+ MIN

Insect-based pet food?

In one of our recent articles we tell you about how we could reduce the pollution and waste that our industry produces. Now, there is a growing trend that we do not name you and that could positively impact the reduction of waste from the production of pet food: insect-based pet food. In this article we will tell you all about this new trend and we will bring you the examples of companies that are already implementing it. First of all … Would there be a demand for an insect-based pet food? To make any type of investment in machinery, research or innovation, it is necessary to know whether or not what you want to implement will be in great demand in the future. In the case of food for dogs and cats based on insect protein, there is a barrier to overcome: the 'disgust factor'. Eating insects is not culturally normalized in the West, not even for pets. Not to mention the people! However, the truth is that more than once, probably, pet owners saw their companions hunt or catch an insect that was walking in the garden or on the terrace. And it is also true that, surely, someone has been heard shouting 'oh, how disgusting! Leave that". From this point of view, companies and manufacturers that decide to include this ingredient in their food formulas have to take into account informing and educating about the benefits in order to break this stigma. Now, let's see what is beneficial about this practice: Why use insect protein in pet food formulas? The answer is simple: sustainability. Replacing animal meat and protein with insects for pet food contributes positively to the sustainability of the production chain. Why? It is already known that the amount of inputs and resources that are needed for the production of meat is very high, taking into account from the food and fertilizers for the animals to the packaging and transport to the sales centers. Conventional industrial agriculture requires large amounts of energy, water and land, and even the welfare of livestock and its polluting effects remain a matter of debate to this day. It is estimated that between 12% and 20% of the meat produced worldwide is destined to feed domestic animals. Protix, the Dutch company that claims to have the largest insect farm in the world, estimates that, compared to beef, insect-based foods use 2% of land space and 4% of water for every kilogram of protein. Are these numbers not sustainable enough? As if that's not enough, insects don't need fertilizers or pesticides, and they produce very little methane and ammonia emissions. The founder of Protix states: 'All over the world we are contributing to the warming of the atmosphere and consuming the Earth. The problem is that we have to continue feeding a population that needs protein. You have to do something different, and insects are part of the solution'. In the same vein, the president of the British Association of Veterinarians, stated: 'There is a really exciting future for the use of insect proteins in companion animals. It is essential to find sources of food that do not deplete the soil or water, or drive climate change'. In addition, three other benefits emerge from this main benefit: • Greater profitability: by needing fewer inputs and resources for its production, costs are reduced and profitability could grow. • Increase in demand: this characteristic could positively impact attracting more millennial buyers, the age range with the most pet owners today; these types of owners are even willing to pay more for a better quality or more sustainable product. This group also includes the majority of vegetarian cat owners: since felines do need to obtain taurine from meat protein, they may prefer to give their pets food based on insects rather than with beef, chicken, or fish. • Nutritional quality: besides being a good source of protein, insects contain fats, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. The amount of these nutrients varies between different species. According to the FAO, the nutritional value of insects does not differ from the nutritional value of other meat sources such as chicken, cow, pork and fish. And in the world, how is the situation? For now, in the United States, the largest pet food market, insect protein is not yet allowed in daily pet food. Some insect-based treats have been released, but no more than that. On the other hand, the European Union a few years ago allowed the use of insect proteins in pet food. Initially, this encouraged the development of the odd dog food here with the ingredient. In the UK, for example, food with up to 40% insect protein can already be seen on shelves. What happens is that still, due to lack of mass production and infrastructure, this type of food is up to 4 times more expensive than an average food. Insect protein in pet food is also making its way onto the market in Germany, France and Italy. Companies that are dabbling in insect protein We bring you the example of some companies that are already innovating in this trend, to inspire you and see that change is possible, in case you want to implement it in your company. • Ynsect is an insect farming company born in 2011 that uses, unlike many others, mealworms as its main "livestock". Their insect-based pet food is suitable for dogs, cats, rodents, birds, and reptiles. The product comes in powder and oil form (replacing less sustainable oils like palm oil). It also produces a natural fertilizer. • AgriProtein has its main farm in Cape Town, South Africa. It uses black soldier flies and their larvae to turn organic food waste into meal for fish, poultry, pigs and pet food. • Protix Biosystems, the company founded in 2009 that we already named you, is the creator of Its ProteinX, one of the main ingredients of a new premium dog food that is marketed in the United Kingdom. He also developed a moist food beneficial for intestinal health. • Founded in 2015, Wilder & Harrier of Montreal is developing a line of insect-based dog food and treats made from black soldier flies, crickets and mealworms. • Yora Pet Foods offers a kibble made from insect protein (black soldier fly), oats, potatoes and vegetables. In conclusion As much as owners humanize pets, cats and dogs will continue to chase and eat all kinds of insects that come their way. If we want to go back to nature and feed pets "just as they would in nature," then what would be more appropriate than insects?   Do you think it will be implemented in the market? We read you. Tell us your opinion about this new trend. By: All Pet Food

Petsource by Scoular facility to begin Operations in October
Formulation
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2+ MIN

Petsource by Scoular facility to begin Operations in October

The Scoular Company celebrated the completion of its $50 million freeze-dried pet food ingredient manufacturing facility in Seward on Sept. 1, a new business division named Petsource by Scoular. The facility will begin operations in October. The Scoular subsidiary will develop, procure, freeze-dry and package high-protein ingredients — such as freeze-dried whole organ meats and meat analogues — for various pet food manufacturers at this new facility. It will also have an in-house testing laboratory to help develop and analyze its pet food ingredients. 'We are excited to drive innovation in the pet food industry and encouraged by our customers' enthusiasm for the capabilities within our new facility,' said Amy Patterson, general manager of Petsource.  'We look forward to creating new partnerships with our customers by bringing product development together with meat processing, freeze drying and packaging to provide a complete freeze-dried pet food supply chain.' The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, US Congressman Don Bacon, who represents Nebraska's second district and serves on the House Agriculture Committee, and other local civic leaders. The facility spans 105,000 sq ft and, once fully operational, will employ up to 100 people. 'Scoular has been creating opportunities for Nebraskans for over a century,' Ricketts said. 'The Petsource operation brings great jobs to Seward, and we're grateful for Scoular's ongoing commitment to growing its business in the Cornhusker State.'Scoular first announced its plans for Petsource and the Seward facility in March 2019 and broke ground in Seward in August 2019. 'Nebraska is the center of agriculture in the United States because of the quality commodities we grow and raise along with the innovation that is generated by such companies as Scoular,' Rep. Bacon added. 'This Petsource facility highlights the rich resources available in our community but also the brilliant and ingenious talent produced by our Nebraska educational institutions.' Scoular worked with the City of Seward, Seward County Chamber & Development Partnership, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and Gray Construction, the design firm tasked with engineering, architecture and construction of the Petsource facility. By Jordan Tyler Pet Food Processing

Performance Measurement in Pet Food
Formulation
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5+ MIN

Performance Measurement in Pet Food

It is very important to constantly monitor the performance of all our products for the duration of their life cycle. Obviously, there are tests that are only performed prior to launch, but there are others that must be done regularly to know that we are meeting the attributes that we originally designed. Definition of performance Regardless of the work carried out by the Marketing team regarding image communication and product characteristics on the packaging, the expected scope in terms of its performance with buyers and pets must be clearly established. A primary challenge for the pet owner to cover is to meet the expectations of food shapes, textures, colors and aroma; if this is not achieved, the product will never be offered to the dog or cat. Regarding pets, all products must meet a minimum of attributes in order to be successful, which are mainly the following: compliance with the nutritional requirements for which the food was designed, acceptance and preference of the food, quantity and stool consistency. There are attributes established in certain types of specialized diets (prescription foods) that must be evaluated with specifically developed protocols to test their performance. Compliance with nutritional requirements There are different entities worldwide (AAFCO, NRC, FEDNA) that have established minimum and maximum levels of nutrients for the different stages of life of pets; it is very important to take them as a reference to correctly design products that meet the expected nutritional performance; Additionally, there are also very valuable specific publications with update reports and suggestions of levels of certain nutrients. The AAFCO establishes animal testing protocols to validate foods designed for stages of growth, pregnancy, lactation, and digestibility in dogs and cats. General Before launching, it is very important that an industrial batch of food is generated that meets the specifications established by the technical areas (formula, quality of ingredients, process controls, etc.); This product must remain in the cellar, preferably in its final packaging and with standard storage conditions for a period of 4 to 6 weeks prior to evaluation, this in order to try to 'tie' the time spent in the canal distribution the food of the competition against which it will be tested. Additionally, we must have the basic analytical values ​​of said product (proximal chemical analysis). Parallel to the previous action, it is necessary to evaluate against which product or products of the competition will be compared. It is suggested to choose the local market leader. Of course, said product must belong to the same market segment in which our new product will participate. Remember that the competition is constantly improving their food, so it is very important to repeat the acceptance and preference tests every 6 months. The animal colony that is used for the tests is also very important since there are some breeds with a tendency to overeat, others that are easy to have digestion problems, poor stool consistency, etc. Acceptance and preference The acceptance test is carried out in order to document the quantity of food consumed of the product to be evaluated during a specific period of time and in turn compare it with the quantities of the competitor's food consumed during the same period of time. An individual food is always tested per test and colonies of between 20 and 40 dogs or cats are generally used and the periods to be evaluated range from 7 to 15 days per food. It is very important to document the individual data of each animal in order to have a greater number of data. The preference test in its two-bowl version is the most widely used by the industry to assess the performance of one food compared to another. It uses 20 to 40 animals and its duration can be 2 or 4 days. A known amount of food is offered in each bowl, always taking care that this amount is more than the pet can consume during the session. The bowls are presented aligned in front of the animal, one on the right and one on the left, taking care to rotate the position of the bowls the next day. The amount of time that the food is offered for consumption should be according to the animal's physiology and it is generally accepted to use between 15 and 20 minutes for dogs and 17 to 24 hours for cats. Obviously both dogs and cats should be treated as individuals in order to have more observations, avoiding group feeding. At the end of the test we will have a lot of valuable information to make decisions. In general, total consumption is reported both in quantity and percentage per animal and in group, as well as the consumption radius (higher / lower). It is recommended to assign a percentage difference in the consumption of both diets that determines whether the animal preferred one diet or the other; this value is established subjectively (example: 20%) and consists of concluding if the difference between the consumption in percentage of both foods is less than 20%, then it is considered a tie, of course, if it is higher, it is reported as a preference. At the end of each acceptance and preference test, it is suggested to carry out a statistical test in order to determine the strength of the results. Amount and consistency of stool A performance attribute expected by pet owners is that the food generates little amount of feces with a firm consistency. Of course this is highly variable depending on the market segment in which the product participates.
To carry out this type of tests it is recommended to have an animal colony of at least 20 individuals. The food is provided freely accessible and an adaptation period of 3 days is allowed at least before starting to monitor the results. After those 3 days, the quality of the feces of each dog should be monitored. This is done by comparing the stool with a table of reference photos. In general, the stool scale determines that non-formed and liquid stools have a rating of 0, while dry and well-formed stools have a value of 100. The other values ​​on the scale are 25, 50 and 75. There are Available photographic scales made by some manufacturers that can be very useful to us to qualify the feces.
 
In conclusion, it is very important to constantly test our products in order to know that we are meeting the performance expectations expected by our buyers. Author: Miguel López Advisor and Nutritionist of Pets Email: [email protected] Source: All Extruded

Bringing back the Science in Pet Food
Formulation
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3+ MIN

Bringing back the Science in Pet Food

Pet food studies can be quite expensive, but are pivotal to bringing the science back to the conversation before pet owners decide themselves what's best for their pet. This was stated by Dr Melissa Brookshire, founder of North River Enterprises, a US company serving the pet food industry with veterinary customer support and regulatory compliance advice. Brookshire spoke at the pet food session at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, taking place this week in Lexington, Kentucky and focused on the humanisation of pets, the effect on pet nutrition and whether we should consider this as a dangerous trend. Exotic new meats Brookshire explained that around 90% of pet owners say that pets are family and even call them their 'fur babies'. In the US, households with pets outnumbered households with kids by some 30 million. Nearly 70% of US households own a pet. Spending on pets totalled 72 billion US dollars in 2017, up with 8% from 2016. Pet food makes up to 42% of total pet spending. 'A result of this is that pet owners (also often called pet parents) increasingly want to choose what they believe is the healthiest option for their pet's diet. This is because pet owners look at animals in a human way when it comes to nutrition. They also, for example, look at exotic new meat sources for their pets such as kangaroo or wild boar meat. Just because we – humans – also want a change of diet every now and then and this is hence projected on what people think or assume that pets want or need,' Brookshire explained. These unconventional meat sources are not studied for their effect on pets, and often they are included in the pet food in small amounts. Ancient grains and insect meal Brookshire: 'We also see a lot of things happening with grains in diet. The whole grain free pet food trend started around 10 years ago. Now, pet owners are also looking at ancient grains for their pets. A trend that is also seen in human nutrition. But is quinoa better than corn for example? It could be a better option at a low inclusion rate, but we just don't know if this is the case for higher inclusion rates in pet diets. Also new ingredients hit the market, such as insects (insect meal and/or oil). But we actually still don't know how it fits in the complete diet. We also see an increased spending on treats, toppers and broth products for pets. These snacks can be high in energy and these type of products can encourage the pets to eat more, which in turn can lead to obesity.' Bringing science back Brookshire believes that there are threats of the humanisation trend of pets. On top of that, there is a lot of misinformation everywhere and it is hard to change the perception of pet owners, once it is there, she said. 'The problem is that a lot of people (on the internet primarily) present themselves as pet food experts. What we see online is for example the negative comments about by-products for example. A lot of these so-called pet food 'experts' for example are very negative about the use of poultry by-products for pets. But this is not funded on any science,' Brookshire addressed. According to her, this misinformation is now replacing the facts and the science. This means we have to do more science and get the scientific facts out there. While there are published studies investigating how ingredients are digested and absorbed, there are very few studies that investigate the styles of diets over a long period of time. And sometimes even long term studies may not identify potential problems with new ingredients or combinations of ingredients. 'This is partly due to the fact that pet food studies can be quite expensive. At the same time, it is pivotal that we invest more in pet food studies so we can make a new story about the science behind the nutritional needs for pets. We need to bring back the science to the conversation. We need to re-focus on what truly is best for pets when it comes to nutrition and the feed ingredients used,' Brookshire concluded. by Emmy Koeleman -  All About Feed & Dairy Global

DSM to add world-leading animal nutrition and health specialty businesses with acquisition of Erber Group
Formulation
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3+ MIN

DSM to add world-leading animal nutrition and health specialty businesses with acquisition of Erber Group

Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living, announces that it has reached agreement to acquire Erber Group for an enterprise value of €980m. The value of the transaction represents an EV/EBITDA multiple of about 14x the 2020 EBITDA (fiscal year ending September 2020). The transaction – which excludes two smaller units in the Erber Group – is expected to be earnings enhancing in the first year upon completion. Erber Group's specialty animal nutrition and health businesses, Biomin and Romer Labs, specialize primarily in mycotoxin risk management, gut health performance management, and food and feed safety diagnostic solutions, expanding DSM's range of higher value-add specialty solutions. Romer Labs also complements DSM's human nutrition and health offering to food industry customers. Sanphar and EFB, representing 7% of Erber Group's total sales, are not included in this transaction. The acquired businesses have combined sales of €330m and an Adjusted EBITDA margin above 20% for the twelve months to the end of March 2020, with a high single-digit organic sales growth rate over the past 5 years. The acquisition will be debt financed, with committed bridge financing in place. DSM continues to benefit from a strong balance sheet and remains committed to maintaining a strong investment grade credit profile. With state-of-the-art research and manufacturing facilities and approximately 1,200 employees around the world, the acquisition of Erber Group is a unique strategic opportunity that provides revenue-enhancing synergies from the combined offering, global customer base, and complementary geographic strengths. Austrian-based Erber Group offers DSM the opportunity to enter the mycotoxin risk management market as the world leader and extends the company's position as one of the top suppliers in the rapidly growing animal gut performance management market. Mycotoxins occur as a result of natural fungus contaminants in animal feed and threaten the health of both animals and humans. In addition to increasing the risk of illness, mycotoxins also reduce the nutritional value of feed. Biomin's patented and proprietary technology provides the most scientifically advanced mycotoxin protection available. Biomin is also a major producer of phytogenic and probiotic feed alternatives to antibiotics, which complements and strengthens DSM's position in the rapidly growing global eubiotics market for improving animal gut health. Romer Labs is at the forefront of diagnostic technology with innovative testing solutions for the analysis of mycotoxins in feed and food, food allergens and pathogens as well as veterinary drug residues, with accredited full-service labs in Austria, UK, USA and Singapore. DSM's extensive global network of food and beverage customers as well as feed customers stand to benefit from Romer Labs' expertise and the combined group's data-based quality assurance offering. The acquisition of Erber Group further strengthens DSM's expertise and reputation as a leading provider of animal health and nutrition solutions for farm productivity and sustainability, with an emphasis on emissions reduction, feed consumption efficiency, and better use of water and land. Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, Co-CEOs of DSM, said: 'These are great businesses with strong and sustained track records of profitable growth and attractive margins. Biomin and Romer Labs will help strengthen and accelerate the growth of our specialty animal nutrition and health offering, including our big data and diagnostic capabilities, and it is exciting to be entrusted to take these family-founded businesses forward. It was immediately clear to us that the people at Erber Group share our purpose-led mission and will make a wonderful addition to DSM'. Dr. Erich Erber, Founder and President of Erber Group, commented: 'In DSM, I recognize the mutual values of sustainable stewardship that are so important to us. The world must reduce farming's environmental impact at the same time as increasing protein production to feed 10 billion people by 2050. To do that, we have to make sure protein is produced sustainably, using renewable ingredients as much as possible, while protecting the well-being of animals. DSM is the perfect home for our businesses, as Biomin and Romer Labs will be able to use their new scale to intensify our joint contribution to a more sustainable world's food supply'. The transaction, which remains subject to customary conditions, is expected to close in Q4 2020. by DSM

Wet Pet Food Market - Global Analysis and Forecasts to 2027
Formulation
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Wet Pet Food Market - Global Analysis and Forecasts to 2027

The global Wet Pet Food Market accounted for US$ 22,218.1 Mn in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period 2019 - 2027, to account for US$ 36,406.5 Mn by 2027. Wet pet foods are a good source of hydration for pet animals that show reluctance towards drinking adequate amounts of water. The contents of wet pet foods usually include chunks in gravy, chunks in jelly, casserole and meatloaf formats. The wet pet food is increasingly being preferred by pet owners as they help to boosts energy, builds muscles and lean mass, and stimulates the overall growth mechanism in animals. Consumption of wet pet food helps to provide the necessary nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals and keep pet healthy and hydrated. Moreover, such kinds of foods are considered as an ideal option for pets who cannot chew properly due to missing teeth, improper adjustment of jaws, or other related pet concerns. Such advantages offered by wet pet food makes them a popular and attractive option and the best source of hydration. Based on the product, wet pet food market is segmented into dog food, cat food, and others. In 2018, the dog food segment held a considerably large share of the global wet pet food market. The rising trend of nuclear families, rapid humanization of pets, and increased awareness about pet health have raised the demand for wet food for dogs in recent years. Furthermore, initiatives by various non-governmental organizations such as building rescue shelters, and growing compassion and care toward the health of stray dogs have driven the demand for high-quality dog food, which would, in turn, propel the sales of wet dog food. North America holds the largest share of the global wet pet food market and is projected to maintain its dominance over the forecast period. The growth of the wet pet food market in this region is primarily attributed to the presence of a large consumer base and high pet ownership in the US. Major market players present in North America wet pet food market includes Blue Buffalo Co., Ltd., FirstMate Pet Foods, and Mars, Inc., among others. These players are constantly working towards the innovations in new product developments of wet pet food with improved characteristics and high qualities. In the European region, the UK holds the largest share of the wet pet food market. The wet pet food demand in the UK is driven by the increasing population of pets. The pet food products have gained importance in the UK market owing increased focus of pet keepers towards healthy products along with empathy for pets. Moreover, the rise in disposable incomes of consumers in the UK has allowed the manufacturers to purchase better and healthy products for their pets in the UK. Some of the players present in the global wet pet food market are Blue Buffalo Co., Ltd., De Haan Petfood, FirstMate Pet Foods, Little BigPaw, Mars, Inc., Monge SPA, Petguard Holdings, LLC, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc., Nestlé Purina PetCare, and Butcher's Pet Care among others. The overall global wet pet food market size has been derived using both primary and secondary source. The research process begins with exhaustive secondary research using internal and external sources to obtain qualitative and quantitative information related to the wet pet food market. Also, multiple primary interviews were conducted with industry participants and commentators in order to validate data and analysis. The participants who typically take part in such a process include industry expert such as VPs, business development managers, market intelligence managers, and national sales managers, and external consultants such as valuation experts, research analysts, and key opinion leaders specializing in the wet pet food market. Reasons to Buy Highlights key business priorities in order to assist companies to realign their business strategies. The key findings and recommendations highlight crucial progressive industry trends in the global wet pet food market, thereby allowing players to develop effective long term strategies. Develop/modify business expansion plans by using substantial growth offering developed and emerging markets. Scrutinize in-depth the market trends and outlook coupled with the factors driving the market, as well as those hindering it. Enhance the decision-making process by understanding the strategies that underpin commercial interest with respect to products, segmentation and industry verticals. by Research and Markets All Extruded 

Pet food and an Evolving Protein Market
Formulation
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3+ MIN

Pet food and an Evolving Protein Market

The trend for high protein pet food products seems to be here to stay. It's standard practice in today's market for all brands to offer at least one high protein option in their product portfolio. Further, for many years now, pet food manufacturers have explored the utilization of novel and niche proteins in addition to traditional animal proteins (i.e. beef, poultry, fish, etc.). One could argue that the incorporation of niche proteins in pet food formulations should no longer be deemed a trend — rather, a necessary long-term option in a product portfolio. While the protein types that we see infiltrate the pet food industry vary from year to year, niche proteins are not leaving the pet food market in the near or distant future. In fact, pet owners are becoming more discriminant in their selection of proteins in their pet's diets. Pet food formulations that incorporate lower-quality animal proteins are generally viewed as inferior. As a result, pet food manufacturers are forced to look towards high-quality proteins which have previously not been considered in the ingredient stream for their industry. As the pet food industry continues to utilize more — and higher quality — protein, the demand results in competition with proteins intended for human consumption. Currently the demand of the pet food industry is not currently at a level which could impact the supply of proteins for human consumption. However, as meat consumption and pet ownership increase globally (in response to an improved global economy), the demand for high-quality proteins in pet food manufacturing may not be sustainable. History tells us that trends in human foods eventually make their way into the pet food industry. Mars Pet Nutrition recently noted that previously, human trends took five to seven years to reach the pet food industry. Now, human food trends transition into the pet food industry within a modest two years. In the past few years, there has been a noticeable 'humanization' of pet food products and largely, pet owners want their pets to consume a diet that is similar to their own. Recently, perhaps the most pervasive human food trend to impact the pet food industry is a focus on the social/value-based traits regarding pet food ingredients — namely proteins. Now, not only do pet owners prefer a pet food with protein as the primary ingredient, they have an increasing interest in how the protein was procured and processed. The demand for and production of pet food products which meat value-based criteria (i.e. organic, all-natural, local, etc.) is rising exponentially. Similarly, as observed in the human food sector for several years, modern pet owners tend to prefer a diet which excludes ingredients they believe to be harmful or offer no nutritional value (i.e. GMOs, hormones, artificial preservatives, etc.). Scientifically, no data exists to demonstrate the health benefits of such rations. Nonetheless, the perceived health benefits will continue to drive an increase in these protein options. The adoption of non-animal-based proteins quickly, and successfully, transitioned from the human food to pet food market. However, perhaps the most interesting, if not controversial, human protein trend is the rapidly rising interest in animal-proteins derived from cell-culture, or 'fake meat.' The regulatory landscape around these products in the human food sector is still being determined. Furthermore, the commercial-scale production of such products may be several years in the future. However, as noted, trends which influence the human food sector eventually transition into the pet food industry. Some companies, including Boulder, Colorado-based Bond Pet Foods, are forecasting that the pet food industry may be the perfect landscape for such a novel protein. Therefore, in the near future, it is likely that pet food manufacturers will also have the conversation of where — if at all — these products fit into the pet food portfolio. The conversations regarding proteins and their uses in the pet food industry have evolved tremendously over the past several decades. If we look to trends seen in the human food sector, it is evident that these conversations will continue to challenge pet food manufacturers to explore new options without sacrificing the quality, nutrition, or value of their products.  by Jennifer Martin, Ph.D., currently an Assistant Professor in Meat Quality and Safety in the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University Pet Food Processing

Fighting Pet Ageing  with Food - From Tailored Nutrition to Prevention
Formulation
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3+ MIN

Fighting Pet Ageing with Food - From Tailored Nutrition to Prevention

Pet parents want their dogs and cats to live a happy, healthy life, even as they enter old age. Early preventive nutrition using protective ingredients is an effective strategy to ensure healthy ageing of pets. Senior pets, a growing market  As with humans, life expectancy of pets has been continuously increasing over the past years, to reach an average of 11 years for dogs and 12 years for cats. The growing population of old pets represents huge potential. Pet parents want their animals to remain healthy as they age. Pet food and pet care players can seize the opportunity to offer products and services covering the evolving needs of ageing animals, thus ensuring pet owner loyalty to brands 'from kennel to grave'.*  Ageing and consequences  Seven years is often considered the average starting age of the geriatric years for cats and dogs. The ageing process induces numerous metabolic and physiological changes. It is accompanied by various problems such as joint health issues, obesity, immune system deterioration, cognitive decline and diabetes. For pet parents, it is hard to see their furry friend in pain. They are actively looking for solutions that will allow pets to stay healthy while growing old so they can share more time together. Fighting ageing: better safe than sorry The first strategy to deal with senior pet health issues includes the use of drugs or surgery. This curative approach is generally the last option once disease is established. The second strategy consists of taking various preventive actions to avoid or delay age-related troubles. Amongst them, food appears to be an ideal proactive way to ensure pets healthy ageing. Indeed, the belief that healthy eating habits can positively impact lifespan, acknowledged in human medicine, is transferring to the pet care field and fuelling the development of senior products. From tailored nutrition to protective ingredients Life-stage based pet food is increasingly demanded by consumers. In the US, one pet owner out of seven is looking for senior formulation.** Current diets for senior cats and dogs are designed to respond to specific nutritional requirements of aged pets. Protein level, calories, vitamins and mineral content are carefully controlled to help avoid obesity, support the immune system and limit pain in ageing joints. Most senior formulas are enriched with essential nutrients such as omega-3. Today, however, owners of old pets, increasingly informed about the benefits of prevention, expect life-stage products not only to be adapted to seniors, but also to limit the development of age-related disorders. Pet parents who trust the power of nature are particularly seeking natural ingredients or superfoods that already have proven preventive benefits in human health. Natural protective molecules from plants Many nutrients found in fruits or vegetables have properties that tackle the effects of ageing. Amongst the promising protective plant-based ingredients, those containing polyphenols are particularly interesting because they help to prevent cell oxidation and inflammation caused by ageing. At Vivae for instance, the latest anti-ageing solution for pets includes Curcuma which has remarkable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some berries also contain other polyphenols which, in addition to antioxidant properties, can have beneficial effects on cognition and memory.  The earlier the better Dietary prevention of ageing should start from birth. For maximum efficiency, the best approach is to introduce these protective ingredients as early as possible in a pet's life. Ideally, they are added to foods or via treats and supplements at the early stages of life, including junior and adult. These strategies can help lead to improvements in health, keeping pets young at heart for a longer time and bringing happiness to their human parents.  by GlobalPets

Pet food Formulation and Production Course
Formulation
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2+ MIN

Pet food Formulation and Production Course

Pet food professionals converge for formulation and production course Professionals within the pet food industry joined Kansas State University's IGP Institute from January 14–18th, 2019 for the IGP–KSU Pet Food Formulation for Commercial Production Course. In attendance were 20 participants from the US, Canada, Pakistan, India and Guatemala. The participants gained hands-on experience and further education in developing pet food product formulations. 'Creating pet food formulas from concepts, reverse engineering existing pet foods, and troubleshooting pet food production and quality control compliance issues using formulation software were additional learning outcomes of the training,' says Greg Aldrich, Research Associate Professor in the Department of Grain Sciences and Industry. Topics covered by the course included understanding ingredients, processes and software necessary to create new products; revising existing formulas; performing business and production analysis; gaining an understanding of the raw ingredients used to produce pet foods, their general composition and processing considerations; fundamental principles of companion animal nutrition and dietary needs (specifically dog and cat); learning the processes involved with producing pet foods, the regulatory constraints regarding claims and requirements, and the transportation and storage factors involved with marketing effective foods for companion animals; and studying the range of formulation tools common to the trade. 'I had no prior background in animal food production,' says Caitlin Eilenfeldt, Food Scientist at Riverbend Foods. 'The course was well taught and in a friendly atmosphere. I was able to take away a lot from this course and Dr Aldrich made the material very easy to learn.' Throughout the course, individuals participated in the presentations and various demonstrations led by KSU and AIB International faculty and staff. Individuals of the course also gained hands-on experience in the OH Kruse Feed Mill. Dr Aldrich says, 'As the industry grows and improves, the Department of Grain Sciences and Industry at K-State is continually striving toward significant research developments and works hand-in- hand with the goals of the feed and food industry to promote and develop pet food processing.' by All Extruded

How Pet Food Premiumization Has Affected Nonaffluent Pet Owners
Formulation
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4+ MIN

How Pet Food Premiumization Has Affected Nonaffluent Pet Owners

For these households, "affordable" might be the name of the pet ownership game. Through some of the most successful initiatives in pet food history, pet food marketers and retailers have been offsetting low- to no-volume growth by converting pet owners to higher-priced fare, both cheering along and capitalizing on the pets-as-family craze. The trend dates back around 15 years, though the tipping point might have been the pet food recalls of 2007, which put a spotlight on pet health and accelerated the rush toward products perceived to be safer, especially higher-priced natural pet foods. Known as premiumization, the approach has worked like a charm in pet food and carried over mightily into other pet categories, lifting pet food dollar sales 23 percent from 2013 to 2018, to nearly $35 billion. True, some of these gains came from new pet households; from 2008 to 2018, the number of U.S. pet-owning households rose from 112 million to 123 million, or by about 1 percent annually.  But the dollar advances stem mainly from products with higher price points, especially natural, grain-free and specialized diets. Largely fueling the boom have been higher-income households. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Surveys, $70K-plus households rose from 46 percent of pet food spending in 2006 to 54 percent in 2016. Dollar-wise, it"s been a good run—great, even. But what happens once pet food shoppers have been "scaled up" to the max? That day may be nigh, the biggest harbinger being the shifting retail locus of superpremium pet foods. Long concentrated in the pet specialty channel, upscale pet food has officially gone mass, rocket-fueled by the August 2017 crossover of Blue, along with mass-market contenders like Rachael Ray Nutrish. It"s an expected progression and, for the time being, a good thing for mass marketers and retailers with a customer base eager for pet-specialty-style fare. Already, however, the benefits of mass premiumization, which began long before Blue made the jump, might be starting to wane. According to The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 12, 2018), since General Mills acquired Blue in February 2018, quarterly sales growth has slowed from double to single digits. And with Nutrish now (as of April 2018) under the wing of J.M. Smucker, Nestlé Purina and Mars also focusing heavily on mass premium products, private-label knock-offs covering all bases, and online sellers broadcasting competitive prices and free shipping, the downward pricing pressure is monumental. Factor in the rising costs of basic ingredients such as corn and fancy human-grade ones, and it"s unclear how much more trading up remains to be done. After so many years, it"s all but inevitable that pet food premiumization as we know it, i.e., still pretty much all kibble and wet foods, would start to peak. But looking back, the industry"s superpremium single-mindedness appears to have come at a cost. Although the number of pet households increased from 2008 to 2018, the bulk of the growth occurred among upper-income households, including those earning $150K-plus (up 60 percent), $100K-$149K (up 38 percent) and $75K-$99K (up 13 percent).  In contrast, growth among households earning at lower levels was minimal or negative, with $50K-$74K households up 3 percent, and $25K-$49K and under-$25K households down 5 percent and 8 percent, respectively. As Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle revealed in Petfood Industry (July 2018), "Pet ownership patterns are at an economic crossroads … The good news is that, compared with 10 years ago, dog and cat ownership is up across the board among households with incomes of $75,000 or more … The bad news is that, in the past few years, dog and cat ownership is down among households with an income below $50K." In other words, a large segment of the potential pet-owning population seems to have been left behind. No wonder. In just the five years from 2013 to 2017, the average household expenditure on pet products (food and nonfood) and services (veterinary and nonmedical) rose from $1,063 to $1,280. Hindsight is not always 20/20, and scores of pet industry players are to be lauded for their generous involvement in pet adoption and welfare. But the fact remains: Over the past several years, millions of nonaffluent households have chosen to forego a pet. If premiumization continues to lose its zip, the pet market will be more dependent than ever on volume growth driven by growth in the pet population. Affluent pet owners won"t suddenly cease to count—to the contrary. But in a business bending so long and so far their way, pet food marketers and retailers looking for long-term growth would do well to redirect an equal part of their affection toward those households for which "affordable" might be the name of the pet ownership game. BY DAVID LUMMIS  - David Lummis is the lead pet-market analyst for Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com

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