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Palatability: the importance of producing palatable food
Palatants
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5+ MIN

Palatability: the importance of producing palatable food

By María Candelaria Carbajo

In a study done by professionals from Australian and New Zealander universities, research analysis and compilation were carried out to gather information about the importance of palatability and its drivers in certain pet foods.   The pet food industry and growth does not stop The pet food industry is an important sector of the rapidly growing pet care market. However, while the number of new and innovative products keeps growing, research and development to assess their performance follow traditional palatability methodology. These focus on analyzing the amount of food consumed by using one and two-bowl tests. Nowadays, we know that, although foods are primarily formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition, palatability is a crucial factor in determining the success or failure of a product in the marketplace and its likelihood of repurchase.   Nutritional requirements of dogs and cats Cats and dogs are members of the carnivore order. While the name implies that both are specialized carnivores, each species originated from different branches: the domestic cat is part of the Felidae family, whereas the domestic dog is part of the Canidae family. Nutritional requirements, feeding behavior, and food selection choices vary considerably between the two species. Compared to their carnivorous wolf ancestors, today's domestic dogs can consume food of both animal and non-animal origin and are, therefore, classified as facultative carnivores. For their part, cats are one of the most recently domesticated mammal species. They are solitary hunters who often hunt prey much smaller than their body mass, requiring them to do it several times a day to meet their needs. They are classified as intermittent eaters who consume multiple small meals over a 24-hour period, and are generally much more picky, compared to dogs: they can detect small differences in the food composition offered to them. Unlike dogs, they are obligate carnivores in their methods of ingesting, digesting, and metabolizing meat-based diets, as without animal protein, cats can suffer from severe nutritional deficiencies.   How do they behave? Both cats and dogs tend to display neophilic behavior, defined as a tendency for new and unknown food, as opposed to neophobia, the avoidance of it. In some cases, already somewhat extreme, cats can show metaphilia, the demand to change a portion of food once it becomes familiar to their palates.   Preferences and palatability With the increasing number of pet foods available on the market, palatability has become the main criterion used to measure product performance. These foods' physical and chemical properties, linked to the promotion or suppression of eating behavior during the preabsorption period, are those that define, to a large extent, whether or not their owners will buy one food again or not, since they have a direct relationship with the perception of pleasure or taste during consumption.   Palatability tests The consumption test (how much food is consumed over time) is the most widely used technique to assess food palatability. It can be applied by seeking to analyze the palatability of a single product or by comparing more than one with another to determine group preferences. One-bowl test In this test, a single product is presented to a defined number of animals and repeated over several days to eliminate environmental influences. It is useful to reflect more accurately the different options provided at homes. Currently, the problem with this test is that it does not show a real preference for any specific food and, furthermore, it does not provide enough information to be able to certify an improvement in a product. Two-bowl test The two-bowl test is the other traditional method of palatability testing for research and involves presenting 2 foods simultaneously to an animal for a defined period, allowing the animal to choose and show its preference.   Behavior as a measure of palatability Pets can't speak about their preferences and tastes, so studies should focus on assessing their behavioral response to various foods to obtain an additional objective measure of palatability. Regarding this, in the case of cats, for example, in a study by Van den Bos, it was possible to identify certain physical responses that seemed to be related to liking or aversion to different foods, also known as taste reactivity tests. The taste for food was distinguished by licking and sniffing their feeder, licking their lips, and grooming their face. Food refusal was differentiated by licking and sniffing food and nose licking. Another defining aspect is the time cats spend sniffing food.   Biological aspects In addition to differences in feeding behavior and nutrient requirements, the main factors influencing cat and dog food preferences also vary. In dogs, preference for odor has been identified as the likely palatability driver in a study (Hall, 2017) in which dogs were presented with two bowls of 1 out of 4 chicken-flavored foods and, in 89 % of the tests, consumed more of the food they had initially selected. In another study carried out by Roberts in 2018, it was concluded that dogs could choose their preferred diet before trying it, and it is possible that the smell was a key factor in making this picking. In the case of cats, they use both smell and taste to detect and select food. Although not as highly developed as dogs, they use their smell sense to recognize both new and trusted scents. Food preference is often strongly influenced by their mothers' food choices and exposure to food during pregnancy via amniotic fluid, even in the first few years of life. This limited exposure to different foods in their first years can result in a preference for that taste, known as the primacy effect. However, it may not be seen in practice, as some cats show neophilia to various options. Additionally, when cats face two familiar and abundant types of food, they will eat a mix of both to obtain a wide variety of nutrients and maximize long-term nutritional benefits. Regarding food selection, several studies have proven that the most influential aspect of the decision is taste, smell, and color.   The future can't wait! Pet food palatability is a key aspect for both manufacturers and pet owners. Currently, traditional palatability testing methods are used to assess the acceptance and preference of balanced pet foods and snacks. However, there are gaps in our knowledge in this area, and more research is needed to determine the fundamental factors responsible for choosing one food over another. Modern techniques such as metabolomics can unlock this knowledge, but, we'll say it again: investment is needed for its successful development. Taking a collective approach that uses both traditional palatability testing methods and modern testing can be the fair and balanced way to determine the optimal level of ingredient inclusion, maximize palatability, recognize the nutrients responsible for driving preference, and more.   Source: All Pet Food Magazine

Pet Fair Asia 2023 Reflections
Palatants
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Pet Fair Asia 2023 Reflections

Pet Fair Asia is considered the benchmark exhibition for pet supply companies in Asia-Pacific. The event gives significant importance to Asian markets and presents a wide coverage of supply chain and sourcing needs. In this blog, Charlie Xie, Technical Service Manager for AFB China, reports on various market trends and products while at the event Compared with traditional baked kibble, some manufacturers have redesigned the shape and introduced multiple colors. It is relatively novel among many baked kibble brands. Some brands and manufacturers have also designed chips for pets, similar to potato chips eaten by people. The main component of chips for pets is meat. The chips are very crispy, meeting the cat's texture preference. Dogs also like to eat these chips. One company was displaying freeze-dried dietary fiber meat, which increases the intake of dietary fiber in cats, helping to promote intestinal peristalsis, prevent intestinal hairballs, reduce constipation, and reduce fecal odor. Multi-colored Kibble Looking at customized meals for pets, the daily nutritional needs are customized according to the physical condition of each pet. The corresponding nutritional plan is formulated according to age, weight, gender, and other information. The daily diet could include kibble, freeze-dried, wet pet food, snacks, etc. The diet will also be customized according to customer requirements, such as plans to help fur appear healthier and more beautiful, increase intestinal health, improve oral health, and support weight loss A new concept around wet food packaging is the mini can of cat food. Cats are often fed many times a day, leading to relatively small food intake at each meal. When using a can, there may be a surplus, resulting in leftover food that is not fresh. Therefore, a brand has designed a smaller package where each mini can is 35g. This can be consumed in full every time, and part of the package is transparent so you can see the contents. Another packaging product was the Tetra Pak Packaging Wet Pet Food. Using sealed filling Tetra Recart packaging technology, low-carbon paper, environmentally friendly, recyclable materials, to promote sustainable development. This packaging uses Tetra Pak's first 9-layer packaging technology, and the shelf life can reach 24 months without adding any preservatives 35g wet cat can food and Tetra Pak Packaging for wet food Other products that were displayed were around special needs, such as a pill used to wrap medicine. Often, pets refuse to take medicine due to poor palatability. In order to solve this problem, the brand has designed a medicine-feeding product, which wraps tablets so pets successfully take medicine. This pill has very good palatability, which can cover up the bad taste. Some brands make pet nutritional supplements into the shape of coffee capsules, mixed with water, and fed to pets for pet nutrition supplements. Pills used to wrap medicine.  Attending these types of shows is valuable to market research. At AFB, our palatants are specially designed to make pet foods, treats and supplements taste better. Seeing new products in person helps us support our customers using new technology. Please reach out to Charlie Xie at [email protected] if you want to learn more about AFB palatants and our services and solutions in China. We Make Pet Food Taste Great.TM by AFB International Source: All Pet Food 

 Market Trends and Highlights from SUPERZOO 2023
Palatants
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Market Trends and Highlights from SUPERZOO 2023

Dry pet food is being differentiated with broth or raw coatings and various inclusions such as jerky, baked or air dried ingredients to make the classic feeding occasion different for dogs and cats.  Functional ingredients continue to dominate coming out of the pandemic with calming claims, new dental designs for mechanical cleaning action, and combinations of historical health focused needs like urinary tract health and gut health in a single item.  Wet food continues to add health benefits to elevate above just a culinary experience with additions like prebiotic fiber in wet food, moisture rich for hydration claims, low phosphorous for kidney health, and probiotic inclusion in bone broth.  Several established brands with strong equity extended into different feeding occasions or species looking to use that equity to grow.   Specific examples are leading snacks brands into complete and balanced kibble and cat focused brands into dog offerings.  CBD offerings were available but not near as many as several years ago.  Sustainability can be seen in packaging and ingredient sourcing claims but is much less prevalent in NA than EU new items showcases.  Insect, which was really prominent at ZOOMARK in Italy, made its way into some diet offerings for NA. UV attractants in litter and flavored bubbles for dogs were interesting items that are signs of the category moving from its focus on supply chain assurance and back to bringing out novel offerings. We are looking forward to seeing the new market trends next year! by AFB International 

The use of additives in the pet food market
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The use of additives in the pet food market

By Ludmila Barbi T. Bomcompagni

The use of additives in pet food is already well established in Brazil and follows the standards and regulations of MAPA, ANVISA, FDA - Food and Drug Administration -USDA. All additives used in pet food must be included in the list of raw materials, ingredients, and additives authorized for use in animal feed, also called feed-grade products. But not all the additives described in the legislation are intended exclusively for animal feed, the additives present in pet food are generally the same, or very similar, to those used for food for human consumption (food-grade). Therefore, it is common to find suppliers that manufacture/market these food-grade additives, for human nutrition, and are, therefore, capable of being used in animal nutrition. The growth of the pet food market promotes the use and development of new additives considering that some of them, mainly those in the sensory, nutritional, and zootechnical fields, can improve the quality and palatability of the food to be supplied to the pet. And also, they become a differential in the formulation of products and in the creation of an argument that can be decisive in the purchase choice by the consumer. This need for innovation and leadership in the midst of so much competition leads many pet food industries to invest in additives inclusion in their formulations. Premium and Super Premium category foods for dogs usually have a wide variety of zootechnical additives in their composition, among which we usually see chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine sulfate, hexametaphosphate, zeolite, bentonite, cassava extract, prebiotics, and probiotics, among others. And, in cat diets, insoluble and moderately fermented sources of fiber, such as cellulose or beet pulp, are additives consistently found in higher-end hairball control products, for example. It is interesting to see companies that care about the quality of their products to stay in the market and grow within it. Innovation is necessary for all aspects of the pet food production chain, starting with new ingredients and additives development. From our point of view, this is a factor with very positive points, since it generates research and improvement of pet products, and, consequently, promotes the health and greater longevity of dogs and cats. Even so, we see some negative points in additives use if they are only related to the market interests. The cost of using additives, and the lack of information on the ideal levels of use in the different types of products available in the pet market, make each industry assume the amount that it is interested in its formulation. Many companies are including them in their formulas in trace amounts, but still declare the benefits of the additives on their labels as a product differential, guaranteeing a benefit that is unlikely to be achieved. We believe that the pet market in Brazil is still poorly regulated in terms of minimum and maximum inclusion of additives in dog and cat food and that more research, debate, and discussion are needed on the subject.   By: Ludmila Barbi and Erika Stasieniuk Source: All Pet Food Magazine

Nutritional needs of cats and dogs
Vitamins
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Nutritional needs of cats and dogs

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

 FENAGRA 2023 Reflections
Palatants
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FENAGRA 2023 Reflections

This year, more than 7,000 people attended the event with goals to find new suppliers, learn about innovative products and solutions, and discuss new trends in the industry. FENAGRA promoted its Technical Congresses that discussed important issues for the sector, which had the participation of more than 1,800 professionals. The result was 2 days of tradeshow, 3 days of Congresses and 145 exhibitors Marcelo Beraldo, LATAM Director at AFB remarked about the event: 'FENAGRA 2023 has taken an unprecedented proportion in terms of size, quality of visitors and presence of important companies. It was the first post-pandemic event, which enabled a lighter and happier energy. The distancing was replaced by the desire to talk and enjoy the typical Latin warmth of this event. We had excellent contact with our customers and suppliers too.' For Leeann Bo, AFB Global Product Manager, this was her first visit to Brazil and to FENAGRA:'I was impressed by the quantity and variety of information about pet food ingredients. It was a large event with companies bringing many employees from various functions and sectors, leading to valuable conversations and connections'. Carolina Junqueira, responsible for the R&D Department of AFB Brazil, attended the 3 days of congress and said: 'Always a very good time to see friends and learn a lot from professionals, not only from Brazil but also from other countries. Every year is a rich experience!' The day before its opening, AFB participated in a pre-event organized by the company Alltech. It was a day for informative lectures and great networking opportunities in the same complex in which FENAGRA is held. The lecture 'Conditions that affect the palatability of pet food' was presented by Cesar Garrasino, Technical Manager of AFB LATAM. The lecture delved into the various factors that influence the palatability of pet food, an interesting topic for the audience, which was composed mostly of professionals responsible for formulation in pet food companies. Our booth, the information we provided there, the good service and reception of the AFB team once again made a difference in FENAGRA 2023. Our place is guaranteed at FENAGRA 2024, which will be held in an even larger event space that will now be in the capital of the state São Paulo. We value the time spent with our dear customers, suppliers and AFB colleagues from other locations. See you next year! by AFB International Source: All Pet Food   

ADM opens most innovative probiotics and postbiotics plant in Valencia
Micro Ingredients
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ADM opens most innovative probiotics and postbiotics plant in Valencia

The American human and pet nutrition company ADM has opened its most innovative production plant in Valencia. With an investment of over 30 million dollars, the factory will be the first in the world capable of producing probiotics and postbiotics at the same facility. In addition, the new factory represents a five-fold increase in the company's production capacity. The aim of the new plant is to meet the growing worldwide demand for probiotics and postbiotics, as part of ADM's expansion strategy in the health and wellness sector. It will thus contribute to the multinational firm's target of boosting revenue in this division from 500 million dollars at the close of 2022 to over 2 billion in the next ten years. University R&D laboratory The factory is located close to the company's R&D centre at the University of Valencia Science Park, facilities where scientists carry out activities such as next-generation genome sequencing and early-stage testing of new bacterial strains. The commissioning of the Valencian factory will enable the company to produce 50 metric tonnes per year. From there it will supply the probiotic and postbiotic markets in the United States, Asia-Pacific and Europe. The company intends to triple its customer base over the next five years. Science-based research Health and wellness division president Mark Lotsch said that his business area is 'one of the three enduring trends powering ADM's growth strategy: consumers are increasingly aware of the role their gut microbiome can play in their everyday lives, and they're seeking nutrition solutions that are backed up by science-based research'. The company alluded to a Euromonitor market research study that estimates that the probiotic supplements retail market could surge to 10.4 billion dollars by 2027, compared to its turnover of 8.3 billion in 2022. Lotsch added that this growth is being driven by the rising demand for science-based probiotic formulas that are used in dietary supplements, as well as dairy products, food and healthy snacks and beverages, and in addition to pet and animal well-being products. ADM, one of the world's leaders in science-backed nutrition solutions, has opened a new production facility in Valencia, Spain to help meet rising global demand for probiotics, post-biotics and other products that support health and well-being The production facility represents an investment in excess of 30 mio dollars and a more than five-fold increase in ADM's production capacity, increasing it to 50 metric tons per year. The facility will allow ADM to supply growing markets for probiotics and postbiotics in the US, Asia-Pacific and Europe, states the company.  ADM expects its customer base will more than triple over the next five years as more people recognise the links between the gut microbiome and many aspects of health, and look for products tailored to their specific needs. The facility, the world's first to produce both probiotics and postbiotics at the same site according to ADM, will help the company fulfil its expansion strategy in the health and well-being sector. ADM is on its way to realising its ambition of increasing health and wellness revenue from over 500 million dollars in 2022 to 2 bn dollars within 10 years. The site will produce ADM's probiotic BPL1 and the heat-treated BPL1 postbiotic, as well as other ADM proprietary strains, supplying a broad range of customers. It will also be able to support further growth in ADM's UK-leading Bio-Kult brand of products. The new facility is located close to ADM's pioneering research and development centre in the University of Valencia Scientific Park, where ADM scientists undertake activity including next-generation genome sequencing and early-stage testing of new bacterial strains. By ADM 
 

What Nutrients are Essential for My Pet?
Minerals
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What Nutrients are Essential for My Pet?

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

How important is choline for cats
Vitamins
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How important is choline for cats

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

DSM Establishes Tonganoxie, Kansas, Pet Food Premix Plant
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DSM Establishes Tonganoxie, Kansas, Pet Food Premix Plant

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

A study analyzes the role of palatability in the pet nutrition industry
Palatants
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3+ MIN

A study analyzes the role of palatability in the pet nutrition industry

The pet food industry is an important sector of the growing pet care market. The industry's growth to date can be attributed to a number of trends that have resulted in a significant increase in the number of new and innovative products available to pet parents. Although pet foods are primarily formulated to provide a complete and balanced nutrition, palatability has been identified as a key factor to determining the success or failure of a product in the marketplace and the chances of repurchase. Therefore, a group of researchers from Massey University carried out a scientific review in which they analyze the methods used to assess the palatability of pet foods, along with a discussion of the palatability drivers . They also study the feeding behavior and nutritional requirements of both dogs and cats, the different pet food formats available, and the ingredients commonly included in pet foods. 'The research on pet food palatability focuses on the amount of food consumed using one-bowl and two-bowl tests, but the differences observed, particularly at the key ingredient level, is poorly understood,' they explain. According to the experts palatability is defined as the physical and chemical properties of the diet, which are linked to the promotion or suppression of eating behavior during the preabsorptive period. 'Instead of being associated with a desire or need, palatability is linked to the perception of pleasure or taste during consumption. In other words, the  palatable food is that considered easily accepted by an animal', researches highligted According to them  palatability in pet food, especially for cats, remains of great importance to both manufacturers and owners. Currently, traditional palatability testing methods are used to assess the acceptance and preference of complete and balanced pet foods and treats. However, until very recently, few studies have used these traditional methods to assess the palatability of individual dietary components, mainly meat and its derivatives, which are important to the carnivorous cat. 'Cats are known to show differences in the palatability of selected by-products; however, there are gaps of our knowledge in this area and more work is required to determine the main factors responsible for these differences'. For the authors, modern techniques such as metabolomics can unlock this knowledge, but pet food research is still underdeveloped. "In the future, a collective approach using traditional palatability testing methods and modern analytical tests may help determine not only the optimal level of ingredient inclusion to maximize palatability, but also the nutrients responsible for driving preference," they conclude. THE PET NUTRITION INDUSTRY AND ITS COMMITMENT TO PALATABILITY As highlighted in the study, the pet food industry takes palatability into account when developing its products. This is the case of the Canadian company Champion Petfoods, manufacturer of the Orijen and Acana brands, distributed in Spain by Masale. Thus, at Champion Petfoods they regularly carry out palatability tests on their diets, comparing them with their competitors in the same category in order to assess  the degree of acceptance by the animals. For instance, in one of the tests, they compared an Acana product to a diet from another brand, and more than half of the dogs were attracted by the known diet due to its scent, and 90% of the time dogs ate its diet first. In another test, Acana diet showed a 9:1 consumption ratio against its alternative. This means for every bowl of food from other brand, 9 bowls of Acana were consumed by the dogs. After performing a statistical analysis of the results collected from the palatability tests, they can conclude their diets outperform other alternatives. "We believe that our high-quality ingredients and high meat content make us leaders," they defend. By Francisco Ramón López

Plasma: A whole Body Health Ingredient
Micro Ingredients
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6+ MIN

Plasma: A whole Body Health Ingredient

Pets face stress during all life stages including mild and common illnesses, injuries, surgeries, and normal aging. A common thread of any stressor is inflammation. Inflammation can result when the immune system is activated. Inflammation is a normal physical response, usually to injury or illness. It's the body's way of protecting itself by dilating blood vessels and allowing increased blood flow and accumulation of cells to the affected area. The variety of immune cells can lead to addressing the damage and help return to a normal status. It's a crucial response that helps us and our pets – but it can sometimes get out of hand. Two types of inflammation occur in both humans and pets, acute and chronic. Acute inflammation occurs as a near-immediate response to a specific injury or tissue damage. For instance, when a bone is broken, there's swelling, redness, and heat as your body tries to prevent infection and jumpstart the healing process to help repair damaged tissues. Acute inflammation is a normal process that helps address the injury or tissue damage. Chronic inflammation is longer term and may affect the entire body leading to chronic disease or health issues. Chronic inflammation may result in tissue damage to the body's cells, oxidative stress, and can increase the risk for illnesses. Some reported links between chronic inflammation and malnutrition suggest specific dietary problems and imbalances can spark issues. When choosing foods, treats and supplements, special attention should be given to functional ingredients that promote health and well-being, including those that have a beneficial effect on managing inflammation, including plasma derived proteins. In numerous, studies across multiple species, research has shown adding plasma to diets has numerous long-term health and developmental benefits. WHAT IS PLASMA Plasma is a natural ingredient backed by decades of research demonstrating a proven whole-body effect, modulating inflammation at the source. Consumed orally, the functional proteins in plasma don't interfere with the body's natural immune response to inflammation; instead, they help the immune system to respond more quickly and efficiently.     WHAT COMPONENTS MAKE PLASMA EFFECTIVE? Plasma contains a complex mixture of functional proteins including:     INFLAMMATION OCCURS AT ALL LIFE STAGES YOUTH Puppies and kittens use a lot of energy during their initial days growing and exploring their new surroundings. They need a diet full of calories and specific nutrients that help build healthy muscles and bones, eyesight, their gastrointestinal tract, and mental cognition. Being curious creatures, they go through many life stressors – eating things they shouldn't, getting vaccinations, adjusting to a new environment and life without littermates or mom. These stressors take a toll on young pets and cause their bodies to respond to the stressors instead of using vital energy and nutrients to grow. ADULT Adult pets need a quality diet that suits their lifestyle, filled with quality proteins, calories, and nutrients to help maintain proper weight and energy levels and preserve good health. Like when they were younger, adult pets go through many stressful events that cause inflammation. Vet visits, separation anxiety, or unfamiliar surroundings – even thunderstorms cause stress. Some of our pets, particularly dogs, have jobs such as herding cattle, competing in events and hunting, all of which can elevate stress levels. SENIOR Senior pets have usually been with their owners for many years and have been loyal and loving companions. Unfortunately, like us, life's stressors and inflammation brought on by advancing age causes pets to slow down. We see inflammation impacting a pet's range of mobility, reduced cognitive function, loss of muscle mass and strength, decreased appetite, and frequently, compromised intestinal health, digestion, and nutrient absorption. PLASMA SUPPORTS PETS THROUGH ALL LIFE STAGES Development of the young animal requires good nutritional support while minimizing the effects of inflammation and stress. Plasma provides proteins and amino acids while modulating intestinal inflammation to maintain intestinal barrier function for development and nutrient uptake. This allows our young pets the opportunity to grow and develop properly. Plasma in adult pet diets helps them overcome negative impacts many stressors can have on their bodies. Plasma in an adult pet diet provides nutrients and support of the total immune system. This allows the adult pet to potentially experience less of the effect of stressors from the different inflammatory events and be more active. Aging pets tend to experience inflammation at higher levels than at other life stages. In an aging pet, stressors may lead to many negative consequences, such as reduced mobility, cognitive function, strength, and compromised intestinal health. Plasma modulates inflammation both in the intestinal tract and systemically in the body, preventing cognition loss and reducing intestinal inflammation. Consumed by aging animals, plasma can support and improve overall wellbeing in later life stages. Offering pets foods, treats and supplements containing plasma can help add to lifelong well-being. Whether helping a juvenile pet develop strong bones and muscles, keeping adult pets in optimal health, or helping ease the overall negative impacts inflammation has on senior pets, plasma offers whole body health benefits for every life stage. Finding holistic methods to support normal immune and inflammatory responses is important to keeping pets healthy and enjoying a long life. Inflammation is more than sore joints. When stress or chronic inflammation occurs, the whole body is affected down to the various tissue levels.     IMPACT OF INFLAMMATION CONTRIBUTE TO A CASCADING OF EVENTS IN OTHER TISSUES. Inflammatory cells are part of the immune system or immune response. As pets age, inflammation can occur and lead to recruitment of inflammatory cells responding to stress or other stimuli. The inflammatory cells produce messengers of the immune system such as pro or anti-inflammatory cytokines that can lead to a cascade of events in other tissues as listed below. INFLAMMATION REDUCES ABSORPTION AND INTESTINAL INTEGRITY LEADING TO MALNUTRITION, SOMETIMES RESULTING IN DIARRHEA OR LOOSE STOOLS. Inflammation of the intestinal tract can reduce absorption of nutrients, intestinal integrity (permeability), or barrier function, gut microbiota, and impact metabolism. Preventing the inflammation can reduce malnutrition and increase absorption of essential nutrients for overall well-being. INFLAMMATION INCREASES LIVER ACUTE PHASE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS. When stimulated by cytokines, the liver produces acute phase proteins and triglycerides. To produce the acute phase proteins, the liver takes up amino acids which are the building blocks for production of these proteins. INFLAMMATION ACCELERATES MUSCLE DEGRADATION RESULTING IN REDUCED MUSCLE MASS. Inflammation accelerates muscle degradation. releasing amino acids for the liver production of acute phase proteins and reduces the uptake of amino acids and protein synthesis, resulting in muscle degradation. This may affect older pets by having reduced muscle mass. INCREASED IMMUNE RESPONSE STIMULATES NEURODEGENERATION CASCADE. Many of the metabolic effects noted in the body are affected by these cytokines impacting the brain. Inflammation results in the febrile response, reduced feed intake, lethargy, and anorexia mediated via the brain. Inflammation can impact cognitive decline by having an increase immune response which stimulates neurodegeneration cascade. Thus, anti-inflammatory or antioxidant interventions may prevent cognitive decline associated with aging. CHRONIC INFLAMMATION CAN LEAD TO INSULIN RESISTANCE AND OBESITY. Chronic inflammation is associated with insulin resistance and obesity. The adipose tissue increases lipolysis (breakdown of fat), reduced triglyceride clearance due to decreased lipoprotein lipase activity and produces adipocytokines that can affect insulin resistance and obesity. INFLAMMATION SPEEDS BONE LOSS AND IMPACTS SOFT TISSUE LEADING TO DECREASED MOBILITY. Inflammation results in an imbalance of bone resorption and bone formation leading to more bone loss. Inflammation can also impact the joints resulting in swelling, arthritis, pain, stiffness which can all impact mobility. by APC Source: All Pet Food 
 

The Pet Food Aisle is Going Natural
Colorants
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3+ MIN

The Pet Food Aisle is Going Natural

This is a bold move, but one that doesn't come as too much of a surprise to those following the industry closely. While total food sales at retail are growing at a modest 2%, according to Nielsen research, total Pet consumables are faring quite a bit better at +5%. The driving force behind growth in pet food and treats is premiumization as pet 'parents', enabled by online information sources, seek to buy what is best for their pet's health. Consumers are trading up to premium offerings. So while the volume of pet food in traditional retail is actually down, in large part because smaller breeds are growing in popularity, category dollars continue to show solid growth. The path to growth in pet appears to be specifically tied to health and wellness. Specifically, consumer desire to avoid 'bad' ingredients is driving growth more than functionality. Both grain-free and now potato-free pet food varieties are increasing share. Wet dog food is growing at more than twice the overall category rate because of a health perception – more protein. But more than any other claim, natural pet foods are appealing to today's pet consumer. Natural color alone is one of the main drivers of growth for dog food. While at Sensient we don't share the view that synthetic color is really less healthful for pets (and neither do pet food regulations), the consumer always has the final say. By de-listing pet brands that don't switch from synthetic to natural, Petco is likely to trigger a wave of conversions to natural colors. And the company indicated a willingness to work closely with brands and natural food color manufacturers in their announcement. 'We're inviting pet food companies to join us on this journey, even working hand-in-hand with some to pursue potential ingredient changes to meet our new ingredient standards' said Nick Kovat, a Chief Merchandising Officer with the company. A few years ago, our innovation team began to develop natural color solutions that could address some of the specific challenges facing pet food and treat manufacturers. Fortunately, there are good solutions available today and more are in development. I would highly recommend checking out some of Gale Myers' previous blog entries as a starting point. Some of the most relevant posts include a review of 'natural Red 40' options and strategies to replace caramel. While I might be a little biased, I firmly believe we have some of the leading natural color technologies available for the pet industry today. Our SupraRed™ heat stable red vegetable juice, for example, is a major advancement in color stability for pet products that go through extrusion or heat processing. This includes most pet foods as well as natural pet treats. Meeting the evolving demands of today's pet consumer means producing nutritious food that also looks like it meets the needs of our furry friends.  by Matt Bartoe  

APC joins the All Pet Food family
Preservatives
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2+ MIN

APC joins the All Pet Food family

ABOUT APC Our story began in 1981 when APC scientists discovered the powerful role plasma derived functional proteins play in helping support and maintain normal immune function in animals. With a commitment to research and a passion to improve the lives of animals, APC has since grown to become the global leader in the manufacture and sales of blood-derived functional plasma proteins and red blood cell products. Our ingredients are used in animal feed diets and other industries to add value through the unique properties that positively impact billions of animals – and plants – each year. Today APC employs 500+ people in 8 countries with 17 manufacturing facilities worldwide. Our passion to watch animals and plants thrive is at the core of our corporate mission. MODE OF ACTION Inflammation and an overactive immune response to stressors takes a toll on animals. People too – think about how difficult it is to go about your daily routine when you aren't feeling well. The same thing happens with pigs, poultry, companion animals – and even fish! Finding ways to help support a normal immune and inflammatory response isimportant to keeping animals healthy and productive. APC has spent years researching the mode  of action of plasma –basically how plasma works. The mode of action of plasma is actually very simple. Plasma is comprised of a complex mixture of functional proteins (we call them FPs for short) that include transferrin, lysozymes, growth factors, cytokines, immunoglobulins and many other components that have a profound, positive impact on animals. Consumed orally, the FPs don't interfere with the body's natural immune response to inflammation, but instead they help the immune system to respond more quickly and efficiently. This helps animals to use their energy for productive functions instead of using it to fight the stressor. FPs help to minimize the effects of stressors and get animals back to normal quickly, effectively and consistently. APC's plasma FPs are formulated with other ingredients nutritionally important to animals to target a specific problem and the appropriate response. Through research and working with our customers, APC fine-tunes the appropriate level of FPs in the diet to help solve the problems caused by common stressors. The result is a fast, visual response in the animal, allowing them to thrive. WORLD PRESENCE     With APC you will find high quality products anywhere in the world. Visit APC SHOWCASE in All Pet Food Source: All Pet Food

AstaReal targets pet food market with new collaboration
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2+ MIN

AstaReal targets pet food market with new collaboration

AstaReal, the global pioneer in astaxanthin production and related research, announces a new strategic partnership with IQI Trusted Pet Food Ingredients, a supplier of premium inclusions. Its recently launched science-based pet food formula NOVASTA EB15 will be available more easily on the European market for the enhancement of animal health. The partnership will combine and maximise the strengths of both companies. AstaReal will provide its health-promoting astaxanthin product NOVASTA EB15, while IQI Trusted Pet Food Ingredients will act as a growth engine for European sales. IQI is based in the Netherlands with a European storage location and sales offices in other countries, and thus can easily deliver to pet food manufacturers all over Europe. 'We are very happy to work with IQI Trusted Pet Food Ingredients, as their team has a large amount of market and customer information, and strategic insight, which enables us to respond quickly to potential customers in this industry,' said Peter Ahlm, Marketing & Sales Manager at AstaReal AB. 'The pet food industry is a huge growth hub for us.' Before expanding into the European market together, AstaReal and IQI previously worked on a successful collaboration in the US. NOVASTA EB15 is AstaReal's latest offering for feed and pet food. Its health-enhancing effects are derived from natural astaxanthin – one of nature's most powerful antioxidants obtained from microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis. Multiple scientific studies show its various benefits for animals, where it improves, for example, endurance and attentiveness, and supports eye health and immune response. In NOVASTA EB15, astaxanthin is encapsulated to maintain its antioxidant power, particularly in challenging formulations. by AstaReal

Hydrolyzed functional proteins -  Improving health inside out
Micro Ingredients
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2+ MIN

Hydrolyzed functional proteins - Improving health inside out

We take a holistic approach to pet health, developing functional ingredients that span all major health areas, intending to improve pets' overall well-being. We seek to inspire and unlock new opportunities for our customers through our high-quality, science-backed ingredients for pet food products.   Hydrolyzed functional proteins to improve health Palbio® 62 SP is a raw material for animal feed based on highly digestible and palatable hydrolyzed porcine intestinal mucosal proteins that promote feed intake and contribute to intestinal health maintenance in pets and companion animals.   Enzyneer® Enzymatic Hydrolysis Technology It is a safe source of high-quality proteins and functional peptides, obtained with a unique industrial process (EnzyneerB Enzymatic Hydrolysis Technology). This process gives rise to a product composed of L-a-amino acids and bioactive peptides, which positively impact animals' intestinal health. Palbio® 62 SP is a hypoallergenic ingredient, fully digestible, and highly palatable due to its composition of aromatic amino acids and peptides. It contributes to intestinal health maintenance and contains bioactive peptides with different biological functions that provide nutritional well-being to pets.   A sustainable, natural origin product Palbio® 62 SP is a sustainable product of natural origin, as its entire production process, which focuses on creating a circular economy. The raw material is a co-product of the pharmaceutical industry, and in its value creation process, a great amount of water is recovered, recycled, and reused in energy and other auxiliary materials, avoiding waste generation, harmful to the environment.   As shown in tables 1 and 2, Palbio® 62 SP is a high-quality protein that positively affects feed intake and intestinal health in monogastric animals.   Table 1. Incidence of Palbio® 62 SP in dry food intake   Table2. Incidence of Palbio® 62 SP in wet food intake   In addition, other benefits have been shown in their general well-being and intestinal health:   High palatability Compared to diets containing other animal and vegetable protein sources, feed intake improves. Improves feed intake compared to diets containing other sources of animal and vegetable protein. Hypoallergenic Thanks to its low molecular weight of 600 daltons, it is considered non-allergenic. Functional activity Palbio® 62 SP promotes intestinal cell selective proliferation, as well as the selective expression of genes in intestinal cells related to digestive health. Digestive health Genes related to barrier function, nutrient transport, digestive enzymes, digestive hormones, antioxidant enzymes, and immune response benefit from Palbio® 62 SP. Palbio® 62 SP is suitable for all species, improving intestinal health and animal welfare.   Source: Iberian Feed

Application of Spirulina as an ingredient for dog and cat food
Micro Ingredients
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3+ MIN

Application of Spirulina as an ingredient for dog and cat food

They are a source of amino acids (approximately 65% ​​of crude protein), minerals, vitamins, gamma-linolenic (GLA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA), and docosahexaenoic (DHA) fatty acids. They also present approximately 15% of biliproteins (C-phycocyanin, allophycocyanin, and phycoerythrin) (TAKEUCHI et al., 2002), with a powerful antioxidant action demonstrated in in vitro studies and in some animal species. Due to its chemical composition, immunomodulatory effects have been attributed to this ingredient in humans and animals. Compared to other substances used as antioxidants in animal feed, the alcoholic extract of Spirulina inhibited lipid peroxidation more significantly (65% inhibition) than alpha-tocopherol (35%), BHA (45%), and β-carotene (48%). The antioxidant activity of Spirulina has been attributed to the synergism of the antioxidants present since extraction with hexane, petroleum ether, ethanol, and water show antioxidant activity, demonstrating the presence of compounds of a different chemical nature in Spirulina composition. An important aspect is the more powerful activity of the aqueous extract of this algae, even after polyphenol removal, which suggests the presence of water-soluble compounds with an important antioxidant action (CHOPRA & BISHNOI, 2008). Phycocyanin is extracted from Spirulina Platensis and can act in the retention of free radicals and iron chelator and protect the activity of antioxidant enzymes (MIRANDA et al., 1998). Oxidation and inflammation play a key role in many diseases, including degenerative diseases. The formation of free radicals is related to the immune system weakening and aging. In vivo, Spirulina can reduce markers of brain oxidative damage and reverse age-related increases in proinflammatory cytokines (GEMMA et al., 2002), substances necessary for the inflammatory response. Antioxidants consumed as part of the diet are essential to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants have been investigated for their ability to influence the immune system, especially in the inhibition of tumor genesis in laboratory animals, in the modulation of the inflammatory response, in the regulation of the production of certain cytokines in vivo and in vitro, and in the phagocytic activity of macrophages (BORCHERS et al., 2009). Spirulina also has some glycolipids (O-β-D-galactosyl-(1-10)-20,30-di-O-acyl-D-glycerol), which have immunological characteristics similar to microorganisms' cell wall components of microorganisms, functioning as Toll Ligands, which, in turn, stimulate especially TLR-2 and TLR-4 receptors. Therefore, these foods are recognized as "foreign elements' to the body and stimulate the immune response. (HAYASH et al., 1994; BORCHERS et al., 2009). Small daily amounts of Spirulina may have various health benefits for dogs and cats. Several studies in the nutritional and immunological areas mentioned below have identified Spirulina inclusion in pet food offers many benefits in promoting animal health. One of the main Spirulina benefits is its role in immune reinforcement. It works by helping and improving the intestinal microflora and this, in turn, helps improve immune and intestinal health (REYNOLDS & SATYARAJ, 2014). LABRES (2012) demonstrated that Spirulina usage up to the 3% level in diets is safe in dog food formulas. In the inclusion of 1%, there was seen a reduction in the production of interleukin 10 (IL-10) by the mononuclear cells of dogs fed with Spirulina, which seems to be related to the better oxidative status of the animals, verified also by lower serum concentrations of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). A healthy digestible system allows a better nutrient usage, especially of Spirulina itself, stimulating the immune system and increasing the body's ability to generate new blood cells, as well as suppressing harmful bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract such as Escherichia coli (MANCHESTER et al., 2013). Studies show that Spirulina has an immunostimulatory effect by increasing resistance to infections through antibody stimulation. In cats, an increase in the macrophages' phagocytic activity was found in the presence of Spirulina, which means greater effectiveness in germ elimination (QURESHI & ALI, 1996). Dogs fed with Spirulina-supplemented diets had higher vaccine (rabies) responses and higher fecal IgA levels, compared to dogs that did not receive Spirulina in their diets (REYNOLDS & SATYARAJ, 2014). Therefore, animal immunity and resistance to diseases are increased, and Spirulina use can reduce the need for antibiotics and other drugs. Spirulina application is still timid in the pet food industry, yet we see some supplements and specific foods that contain this ingredient as a functional one. There is still little information on the application of this ingredient in the process of preparing extruded or cooked diets at high temperatures. Some experts suggest embedding it in an oil bath after the extrusion process. However, further studies are needed to assess the feasibility of using Spirulina in industrialized products for dogs and cats.   By: Liliane Palhares, Ludmila Barbi and Erika Stasieniuk

How can we innovate in the pet food industry?
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4+ MIN

How can we innovate in the pet food industry?

By Armando Enriquez de la Fuente Blanquet

According to the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE, for its acronym in Spanish), the word innovation refers to the creation or modification of a product and its introduction to the market. Nowadays, there are a lot of pet food brands striving to attract consumers to buy their 'innovative' foods. Looking at this effort to attract pet owners' attention, we find products with characteristics such as: grain-free, breed-specific, healthy properties, original diets, exotic ingredients, fresh ingredients, and the like. To develop an innovative product, it is necessary to define the category and the coverage, know the latest market launches (graph 1) and investigate the consumer. Graph 1. Main global health claims by region (% of launches) (last 12 months, ending 3Q2021)   If we see the graph to analyze the declarations shown in the products launched to the market in a year, we observe that two categories stand out: clean labeling, a trend of human consumption, and the health issue, which is worth mentioning the importance of protein content, as well as its source. When we investigate the consumer, we should ask ourselves: what is the pet parent looking for in the purchase? Market releases largely answer this question, but my answer would be: pet performance! Pet performance should be seen by their parents with a naked eye, which means: the pet enjoys the food (palatability), looks healthy (hair and feces quality), understands the commands of their parents (improved cognition), is always alert to interact (energetically), and last but not least, their see the pet happy! In many cases, innovation is strongly linked to creativity, discovery, and invention. Therefore, a creative process is necessary to make changes that involve introducing something new. Pet food innovation can range from modern packaging, either to maintain a nutritional value or improve sustainability, which can contain: high-quality ingredients (human-grade), superior shapes and textures (state-of-the-art manufacturing processes), connection with the pet owner (breed, age, health benefits, simple and clear information), meet a pet need (nursing homes, active dogs), special ingredients (protein source, probiotics, prebiotics, organic minerals), and the like. One way to innovate is by optimizing nutrients to provide an extra nutritional value beyond the basics. We should remember that pet performance is achieved when they have nutritional precision, which is achievable with the use not only of correct nutrient levels but with high-quality raw material sources selection. This makes food more digestible, more bioavailable, safer, and, above all, guarantees that the nutrient reaches the pet's mouth in the precise amount. Saying "vitamins and minerals" requires us to take care of micronutrient sources to ensure that a portion of food contributes to what a pet needs. There are commercial presentations of vitamins in crystals, spray-drying, microspheres, cross-linked or armored, and each of the above has different stability and bioavailability. Making a good choice will allow us to guarantee that statement. On the other hand, there are also different trace minerals sources. They range from inorganic minerals (sulfates or oxides, which have a high reactive power due to their high solubility, and therefore, are capable of binding or degrading other nutrients in the diet) to organic minerals or hydroxy-minerals sources that are more bioavailable, less reactive and that favor food consumption. In the quest to provide better pet health, science-based ingredients must be used to guarantee the performance that the pet parent is looking for. For example, when talking about strengthening the defenses of the dog or cat, one way is to support the immune system through the correct contribution or combination of biological antioxidants to the dog or cat's body, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, carotenoids, polyphenols, etc. Another way to stimulate the immune system is through polysaccharides consumption, such as beta-glucans that will help activate macrophage receptors. When we affirm skin health, we are offering external health, which is a sign of integral health indirectly, since any pet owner will observe it with a naked eye, not only for the love of their pet but because they will show a healthy coat (shiny and strong hair). In this case, there are different tools or strategies to achieve optimal skin and coat quality, as well as the use of adequate vitamin H (biotin) levels beyond nutritional needs, the inclusion of highly bioavailable sources of trace minerals such as zinc, copper, or manganese, or working with adequate levels and reliable sources of DHA-omega-3, whether of animal (fish) or plant (seaweed) origin. One statement well associated with pets' integral health is nutritional value focused on joint health. In this category, some ingredients have a certain chondroprotective function and, in addition, can offer an anti-inflammatory benefit to the joints, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, type I and type II collagen, DHA-omega-3 or egg hyperimmune proteins. To conclude, we can say that innovation is making great use of creativity, which means that we do not need a new process or ingredient, but what we already have correctly, efficiently, and always with the evidence that it will work for the pets benefit, and most of all, fulfilling the declaration that the pet parent is looking for.   Fuente: Armando Luis Enriquez

Kimberly Nelson named president of Kemin Nutrisurance
Palatants
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2+ MIN

Kimberly Nelson named president of Kemin Nutrisurance

Kemin Industries has named Kimberly Nelson, a third-generation member of Kemin's founding family, as president of Kemin Nutrisurance, the company's pet food and rendering technologies business unit. Kemin, a family-owned-and-operated company, was founded by Nelson's grandparents, R.W. and Mary Nelson, 61 years ago. Nelson has been with Kemin for seven years, most recently serving as General Manager – North America for Kemin Nutrisurance. During her tenure, the global business unit saw double-digit sales growth despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its stress on the supply chain. 'I'm thrilled to lead Kemin Nutrisurance and immensely proud to continue the important work my family has built over the last six decades,' said Nelson. 'As a pet owner myself, I'm especially excited to be part of this business unit, and I am eager to continue our success and expand upon it to further cement our position as an industry leader.' Prior to joining Kemin Nutrisurance, Nelson served as President of Kemin Textile Auxiliaries, operating under the brand Garmon Chemicals, which provides total chemical solutions for the denim and apparel industry. Nelson helped lead the acquisition of Garmon Chemicals in early 2018 and served as Business Development Manager, then General Manager – India, for Kemin Textile Auxiliaries. 'I am very pleased to promote Kimberly Nelson to President of Kemin Nutrisurance, as she has demonstrated the people-focused leadership and business savvy needed to guide our pet food and rendering business,' said David Raveyre, Worldwide Group President, Kemin Industries. 'Kimberly has an excellent track record of driving innovation and has demonstrated her ability to effectively direct a global business unit. With the results she's already delivered, I'm confident she will continue the impressive legacy of the Nelson family and Kemin.' Nelson spent five years in marketing in Hong Kong before joining Kemin in 2017. She received her bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and her master's degree from Savannah College of Art and Design. Nelson will begin her new role in October 2022, and Alberto Muñoz, currently Marketing Director for Kemin Nutrisurance, will fill her previous position as General Manager – North America for the business unit. By Kemin Industries All Pet Food    

Marcelo Beraldo Costa – Appointed as LATAM Director
Palatants
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3+ MIN

Marcelo Beraldo Costa – Appointed as LATAM Director

When I started 17 years ago, I never would have imagined the growth of AFB in Latin America, let alone the pet food market growth this region has experienced. My journey with AFB has included the growth and expansion of facilities in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. So, in August of this year when I was approached to be the LATAM Director, it was with gratitude, joy, and reflection that I accepted this role. The political and economic issues of our region make the landscape even more challenging, but the access to raw materials helps balance things. At the end of the day, pet food is an exciting place to be right now. We continue to see changes in what pet parents want in their pets' food. Today, there is more focus on health and wellness, and it is our responsibility to ensure that pets enjoy the taste of their meals, but we also respect the trends our customers want to claim on their diets. Therefore, our innovation must focus on two things at the same time: meeting the palatability needs of our customers and honoring their brand philosophy. As the pet food market grows and changes, AFB must constantly innovate to meet the needs of pet food companies. For AFB, having centralized leadership for the Latin American region is of great importance. This is how the advances of this region will be enhanced, through coordinated actions. That means actions with the same direction and intensity. A global mindset helps us experience regional growth because we can adjust to changing industry and economic challenges. In a recent magazine interview, I talked about some of the latest pet food industry challenges around supply assurance. 'Between global supply chain problems and material shortages, pet food procurement and technical teams have been a very exciting experience. All these challenges make our industry stronger and improve our resilience, but we believe it's also caused a temporary dip in pet food innovation. Fortunately, our industry is coming out of it now, stronger than ever and excited to get back to the business of pet food innovation.' Speaking of local actions, I cannot forget to mention the successful return of in-person tradeshows in the region. In May, we had FENAGRA in Brazil, where we had the opportunity to present 'Palatability in Pet Food'. In June we exhibited at Foro de Mascotas in Mexico, where we met with many of our customers and industry professionals. Finally, in September, we exhibited at CIPAL in Argentina, where we also had a presentation on the topic of measuring food enjoyment in cats beyond consumption. All these events create great business opportunities, closer ties with our customers and an understanding of market challenges. It is with enthusiasm and optimism that I visualize our challenges to further expand AFB in Latin America and as a consequence, expand AFB globally. Feel free to reach out to discuss how AFB collaborates with our customers to develop tailored pet food palatants to meet specific needs. You can reach me at [email protected]. By: Marcelo Beraldo da Costa Source: All Pet Food

What are nutraceuticals, and what is their use in pet food?
Micro Ingredients
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4+ MIN

What are nutraceuticals, and what is their use in pet food?

By María Candelaria Carbajo

What are nutraceuticals?   The term emerged in the late 80s resulting from the contraction and union of "nutrition" and "pharmaceutical". Nutraceuticals are bioactive compounds that occur naturally or by chemical or biological synthesis. The objective of its use is to improve nutrition and, consequently, health. They can be used for both humans and animals. As we already know, the healthcare trend is booming, so it is not surprising the increase in the demand for this component. Thus, an important aspect of pet humanization is that people are paying greater attention to safety and nutritional needs; and as this comes at a higher cost, the rise in the global middle-class population (along with higher income available) helps the industry to develop along this path. Currently, the owners want to give their 4-legged children the most pleasant and long life possible. Apart from going to the veterinarians, when necessary, they look for other ways to prevent disease or nutritional problems. Thanks to advances in the pet food industry, there is scientific evidence for the beneficial effects of many nutraceutical compounds.   Types of nutraceuticals Although there is no official regulation about the types of nutraceuticals, they are often classified as: • Dietary supplements: They contain nutrients derived from food and usually come in liquid, capsules, or powder form. They are regulated by the FDA, although differently from drugs. • Functional Foods: Fortified, enriched, or improved dietary components that may reduce the risk of chronic disease and provide an additional health benefit. • Medicinal foods: used to treat a specific disease or condition (diagnosed by a doctor and administered under his supervision).   General benefits attributed to the use of nutraceuticals • Creation of specialized formulas • Improved palatability • Improved nutritional quality • Improved nutrient digestibility and bioavailability • Increased antioxidant defenses • Improves cell proliferation, gene expression, and protection of mitochondrial integrity • Prevention of chronic diseases • Delayed aging • Increased life expectancy • Reduction of probability of contracting diabetes and renal or gastrointestinal disorders   Most popular nutraceuticals Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Coming from fish oils such as salmon and anchovy, for example, they are the most used and on which the most studies have been carried out. They are used to enhance essential nutritional functions and for their beneficial effects on the immune system response. In addition, it is said that they slow down the aging process. Vitamin cocktails The dietary supplement with various antioxidant vitamins (C, E, L-carnitine, lipoic acid, glutathione, etc.) is considered beneficial in periods of stress for the animal such as pregnancy, lactation, exercise, aging, and obesity, among others.   The problem of nutraceuticals? Their loophole It appears that nutraceuticals have more than one health benefit for animals; however, there is a universal problem: there is still no legal definition for them. This results in manufacturers not having specific legal indications on their use. Thus, they also do not have to prove their benefits or where they get them. The truth is that not enough information is yet known to confirm that these compounds provide the attributed benefits, so it is impossible to define doses and mechanisms to achieve a particular result. Nowadays, the dosage nutraceuticals usage is an uncertain and empirical process. In cases of plant extracts such as: Vaccinium Myrtillus (European blueberry), Curcuma longa (turmeric), Echinacea Angustifolia (echinacea), or Silybum marianum (milk thistle), the difficulty is twofold; they not only represent a challenge for the correct dosage but also for its standardization. The same goes for propolis: a resinous mixture that bees collect from various botanical sources. Its composition has more than 300 identified active components, and despite being a promising nutraceutical due to benefits associated with its components such as immunomodulators, antioxidants, and antimicrobials, more research is needed on its effect on dogs and cats.   In conclusion We know that, in 2019, North America was the segment that presented the most participation in the use of nutraceuticals for their pets. The increasing number of one-person families, the rising cost of veterinary medicine, and the late aging of the pet population are some of the principal causes that push owners to seek natural and organic preventive alternatives. Consumers' preference for this type of product undoubtedly leads us to rethink the strategies and mechanisms we use in the pet food manufacturing process and what role nutraceuticals play in each of them. However, consumer pressure has meant that today (and we proudly say it!), the most important thing in the pet food industry is to improve formulas. Now, we offer diets based on conscientious, scientific nutrition. That is a battle that we have all won through hard work, research, and dedication. What do you think of these components? We invite you to share your opinion in the comments.   By: All Pet Food

Enzymes in pet food: uses, benefits, and challenges
Micro Ingredients
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4+ MIN

Enzymes in pet food: uses, benefits, and challenges

By María Candelaria Carbajo

A report by Verified Market Research estimates that the value of the global market for enzymes was 1,300 million dollars in 2020 and will reach 2,410 million dollars in 2028, with a growth of 8%.   The pathway of enzymes in animal feed Enzymes were first used in feed more than a decade ago. At that time, its acceptance was limited to phytase applications to reduce phosphorus excretion. Today, the increased understanding of enzyme usage in feed comes with the market demand for high-quality protein for pets. Likewise, the increase in the animal and human populations, which share many raw materials, highlights the need to produce more in less time. Then, producers must maximize production times to meet increased protein requirements, including maximizing feed utilization. The growing demand for better quality pet food products, and the increased awareness of animal care and health, are driving the development of the feed enzymes market in the coming years.   Types of enzymes used Commercially available enzymes can derive from plants, animals, and microorganisms. One of the applied methods to increase nutrient absorption is to increase feed digestibility, and enzymes are one of the widely used feed additives for this purpose. Those that currently stand out as additives are: 1. Proteases: These are preferred in young animals to increase the rate of digestion and absorption of plant proteins. 2. Carbohydrates: This allows animals to benefit more from energy by breaking down carbohydrates in grains used as feedstocks (such as barley, oats, and corn). 3. Lipases: They carry out the hydrolysis of fats. 4. Phytases: Increase the availability of vegetable phosphorus.   Benefits of enzymes in animal feed The functions of enzyme additives in the feed market are essential to increase the digestibility of nutrients in animals. In fact, it's even more important in cases in which the nutrients cannot be digested for different reasons. This implies, first of all, a better capacity of the animal to benefit from what they consume. Some specific benefits are: ● Intestinal viscosity reduction is due to a greater polysaccharides' decomposition from the cell wall of cereals. ● Higher values of digestibility and metabolic energy of food. ● Greater absorption of nutrients. ● Higher live weight gain with lower feed intake. ● Better phosphorus digestibility and lower level of it in the feces. In addition, enzymes are especially important for elderly pets or those with chronic conditions, such as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or chronic pancreatitis. Likewise, it is necessary to clarify that, since enzymes improve the digestibility of plant-based feed ingredients, they offer economic benefits for animal production. Enzymes have enabled animal feed producers to improve their feed conversion rates, the uniformity of their herds, and the efficiency of their feed mills. As a result, savings in feed costs and livestock overhead as a positive impact on pet food costs are achieved.   Main challenges of using enzymes Financing for R&D One of the main challenges today in increasing the use of enzymes is/ are? High investments in R&D are needed to advance with the research and development of enzymes for use in high-quality feed at competitive prices worldwide. For example, laboratories require greater infrastructure strength to use molecular techniques, such as metagenomics and genomics. The right dose Enzymes should be added in carefully measured amounts to formulas, considering the type of animal each feed is prepared for. It is also important to have a clear idea of the potency of the enzyme and what is the appropriate dilution for each one. The metering and mixing system for enzyme and carrier must be highly accurate and regularly calibrated, to ensure food safety. Heat resistance Enzymes added to the feed prior to pelleting must be heat stable or capable of losing some potency without losing their overall effect. Most enzymes will start breaking down when exposed to temperatures above 150º C, which is a problem because high temperatures are required to kill bacteria. To solve this, the enzyme needs protection from the heating process, applied in amounts where the heat does not completely destroy it, applied after the heat process, or a heat-stable enzyme used. Granulation resistance Feed batches require optimum levels of moisture and density to retain their shape. If dry enzymes added to the mix reduce the moisture content beyond a certain level, product loss and waste can result. This problem could be solved with careful tests, gentler treatment of the granules, or through the use of enzyme applications for animal feed, after the granulation process, for example. By way of conclusion, we can affirm that research on the different methods of enzyme production assures their benefits and epigenetic effects, for example, on the formation and development of the intestine and the interaction with the microbiota and intestinal health, as well as their direct or indirect action on the immune system. As the research of these components moves along, we will be able to implement them more and more and revolutionize the animal nutrition industry.   Source: All Pet Food

Are there alternatives to titanium dioxide?
Micro Ingredients
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4+ MIN

Are there alternatives to titanium dioxide?

By María Candelaria Carbajo

Since then, the search to find a natural substitute for titanium dioxide has become very relevant, both in laboratories, companies and even at industry fairs and events. But what, so far, are the alternatives to titanium dioxide as a pet food bleach? The company Mintel carried out a study that found that the launches of new products with titanium dioxide began to decrease as early as 2019, even in the candy and snack market sector, the main users of this ingredient. This began with the suspicion that, sooner rather than later, this ingredient would be banned or at least discouraged in Europe (and it was). Titanium dioxide is used, in most cases, as a whitening and opacifying agent to achieve uniform materials that allow colors to be added or altered. Mixing different proteins, grains, and vegetables in pet food base formulations often creates an unpleasant and uneven color, resulting in color inconsistencies in the final product. The bleaching agent is used for merely aesthetic reasons, where the products are intended to be more uniform, more attractive, and, therefore, more inviting to consumption. The truth is that, nowadays, color (and everything visual, really) is an important differentiator when making a purchase decision: color, in the case of food, is usually associated with concepts such as fresh, healthy, wholesome, poor quality, as is the case with green for vegetables, red and brown for protein, or orange for squash and sweet potatoes. For example, a 2019 study by Sensient found that brightly colored food is up to 5 times more likely to be chosen than dull brown food. However, and despite the benefits it may provide to the superficiality of the aesthetic, the EFSA concluded that the recurrent genotoxicity problems after the ingestion of titanium dioxide particles, determined in the latest studies, are important enough to restrict its use in pet food. And, although through oral intake, the absorption of titanium dioxide particles is low, they accumulate in the body. Thus, even though the evidence of toxic effects is not yet conclusive, we can't say that titanium dioxide Titanium is a safe component, free of side effects for animal consumption.   Alternatives to titanium dioxide When we think of colors associated with pet food, orange, red, terracotta, and bright yellows come to mind... But none of them could exist without "the other color", the white resulting from the use of carbon dioxide titanium. This ingredient is not limited only to the pet food industry but has been used in toothpaste formulas, sauces that must have a dairy appearance, or canned food.   What are the options for titanium dioxide today? Starch-based options The starch-based options with the biggest presence are rice or corn; they can be used as opaque agents in certain cases, such as soups and sauces to achieve a "creamy" look or to create opaque confections. Those who have tried it affirm that the effect is not the same as that achieved with titanium dioxide, but it is similar. Rice starch Another alternative is rice starch. Its pros: it is cheap and achieves a similar effect. Cons: It can retain more moisture and thicken, making it useless for working in large quantities. Those who produce and promote it claim that it is especially suitable for smooth, white, and shiny finishes (because of its small particles). Small grain native cereal starch Native wheat starch is another option to deal with the new regulations. It is an alternative that achieves the same effects as titanium dioxide, while it's a natural and renewable raw material. This type of starch is dispersible, fluid, with a neutral flavor, and digestible. Each starch granule is less than 10 μm, so it includes ten-more-time particles than conventional corn or wheat starch in the same volume. Calcium carbonate Calcium carbonate is a natural, bright white, microcrystalline mineral. In addition to its whitening properties, it provides calcium and strengthens the bone system. However, in specific cases, calcium carbonate can affect the consistency and texture of the final product. Also, its use with pHs below around 3.0 is not advised. Another drawback is that its particle size is much larger than titanium dioxide, and its chemical structure makes it less effective at reflecting light. Although not the same as titanium dioxide, it is a successful choice for uses as a white coating on candies and a clouding agent in sauces and soups. Calcium carbonate is allowed as a food colorant in the EU, US, Australia, and New Zealand.   Conclusion While the ban on titanium dioxide only relates to Europe, for now, all markets need to start researching and looking for alternatives to a product that is discouraged due to potentially significant side effects. Thus, if we add to this the growing demand from customers and consumers to have more natural ingredients in their pet food, the popularity of new ingredients such as rice starch, for example, will only grow. Other suppliers are already encouraged to combine starches with minerals to optimize the functionality of this component. According to Commission Regulation (EU), 2022/63, foods and beverages containing titanium dioxide can be marketed until August 7, 2022, and can remain on the market until their expiration date. After August 7, the additive will no longer be allowed in EU food manufacturing or imports to the European market. Considering the market news, there is no doubt that, in Latin America, we must start moving towards a pet food industry free of titanium dioxide and look for alternatives that are just as profitable and effective, but safer and more natural.   Source: All Pet Food

Expanding our North American Footprint
Palatants
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1+ MIN

Expanding our North American Footprint

Due to this industry growth, AFB International is excited to announce in a recent news release our third North American manufacturing site in Columbus, Georgia – investing more than $79 million in the new facility and creating more than 100 new jobs in the next five years. The construction of a new plant demonstrates the strength of our industry, our customers, and our company. Andy Zenor, Senior Director of North America said 'We received a lot of feedback from customers … all of it positive. Customers were really excited to see this investment by AFB to support their growing demand. It really shows our commitment to the industry.' Columbus, Georgia is a thriving community with rich backgrounds in food manufacturing and science and technology. The area is home to several technical colleges and post-educational establishments, along with Fort Benning, to provide a strong, diverse talent pool. 'AFB is excited to become part of the Columbus community. We are proud of the work we've done since 1986 to make pet food taste great, and pleased to continue our growth with the talented workforce in the Columbus region,' said Jared Lozo, President of AFB. Even though operations at the Columbus plant are not expected to fully begin until 2024, AFB's Human Resources team is starting the recruiting process early. A few positions will be hired to assist with the facility construction starting in 2023. Check out the Careers page and apply today. by AFB International All Pet Food

Are all omega-3 ingredients in petfood the same?
Vitamins
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2+ MIN

Are all omega-3 ingredients in petfood the same?

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

PLASMA SPRAY DRYING FOR DOGS AND CATS
Micro Ingredients
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3+ MIN

PLASMA SPRAY DRYING FOR DOGS AND CATS

Plasma can effectively realize the coarse texture by the time that maintains the cohesion of the different diet ingredients. From the plasma spray drying process, a very fine powder is obtained that retains all the functional properties of the liquid product, such as the ability to produce a thermoplastic gel when diluted in water and subjected to high temperature or extreme pH, or its high retention of water and emulsification capacity, to name a few. Due to these technological properties, plasma is used in products in chunks and treats as well as in cat food. The use of plasma not only contributes effectively to improving the piece texture but also maintaining all the different recipe ingredients.Plasma can effectively realize the coarse texture by the time that maintains the cohesion of the different diet ingredients. From the plasma spray drying process, a very fine powder is obtained that retains all the functional properties of the liquid product, such as the ability to produce a thermoplastic gel when diluted in water and subjected to high temperature or extreme pH, or its high retention of water and emulsification capacity, to name a few. Due to these technological properties, plasma is used in products in chunks and treats as well as in cat food. The use of plasma not only contributes effectively to improving the piece texture but also maintaining all the different recipe ingredients.   Image 1. Daily and total intake in cats for each diet used in the two palatability studies. Statistics were done by testing (iso product [1] or iso cost [2]) using the' t' test. These differences in intake were also observed for the first choice of each diet, as shown in Table 1. Both studies conclude that there is a clear preference for diets containing plasma. CATS PREFER RECIPES WITH PLASMA We carry out different palatability studies with cats. The first study compared plasma with wheat gluten (WG) included at a rate of 20 g/kg (iso-product inclusion) in canned food. The second study analyzed plasma at a similar cost with 30g/kg WG in the recipe (inclusion of 10 g/kg for plasma). The ingredients and processing conditions were similar for all products obtained.   In the two tested recipes, there was a clear preference for palatability in the formula containing plasma (Image 1).   THE DOGS EXPERIENCED A GREATER ATTRACTION TO PLASMA FOODS   We fed 20 Beagles for two days in a test, preferably with standard diets with a control digest that contained 5% bovine fat and 1% flavoring or treatment containing the same digested with the addition of 2% of plasma coverage. As we can see in Image 2, the plasma-containing diet had an overall preference of 3.6:1 over the control diet (P < 0.0001), and the consumption ratio was 78:22. Plasma preference was similar on both days. Plasma application provided the dogs with greater attraction to plasma-containing foods.   PLASMA IMPROVES FOOD PALATABILITY, INCREASING CONSUMPTION   In another study, commercially available dog foods were placed in water containing 0 or 20% plasma for 5min before air drying. 20 Beagles received two foods (control and with plasma) for a 2-day palatability test. As Image 3 shows, more dogs chose the coated treatments with plasma than control foods in all categories studied. Palatability and feed intake increased with the addition of plasma.   Image 2: Preference plasma diet VS negative control   Image 3: Treatments with water that contains Plasma VS negative control   Source: APC

Pet Parents and their pets sharing the search for well-being
Micro Ingredients
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3+ MIN

Pet Parents and their pets sharing the search for well-being

Prebiotics has long been used as gut health promoters in dog and cat foods, but only recently have pet owners recognized and sought them out in food. The beneficial effects of prebiotics in animals are similar to those found in humans, with more than 50% of dog and cat owners in the US (55%), Germany (76%), and UK (61%) looking for products that support their animals' digestive and intestinal health (Mintel, 2021). Prebiotics are substrates that are selectively used by microorganisms in the host's gastrointestinal tract and have health benefits for those who consume them. Among the main prebiotics used in the pet food industry, we can mention fructooligosaccharides, inulin, and mannan-oligosaccharides, some fibrous ingredients can also act as prebiotics in the formula, as long as they are used selectively by the host microbiota, they promote health ( pathogen inhibition, immunity modulation, mental health, effects on insulin resistance, among others) and may have evidence of their benefits in the target population. Mannan-oligosaccharides derive from the cell wall of yeast; they are made up primarily of protein and carbohydrates. MOS has a complex structure composed of phosphorylated mannose, glucose, and protein. Its consumption stimulates the growth and metabolic activity of beneficial bacteria, which results in the production of antibacterial substances and inhibits the proliferation of undesirable microorganisms, such as Escherichia coli, Clostridium spp., and Salmonella. Beneficial bacteria also produce substances with immunostimulatory properties, interacting with the immune system in various ways, including cytokine production, mononuclear cell proliferation, phagocytic activity, and induction of synthesis of higher amounts of immunoglobulins, especially class A. A known characteristic of mannan-oligosaccharides is their effect on increasing the concentration of fermentation products in the colon; that means that it is related to the production of short-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids: acetate, propionate and butyrate, and lactic acid are considered an additional energy source for the host, promoting a reduction in the pH of the colon and, therefore, inhibiting the growth of pathogenic microorganisms. Butyric acid is known as the main source of energy for colonocytes and can represent up to 70% of the energy used by the colonic mucosa. It has a principal action in cell growth regulation and differentiation in the intestine and, consequently, influences the integrity of the mucosa to maintain a normal cell phenotype and reduce the risk of colon carcinomas. Short-chain fatty acids also promote blood flow and muscle activity in the colon and stimulate mucin production and enterocyte proliferation. ActiveMOS is a source of mannan-oligosaccharides from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. When added to adult dog food, it increases butyrate production by 32.5% and contributes to the reduction of biogenic amines by 38%. Biogenic amines can be generated from the metabolism of microorganisms, chemical reactions, or other endogenous sources. They have important physiological functions, but at high levels, they can cause harmful effects on the host. ActiveMOS contributes positively to the digestion and metabolism of the host and mitigates the side effects of the products generated by excessive protein fermentation. HyperGen has an exclusive production process that guarantees a high content of functional soluble MOS and partial exposure of the beta-1,3/1,6-glucan layer. Its enhanced prebiotic effect gives it modulation of the local intestinal immune response and effective action on intestinal health. HyperGen increases the concentrations of butyrate, in addition to favoring beneficial bacteria: Lactobacillus ssp. and Bifidobacterium sp. This modulation of the intestinal microbiota improves local immunity and promotes better general health and well-being for the individual. This evidence reinforces the concept that health begins with good nutrition. The inclusion of sources of mannan-oligosaccharides in food formulas for dogs and cats are important tools to guarantee the intestinal health and well-being of the animal. By: Thaila Cristina Putarov, Gerente Técnica y de Productos de Biorigin Source: Biorigin

AFB International to Create More than 100 New Jobs in Columbus
Palatants
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3+ MIN

AFB International to Create More than 100 New Jobs in Columbus

"Since taking office, I have been laser-focused on bringing opportunities to every corner of our state, and I am excited that a great company like AFB is answering that call and investing in the Columbus community," said Governor Kemp. "Near Fort Benning, AFB will find a highly capable workforce ready to meet their needs. I look forward to seeing this project's impact, including its impact on the many military and veteran residents who could fill these quality positions." AFB develops, manufactures, and sells palatant ingredients to pet food companies worldwide. Palatants are ingredients that make pet foods, treats, and supplements taste great, ensuring pets enjoy their feeding occasions and get the vital nutrients they need. "AFB is excited to become part of the Columbus community," said AFB International President Jared Lozo. "We are proud of the work we've done since 1986 to make pet food taste great, and pleased to continue our growth with the talented workforce in the Columbus region. For AFB, this plant is key to fulfilling our commitment to be the most responsive and reliable supplier of pet food palatant solutions in the world." AFB's new facility will be located at the Muscogee Technology Park, a Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) Certified site in Muscogee County. Operations are expected to begin in 2024. The company will be hiring for management, engineering, operations, and administrative support positions. Interested individuals can learn more at //afbinternational.com/careers. "As a global science and technology leader, AFB will be a great partner for our community," said Heath Schondelmayer, Chairman of the Development Authority of Columbus. "We are extremely excited about this announcement today because growing Columbus and creating jobs for this community is our top priority. Our local economic development team and our State of Georgia partners came together to turn this opportunity into a win, and we're confident that our top-notch quality of life and talented workforce will ultimately set up AFB to achieve business success for many years to come." Project Manager John Soper represented the Georgia Department of Economic Development's (GDEcD) Global Commerce team on this competitive project in partnership with the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Power, and Georgia Quick Start. For more than 50 years, Quick Start, provided through the Technical College System of Georgia, has helped assess workers, train new employees on unique processes on projects, and develop customized job-specific training using the most current techniques and media. "AFB perfectly aligns with Georgia's spirit of collaboration and innovation, and we are excited for the jobs and opportunities their new facility will create for local communities," said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. "Urgency of customer demand has been a key challenge for many companies in the last year. We are grateful for our partners in Columbus for investing in speed-to-market solutions like the GRAD program, and we look forward to AFB's future success in Georgia!" In order to earn a GRAD program certification, a property must undergo due diligence and complete specific certification requirements before a prospective business visit. Completing the GRAD certification program with GDEcD is a proactive way for both community planners and landowners to help catalyze economic growth and industrial development for the regions they serve. Through this program, Georgia has more than 60 industrial certified sites ready for fast-track industrial projects. About Applied Food Biotechnology For over 30 years, AFB International has been providing pet food solutions that enrich the lives of pets and their people. The company's palatants are specially designed to make pet foods, treats and supplements taste better, ensuring pets receive the vital nutrients they need. Headquartered in St. Charles, Missouri, USA, AFB has offices and production facilities strategically positioned around the globe in the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, the Netherlands, China, and Australia. AFB is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc., a privately-held, family-owned, professionally managed technical business that traces its roots back more than 175 years Source: AFB International by All Pet Food 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Innovation in the pet food industry
Micro Ingredients
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4+ MIN

Innovation in the pet food industry

Many changes and technological innovations have developed over the years; a good example is the invention of the first prescription diet designed for dogs with kidney problems in 1939 by Mark L. Morris. It seems the change that turned the pet food industry upside down and into what we know today is the introduction to the market of the first food manufactured by extrusion worldwide in 1957. After that, there has been a great evolution and very important changes regarding: food safety, processing, and product appearance, as well as from a nutritional approach. In terms of time, food safety is perhaps one of the first points to be addressed by the industry: water activity measurement in food to prevent bacterial growth, antioxidants inclusion to prevent rancidity or agents that prevent fungi proliferation or the blocking of their toxins. The introduction to the market in the early 1990s of the use of hydrolyzed (digested), liquid or powdered animal proteins represented a substantial improvement in the acceptance of diets by pets. In the case of processing, we can mention examples immediately accepted by buyers as: new product varieties with different textures (semi-moist, moist foods) or the inclusion of fresh meat in dry foods. The pet health and care trend that took place 10 or 15 years ago is helping take important steps in improving the market offer. This is happening by applying nutritional technological improvements, intrinsic and resorting innovations from the nutrition of production animals, as well as from the food and nutrition humans. The industry is taking increasingly solid and constant steps towards a new generation of foods that guarantee pets a better quality of life for many more years. For a long time, nutrition served as the most important point in the development of pet food, as shown by the modifications made to the nutritional standards established by the National Research Council. In fact, in 1985, only minimum and maximum levels were recommended. The concept changed for 2006 when minimum, adequate, recommended and safe levels were established. Another important point is the inclusion of omega 3 fatty acids minimum recommended levels, not included in the 1985 version. Many things have been changing from a nutritional point of view. The inclusion of innovative ingredients sources that provide higher biological values of protein than existing traditional sources is something more commonly seen on food labels such as the use of plasma or from the egg. Additionally, there is an increase in the use of non-traditional concentrated vegetable protein sources such as peas, potatoes, or lentils. Of course, it is important to nutritionally assess the use of fresh proteins in the formulation of pet diets. There are serious moves toward formulating pet foods with soluble and insoluble dietary fiber values (instead of the current crude fiber values). This will improve the nutritional performance of the food and its response in dogs and cats. Another valuable and interesting point is the inclusion of additives that improve pet intestinal health (prebiotics). The use of organic minerals is becoming more and more common in the industry, and fortunately, the cost difference with inorganic sources of these nutrients is less and less, which is why it is easy to take advantage of their greater bioavailability. Some companies have dedicated resources and time to substitute antioxidants and artificial colors for natural ones; in the case of colorants, there is still much to be done in this area since the characteristics of food processing usually modify the performance of natural colorants. From a cost point of view, the differential in antioxidant costs is still high, which is why their use is limited to certain food segments. Enzyme usage to improve the availability of some nutrients is relatively limited due to their viability during the thermal processing they undergo. It is the same case for some additives that improve pet intestinal health (probiotics). Notwithstanding the foregoing ways in which their application and inclusion in food can be optimized, they are constantly evaluated. The inclusion of phytobiotics in pet nutrition is another lesson learned from the production animal feed industry. Facts have demonstrated that artificial choline substitutes have a very important space in new pet food generation. Proposals for more resistant and cheaper analogs of vitamin C have even been ventured into. There are even more complex advances in pet nutrition such as nutrigenomics, which is the science that studies how food and its nutrients interact or even modulate the genetic expression of the organism. The pet food industry is constantly evolving and innovating, which increasingly guarantees a coexistence with our best friends for more years and with better life quality.   By: Miguel López

Should I worry about mycotoxins?
Micro Ingredients
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4+ MIN

Should I worry about mycotoxins?

By Armando Enriquez de la Fuente Blanquet

Mycotoxins (from the ancient Greek mýkes 'fungus' and the Latin 'toxicum' referring to poison) are toxic secondary metabolites of varied composition. They come from organisms of the fungi kingdom, which includes mushrooms, molds, and yeasts. According to the World Health Organization, mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced naturally by some types of fungi or molds. Mycotoxin-producing fungi grow on many foods, such as cereals, dried fruits, nuts, and spices. Its growth can occur before or after harvest, during storage, or in the food itself in warm and humid environments. Most mycotoxins are chemically stable and persist after food processing, which means that the extrusion process does not eliminate the mycotoxins present in raw materials. No pet food manufacturer wants to cause a pet owner a problem from mycotoxins. However, dogs can consume mycotoxins by eating sourced contaminated food, improperly stored food, or mushroom bread during their daily walks. One of the key indicators that a dog has ingested a mycotoxin-contaminated food is liver failure, which can result from acute or chronic exposure (and this can vary by the type of mycotoxin and by the concentration and frequency of exposure to her). Other common signs include vomiting and loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, diarrhea, a weak immune system, breathing problems, tremors, heart palpitations, or jaundice. The responsibility of the pet food manufacturer is big enough because, in addition to producing food that provides the necessary nutrients, it must be mycotoxins-free. The FDA regulates aflatoxin levels in feed ingredients; the current regulated limit for companion animals (dogs, cats, rabbits, etc.) is 20 ppb (parts per billion) for total Aflatoxins. The growth of fungi and the production of their toxins can occur due to improper storage of grains and other ingredients used in the pet food manufacturing process. On this occasion, I will be talking about raw materials, without detracting from the importance of proper manufacturing, handling, and proper balanced food storage. Fungi generally do not grow on properly dried and stored grains. That is why an efficient drying of commodities and dryness maintenance or proper storage are effective measures against fungal growth and mycotoxin production. However, harvest conditions or the source of raw materials can also vary significantly from year to year. Therefore, the solution to solve this situation is to have a complete quality control system for raw materials and a good program of efficient storage practices. According to Dr. Swamy Haladi, Global Mycotoxin Management Program Manager at Trouw Nutrition, more than 80% of agricultural production contains mycotoxins contamination. To this day, more than 500 mycotoxins have been identified. However, the main mycotoxins established in animal feed are: aflatoxins, deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisins (FUM), zearalenone (ZEA), ochratoxins (OCH), and T2-H2T. If these six are present, it can be assumed that there are 30-40 other mycotoxins as well, because the same fungus can produce multiple mycotoxins. In addition to the threats of individual toxins, mycotoxins can have a synergistic and additive or antagonistic effect. The interaction between DON and fusaric acid, the most common Fusarium mycotoxin, is an excellent example of a synergistic interaction. Fusaric acid by itself is not toxic to animals, even at very high concentrations, but it increases the toxicity of DON when the two are found together. On the one hand, we see that mycotoxins cause pet health disorders per se, but on the other hand, they are anti-nutritional factors by degrading the quality of raw materials and balanced feed. A quality raw material control system can include regular monitoring to determine whether or not mycotoxins are present. Laboratory tests are not a guarantee for mycotoxins-free food. Even when results do not find significant mycotoxins in an ingredient or feed, pet food manufacturers must consider additional factors such as: how the samples were collected, the level of mycotoxins that fall below screening levels, the levels of untested toxins, and masked mycotoxins. Beyond the problems given by known mycotoxins, "masked mycotoxins" introduce a new level of complexity, when it comes to diagnosing the presence of mycotoxins, assessing toxicity, and developing a solution. Research on the topic is expanding in North America, Europe, and Africa. I would say that, instead, I should deal with mycotoxins. Their presence causes deterioration in raw materials quality, but also causes health problems in pets, even when consumed in small quantities, (and especially if there is a recurrence in their consumption). Keep in mind that there is a high probability that the raw materials used in the manufacture of pet food are contaminated, even with the so-called "masked mycotoxins". Therefore, it is essential to have a high-quality system for the raw materials, correct storage that avoids an increase in the temperature and humidity of the grains. In addition, a program to control the development of fungi and yeasts through a preservation plan with the use of inhibitor additives as an alternative. And finally, do not rule out the use of mycotoxin binders or sequestrants in balanced feed, as part of a food safety plan.   Fuente: All Pet Food

Nutritional alternatives to improve the quality of pets life
Micro Ingredients
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3+ MIN

Nutritional alternatives to improve the quality of pets life

During the last two years, the number of dogs and cats adopted has increased worldwide to alleviate the effects of isolation caused by the COVID pandemic. The human-animal bond is a mutually-beneficial and dynamic relationship influenced by behaviors considered essential for the health and well-being of both. Several scientific articles demonstrate the beneficial effects of this human-animal relationship in humans. Therefore, pet parents have become increasingly committed to reciprocating these benefits. A recent survey by Mintel (2021) showed that 33% of the Peruvians interviewed said that there are no limits to the amounts they would spend for their pets' health. In Mexico, 73% of respondents own dogs, and 35% own cats. The Latin American pet food industry has increasingly matured and grown. Latin-American consumers seek cost-effective premium pet foods. Although food price is considered when purchasing pet food, food quality has become a significant factor, particularly products offering natural and sustainable options. According to Mintel, pet parents are increasingly committed to ensuring their pets a long and healthy life and seeking preventive measures to achieve this goal. In the last five years, more than 5,100 products with an immune health claim (Immune System - Functional) were launched worldwide, and this figure has shown a 7% annual increase (CAGR 2018-2020; MINTEL). Hippocrates said, 'Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food'. This sentence perfectly applies to today's pet food market with the extensive adoption of functional and nutraceutical ingredients. Moreover, due to COVID, consumers seek products to prevent diseases and improve their quality of life through nutrition. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used as a functional food ingredient for thousands of years. In the pet food industry, its contribution to food palatability and functionality has been widely demonstrated, as it is a source of amino acids, peptides, nucleotides, B vitamins, manna oligosaccharides, and beta-1,3/1,6-glucans. Beta-1,3/1,6-glucans are natural polysaccharides located inside the yeast cell wall, protected by a mannan oligosaccharide layer. They have proven direct beneficial effects on the gut immune system. However, to exert such benefits, the yeast needs to be submitted to a purification process to break down the mannan oligosaccharide to release the beta-1,3/1,6-glucan molecules. Biorigin's MacroGard is a world-class biotechnological product with extensive scientific evidence of its effectiveness. MacroGard is composed of beta-1,3/1,6-glucans, and its benefits are related to immune modulation and glucose and lipid metabolism. Studies with dogs and cats evaluating MacroGard added to extruded food and cookies (or fed in capsules) demonstrated its effects on: dog atopy (Beynen et al., 2011), osteoarticular conditions (Beynen & Legerstee, 2010), oral health (Verbrugghe et al., 2012), inflammatory response reduction (Oliveira et al., 2019; Vetvicka and Oliveira, 2014; Zaine, 2014; Verbrugghe et al., 2012; Zaine, 2010), neutrophil and monocyte phagocytic activity (Vetvicka and Oliveira, 2012; Zaine, 2014), antibody production (Oliveira et al., 2019), glucose and insulin metabolism (Ferreira et al., 2022; Vetvicka and Oliveira, 2014), and lipid metabolism (Ferreira et al., 2022). MacroGard can be fed to dogs of all ages, strengthening their defenses to face possible challenges. It is particularly indicated during vulnerable life stages, such as for growing and elderly dogs. MacroGard is resistant to heat processing during pet food manufacturing, ensuring its safety and effective function when fed to dogs and cats.   Source: Biorigin

Basic nutrition of our best friend, the dog: hydration in dogs
Micro Ingredients
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5+ MIN

Basic nutrition of our best friend, the dog: hydration in dogs

And now, in this next article, we will take a look at the topic of hydration in dogs, how important water is for pets' health, and what are the water requirements for dogs.    The importance of hydration Hydration is important for all life. Water is a vital part of every single cell in the entire body, and just a small water loss can be critical to pets' health. Did you know that dehydration predisposes pets to overheat (hyperthermia) and low blood pressure? If a pet experiences 1% body loss from dehydration, this can cause a 0.5 degrees increase in body temperature and a 2.5% reduction in blood plasma volume (1). These two factors combined increases the risk of heatstroke since the body temperature goes up and the reduced blood pressure leads to less blood to the extremities (ears, tongue, legs, etc.), where it could be cooled off. Heatstroke is one of the most common causes of death in military working dogs (2,3), and dehydration was also the most common medical finding in dogs deployed to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti (4). For the search dogs working at the World Trade Center and Pentagon during the incident at 9/11 in 2001, dehydration was reported even though weather temperatures were moderate (5).   Thermoregulation strategy of the dog Heat, humidity, and hydration, all affect a dog's ability to thermoregulate. Since outdoors heat and humidity can't be controlled by us, the work we humans can do to ensure optimal hydration of the dog becomes crucial. Panting is the dogs' primary thermoregulation strategy; he or she inhales cooler, dryer air through the nose and mouth, which causes evaporative heat loss from the nose, mouth, and tongue, and the exhalation of hotter, moister air. If body heat generation is greater than the heat loss, and panting is not enough, the dog will increase salivation and lingual blood flow to try to cool down. Therefore, to be able to properly thermoregulate sufficient water intake is required.  Loss of water in dogs is a result of panting, urine and feces excretion, and some sweat loss through their paws. Depending on the type of workload and weather conditions, exercise can increase water losses by 10-20 times normal. Even mild dehydration can lead to decreased performance, decreased strength, and hyperthermia (6). In hydrated dogs, the salivary loss is estimated to 7 mL/kg/h during exercise (7). To compensate for all this, the dog needs to replace the water loss by drinking water and eating food. Basic nutrition of our best friend, the dog: important micronutrients   Water requirement in dogs So, what are the daily water requirements of the general house dog? Several studies have provided different formulas for calculating the water need in dogs, and one thing is clear: the water requirement is closely connected to the food given, as well as the activity level and the temperature surrounding the dog. An easy rule of thumb under normal activity levels and weather conditions may be as follows: when given dry food, the water requirement can be set to 1ml per 1 calory in the food. To exemplify this, a 20 kg dog eating 1250 kcal per day should get 1,25 liter water daily (8). Of this, approximately 0.25 liter will come from the food (water content in food + water from burning food to energy). The remaining water amount, 1 liter, the dog must drink each day.   Studies have shown that dogs participating in 500km/300miles races could have a water turnover of up to 5 liters per day. For the general active dog or working dog, drinking water should be offered multiple times during the exercise to ensure appropriate hydration. If the dog does not consume enough, it should be blended into the food, to increase the daily water intake.   Electrolytes in active dogs When talking about hydration, it is also worth mentioning electrolyte treatments. Electrolytes are various salts important for nerve impulses, muscle contractions, and fluid balance, amongst others. Electrolytes effectively bind the water in the body, and drinking water or sports drinks that contain electrolytes is a common strategy for humans to keep hydrated during activity. However, humans have quite a different ability to sweat out excess salts compared to dogs. The human cooling strategy is based on 2-5 million sweat glands that can excrete water and salts in a large amount. For us, it can therefore be crucial to refill water and electrolytes during exercise. Dogs on the other hand have just a few sweat glands in their paws and only a very small salt loss from saliva while panting. Hence, the salt excretion through the dog's cooling strategy is almost absent. Therefore, common knowledge about electrolyte refill in human athletes cannot be applied to dogs. Basic nutrition of our best friend, the dog: water and energy sources Most studies of working or hunting dogs have shown only small or no electrolyte changes following exercise. For those who have tried electrolyte supplements on their dog during e.g. hunting season, salt poisoning has not been uncommon. In a few studies of sled dogs, though, sodium was significantly decreased following 10 days of endurance racing. Therefore, only in extreme races, electrolytes may play an important role in the hydration of dogs. Ermon et al, 2014 (9) suggest up to 1.2g sodium per 1000kcal to prevent an exercise-induced drop in Na and K in sled dogs participating in the Iditarod race, but further studies are needed to confirm.   Conclusion Dogs' water requirement depends on many factors: weather condition, air humidity, temperature, activity level, food intake, and body weight. Only a small body loss from dehydration can cause a significant drop in performance for your dog. To replace water, the dog must drink and eat sufficiently. Therefore, be aware of these factors when exercising your dog. Calculate how much water your dog needs approx. per day and keep an eye on how much he or she drinks, as dehydration is not easily detected by the human eye in time. And finally, dogs' thermoregulation strategy is not like in humans, so stay clear of electrolyte supplements unless your dog is into extreme sports.  

Our Coworkers have Fur and Tails !! Welcome to AFB's Dog- Fiendly Worplace
Palatants
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2+ MIN

Our Coworkers have Fur and Tails !! Welcome to AFB's Dog- Fiendly Worplace

'In 2017 AFB's global headquarters instituted a dog-friendly workplace, and the benefits have far exceeded expectations. Having dogs in the office complements AFB's positive culture and helps create a happier, healthier workplace,' says Morgan Clarkson, Global HR Director. And employees agree. 'I believe having Sasha here in the office with me helps lower my stress levels. When I'm having a hectic day of meetings and calls, taking her out for a short walk helps me take a mental break and re-energize. And I get the added benefit of a little exercise,' says Lynn Cruz, Quality Assurance. Dogs in the office also encourages a more collaborative culture. Many relationships started simply because one colleague stopped to say hi and pet another employee's dog. 'Sometimes I think my coworkers like seeing Phillip more than me,' jokes Greg Hibbard, Product Manager. Many more companies are also learning the benefits of a pet-friendly workplace. 'A study conducted by Nationwide, in partnership with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), revealed that 90 percent of employees in pet friendly workplaces feel highly connected to their company's mission; fully engaged with their work; and willing to recommend their employer to others. In contrast, less than 65 percent of employees in non-pet friendly workplaces made the same claims. Employees in pet friendly workplaces were also more likely to stay with their company in the future.' Additionally, a dog-friendly work environment helps attract talent. 'I was very excited when I learned AFB was a dog-friendly workplace and that really drew me to the company. Seeing dogs at work every day definitely makes work more fun! We just got a new puppy and I'm looking forward to when she's old enough to come to work with me,' says Emma Koziel, Customer Engagement Scientist. If you are looking for a company where dogs are welcome in the office, take a look at AFB International. Check out our open positions. A career at AFB offers exciting opportunities for development and growth while surrounded by our furry friends. by AFB International All Pet food  

5 ways cats can benefit from krill
Vitamins
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2+ MIN

5 ways cats can benefit from krill

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

Importance of Proper Micronutrient Nutrition
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7+ MIN

Importance of Proper Micronutrient Nutrition

By Armando Enriquez de la Fuente Blanquet

The result of this was  the last 30 years have been characterized by a substantial increase in research on dog nutrition, particularly on nutritional needs. Here begins a watershed, because in the beginnings of nutritional research, nutritional requirements were based on sustaining life; there is talk of a minimum level or an adequate level of nutrients. Some authors consider  the minimum level is the level of nutrient that provides adequate nutrition, however, others consider  these levels are not optimal for the health and well-being of pets. In a sense, this is a matter of semantics. In other words, it is a matter of properly defining the various terms used to describe how much of an essential nutrient is sufficient for a given purpose. In general, there are two types of experimental studies that involve nutrient requirements. One type is to measure the effect of feeding in increasing amounts, or dietary concentrations of the nutrient that is evaluated on specific response criteria (growth rate, plasma concentration, etc.). This approach lends itself well to determining nutrient requirements for normal growth and development. The second type of study is the "depletion-repletion" method. This approach is most popular for use in studies of nutrient requirements for specific functions of adult animals (maintenance, reproduction, etc.). In this case, the animals are first placed on a depletion diet, which is designed to provide a negligible amount of the nutrient to be studied, in order to determine the amount necessary to achieve physiological normality for the specific response criteria. Currently, nutritional guidelines such as the NRC, FEDIAF or AFFCO, establish the minimum requirements of each nutrient for dogs and cats, based on information published with scientific evidence. In this way, the balanced pet food manufacturer formulates its petfood to meet these requirements. However, there are many variables that can cause alterations in the amount of a nutrient an animal needs that must be considered. The chemical and / or physical form of the nutrient can affect, as minimum requirements are generally determined by using available sources of nutrients. In addition, the presence and / or concentration of other substances (for example, substances that can combine with the nutrient and thus limit its absorption) can alter its use and can also affect the amount needed to meet the requirement. The formulation of pet food must be adequate and precise, and in particular there are two micronutrients that must have our attention during the formulation: vitamins and trace minerals. Vitamins are essential substances for life; its deprivation leads to manifestations of deficiencies or syndromes, which occur rapidly depending on the vitamin considered and the possible reserves that the body may have or the contribution it must find in its food. The amounts of vitamins required are very small and are in doses in the order of micrograms or a few milligrams per day. At present it is rare that dogs or cats, well cared for and fed with a specific product for them, present serious symptoms of important vitamin deficiencies. However, the minimum or basic vitamin needs that are achieved with an industrial diet may not be the source where the most adequate daily dose of vitamins is located. Therefore, it is important the vitamin that is added to commercial food has the physical characteristics in an adequate number of particles that allows a uniform distribution in the food. On the one hand, it is necessary to speak of the recommendation of minimum daily contribution; If we supply less than that amount, we will surely see how the subject develops severe symptoms of vitamin deficiency. A commercial food must include a minimum intake of vitamins, but if for some reason the needs increase, that is, if the total consumption of food decreases or there are digestive problems that partially hinder the absorption of these vitamins, we may have a deficiency. In addition, the contribution of vitamins in pet food might have two origins: the contribution of the raw materials that make up the food, for example, grains, pasta, flours of animal origin, etc., or the addition of vitamins commercials that are manufactured industrially. Faced with these challenges, a food must manage 'safety margins'. Let us suppose that the minimum daily amount of contribution of a certain vitamin is of 10 mcg / kg; the dose that we could call "safety" could be 14 mcg / kg, so that, even if the dog or cat eat a little less, or have a higher consumption than normal, that daily dose would ensure that they do not go away to produce symptoms of vitamin deficiency. Once the minimum level with a margin of safety has been established, it should be considered that vitamins are relatively unstable and delicate molecules that are adversely affected by the effects of light, heat, oxidative processes, humidity, etc. If our vitamin suffers a loss of 30% after an extrusion process (120 ° C), then to reach 14 mcg / kg we should add 20 mcg / kg before the manufacturing process. I recommend checking the stability of each vitamin to correctly manage the adjustment of each one of them. Finally, the food will fulfill its shelf life (period of time in which a food product preserves the properties such as nutrients, flavor, texture, color...) that the consumer expects from it and that the manufacturer guarantees. Additionally, vitamins gradually lose activity over time. If in 12 months our vitamin is going to lose 50% of its activity, to reach the 14 mcg / kg of "safety" level, we must consider one more adjustment and we should start with an addition of 40 mcg / kg before the process of manufacturing. The foregoing has the purpose of not causing vitamin deficiencies; precision is very important and should be calculated with supporting scientific evidence. Great care must be taken with the adjustments in the addition of fat-soluble vitamins so as not to fall into excesses or a toxicity problem. Minerals are, in the same way, essential chemical elements for normal metabolic functioning. Water circulates between the different body compartments carrying electrolytes, which are mineral particles in solution. Both the internal changes and the water balance depend on its concentration and distribution. According to the necessary consumption of our body and the type of mineral they can be classified as follows: minerals that are necessary in large quantities (> 100 mg / day) are macrominerals, such as Calcium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium and Sulfur; Those required in smaller amounts (<100 mg / day) are called trace elements (trace = little) or "trace" elements, such as Iron, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Iodine and Selenium. There are important interrelationships between many of the mineral elements, which can affect their absorption, metabolism and action. In particular, excess or deficiency of some minerals can significantly alter the body's ability to use others from the diet. As a consequence, the levels of most minerals in the diet should always be assessed in relation to other components of the diet, in order to achieve an optimal dietary balance. Trace minerals can bind and increase oxidation in food, destroying its valuable nutrients (vitamins, enzymes, fats and probiotics), which could reduce palatability. This can decrease the effectiveness of even the best diets. Decreased potency of trace minerals and valuable food ingredients can lead to safety concerns and general health problems in pets. Therefore, the formulation of minerals must meet the requirement of the dog or cat, and take care of its balance in relation to the rest of the nutrients present in the formulated diet. Trace minerals vary both in molecular structure and in their performance in animals. Today there are three forms available: inorganic, organic, and hydroxy. Inorganic trace minerals have a weak bond that causes them to bind and degrade important essential nutrients. Organic and hydroxy trace minerals have stronger covalent bonds to essential metals, so they do not break down as easily, allowing greater absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream, as well as demonstrating greater bioavailability than inorganic sources. Bioavailability could be defined as the efficiency with which an element is absorbed and reaches the systemic circulation in order to be distributed to organs and tissues, and used for physiological functions. Studies from the University of North Carolina have shown that the bioavailability of a hydroxy-Cu can be twice as high compared to a source of Sulfate-Cu. The precision that a mineral meets the minimum requirement for the dog or cat will depend, on the one hand, on bioavailability, but taking care of the balance due to the aforementioned interactions. Finally, based on the knowledge about the requirements and the tolerances of the nutrients, a reasonable definition of the concept of minimum requirement can be the minimum amount of a nutrient that is available to the maximum to fulfill a defined objective. As we have seen, there are numerous factors that can alter the bioavailability of a nutrient, as well as the fact that the requirement can vary depending on the response criteria that is being used to determine it. Even the tolerances recommended by guidelines like AAFCO may not address all possible variations in nutrient needs. The important thing is that the dog or cat food contains the right level of the micro-nutrient, in an optimal balance and with the best bioavailability of the ingredient.   Source: All Pet Food

Beyond Taste
Palatants
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7+ MIN

Beyond Taste

When it comes to functional treats—those providing benefits along with taste—pets have it all over people. Consider: It's well-documented that although people would like to eat healthier, their desire to do so is often at odds with their behavior. When we know a treat is good for us, it often makes it seem somehow less snackier and indulgent, resulting in a reach for that 'forbidden' sweet instead. But dogs and cats experience no such conflict. All they care about is eating something tasty, even if at the same time it promotes heart or joint health or cleans their teeth. Consequently, if people fall short of their own dietary goals, they can at least easily give their pets something healthier, bringing no small measure of satisfaction. Functional treats fit into people's desires to support pet wellness, a reflection of the humanization going on in the industry, says Sam Chen, sales director for pet treat manufacturer NPIC. 'This is why pet owners are paying more attention to the ingredients, nutrition and functional benefits of the treats fed to their pets,' he says. 'They want the treats to be beneficial, instead of just empty calories.'  These treats are also a reflective of the holistic approach some folks are taking towards their diets, says Ann Hudson, vice president of marketing for Whitebridge Pet Brands, LLC, makers of a range of minimally processed and natural dog and cat foods and treats., as well as supplements and science-based OTC solutions. Of course, many pet owners are attracted to these items because of their formulations, which help them address specific health concerns while at the same time 'pampering' their furry buddies with a treat, Hudson explains. 'Another practical benefit is that functional treats' palatability allows owners to administer health solutions while avoiding the struggle of getting their pet to consumer a pill or tablet,' she adds.  Along with delivering desirable benefits, functional treats are a good way to inject a dose of fun into the pets' daily routine, says Eric Abbey, president and founder of Loving Pets, which offers all-natural dog and cat treats along with feeding bowls and other related accessories. Among the products they offer are the Toothsticks Daily Dental Dog Treats, the Ora-Bone USA Dental Chew and ActivPetz. This latter treat contains 'significant levels' of vet-recommended supplements as well as real meat and fish.  Intentional & Purposeful In addition to functionality, pet owners are placing importance on ingredient quality and quantity, according to Basel 'Vasili' Nassar, founder of Boss Nation Brands, Inc., a company that provides functional treats, supplements and complete meal systems available under the Boss Dog and Boss Cat brands. They're also increasingly focused on product/ingredient origin, the ethical treatment of animals (for example, pasture-raised or free-range, grass-fed, etc.) and are avoidant of GMOs and 'added-statements,' he says.  Safety, meaning proper processing and testing of products before releasing them onto the market, are also big issues, Nassar adds. Chen is noticing the same. 'We've seen pet owners become more intentional and purposeful when it comes to their decision-making,' he says. 'They're now spending more time reading, not just the brand on the front of the bag but also the ingredients and the nutritional information on the back.' Safety and quality are huge with pet owners, Hudson confirms.  '[These concerns] are driving a demand for functional treats made in the U.S. and those with natural ingredients,' she explains. 'These characteristics are extra-important to the pet owners who buy functional treats because they have such a strong health focus to begin with.' The three biggest problems pet owners are hoping functional treats will help address are hip and joint, skin and coat, and digestive health, Hudson says. In response, Whitebridge offers Dogswell Jerky Treats, functional chews formulated to provide solutions for these and other issues. Included in the jerky range are the Dogswell Hip & Joint Jerky (beef, chicken breast and duck recipes, contains 2000 mg./kg. of glucosamine); and the Dogswell Gut Health Jerky (lamb with live probiotics like Bacillus and Lactobacillus). All the treats are made in the U.S. and contain real meat as the No. 1 ingredient. According to Chen, the functional treats category is innovative and competitive, with many entries in the soft-treat format. This has inspired them to develop various shapes through extrusion and injection, such as the Get Naked Functional Dental Sticks. Chen sees demand as just starting to bloom. 'I don't think as an industry we are quite there yet because the consumer trend—pet humanization—didn't really take off until about six months into the pandemic, after we got to spend more time than ever with our pets,' he explains. 'The emotional attachment we built over that period then became the driving force behind the change in perspective and behavior, which led to a strong focus on pets' health and wellness.' Hudson agrees there's room for more innovation, and 'tremendous opportunities' for growth, citing research showing functional treats currently comprise just a 17 percent share of the overall treat market.  '[But] additionally, the 2021 Packaged Facts Pet Treats and Chews in the US report reveals that a convincing majority (70%) of pet owners prefer to buy treats that address health concerns or provide extra nutrition and almost as many (67%) agree that functional treats play an important role in their pets' health care.' Engagement is Key In order to begin closing this gap between perception about the value of functional treats and their actual market share, consumer education is a must. This is where pet specialty retailers should take the lead.  'When it comes to marketing and education, our focus isn't only on the end consumer but also on our retail partners,' says Chen. 'It's even more important to a certain degree because we're counting on them to be our advocates in front of the customer. That's why we are heavily invested in trade communications and sales programs. We hope that through communication via multiple touchpoints we can drive the messages home.'  NPIC isn't the only pet product company making a concerted effort to support pet specialty retailers in the education and sales efforts. For example, Boss Nation has an 'at your service' team to assist retailers with POS materials, signage and couponing, among other support tactics. In addition to retailer education, Loving Pets also strives to build awareness through a variety of selling tools, such as special displays, clip-strips, floor displays and sampling programs.  Engaging with customers is also essential for positioning the store and its staff as a go-to resource for pet health, ensuring customer loyalty. Along with asking about the pet's age, breed, activity level and overall health, get specific. Does the pet have bad breath? Does the skin seem irritated, with the coat dull, dry and flaky? Is joint pain present? Is the pet under medical care and if so for what issue(s)? What kind of food is the owner feeding and why? Are there foods/proteins the pet seems sensitive to? Also inquire about the pet's weight, especially important in these COVID-19 times. 'Over the past year there's been a dramatic rise in overweight pets, which many experts attribute to increased treating by owners staying at home during the pandemic,' says Hudson. 'Functional treats allow owners to give treats that serve a purpose and can help cut down on empty calories.' In fact, Abbey says that one of the most common mistakes that pet owners make is over-treating their animals, or giving them calorie-laden treats, cautioning that retailers should be aware of this issue and take pains to inform their customers on how to promote health from the inside out. Store staff should also pay attention to what products pet owners are buying, since functional treats are a nice 'tie-in' with many of them, says Hudson. For example, if someone is purchasing a supplement for joint pain, suggesting a functional treat formulated to support joint health would be appropriate. As such, cross-merchandising options are abundant, like placing treats for gut health with foods supporting the same.  Retailers can also group products designed to promote healthy, shiny coats—shampoos, conditioners, supplements, functional treats, etc.—in one special display, suggests Hudson. 'Because they hold such a huge potential as add-ons to customers seeking health solutions, functional treats can create larger shopping carts,' she says. 'Not only are pet owners interested in functional treats, they're also willing to spend more on them. So functional treats can also boost retail bottom lines through higher-ticket sales.'  PB By Pamela Mills-Senn  - Pet Business

Trace minerals in pet food: what are their benefits and challenges?
Minerals
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4+ MIN

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

By Luciana Chippano

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

Titanium in Pet Food: What about this controversial ingredient?
Micro Ingredients
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4+ MIN

Titanium in Pet Food: What about this controversial ingredient?

By Luciana Chippano

 This note was written and published in the January Issue of All Pet Food Magazine, before the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) published in its Regulation for the European Union 20022/63 that the authorization for use the additive titanium dioxide (E171) in food products is withdrawn.   Titanium in pet food, yes or no? Titanium dioxide is found in some dog and cat food formulas. Its function? It is used to enhance the brilliance of colors and provides whitening in, for example, canned chicken or fish foods or bone-shaped dog treats. However, titanium dioxide is controversial as it has been linked to different health problems at times, including being used as pigment particles for use in human foods such as chewing gum and toothpaste. Sources such as the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) state that there is not enough information about the risk of genotoxicity imposed by nano titanium dioxide.   Where does the titanium dioxide used come from? The main valence state of titanium is 4+, although 3+ and 2+ states, which are less stable, are also known. The element burns in air when heated by reacting to the air in the environment, and thus the dioxide is obtained. There is also a naturally occurring titanium dioxide found in the soil. It is a stable and insoluble compound that interacts in a limited way with biota. The release of titanium into the environment is mainly related to the extraction process and the use of products containing titanium. Therefore, if titanium does find its way into plants and livestock, pet foods have some titanium from certain ingredients (although it may or may not be added later as a bleach).   Is it necessary for the feeding of dogs and cats? Indeed, there are no indications that titanium or any of its components or derivatives is essential for the correct feeding of dogs and cats, and that is why the attention of new research is focused on the possible toxicity of the element. In fact, in 2006, the US National Research Council did not include it in the list of required nutrients for dogs and cats.   Is titanium dioxide toxic? Titanium dioxide has a very low level of toxicity. For this, it is essential to get the right size and quantity of particles to use it in what is wanted: pigmentation and whitening, for example. Currently, and in general terms, at least 39% of the particles contained in food do not have the appropriate size. These particles (nanoparticles) are the ones that can cause damage to the body.   Most recent study on titanium and titanium dioxide In Benyen's study, a sample of 120 dry and wet pet foods was tested for 0.2 to 2,300 mg per kg of dry matter (or per kg of feed residue after removal of its content). humidity). In these cases, titanium dioxide was used as a marker (because of its harmless, non-absorbable character and does not alter the digestive process) to estimate fecal production in canine and feline digestibility tests without total collection of feces. Studies that focused on the use of titanium dioxide in dogs have used dietary inclusion rates of 0.4% in dry food or about 2,667 mg Ti/kg ddm. Results Fecal recovery of titanium from 0.3% titanium dioxide incorporated into dry dog food was determined. The average recoveries were between 74 and 81% for two different diet formulations, meaning that the overall apparent absorption was 23% of intake. Encapsulated carbon dioxide was administered orally to 6 dogs in a dose of 5 g. per kg dry diet. In stool collected within 48 hours of administration, recovery of titanium was 97%. In a similar experiment, 2 grs. of titanium dioxide with newly hatched chicks as the sole source of nutrition. Mean faecal recovery was between 81 and 74%. If the collection of feces in the three dog experiments was almost complete, we can say that the total absorption of titanium was approximately 16% of the intake, which leaves us with a significant fraction ingested.   Other early studies in dogs and cats Titanium dioxide was fed to four cats and one dog. The ore was treated with sulfuric acid and the dioxide was produced by hydrolysis at high pressure. The animals received the dioxide daily, except Sundays and holidays. For cats and dogs, the number of experimental feeding days was 390/480, 390/480, 175/208, 300/368, and 390/480. The mean individual doses, expressed as g TiO2/kg body weight per day, were 0.75, 0.84, 0.86, 0.80, and 0.28 g. Results • TiO2 (titanium dioxide) administered orally was not associated with adverse external health effects. The body weights of the cats were generally stable. Initial and final body weights of the dog were 9.2 and 25.3 kg. • Autopsy in two cats showed no abnormalities. Titanium was undetectable in organs, bile, and bones. For one cat, the amount of titanium in the gastrointestinal tract, including contents, was found to be 95% of the ingested dose. • Four cats were shown to be unaffected by feeding very high amounts of titanium dioxide for periods of up to 480 days. A growing dog was also unaffected.   What do we conclude about its toxicity? The Committee on Minerals and Toxic Substances in Diet and Water for Animals stated that: 'titanium is essentially non-toxic in amounts and forms normally ingested. Therefore, a specific oral toxicity of titanium has not been described and no upper tolerable limit can be suggested for any domestic animal.' Negative health effects of titanium dioxide when included in pet food formulations cannot be excluded at this time. Available data on the toxicity of oral titanium in dogs and cats are insufficient, while the impact of nanoscale titanium dioxide has not been addressed. Finally, on January 18, the use of this additive was banned in Europe, so from now on we will have to start looking for alternatives to replace it without putting the health of animals at risk. By: All Pet Food

Cat eating enjoyment informs preference of food components
Palatants
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3+ MIN

Cat eating enjoyment informs preference of food components

Cat pet parents, for example, note their cats are inclined to lick the gravy and refuse the chunks in chunks and gravy meals, which suggests to pet parents the chunks are less enjoyable. Research at AFB International includes creative methods to measure palatability preference in cats and dogs for various food types, including those with multiple shapes and textures. Eating enjoyment is a dimension of palatability and can be interpreted by the pet's interaction with the food, and/or by what pet parents perceive as they watch their pet eat. In a recent study, we measured multiple responses during cats' interactions with food and summarized them as Initial Attraction (First Approached, First Tasted, Duration of First Eating Bout) and Sustained Interest (Consumption, Uptake, Food Focus) to evaluate how individual food components of a chunks and gravy meal influence eating enjoyment. We found that cats indeed preferred gravy to other components of the meal, which supports many pet parent perceptions. Additionally, chunks were avoided in favor of anything with gravy, and when chunks alone were offered versus the whole chunks and gravy meal cats primarily licked the gravy from the chunks and gravy meal.   STUDY 1 Hypotheses: a) gravy alone would be preferred over chunks and gravy and over chunks alone, and b) chunks and gravy would be preferred over chunks alone. Supported.   Figure 1. Components of a highly palatable commercial wet food presented in two-bowl trials.   Table 1. Results for the most enjoyed food component by cats in 2-bowl trials. Anything with gravy was preferred by cats.   Based on the outcome of this study, we again measured cats' interactions with foods (i.e., Initial Attraction and Sustained Interest) evaluating whether they prefer to lick rather than chew their meals. To do this we blended chunks and gravy meals in a food processor to achieve a homogenous, lick-able whole meal and offered it versus the original form of food. Specific responses within Sustained Interest indicated that the blended form of the meal was consumed more than the original form, likely because it was more efficient to consume. However, collectively, the additional measures suggested that cats enjoyed the original forms more than the blended forms.   STUDY 2 Hypothesis: Cats prefer to lick rather than chew their chunks and gravy meals. Not supported.     Figure 2. Blended and original (unblended) forms of four commercial products presented in two-bowl trials.     Table 2. Results for Eating Enjoyment in cats of blended and original forms of wet foods in two-bowl trials. In general, original forms were enjoyed more than blended forms.   Measures of eating enjoyment offer additional insight to the feeding experience of cats and dogs by describing how they are eating not just how much they eat. Here, Initial Attraction and Sustained Interest demonstrated that cats enjoy a specific component of a whole meal over other components. Unexpectedly these enjoyment measures also revealed more about our cats' eating experience: licking, although efficient, is not the primary driver of enjoyment of a wet meal. Finally, we continuously seek to gain a better understanding of eating enjoyment as a dimension of palatability that helps to guide product improvements that ultimately provide a more satisfying eating experience for cats and their people. These methods can be applied to investigate palatability of many food matrices, such as heterogenous wet and dry foods, as well as their corresponding size, form, and texture.   By: AFB International - Research and Development

Finally, the Reason Why Your Cat Is a Picky Eater
Palatants
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4+ MIN

Finally, the Reason Why Your Cat Is a Picky Eater

Ever wondered why your senior cat turns their nose up at a perfectly good meal from time to time? You checked the expiration, inspected it for unwelcome bacteria, and still, your cat would rather turn their nose up than return to their regularly scheduled programing. Well, insights from a new Waltham Petcare Science Institute study may have uncovered the key to your cat's sudden aversion to mealtime, and it could be as simple as warming their food.  Just like we wouldn't regularly pick a gaspacho over a warm lentil soup in the winter, our cats may be craving the same comfort of hot — or at least warm — meals. My research team at Waltham wanted to find out if the temperature of wet food could make it more alluring to senior cats, and if so, understand why. As they age, the sensitivity of senses like taste and smell (among others) are thought to decline. Both senses are important drivers of appetite, which is why it can be challenging to encourage older cats to eat the food they need to help maintain their body weight.  Warm Cat Food for the Win Warming the food made a significant difference to the amount of food that the cats ate. In the study, published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, my team offered the cats (all over seven years old) the same wet food, but at different temperatures. The chilly option was 6⁰C (43⁰F), which is similar to the food that has been kept in a fridge. The second option was served at 21⁰C (70⁰F) to reflect room temperature and food that is usually served from a pouch stored in a cupboard. The final offering was at 37⁰C (98⁰F), like the body temperature of their prey. The cats' top preference was the food at 37⁰C. Their second preference was at room temperature, and they ate the least amount of food offered when at 6⁰C.   Complete and balanced cat food contains all the nutrients in the correct amounts to help maintain their health. That means ensuring that older cats tuck into and finish their dinner is an important part of supporting their needs as they age. You know what they say about senior citizens retiring to Florida for the balmy weather. Well, now you can help make mealtime easier for your older, fussy cat by offering them the same warmth they (sometimes) offer you. Tiny cocktail umbrella optional. Tips to Encourage Eating Avoid serving cat food straight from the fridge. Purchasing pet food in cans can offer the best value. However, when caring for a cat, each meal will only be a portion of the can, requiring the open tin to be stored in the fridge for freshness. To avoid plating-up a chilly offering, put the meal portion in a bowl and leave at room temperature until the food has warmed before giving to your cat.  Try warming the food above room temperature. For the tastiest meal, try warming the food. You can place the food container in a pan of warm water, or gently heat it up in a microwave using a microwave-safe container. Make sure the food is only warm to touch, and not hot, which could harm your cat.  Why Senior Cats Prefer Warm Food There are several factors influencing the amount of food that cats eat: aroma, taste, texture, appearance, and composition. We used the same product for the study, which means the food's appearance and composition didn't change. We also also measured the consistency of the gravy in the food and found no change to it when heated. So what could be driving the differences? There may be two different areas that could come together to drive the preference we found in the cats — evolution and food chemistry. Part of the study was to help understand what changes in the food and its aroma as it is heated. We found, for example, that more sulphur-containing compounds were released at 37⁰C. From our previous studies in food chemistry, and from the results published by other academics, we know that these compounds are extremely important in meat flavor — so they could make the difference to the pets. The other area that may be important links to cats' natural and wild predatory instincts. They may have evolved to prefer food at body temperature, which could be an indicator to them that the prey is fresh or has been recently caught. by SCOTT MCGRANE, DVM - The wildest   

Posbiotics for Pets - What are they and how can they benefit Pets health
Micro Ingredients
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3+ MIN

Posbiotics for Pets - What are they and how can they benefit Pets health

By Luciana Chippano

In this article we´ll explain what exactly postbiotics are, what they are for, what are their benefits and if we should evaluate including them in our feed formulas. Today, probiotics and prebiotics are almost mandatory ingredients in pet food, since we know every day  more benefits for the animal health . The truth is that a large part of the immune system of pets is associated with the intestine, so intestinal health is closely related to the general immune health of the animal. But what are postbiotics? By postbiotic we understand a thermostable and bioactive metabolic by-product, originating from intestinal membrane segregation. When probiotics (the good bacteria of the intestinal flora) digest and use prebiotics (the food of the bacteria), the final 'result' of this process is the release of postbiotics in the intestinal environment. In fact, their name 'pos' refers to the fact that they are produced after the interaction between intestinal microbes. The simple formula is: prebiotics + probiotics = postbiotics. Postbiotics can include metabolites such as enzymes, peptides, proteins, exopolysaccharides, organic acids and lipids (short chain fatty acids - SCFA such as acetate, propionate and butyrate), and fractions of structural components, mainly of the bacterial cell wall, such as teichoic and lipoteichoic acid, peptidoglycan, bacterial surface layer proteins, and other polysaccharides. Because they are important? Various investigations affirm that intestinal microbiota plays an important role in practically all the functions and processes of the body, and can be altered by factors such as stress, diet, age or the consumption of drugs or medications, among other causes. The main difference from probiotics and prebiotics, and the main reason they are increasingly being included in dry food formulas, is their alteration target. That is, while the first two alter the composition of the intestinal microbiota to prevent diseases, postbiotics are responsible for modifying the function of said microbiota to strengthen and improve intestinal health in general. In a simple way, we can say that, as metabolites, postbiotics are responsible for guiding and activating the immune system and promoting anti-inflammatory responses throughout the body. Some ingredients that began to be used and that promote the segregation of postbiotics are brewer's yeast or derivatives of it such as mannan-oligosaccharides and beta-glucans. 'Postbiotic metabolites are the new frontier in microbiota science. Scientists are discovering that postbiotic metabolites are the main health regulatory compounds in the body. Probiotic bacteria produce postbiotic metabolites, which are the tools that result in a predisposition towards the health of the immune system. The body that has a wider range of "tools" in the microbiota will be more effective, which does a better job of regulating the health of the whole body. " Pelton, 2019 Benefits associated with postbiotics Energy Postbiotics are an important source of energy for the probiotic bacteria themselves and for the epithelial cells that make up the intestinal lining. In this sense, the short chain fatty acids that compose them are responsible for working to optimize motility within the gastrointestinal tract and reduce inflammation. Endurance One of the main disadvantages of probiotics in pet food is that they are live bacteria that often do not survive the different production methods used today to make feed, such as extrusion and its various types, for example. On the contrary, this is something that does not happen with postbiotics, according to several experts. Other benefits associated with these bioactive by-products are: Optimization of the general immunity of the body, because it reinforces the integrity of the digestive mucosa and the mechanisms of nonspecific immunity of the animal. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiota. Increased vitality. Conclusion While the specific mechanisms by which postbiotics work have yet to be fully discovered, what is known about their broad spectrum of benefits and immunomodulatory effects is relevant enough to include them in pet food formulas (Wegh et al., 2019). So far, what can be said is that postbiotics can positively affect the animal immune system. As we already know, pet owners are increasingly concerned about the pet food ingredients they choose for their dog or feline children, and so much so that the trend for Premium food does not stop: they continue to search for new, innovative and innovative ingredients. high nutritional value. We believe that food manufacturers should find innovative ways to differentiate themselves in the market, now taking into account this new ingredient that can be most beneficial for the short, medium and long term health of pets. by All Pet Food

ZEOLITE: a multifunctional additive for PET FOOD
Micro Ingredients
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4+ MIN

ZEOLITE: a multifunctional additive for PET FOOD

By Erika Stasieniuk

For this reason, the use of additives capable of improving fecal score and odor has increased in pet food formulations, which have optimal nutrition as the main characteristic. Among the additives with proven safety and benefits, clinopitilolite zeolite stands out, an aluminosilicate mineral, capable of guaranteeing the reduction of fecal odor, improving fecal score, increasing the digestibility of nutrients, reducing the presence of gases from the fermentation of food in the intestine, in addition to adsorbing mycotoxins. The molecular structure of zeolite gives it a much larger internal surface than the external one, formed by cavities and interconnected channels in which compensating ions are present, such as Na +, Ca2 +, Mg2 +, K +, and because they are weakly bound to the structure, it can be replaced by others present in the solution. Thus, zeolites can absorb certain ions from aqueous solutions, releasing those present in their structure, a phenomenon called cation exchange capacity (CTC), which in clinoptilolite-type zeolites is highly efficient. In addition, it has the property of absorbing excess water by slowing down the gastrointestinal tract, thus increasing the dry matter of the feces and improving the fecal score of the animals. Zeolite is considered a technological additive because it has the properties of reducing the concentration of ammonium (NH4 +), capturing carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and excess water (H2O) that is produced during the digestive process. or in the environment in which she finds herself. It also has an action as a binder that can improve the characteristics of the finished product in the extrusion process in the pet food industries. In addition to the applications mentioned above, we believe that zeolite can have many other practical applications in dog and cat food, extruded or wet. The recommendation for the inclusion of zeolite in food for dogs and cats is 5 to 20 kg (0.5 to 2%) per ton of food, values ​​suggested by scientific studies carried out with dogs and cats in Brazil (FÉLIX et al., 2009; MAIA et al., 2010; ROQUE, 2009; SANTOS et al., 2011). These same studies show that the inclusion of this additive at the indicated levels does not interfere with the palatability of the food, and it can be safely included in extruded, wet food and in natural food for dogs and cats without altering the voluntary consumption of animals. . Thinking about the potential of this additive to improve other characteristics of formulas that seek optimal nutrition, we list below other reasons to include zeolite in pet food.   ● Use in diets with ingredients rich in non-starch polysaccharides (NAP) Ingredients such as soy bran, widely used in the manufacture of pet food, contain 20% ANP. Soluble ANP can reduce the digestibility of nutrients and energy in the diet, due to the increase in the viscosity of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the reduction of the passage of food, making it difficult for digestive enzymes to access the food bolus and interfering with the diffusion and transport of nutrients. To minimize the adverse effects of ANP on the fecal characteristics of dogs and cats, adsorbent additives can be used, such as zeolites, which, when passing inert through the GIT, adsorb water and gases and reduce the elimination of ammonia, which improves the characteristics and odors in animal feces.   ● Use in high consumption diets. Even in oversupply situations, up to 50% more food consumption, the inclusion of 1.5% zeolite provided an increase in fecal score and dry matter, with better fecal consistency in fed dogs (Lowndes, 2014) . For certain food categories, such as lactating females or athlete dogs, where food consumption needs to be higher to meet a higher energy requirement, the inclusion of zeolite can be a great strategy to avoid bulkier and excessively wet stools. nitrogenous compounds and gases that influence the odor of feces.   ● Inclusion in commercial or natural wet foods. As high humidity is an inherent characteristic of wet food, adding zeolite to these products can influence less moist feces, since it has the ability to absorb water, increasing the dry matter of the feces, bringing the fecal score of the animals closer. that consume wet diets to that of those who eat dry diets. When thinking about the interrelation of zeolite with the digestive process of minerals, there was concern that the additive would sequester the essential mineral ions present in wet diets, since it is an aqueous solution. However, an investigation carried out with cats fed wet diets containing zeolite showed that at inclusion levels of 0.5%, 0.75% and 1% they do not have negative interference from the point of view of mineral nutrition of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron and manganese. (Santos et al., 2011).   Potential for application in innovative products Zeolite's mechanism of action is likely to be multifunctional. Different action properties were evidenced in the gastrointestinal tract of the animals, among them: ammonia binding effect, fecal elimination of p-cresol, digestive transit delay effect, increased activity of pancreatic enzymes and toxin sequestering effect. Therefore, there is a strong indication that zeolite has the ability to modulate the intestinal microbiota of dogs and cats and new studies are being developed. We believe that zeolite has high potential in the development of innovative products for the health of the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and cats. In addition, it has gained popularity in human health as a functional ingredient capable of promoting a detoxifying effect in the body. Fact that makes some guardians already looking for food, supplements or supplements for their dogs and cats that contain zeolite in the composition.   Source: All Pet Food

Antioxidants in the diet and in the well-being of the pet
Micro Ingredients
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7+ MIN

Antioxidants in the diet and in the well-being of the pet

By Armando Enriquez de la Fuente Blanquet

The free radical is defined as a molecule that contains a free electron and it is that property that makes it dangerous, since it reacts with substrate molecules, such as cellular lipids, to make the missing electron stabilize itself. Free radicals are sometimes described as pro-oxidants, in the sense that they stimulate and cause oxidation. They occur as a result of normal metabolism, but can also appear through exposure to environmental stressors such as UV radiation, pollutants, tobacco smoke, and other chemical agents. Physiological processes in humans and animals require a constant supply of energy. This is provided in the form of energy-rich compounds (adenosine triphosphate) produced in the mitochondria of cells through the oxidation of nutrients such as glucose, fatty acids, amino acids. Oxygen is essential for life, and without it, any cell would die in minutes. A dog at rest weighing 12kg uses approximately 4 liters of oxygen per hour. Reactions that constantly consume oxygen produce small amounts of reactive oxygen molecules (ROMs), including free radicals. A certain amount of ROM production is normal in some types of cells, such as when macrophages take over microorganisms and there is an increase in the amounts of functional anion-superoxide (O2–) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) radicals as 'chemical weapons' that kill bacteria and prepare them for lysosome lysis by enzymes. Some nutrients, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, play an important role in regulating the content of these aggressive molecules in the cell. If the levels of these nutrients fall in the phagocytes, then their bactericidal action is diminished. There are low molecular weight compounds and endogenously produced enzymes known as antioxidants that help eliminate ROMs (see Table 1). The production of antioxidant enzymes also requires a sufficient and adequate intake of various trace minerals (Cu, Zn, Mn, Se, Fe). A catalase molecule contains 4 iron atoms. The superoxide dismutase contained in highly active phagocytes contains 2 Cu and 2 Zn atoms per molecule. Superoxide dismutase in the mitochondria contains 2 Mn atoms per molecule. Finally, there are several types of glutathione peroxidase that contain 4 Se atoms per molecule.   Table 1 - General description of the action of antioxidants on ROMs   Hence the importance of formulating food with good quality trace mineral sources that guarantee adequate levels in the body of our pets. Some antioxidants are obtained from the diet and the ingestion and absorption in sufficient quantities are important for health, since they prevent the accumulation in excess of high concentrations of ROMs in the cells and the consequent deterioration of their function; this is why it is important to achieve a balance between production and decomposition. The presence of free radicals in the body is a constant fact. Actually, free radicals are produced during metabolic reactions. Additionally, the immune system produces free radicals as part of its normal function of destroying invading bacteria. The generation of free radicals in the body can also be induced by external environmental factors. Free radicals are highly reactive and destroy other molecules, which in turn will form even more free radicals. The effect of this process is probably the cause of the pathogenesis of many conditions, including cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and other degenerative conditions; even the very aging process. The immune system seems to be especially susceptible to damage. Oxidative damage and free radical formation cannot be entirely prevented. Also, once the damage has been done, it cannot be completely reversed. However, antioxidants can slow down the process a bit. As we have been commenting on, free radicals occur regularly, so oxidative damage is a fact and what we must consider is the impact of this damage, so below I will mention some that I consider may be relevant in pets. Cell division is a constant process in the body. An accumulation of ROMs in the nucleus of the cell leads to increased alterations (= mutations) in the structure of certain genes, causing unbridled proliferation of cells; These genes are known as oncogenes. In dogs, tumors of the skin, soft tissues (muscles, connective tissue), and the mammary gland are common. Flavonoids, ascorbic acid, and vitamin E help reduce the occurrence of genetic mutations. The immune system is the line of defense against infections, parasitic diseases, and the development of tumors. Its function involves different types of leukocytes. The T-lymphocyte, which is produced in the thymus, recognizes pathogenic molecules; This results in an increase in the secretion of activators known as interleukins that stimulate the production of phagocytes in the bone marrow, and of lymphocytes in the lymph nodes and spleen. With age there is a decrease in the efficiency of the immune system and it is correlated to a deficient level of antioxidants. The aging processes in the brain are caused particularly by the loss of nerve cells. Pets express it with slower reactions, decreasing learning capacity and a decrease in memory function. An adequate intake of ascorbic acid, vitamin E, flavonoids and vitamins of the B-complex are necessary to maintain the good health of this organ. Oxidative damage and free radical formation cannot be entirely prevented. Also, once the damage has been done, it cannot be completely reversed. However, antioxidants can slow down the process a bit. As we have been commenting on, free radicals occur regularly, so oxidative damage is a fact and what we must consider is the impact of this damage, so below I will mention some that I consider may be relevant in pets. Cell division is a constant process in the body. An accumulation of ROMs in the nucleus of the cell leads to increased alterations (= mutations) in the structure of certain genes, causing unbridled proliferation of cells; These genes are known as oncogenes. In dogs, tumors of the skin, soft tissues (muscles, connective tissue), and the mammary gland are common. Flavonoids, ascorbic acid, and vitamin E help reduce the occurrence of genetic mutations. The immune system is the line of defense against infections, parasitic diseases, and the development of tumors. Its function involves different types of leukocytes. The T-lymphocyte, which is produced in the thymus, recognizes pathogenic molecules; This results in an increase in the secretion of activators known as interleukins that stimulate the production of phagocytes in the bone marrow, and of lymphocytes in the lymph nodes and spleen. With age there is a decrease in the efficiency of the immune system and it is correlated to a deficient level of antioxidants. The aging processes in the brain are caused particularly by the loss of nerve cells. Pets express it with slower reactions, decreasing learning capacity and a decrease in memory function. An adequate intake of ascorbic acid, vitamin E, flavonoids and vitamins of the B-complex are necessary to maintain the good health of this organ.   Figure 1. Mechanism of the chain reaction of lipid radicals by action of vitamin E.   The true support of antioxidants is to provide a balance that helps control the degree of oxidative damage, this is achieved by adding a variety of additional antioxidants to the diet, such as antioxidant vitamins, carotenoids or others. Next, we will talk about some nutrients that intervene with their antioxidant action in the body of pets. ● Vitamin E Vitamin E includes a group of chemical compounds called tocopherols and tocotrienols. Α-tocopherol is the form of vitamin E with the highest biopotency compared to the β and γ-tocopherol isomers. Vitamin E interrupts oxidation by donating electrons to free radicals that induce peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and also has important interrelationships with selenium and vitamin C. Peroxidation of body lipids can destroy the functional integrity of cell membranes , altering cell function. Vitamin E is not synthesized by the body, which is why it is considered an essential nutrient. The demand depends on the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the diet and the quality of the fats (content of peroxyl radicals). The plasma level under ideal physiological conditions should be 5 to 20 mg / l in dogs and 3 to 30 mg / l in cats. ● Vitamin C Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, essential only for some animal species that cannot synthesize it, and which, if they do not ingest it in sufficient quantity, develop the so-called "scurvy" and hence its name as ascorbic acid. Vitamin C performs numerous functions, participating in REDOX (oxidation-reduction) processes, as an antioxidant agent by itself, and also protects the antioxidant capacity of vitamin E, reacting with tocopherol free radicals. The end net result is a reduction in the amount of available vitamin C and maintenance of antioxidant levels of vitamin E. ● Minerals Many trace minerals show at least one of their functions in the body in antioxidant enzymes. These include selenium (glutathione peroxidase); copper, zinc and manganese (superoxide dismutase); and iron (catalase). Adequate supplementation of these minerals is important for the enzymes to be synthesized by the body. ● Carotenoids Β-carotene, lutein and lycopene are pigments that belong to the group of carotenoids and are responsible for the yellow, orange, or red colors present in many foods. Of these compounds, β-carotene is the most studied and they are not endogenously synthesized by dogs or cats. It can be a source of vitamin A since β-carotene can be transformed into this vitamin when the body needs it. However, cats cannot form vitamin A from carotenes. Carotenoids show clear biological activity as antioxidants. Lycopene is a red pigment that occurs in tomatoes and is reported to inhibit the growth of certain types of tumors. Lutein is produced in large quantities in green vegetables and is necessary for the elimination of ROMs in chloroplasts. ● Flavonoids Flavonoids are yellowish-red pigments, found in vegetables and fruits (green tea and grapes); chemically they are polyphenols and help prevent arteriosclerosis and heart attacks in humans. Its main actions are to eliminate ROMs, increase the activity of glutathione peroxidases and inhibit the formation of lipid peroxyl radicals in lipoproteins. In summary, free radicals are produced as a result of normal metabolism, but are increased under stress, exercise, or during exposure to foreign agents. Excess free radicals damage cells and can be the cause of various pathogens such as cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, even aging. A balanced nutrition of good quality trace minerals is important for the proper functioning of endogenous antioxidant systems. The inclusion of antioxidant nutrients, such as certain vitamins, carotenoids or flavonoids, helps maintain an adequate level of free radicals in the body.   Source: All Pet Food

Applying pet food palatants
Palatants
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3+ MIN

Applying pet food palatants

Liquid palatants   Liquid palatants are delivered in bulk tankers or in an intermediate bulk container (IBC). Tankers are advised when large quantities are used; otherwise IBCs are recommended. IBC use also depends on the factory layout or use of multiple palatants. Commonly stored on site in agitated storage tanks, liquid palatants perform best when maintained between 70°F and 95°F. Due to natural physical characteristics, liquid products may exhibit some separation. The separation will not have an effect on palatability and can be controlled by agitation just before use. When a tank is used to store the bulk delivery, the tank must contain an agitator to blend the product before use to achieve homogeneity. Mix the product just enough to keep it moving and to avoid inclusion of air. Too much air inclusion can cause foam which could affect the product quality. Blending the product in the tank will also prevent potential formation of a water layer on top created by condensation when temperature differences occur. A watery layer will change the pH and preservative concentration causing a potential risk for mold and other bacteria to grow on top of the product. An agitator in the tank will also help prevent this watery layer. To apply liquid palatants, suitable coating systems include drum coaters, batch coaters, screw coaters, augers or spinning disks. Set up the system to add the fat first, then the palatant. (Figure 1). Once complete, blend kibbles properly to be sure a homogeneous coating is reached and to allow the fat and palatant to fully absorb. Blending time depends on factory layout, required throughput and coater type.   For optimal kibble performance when applying a liquid palatant: Keep air out of the palatant application process. Include baffles in mixing tanks and eliminate free-fall product return on recycle systems to help prevent fat from oxidizing, which can decrease palatability performance. Avoid over-application. Carefully synchronize the kibble feed rate and the palatant application rate to prevent excessive application, which could increase moisture and lead to mold growth if not properly monitored during production. Retention time. After the fat and digest dosing, a certain retention time allows flavors and moisture to distribute homogeneously over the kibbles. Choose the correct spray nozzle for your application. Two recommended nozzle types are flat spray pattern and full cone spray pattern. The right nozzle choice depends on coater type and setup. The size, or opening, of the nozzle depends on the amount of the liquid you want to apply. The nozzle should form very small droplets, not a mist or a pouring liquid. Prevent overspray. Aim spray nozzles to avoid excessive buildup on the augur or coating drum, which could compromise pet food quality over time as fines will stick to the liquid creating lumps composed of materials from multiple batches. Carefully position palatant and fat spray nozzles. Ensure no more than 10% overlap in palatant spray patterns to support consistent performance. Also strive for no overlap between the fat and palatant application. Dry palatants   Pet food palatants are packaged in standard dry bags or bulk bags. palatants are added after the fat or liquid palatant application. (Figure 2) The fat or liquid palatant acts as a tacking agent and is an integral part of the total palatability solution. Dry palatants are fed into the coating system using a loss-in-weight or a volumetric feeder. Pulse dosing should be avoided to obtain a homogeneous spreading of the powder. The hopper of the feeder should contain an agitator to avoid bridging of the powder which would disrupt an even powder supply. (Figure 3: Palatant Application Process)   For optimal kibble performance when applying a dry palatant: Coat kibbles evenly. Discharge kibble onto a plate or splitter to facilitate continuous flow of the desired kibble quantity which will secure accurate palatant dosing. Avoid impeded flow. The small size of the feeders often requires the use of vibrators or flow assist devices. Avoid palatant buildup on the coating system. Maintain the desired kibble level before applying dry palatant to avoid such buildup.   Source: AFB Intenational

Mineral choice matters: Maximizing pet food nutrition
Minerals
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3+ MIN

Mineral choice matters: Maximizing pet food nutrition

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

Palatability with less phosphorus is possible
Palatants
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2+ MIN

Palatability with less phosphorus is possible

Essential phosphorus Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for cats. It is a key component of skeletal health and is involved in several metabolic processes. This mineral is naturally occurring (organic) in many of the ingredients used in commercial pet food. Organic phosphorus is found in protein-rich sources like meat, fish or bone meal, and in plant ingredients like wheat or bran. Inorganic phosphorus is added to the diet to balance mineral content or for other technical properties such as pH stabilisation, processing, or palatability.   Safe upper limit? There is currently no established safe upper limit for dietary phosphorus. However, research has demonstrated that excess inorganic phosphorus can have a harmful effect on cats with existing renal disease. Recent studies suggest there may also be a link between high dietary inorganic phosphorus and renal function in healthy cats. In response, the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF) has added a specific footnote regarding recommended nutrient levels for cats as it pertains to inorganic phosphorus: High intake of inorganic phosphorus compounds (such as NaH2 PO4) may affect indicators of renal function in cats (Alexander et al. 2019, Dobenecker et al. 2018a, Dobenecker et al. 2018b). More research is needed to clarify potential risk.   New palatants The Pet Food Industry recognises that palatants are a main contributor of inorganic phosphorus in finished cat food. It is also acknowledged that it is quite a challenge to lower the level of phosphorus while maintaining the palatability required to ensure cats receive the vital nutrients they need. Scientists at AFB succeeded in developing new feline palatant solutions to address the challenge. These products contain lower levels of inorganic phosphorus while also maintaining or increasing palatability. In addition to the health benefit of contributing less inorganic phosphorus, these palatants can provide other advantages to pet food manufacturers with formula flexibility that enables potential cost savings.   By: AFB International

Beyond Consumpyion - Measuring Cat's Food Enjoyment - Research and development AFB Intenational
Palatants
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3+ MIN

Beyond Consumpyion - Measuring Cat's Food Enjoyment - Research and development AFB Intenational

Typical cat food palatability assessments consist of either: Preference trials: A two-bowl trial measuring consumption when given two options. The first bowl approached, first food tasted, amount consumed, and intake ratio are used to measure preference. Acceptance trials: A one-bowl trial that generally only measures the amount consumed. While these common trial methods are valuable in assessing preference and palatability, AFB International sought to determine other ways to evaluate cat food enjoyment, as well as develop methods that would be representative of what pet parents might experience at home. Trials conducted at AFB's Palatability Assessment Resource Center (PARC) found behavior methods can augment consumption data in preference and acceptance trials to provide additional insight to a cat's feeding experience.   FOOD FOCUS - Nose in BowlSM (NIB) Trial Purpose: Measure cat's interest in food and help distinguish products with similar consumption Approach: Sixteen individual cats were fed four diets over four days in acceptance trials. Video- recordings aided in using food focus to distinguish preference between diets. Food focus, defined as the time spent eating, sniffing, and engaged with their food, was quantified versus time distracted. High food focus indicated palatable food and high enjoyment. Low food focus indicated the cat was distracted while eating, which could be related to palatability. Results: As shown in Chart 1, three diets had similar consumption, but diet A had significantly higher food focus. This indicates diet A was enjoyed more than C or D. And while diet B also had high focus, the proportion of food consumed was much less than the other diets. This could indicate the cat had difficulty biting or chewing the food, and may provide insight to pet food manufacturers on where to focus product improvements.   WORK EFFORT - Puzzle Trials Purpose: Measure effort cats are willing to exert for treats, as well as mimic the effort cats are expected to 'perform' for treats at home. Approach: Puzzles presented obstacles between the cat and treats. Sixteen individual cats were offered two puzzles, each with a different commercialized cat treat dispersed throughout. As the cat consumed treats from one puzzle (Treat A), it became more difficult to find and reach the remainder of Treat A, but easier to find and reach Treat B in the other puzzle. The trial completed when each cat consumed 50% of total treats offered. Treats consumed (Treat A vs. Treat B) were quantified and indicated preference. Results: This measure aids in distinguishing differences between cat treats. Chart 2 illustrates that despite the cats needing to exert less effort to obtain Treat B, the cats persisted in choosing Treat A - the more palatable option.   INTERACTION - Hand-Feeding Trials Purpose: Evaluate a food's ability to entice cats into the lap of their pet parent and prolong interaction after the food is gone. Approach: Sixteen individual cats were offered, by hand, commercialized paste treats encouraging close contact during feeding. Development of enticement and interaction scales intends to interpret treat preference and enjoyment in future trials. Preliminary Results: All treats enticed most cats to the greatest behavior measure – sitting in a technician's lap (Chart 3). The interaction scale (Chart 4) suggested the more a cat enjoyed the treat, the longer he allowed interaction (petting), even when no more food was offered. Brand C Tuna influenced cats to interact the longest, suggesting the interaction scale can differentiate products.     Conclusions Behavior trials with kibble, dry treats and paste treats demonstrated additional ways to assess palatability and food enjoyment beyond consumption to describe an additional dimension of the cat's feeding experience. Behavior and enjoyment data can augment consumption data to help pet food manufacturers develop products that provide more interaction between pet parents and their cats, and the assurance they are offering their cat a food they enjoy, not just eat. To learn more about Applied Behavior Research, contact Susan Jojola. By: AFB Intenational

Is it possible to Control and Predetermine the Palatability in Pet Food?
Palatants
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5+ MIN

Is it possible to Control and Predetermine the Palatability in Pet Food?

Palatability is also a set of observations that pet parents make during feeding times and are mainly related to the speed of consumption, gestures of satisfaction and eating completely the offered ration. But also Palatability is a technical attribute of the product, which can be controlled through the correct calibration of the production system and the selection of ingredients. To better understand this, it is necessary to first define what palatability is in general terms and in technical terms. General definition of Palatability: it is the ability of a food to generate attractiveness in dogs or cats as a result of the activation of their senses and the stimulation of the impulse to feed, it is closely related to the smell and taste of the food, but also to its shape and texture.   Technical Palatability: is the result of a palatability test on a trained panel of pets. The panel must meet numerous size, training, and lifestyle requirements to be considered calibrated. The test must follow a pre-established and proven protocol that is robust for data generation. Finally, the test data must be processed by a suitable statistical method to obtain a numerical conclusion of the result. The two protocols most used today to measure palatability are the versus test and the monadic test. The versus test consists of offering two dishes simultaneously to the pet for a specified time, each with a different food and allowing the pet to freely choose which one they prefer. The monadic test is offered a single food for a certain time and the pet is allowed to consume it freely. The monodic test mainly indicates the level of consumption of a food, it is more related to the natural way of feeding pets in homes, but it has a relatively low discriminatory power between two specific foods, or in other words, to If there is a significant difference between two foods in a monadic test, their difference in palatability should be quite noticeable. The versus test, on the other hand, mainly indicates a preference, it has a very high discrimination power, allowing even very well-trained panels to detect very subtle differences between two foods, such as small changes in the formulation. While the monadic test is recommended to evaluate whether a food is consumed at adequate levels by a pet and meets certain nutritional requirements, the versus test is more appropriate when deciding whether between two options there is one that is better for pets In this way, it allows us to decide, for example, between two types of cereals, two types of fat or two different cooking temperatures. Now, back to the title of the article, we will answer each of the questions asked. First, if it is possible to control palatability, because there is a standardized and protocolized measurement tool, the versus test or a monadic test. Second, it is also possible to predetermine or preset palatability levels in a set of foods, this is achieved by evaluating the response of various production parameters, formulation and doses of certain key components in the product. An order or staggering of palatability can then be established in a portfolio of brands, thus, for example, more palatability can be granted to premium brands and moderate levels to economic ones. The response to specific products can also be differentiated, for example, by making a product for small breeds more palatable than its counterpart for large breeds.   But how is this achieved on a practical level? The first step is to measure palatability in a research center prepared for it. In general, the versus protocol is recommended to detect small differences between two options, which can be two competitors in the same market segment, two different formulas for the same product, or a prototype product in development versus an established one. This will establish the baseline on which to plan the levels and modifications. The second step is to guarantee a basal level of palatability as high as possible, working on the texture of the kibble, the quality and type of raw materials used in its formulation and a number of key parameters during the manufacturing process. This will not leave as an element of differentiation between various types of products, mainly the type of external application of fats and flavorings. An example of key parameters to control to maximize kibble attractiveness is as follows:     Once we have the main process points under control and we ensure an optimal kibble, we must define levels of external fat coverage and liquid and / or powder flavoring to differentiate the products in each market segment. The objective is always to adjust to the nutritional profile of the food, but to try to place the greatest amount of fat externally, which is where it can be most appreciated by the taste and olfactory senses of the pets. Regarding flavorings, higher doses should be chosen for products of greater relevance in the portfolio, the premium brands. It is also possible to select from the market a variety of flavoring options of different "strength" or different levels of palatability. The level of palatability of a flavoring is determined by its ingredients and its manufacturing process, and what finally gives the positioning is a palatability test, it is generally accepted that to consider a flavoring as belonging to a higher level than another determined, the most powerful one must obtain a statistically significant favorable result compared to another, applied in the same doses and in the same croquettes. Example table of doses of fats and flavorings:   The same concept applies to fats and to finished products in general. When defining the palatability level of two fats, a palatability test is performed between both ingredients, both applied in the same dose on the same batch of dry kibble and under the same conditions, with which the only different factor is fat. That ingredient that achieves a statistically significant result over the other can be considered as having a higher level of palatability. By applying this same experimental design to the test of two finished products, the palatability level of each can be established. To avoid sample selection biases, it is recommended to choose both products in the market by randomly choosing the point of purchase. It is not valid to compare a pilot prototype with a product on the market. Another key factor is the freshness of both products, where it is recommended that they do not differ in the 30 days of manufacture to consider the same age. In summary, although palatability is a complex concept that is fundamentally a sensory, biological response, therefore, to a food. There is accumulated even scientific evidence and practical experience that indicate ways to rationalize and model this concept at very specific points in the manufacture and formulation of a product with the aim of achieving predetermined effects.   Fuente: Juan Manuel Peralta

Improving Pet Food digestibility with Yucca Schidigera
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5+ MIN

Improving Pet Food digestibility with Yucca Schidigera

It has been estimated that pet owners spend U$D 300–500 or more every year on food alone for their Dogs and Cats. That may not seem significant, but add in all the other costs that come with owning a pet and the total spent per year reaches a high number pretty quickly - and that does not even include the many non-bank-account-related costs that can pile up. When it comes to determining the value of the food they feed their furry companions, Pet owners rarely consider overall Pet Food digestibility.   Why is that value important? Well, Pet Food that is formulated with excess protein and/or poorly digestible micronutrients will not be used by the animal. This means that not only is the pet receiving a lower level of nutrition, but more waste is also being excreted by the animal, which has environmental implications. Improving Pet Food digestibility, however, does not need to be a challenge. One solution — Yucca Schidigera extract (YSE) — is known for both its health and environmental benefits. Let's dive in to how this additive can help improve your pet food company brand.   Protein is a large player in Pet Food digestibility First things: Pet food digestibility refers to how much food is actually digested, used and absorbed by the animal. Higher digestibility values are desirable because this means that the pet is receiving a greater amount of nutrition from the bag of food, which translates to less poop and better health. Generally speaking, a digestibility of around 80% for is average pet food; anything below 75% is considered very poor-quality food, and anything above 80% is considered exceptional. To take this full-circle, this means that, on average, 20% of what's in the pet food bag will be excreted as waste by your dogs and cats. Protein is just one nutrient involved in digestibility, but when it comes to dogs and cats, it could be argued that protein receives the most attention. Many of us know that absorbing the proper levels of essential amino acids is crucial for good health, and since our pets typically eat the same things day in and day out, it is important that their protein requirements are met by their everyday diet. That being said, when it comes to protein, it is important to consider not only how digestible the source of the protein is but also what happens to protein once it has been ingested. Protein digestion in Dogs and Cats begins in the stomach with hydrochloric acid and pepsin, which break down protein into polypeptides. As the polypeptides travel to the small intestine, the pancreas is triggered to release more digestive enzymes, which break the polypeptides into tripeptides, dipeptides and single amino acids. These small peptides and amino acids are absorbed through the walls of the small intestine and travel to the liver, which distributes amino acids throughout the body. If there is an excessive amount of protein in the diet and not all of it can be digested, it will be excreted by the animal. Additionally, if there is an excess of amino acids in the liver, the body will begin to deaminate them or break them down into a carbon skeleton and ammonia. The ammonia will then enter the urea cycle and will eventually be excreted from the body in the form of urine. Overall, protein can be an expensive ingredient both in the bag and for the environment, which is why using additives to improve pet food digestibility may be a viable solution.   Yucca Schidigera is rich in steroidal saponins The Yucca Schidigera plant is native to Mexico and has been used medicinally in various ways in both humans and animals for many years. Many of the yucca plant's effects are attributed to its various physiologically active compounds, such as steroidal saponins and polyphenols like resveratrol. Saponins are substances that foam up when added to water, which is why they are often added to soaps. When ingested in small quantities, it is thought that saponins have a 'scrubbing' effect on the mucous membranes of the GI tract, which can aid in the assimilation and absorption of nutrients. Saponins also have binding abilities; it has been suggested that they are able to bind to ammonia in a saponin-ammonia complex and pass through the GI tract unabsorbed and into the feces. While more research is needed to better understand these mechanisms, it is certainly an interesting solution for helping reduce ammonia concentrations and odor in feces and urine. Furthermore, polyphenols, especially in combination with steroidal saponins, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-protozoal properties, which indicates that using YSE in the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions could be beneficial.   Yucca for Dogs and Cats Research in other production animal species has shown positive results associated with using YSE. In poultry houses, for example, the addition of YSE to diets has been shown to reduce fecal odor and ammonia excretion, and in broilers, YSE has been shown to increase feed efficiency, growth rates and survivability. Yucca schidigera supplementation has proven to be valuable for enhancing animal welfare conditions in cattle and pig production, as well.   While our Pets are not being used in production settings, wouldn't it be great if there was a natural way to reduce their fecal odors? A study in dogs showed that including YSE in high-protein diets was effective for reducing ammonia concentrations and fecal odors compared to diets with no added YSE. In cats, studies have shown that applying the liquid form of YSE (as the product De-Odorase) directly to cat litter boxes can help eliminate litter box odor by up to 40% through its ability to reduce the levels of ammonia that have been excreted. Additionally, because of saponins' foaming properties, YSE may aid in the digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals, which will also increase the effectiveness of your pet food and help reduce mineral excretion in the environment.   Long-term use of Yucca for Cats and Dogs While more research is warranted, using Yucca Schidigera extract in Pet Food diets does appear to have positive effects in the gastrointestinal tract, contributing to increased digestibility levels of key nutrients like protein, vitamins and minerals. The impact of YSE may even go beyond the GI tract and offer anti-inflammatory benefits, especially in the joints. Increased Pet Food digestibility has important health, economic and environmental implications. While the increased absorption of nutrients will, of course, positively impact the health of companion animals, it also means that pet owners are receiving more value from the bags of food they are buying, which is always a selling point for your pet food brand. And perhaps most importantly during this era, any efforts to decrease ammonia and/or nutrient excretion could be key for environmental sustainability. At Alltech, we believe in working together for a Planet of Plenty. Our mission is healthier animals and a healthier environment, which is why we have taken measures to ensure that we meet the guidelines put in place by the Pet Sustainability Coalition. Protecting the environment is a worldwide feat, but we can certainly do our part in the pet food industry by considering alternative solutions, such as De-Odorase.   By: Alltech

The importance of Vitamins and Minerals in Cat and Dog Food
Vitamins
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2+ MIN

The importance of Vitamins and Minerals in Cat and Dog Food

Have you ever noticed the list of vitamins and minerals on the label of a Cat and Dog Food package?   This extensive list and the not-so-familiar terms used may scare us a bit, but Vitamins and Minerals are vital components for the well-being, health, and longevity of our Pets. Each Vitamin and Mineral plays a unique role in the body, so it is important to properly balance these nutrients in Pet Food. Vitamin and Mineral supplementation is used in all types of Food for Dogs and Cats such as: dry food, canned food, wet food. These supplements are used to provide the essential nutrients in the correct proportions that they require. In Pet Foods, Vitamins and Minerals are generally added as a premix. It means that some ingredients are included in small amounts in the formulation of dog and cat food, such as vitamins and minerals. Due to the need for high precision in weighing the micro-ingredients that make up the premix, Pet Food Factories choose to buy this ready-made product from a supplier, rather than mixing micronutrients in their own factory. In addition, with the use of the premix there is greater reliability that the mixtures are more homogeneous, guaranteeing a much safer pet food. It is important to take into account the loss of vitamins that occurred during the extrusion process and shelf life, and these losses must be taken into account when formulating a premix. And it is essential to know the sources of microminerals to choose, since there are significant differences in their bioavailability. Currently, there are several Companies specializing in developing premixes in an attempt to facilitate the process of factories that produce complete Food for Dogs and Cats. These Companies have been refining to deliver personalized pet food premixes to the market, which perfectly complete the missing micronutrients in the ingredients used in a greater proportion in the formulations of the products, as if they were missing pieces in the puzzle, being essential for any food. to become balanced and whole. As a market trend, we understand that in addition to being personalized, the premix must also offer innovation so that in addition to improving nutritional quality, it can also facilitate processes, since new technologies are emerging for the commercialization and conservation of food for Dogs and Cats, and micronutrients must be bioavailable in all types of whole foods, ensuring the safety of the food factory. By: Erika Stasieniuk y Ludmila Barbi    

Rabobank: Insect Protein Demand may hit Half a Million mt by 2030
Micro Ingredients
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2+ MIN

Rabobank: Insect Protein Demand may hit Half a Million mt by 2030

The demand for insect protein, mainly as an animal feed and pet food ingredient, could reach half a million mt by 2030, up from today's market of approximately 10 thousand mt, a Rabobank report says. Dutch agricultural market specialist Rabobank expects global demand for insect proteins could reach 500 thousand tons annually by 2030. This amount is fifty times higher than the 10 thousand tons produced in 2020. The report says after reaching half a million metric tons, it will get easier for the industry to expand supply. While the sustainability aspects and functional benefits support demand growth, high costs and prices, the current limited production capacity, and legislation are the main factors limiting growth of insect protein. However, Rabobank foresees that that the industry will skyrocket in the next decade and the aqua feed market is expected to show the greatest potential. 'Beyond inclusion in aqua feed formulas, a range of R&D-driven opportunities will create additional areas of future success for this new industry,' the report states. Although the report predicts pet food and poultry markets will grow at a slower pace, there is still room for expansion. Insect Protein for Pet Food to account for 40% The report indicates the market for insect protein as a pet food ingredient is expected to reach 150 thousand metric tons globally by 2030. This will account for 40% of the expected insect market size at that time. Despite this, insects are still forecast to account for less than 1% of the overall aqua feed market. At present insect consumption in the aqua feed market is only a few thousand tons per year. 'The egg market allows for differentiated concepts and categories, such as free range, organic, omega-3 added, etc., which gives space to market insect-fed eggs. We believe the potential is more limited for broilers, due to the high price point of insects compared to soybean meal,' the report points. In poultry feed, the largest potential lies in layer hens and is more limited for broilers because of the high price point of insects compared to soybean meal. According to the report, the egg market allows for differentiated concepts and categories, such as free range, organic, omega-3 added, etc., which gives space to market insect-fed eggs. Rabobank believes the swine market is the smallest addressable market for insect protein due to market dynamics and insect protein price compared to soy. Sector may Grow even faster after 2030 'After reaching half a million metric tons (by 2030), it will get easier for the industry to expand supply. From that point on, it will take much less time to double or even quadruple production volume and exceed one million metric tons.' Finally, the report highlights that continued research and development, as well as wide-scale education could even lead to the development of specialized insect ingredients and products with applications beyond feed and food, but that considerable innovation and investment will be needed to reach that point. By: Feed Planet

Aflatoxin in Pet Food: Definition, Risks and Challenges
Micro Ingredients
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5+ MIN

Aflatoxin in Pet Food: Definition, Risks and Challenges

By María Candelaria Carbajo

In recent times there has been news about food or lots of pet food contaminated with aflatoxin that have been recalled. But what is aflatoxin? What does it cause in animals? In this article we tell you what we are talking about when we talk about aflatoxins, where they come from, what is the risk of consumption for animals and how to avoid it. In context The US Food and Drug Administration is currently investigating certain pet foods that are estimated to contain dangerous levels of aflatoxin for animal consumption. The Sunshine Mills recall includes pet food that was distributed both within the United States and in Japan and Colombia. However, analyzes and studies on its residues and the susceptibility of animal species (especially domestic, swine, bovine and poultry) on the toxicity of aflatoxin date back to 1960. But what's aflatoxin all about? Pet food formulas include raw materials such as corn, soybeans, rice, wheat, and poultry, cattle, and fish. Many of these raw materials, mainly those of plant origin, are susceptible to fungal contamination that can lead to the production of mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are a group of secondary metabolites produced by various filamentous fungi that can cause harm if ingested. In this case, aflatoxin is a type of secondary metabolite (mycotoxin) produced by certain species of fungi. It is highly toxic and carcinogenic (for both animals and humans), and more for dogs than for other animals, and is found in agricultural crops like corn, peanuts, and hard-shelled nuts, such as walnuts, among others. The fact that they are a secondary metabolite means that they are not necessary for the growth or reproduction of the fungus. In fact, not all fungi are capable of producing mycotoxins. The main aflatoxins (AF) consist of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2 produced by certain toxigenic strains of fungi Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus nominus. If present in high levels in food, aflatoxin can cause disease in animals, and even lead to death. The most common symptoms are loss of appetite and energy, vomiting, jaundice, and diarrhea. Animals that show few symptoms can even suffer permanent liver damage. Scientific evidence? Several studies have been carried out that converge on the same result: diets with concentrations higher than 60 μg / kg (micrograms per kilo) of aflatoxin B1 can already cause aflatoxicosis, the disease caused by the consumption of aflatoxins. However, it always depends on each animal and its general state of health, as well as factors such as age and hormonal and nutritional status. Pregnant and young animals have been found to be the groups most sensitive to aflatoxin B1 toxicity. On the other hand, it has been claimed that, although the production of contamination can occur after harvest under improper storage conditions, large-scale contamination usually occurs in the field itself. There are even many toxigenic fungi that produce mycotoxins only under specific environmental conditions in terms of humidity and heat: grains stored with a high degree of humidity (> 14%) at warm temperatures (> 20 ° C) can become contaminated. These conditions allow what are known as "hot spots" to occur in stored grain and become contaminated with aflatoxin. Although, traditionally, mycotoxin-producing fungi have been divided into two groups: "field" (phytopathogens) and "storage" (saprophytes). The secondary toxic metabolites of fungi can represent a significant risk, both for human and animal health, if the grains used to make feed (or the animals used have been fed with these grains) are colonized by toxigenic fungi. Preventive strategies to avoid aflatoxin contamination The reported and recalled batches of food have reaffirmed the need for industry manufacturers to dedicate more resources to certify the quality of the raw material used for production. The challenge that arises is that it must be certified that all products and raw materials within the chain, from what the cow or pig consumed, must be verified as free of carcinogenic mycotoxins. Consequently, most companies in the United States have already increased the control of selection and supply of ingredients used in pet food: a mycotoxin control program from field to table must include critical control points, This will require experts in the interaction of toxigenic fungi with crop plants, their methods of reproduction, harvesting, and current (and optimal) storage conditions to prevent spread. Aflatoxin in food in Latin America In Latin America, aflatoxins have been detected as natural contaminants in a large number of agricultural products and in almost all staple foods. In this geographical area, aflatoxins have also been found in oilseeds such as sunflower and soy and in unrefined vegetable oils. The level of concentration of aflatoxins accepted in food varies according to each country and its way of legislating; however, certain similarities and trends can be found between the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and MERCOSUR. This has been done in order to harmonize and facilitate international trade. In Latin America, a high incidence of aflatoxins has been found, especially B1 in agricultural products such as corn, rice and peanuts, among others. And, although there are regulations that regulate the amount of mycotoxins, we need to reinforce them with mandatory resolutions that specify concentrations according to group and type of food, frequency of consumption and population risk, both in animals and humans. Currently, aflatoxin decontamination methods include physical, chemical and biological methods and are often used in combination when food and feed are already contaminated in order to eliminate or at least reduce toxicity. The most used method in the last 30 years has been HPLC or high performance liquid chromatography. Summary The application of a traceability and control plan "from farm to the table" is necessary for not only each of the products and raw materials involved in the animal feed that reaches the mouth of pets, but it is also required specific knowledge of each of the stages in order to know their risks. To evolve and improve, it is essential to have reliable analytical methods for the detection and quantification of aflatoxins in food. by: All Pet Food    

Acrylamide in pet food What is it and what is the risk?
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4+ MIN

Acrylamide in pet food What is it and what is the risk?

By María Candelaria Carbajo

In this article we will tell you all about this component that can put the health of both humans and animals at risk. What is acrylamide? Acrylamide is an organic compound of the amide type. It`s formed in foods that contain starch during cooking or processing at high temperatures (frying, roasting,) and during industrial processes at 120ºC and at low humidity. This substance is generated by a natural chemical reaction, mainly between an intact carbonyl group reducing sugar and amino acids (asparagine, in most cases). The causative chemical process is known as the Maillard reaction, and it produces a color and aroma that are organoleptically palatable. It can be absorbed by animals and humans by ingestion, inhalation or through the skin. Regardless of the route of absorption, acrylamide distributes relatively rapidly to all tissues. What is the risk of consuming it? The main risk of acrylamide is that if an animal consumes it in very high doses, it can develop cancer. When ingested, the gastrointestinal tract absorbs acrylamide, which is distributed to all organs and is metabolized. From this process, glycidamide arises, a metabolite that, in animals, can cause the development of cancer. In studies carried out in laboratory animals, it was found that those exposed to acrylamide orally are more likely to develop genetic mutations and tumors in the mammary glands, testes, thyroid glands, harder and mammary glands, lungs, ovaries, skin and stomach, depending on the species. In addition, exposure to acrylamide can cause harmful effects on the nervous system, pre- and postnatal development, and male reproduction. How did we reach to this conclusion? In the case of humans, and although it is true that there is no consistent epidemiological evidence about its effect in increasing the chances of contracting cancer, both the US National Toxicology Program and the Joint Committee of Experts on Food Additives of the Food and Agriculture Organization consider acrylamide to be a problem for human health. Between 2011 and 2015, the FDA collected approximately 2,500 individual samples of human food products to study their acrylamide levels. These had characteristics similar to dry pet food, such as its ingredients, including grains and potatoes. Bakery products: between 10 and 70 ppb. Cereal-based foods: from less than 10 ppb to 1210 ppb. Potato-based foods: between less than 10 and up to 1,440 ppb. Lauren Robin, a chemist at the FDA, states that 'acrylamide is a chemical that can form in some foods, mainly those of plant origin, during the high temperature cooking process, such as frying or baking. Some foods affected by this component are potatoes, cereals, coffee, crackers or breads and nuts'. For its part, in the case of animals, in 2012 a study was conducted in the Czech Republic in which acrylamide levels were examined in dry food for dogs and cats, and it was found that the concentration of this compound in pet food analyzed was of a moderate level. The dry dog ​​foods analyzed in this study yielded an acrylamide level of between 106 and 358 ppb. Pet food for cats, for its part, presented a level of between 66 and 269 ppb. But what does "moderate" mean? Is there a 'tolerable dose' for acrylamide? Acrylamide and its metabolite, glycidamide, are genotoxic and carcinogenic. Any level of exposure to a genotoxic substance can damage DNA and lead to cancer. This is why EFSA scientists conclude that they cannot establish a tolerable daily intake for acrylamide. Now, is there something we can do from the industry to prevent high levels of acrylamide in pet food? As a first measure, we must take into account or analyze the possibility of replacing, at least, a percentage of the amount of ingredients prone to increase acrylamide levels in the final product, such as potatoes and nuts. For its part, the FDA states that acrylamide production could be reduced by reducing the cooking time of foods. It is not yet known whether dehydrated and / or lyophilized pet foods using similar ingredients have the same or close to acrylamide levels as dry food. However, raw foods do have lower levels of acrylamide. Some scientists claim that a good alternative is the use of the absorption pulse differential voltammetry procedure for the determination and quantification of the acrylamide content in food and feed. In short, voltammetry is an electrochemical technique in which a certain electrical potential is applied to a working electrode immersed in a solution containing an electroactive species and the intensity of current flowing through said electrode is measured. In acrylamide measurement and calculation test studies, both in dry food for dogs and cats, they demostrated that the method has adequate precision to be used, which ranged between 0.6 and 1.7%, a variation that can be considered satisfactory. In conclusion Even today, there is a lack of data and studies on the effects of acrylamide levels in dry food for dogs and cats. The voltammetric procedure appears to be one of the most reliable, sensitive, rapid, and low-cost analytical techniques to date for determining acrylamide levels in food. Another option to start looking more closely at acrylamide levels is to perform acrylamide tests on each batch or on a regular basis to make sure not to touch high levels of this component and to keep it at a moderate level and not harmful to pets. The concentrations found in the pet food studies were relatively moderate compared to those in human food. However, there is no doubt that it is extremely necessary to pay special attention to this relatively new, carcinogenic and genotoxic component, to ensure that we reduce its intake to the smallest amount possible to care for each and every one of the pets that make success and sustainability of the industry. Have you ever heard about this compound? Share your opinion! Source: All Pet Food

Breakthrough for pet health and sustainability - Veramaris announces a richer, sustainable algae Omega-3 for pets
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2+ MIN

Breakthrough for pet health and sustainability - Veramaris announces a richer, sustainable algae Omega-3 for pets

Veramaris® Pets, a new source of Omega-3 for pet food which provides twice as much EPA & DHA Omega-3 fatty acids compared to fish oil, has been launched by biotech Veramaris. It's the first of its kind in pet food; a natural, rich and sustainable alternative to fish oil to help pets enjoy long, healthy and happy lives.  Veramaris' natural marine algal oil is made from microalgae, which is particularly rich in essential EPA & DHA Omega-3. Just a little drop of Omega-3 is what pets need every day. Veramaris provides pet food companies with a stable and sustainable way to enrich their products with nature's richest Omega-3 and give pets the essential nutrition they need. This latest development for Veramaris follows an extremely successful first 12 months establishing itself in the aquaculture market. Now, the company is expanding its portfolio and its pioneering algal oil has been expertly refined to optimise the taste for pets. Veramaris Pets beats Fish Oil on taste in tests where both oils were used as coating for dry dog and cat food. Traditionally, Omega-3 has come from fish oil but demand is outstripping supply, leading to unstable supply conditions and increased risks of overfishing. Veramaris' algal oil expands the world's access to Omega-3 and reduces dependence on wild catch fish. Every 1kg of our natural algal oil replaces 60kg of wild catch fish otherwise used for fish oil in pet food formulations.  As well as coming from a guaranteed sustainable and natural source, pet food manufacturers will receive a consistent and reliable supply of algal oil. Invariably, Veramaris algal oil offers an EPA & DHA concentration exceeding 50% and is free from any ocean-borne contaminants. Karim Kurmaly, CEO of Veramaris, said: 'This is an important chapter in the story of our young company. I am delighted that our dedicated team has been able to take Veramaris Pets to the pet food market so soon. Just a little drop of this high-quality product will make a big difference to the health of companion animals, which is good news for 'pet parents' every day and everywhere. They can also be reassured in the knowledge that while improving their pet's health they are also contributing to healthy oceans.' To find out more about Veramaris Pets natural marine algal oil, visit: pets.veramaris.com Source: Veramaris  

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

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

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

Behavior & Protein: Does Protein in Dog Food Play a Role in Your Dog’s Behavior?
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3+ MIN

Behavior & Protein: Does Protein in Dog Food Play a Role in Your Dog’s Behavior?

We've previously talked about protein in commercial pet foods and home-cooked diets. Typically, our focus is meeting your pet's biological needs. However, you may have heard friends, dog trainers, or even veterinarians talking about feeding a low protein diet to treat behavior issues. But what does a low-protein diet really mean, and how do these testimonials compare to the science? What is a 'Low Protein' Diet? Unfortunately using terms like low or high can be rather confusing in pet nutrition. Healthy adult dogs (over one year of age) need a minimum of 4.5 grams of protein for every 100 calories they consume (Unsure how this compares to the percentages on the back of a pet food label? You can convert the numbers by using the calculator here. Beyond this minimum requirement, there is no legal definition or even a general consensus of what exactly a 'low' or 'high' protein diet actually is. Each trainer, veterinarian, or nutritionist might have different ranges for what they consider in each category. In research or in recommendations, it's important to clarify the actual amount of protein recommended and compare that to the minimum amount a pet needs and the current amount consumed by the pet. What Protein Level is Safe to Feed to My Dog? So long as diets are nutritionally complete and balanced for your pet (are above the minimum 4.5 grams protein per 100 calories and meet all the other nutrient requirements) and include an appropriate AAFCO statement, they are formulated to be balanced for healthy pets. There is also no maximum or safe upper limit for protein, but some pets may have limitations on the protein they can safely consume due to medical conditions. You should always consult your veterinarian about diet changes, especially if your pet is growing, pregnant, lactating, or has any medical conditions. What Does the Research Have to Say About the Link Between Diet and Behavior? Although certain amino acids from food have been found to alter the synthesis of neurotransmitters (chemical 'signals') in the brain, neurotransmitter release and behavior can also be influenced through training or changes in routine. A couple of studies have been done specifically on the relationship between protein and 'problem' behaviors with conflicting results. For example, one study of a lower protein diet found that the behavior of dogs with owner-directed aggression (described as 'dominance aggression in the study) and hyperactivity were unchanged, but that territorial aggression appeared reduced. Conversely, another study found that owner-directed aggression was the only behavior that seemed affected when dogs were fed a lower protein diet. There were some design problems with both studies – when the two diets that were tested were compared more carefully, the two diets tested were actually very similar in protein content and the two groups of dogs had similar overall protein intake, so it's uncertain whether the changes seen were really due to variations in dietary protein versus other factors. More research is needed to fully understand the potential behavioral impacts of various protein content in diets (and not just the total protein content but also the composition of the individual amino acids). Given the limited number of studies currently available, potential benefits of such diets are not strongly supported. However, as long as the diet chosen is good quality and is  complete and balanced for your pet, it may be appropriate to see if it improves your pet's behavior (talk with your veterinarian first!). Overall, the best way to ensure healthy behavior for your dog is working with the right experts. Healthy dogs in need of training (e.g., pulling on leashes, jumping up on visitors to lick faces, etc.) should be seen by qualified force-free trainers. Dogs with abnormal behaviors (e.g., aggression, or normal behaviors that are displayed excessively or out of context) should be seen by a Board-Certified Veterinary Behaviorist. It's also helpful to speak with your veterinarian as well, since many medical issues can look like behavioral issues so you'll want to have your veterinarian examine your pet for pain or illness that may be making them act out of the ordinary. by Deborah E. Linder, DVM, MS, DACVN - Clinical Nutrition 

Webinar: Successful Formulation With QRILL Pet
Micro Ingredients
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2+ MIN

Webinar: Successful Formulation With QRILL Pet

A Successful Formulation with QRILL Pet - will provide a practical approach on how to add QRILL Pet to existing formulations.  David Southey will take you through how QRILL Pet can be added to the formulation of various pet food formats (dry, semi-moist, raw, etc.). He will share his experience on how QRILL Pet impacts palatability. Furthermore, he will give practical proposals for using QRILL Pet (e.g. , physical handling, and production parameters) & other tips and tricks. Tonje Dominguez will guide you through the nutritional composition of QRILL Pet and explain the regulatory impact on the formulation. Don't hesitate to join us on the 23rd of September for this live webinar. Can't make it? That's ok, sign up anyway and we'll send you the recording afterward. Remember, if you sign up for at least 3 of these webinars, you will receive a care pack and you may be the lucky winner of a very Special Prize! REGISTER NOW David Southey - Pet Nutrition Consultant David established his own consultancy business in 2007, which now employs 3 nutritionists and zoologists, working on nutrition and product development projects for 140 clients in 32 countries around the world. He is also past Chairman of the Additives Committee for the UK Pet Food Manufacturers Association. Tonje Dominguez -Director QRILL Specialty Animal Products, Aker BioMarine Tonje Dominguez works as Director of QRILL Specialty Animal Nutrition Products in Aker BioMarine. She holds an MS degree in Animal Science and has more than 13 years of experience in various roles in the pet nutrition business, as well as 6 years as an R&D manager in the human nutrition business. Gunhild Yksnøy
QRILL Pet Customer Business Development Director,
Aker BioMarine by All Extruded

DSM highlights Preferences for Immune-Boosting Pet Diets
Vitamins
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2+ MIN

DSM highlights Preferences for Immune-Boosting Pet Diets

DSM reports immunity is priority in pet food formulations Pet owners are getting keen on reading labels and looking for functional ingredients, namely searching for formulas that contain added vitamins and nutrients that boost immune system health, according to a recent pet owner survey by Royal DSM. The survey included 500 dog and cat owners living in the United States. A majority (72%) were dog owners, 48% were cat owners, and 6% owned a bird or reptile. Some households represented mixed-species ownership. DSM reported 69% of pet owners said they are more likely to purchase pet food products that offer optimized vitamin and nutrient levels that support healthy immune systems. Another 70% said they believe the inclusion of vitamins and nutrients in pet food is of peak importance to pet health. Additionally, 73% of pet owners surveyed said they believe the brand they already purchase provides the correct amount of vitamins and nutrients to support immune health. 'In recent months, keeping our immune systems and those of our pets has become keenly important,' said Julia Novita, marketing manager for pet food, North America at DSM. 'By offering our pets the right foods — rich in key vitamins and nutrients —  we can help maintain our pet's health. We know, for example, the right amount of vitamins D, C and E, key B vitamins with beta carotene plus essential minerals and omega 3 fatty acids nourish the immune function which helps aid our pets against everyday challenges. Because we've all been spending more time at home, the bond with these four- legged family members is especially strong right now.' As the pet industry continues to trend toward functional ingredients and solutions-based formulas, it's crucial to keep a finger on the pulse of pet owner preferences and priorities. By Jordan Tyler Source: Royal DSM  

How Antioxidants Keep Products Fresh and Pets Healthy
Preservatives
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10+ MIN

How Antioxidants Keep Products Fresh and Pets Healthy

Antioxidants are powerful molecules that serve two purposes in pet foods. The first is to keep the food fresh, mainly by preventing the fats and oils from going rancid through a process known as lipid oxidation. The second is to keep the pet healthy by preventing free radicals in the body from damaging cells and having a deleterious effect on various biological functions. These two purposes for antioxidant addition may create confusion for vigilant pet parent label readers. The required nomenclature for antioxidants may also raise eyebrows. 'The Association of American Feed Control Officials requires all animal food to use consistent, approved names for each ingredient,' said Eric Altom, technical nutritionist, animal health and nutrition, Balchem Corp., New Hampton, N.Y. 'An ingredient that contains strategic antioxidant properties may look like a non-natural material because of the required name.' There are many sources and forms of antioxidants. Isolated antioxidant ingredients, for example, may be extracted directly from foods, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) from citrus; however, it is possible to also replicate the structure of vitamins in the laboratory using chemicals, e.g., synthetic vitamins. Ingredient legends do not discriminate between the two. Synthetic antioxidants, on the other hand, are just that. They are chemical combinations recognized as being cost-effective preservatives. Such ingredients often have complex chemical names, such as butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene. Antioxidants may also be delivered through whole foods, namely fruits, vegetables and herbs. Extracts have also become quite common. These are concentrated forms neutralized for flavor and aroma. Assisting with shelf life Cats and dogs require fat in their diets and in greater amounts than humans. Fat not only provides energy, it is critical for proper cellular, hormonal and nerve function. It also contributes to the flavor and texture of the food, while keeping coats shiny. Fats readily go rancid if not carefully protected. This is when they develop objectionable flavors and odors. There's no way to prevent it completely, only to slow it, and there's no recovery. Fats degrade when fatty acids react with air, moisture or other compounds and break down into free fatty acids and other unstable compounds. Oxidative rancidity, also known as auto-oxidation, occurs in the presence of oxygen. Thus, the first step for delaying the inevitable is proper packaging and sealing.   Hydrolytic rancidity, also called hydrolysis or enzymatic oxidation, occurs in the presence of moisture and the absence of air. This normally is accomplished through enzymatic peroxidation, where enzymes found naturally in plant oils and animal fats catalyze reactions between water and oil.   A third type of fat degradation is microbial rancidity which occurs when enzymes from bacteria, mold or yeast break down the fat. Such excessive microbial growth usually visually renders the food inedible. Higher temperatures, light, water, metal ions and biological catalysts may accelerate reactions. The presence and placement of unsaturated fatty acids on the fat molecule also influences the rate of degradation. Thus, fat selection comes into play when taking steps to delay degradation.  In general, the more polyunsaturated fatty acids on a fat molecule, the faster it will go rancid. This is due to the unstable double bonds that participate in the various degradation processes. Antioxidant systems containing different combinations of natural phenols, vitamins and organic acids may prevent or slow oxidation. Fat degradation is an issue in all types of pet foods, with longer shelf life products such as dried kibble and jerky-style snacks being the most affected. But it is not just the inherent fat in meat, or the bulk oils added to recipes that may go rancid; specialty, better-for-pet ingredients containing polyunsaturated fatty acids are very unstable and highly prone to oxidation. This includes ingredients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains and nuts. 'Oxidation is a hot topic in the pet food industry,' said Robb Caseria, managing director, Videka LLC, Kalamazoo, Mich. 'Finding the antioxidant system that will preserve a pet food's sensorial and nutritional properties throughout its shelf life is often a headache for pet food manufacturers.'  Auto-oxidation – a chain reaction  Auto-oxidation occurs in three stages, with the first being the initiation. It is here where molecular oxygen combines with unsaturated fatty acids, producing hydroperoxides and peroxyl free radicals, both of which are highly reactive and unstable. The second stage is called propagation and occurs when these unstable byproducts of the first stage react with other lipids. This starts a chain reaction, with the reaction supplying its own accelerant.   At this point there is no turning back for the fat, as it is in a continuous cyclical oxidative degradation process that will only end upon the final stage, which is aptly known as termination. This can occur when the free radicals become highly concentrated and begin to react together, and by doing so, stop further reactions. Termination can also occur when reactions yield unreactive compounds, thus preventing further propagation. Reactions will also cease when an antioxidant enters the scenario. But at this point, any degradation that has already occurred is permanent. The fat cannot repair itself. If objectionable flavors and odors have developed, they will remain. Initial rancid notes come from the secondary products produced during the initiation stage of auto-oxidation. When the peroxides eventually break down, they decompose into various aldehydes, ketones and acids that exert additional, and typically more putrid flavors and odors.   'An oxidized pet food will be perceived by pet owners as a sign of poor quality, or even a danger to their animal's health,' Caseria said. 'And actually, they are not completely wrong. The altered chemical structure of lipids makes them less bioavailable for the animals. So even though oxidation won't harm a pet, it can certainly damage the food's nutritional value. 'Limiting oxidation is crucial to preserve the shelf stability and nutritional quality of a pet food,' Caseria said. Adding antioxidants  The most common approach to inhibit lipid auto-oxidation is to include antioxidants in the formulation. This is often done throughout the supply chain, particularly with kibble manufacturing. 'Choosing the right place and the right moment for their addition is crucial,' Caseria said. 'Antioxidants should be added as early as possible, as well as regularly throughout the manufacturing process.' The fight against oxidation commonly starts at the renderer's plant, where antioxidants are added in with the raw materials used to produce the fats, oils and meals that will go into the kibble. 'Additional antioxidants may also be added directly to the final meals and oils by the renderer prior to packaging,' Caseria said. 'The fight then continues to the pet food manufacturer's plant. When meals and oils are stored for a long period before being processed, or if they have not been stabilized at the renderer's facility, pet food manufacturers may add antioxidants to protect them during extrusion.' For extra protection with kibble and dried snacks, antioxidants may be sprayed on sealing each piece to ensure lipid preservation throughout the product's shelf life. Traditional synthetic antioxidants are very effective, easy to use and low cost. However, being chemically derived, they are undesirable in today's clean label environment. In response, formulators are embracing clean label antioxidants, with the most common options classified as tocopherols (vitamin E) and high-phenolic plant extracts.  'Chemical antioxidants are liabilities in the clean label movement,' said Robert Ames, senior business development manager, Corbion, Lenexa, Kan., which markets natural antioxidants.  Kerry Courchaine, director of technical services, Darling Ingredients, Irving, Texas, said, 'Where natural antioxidants were once only requested by premium and super-premium pet food brands, we now receive natural requests from mid-market pet food brands.' Mixed tocopherols and botanical extracts are added to many of Darling Ingredients' rendered products for pet food formulating. 'At times, a rendering plant may choose to use a natural chelator, such as citric acid or ascorbic acid, to bind free-radicals when rendering challenging raw materials with the potential for high ash content, which might otherwise promote oxidation during the rendering process,' Courchaine said. 'Our facilities use a variety of natural antioxidant formulas, whether specified by a customer, or necessary due to some unique challenges of the rendered products.' The technical team constantly monitors each pet food ingredient facility to determine the best natural option available to prevent oxidation. In recent years, a poultry industry trend has been to move toward all-vegetarian diets for their birds. 'These diets translate to higher levels of unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are more prone to oxidation,' Courchaine said. 'The move away from rendered by-product meals toward more label-friendly rendered proteins, such as chicken meal and turkey meal, exacerbates the oxidation problem. These meat meals tend to be higher in ash, a source of oxidizing free radicals, such as copper and iron. 'Chicken meal and turkey meal are also the products of such raw materials as edible necks, backs, frames, skins, and bone residue from deboning operations,' she said. 'These raw parts harbor strong oxidizing agents, such as chlorine and peracetic acid, used in carcass rinses.' Altom added, 'To ensure proper shelf life and long-term stability, it is critical to control the oxidative-reduction reactions. One way to support this foundation is to provide organic trace minerals. These are minerals bound to a ligand, a protein or amino acid, which reduces the antagonistic effects in a diet matrix and increases mineral bioavailability. By limiting the reactive capabilities of metals, you can help reduce substrates available for destructive reactions.' In high-meat and fresh-meat pet foods, microencapsulated acidulants help with stability. 'These acidulants, such as lactic and citric acids, may be derived from natural fermentation processes,' Altom said. 'Through the strategic use of microencapsulation, we are able to better control the pH of the total matrix. By reducing the pH of the matrix, we can create a hurdle for bacteria growth, prevent loss of moisture and natural flavonoids, and support more shelf-stable products. 'Many natural antioxidants can be pH sensitive for optimal performance,' Altom continued. 'Therefore, leveraging an encapsulated acidulant may help enrich the environment and help maintain optimal performance of antioxidants.' Kemin Industries, Des Moines, Iowa, has varied options to support pet food companies in assuring product freshness. In addition to producing time-tested synthetic antioxidants, the company has actively been involved in the antioxidant shift toward natural plant-based options. This includes mixed-tocopherols and plant-based extracts. 'Knowing where in the process to add antioxidants, how much to add and what antioxidant to use are critical to understanding how to stabilize pet foods,' said Jim Mann, senior global product manager with Kemin Nutrisurance's Antioxidant and Food Safety Platform. 'As pet food formulations change and use novel ingredients and more unsaturated fats, this can become more challenging and can require extensive testing and collaboration with antioxidant suppliers to identify the best antioxidant stabilization strategy.' Antioxidant usage in shelf-stable wet foods is very different than with kibble. It gets even more complicated with refrigerated fresh products. 'Antioxidants can be added to the meat ingredients to help maintain their high quality and palatability,' Mann said. 'In addition, antioxidants can potentially help with color retention and palatability of canned food. 'The oxidative stability of fresh and frozen food, or even freeze-dried food produced from fresh or frozen meats, is often overlooked,' he said. 'Adding the appropriate antioxidant during emulsification or prior to freezing can help protect the quality of these products. Antioxidants can extend their shelf-life and maintain palatability if added early in their manufacturing process.' For quality of life, too In addition to ensuring product quality, antioxidants help maintain quality of life. The antioxidants for this purpose are generally those found in fruits and vegetables. Common antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and certain compounds called carotenoids, such as lutein and beta-carotene. They may be delivered in pet food through the addition of fruit and vegetable ingredients, including powders, concentrates and purées. The antioxidants may also be added in the form of isolated ingredients. 'Research shows each antioxidant benefits the immune system uniquely, so one antioxidant at high levels is not as effective as a group of antioxidants acting together,' Altom said. Jeannie Swedberg, director of business development, Tree Top Inc., Selah Wash., said, 'Powerful antioxidants contained in these ingredients can help the body — human or animal — fight free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive, oxygen-containing molecules that can damage cell membranes and enzymes, which makes the nervous and immune system especially vulnerable. Free radicals are considered factors in disease progression and premature aging.' Free radicals result from oxidation, a natural process that occurs during digestion, exercise or simply breathing. They are produced in greater than normal amounts when pets are sick, elderly, exposed to pollution or suffer from poor nutrition. The more free radicals in the body, the greater the potential for irrevocable damage. That's because once free radicals form, they can start a chain reaction, damaging healthy cells, which in turn can contribute to various afflictions. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by being oxidized themselves, thus preventing free radical damage. The right amount or combination of antioxidants in pet food may assist with easing the pains and signs of aging. They help build immunity and temper allergies while also supporting overall health and wellness in pets. 'Nutritionally supporting the immune system may be especially critical for young animals,' Altom said. 'In puppies, for example, the immune system is still developing at the time it is being challenged with vaccinations and exposure to disease-causing agents. With the addition of antioxidants, a high-quality puppy diet can aid in the development of a strong immune system to help maintain good health and protect against viruses, bacteria and parasites. 'Recent research also examined the effect of aging on immune responses,' Altom said. 'The findings indicate that as dogs and cats age, immune cell responses may decline. Including antioxidants in the diet can reverse the age-related decrease in immune cell function.' Fruits and vegetables not only help meet a pet's dietary needs, they also supply great tag appeal. 'Front-of-packaging panel promotion or call-outs about the benefits these ingredients provide will attract the attention of caring pet parents,' Swedberg said. As premium pet foods and treats continue to be popular and contain an increasing variety of proteins, fats and healthy ingredients, protecting those formulations will remain a challenge for processors, requiring close attention to antioxidants. By Donna Berry - Petfood Processing

Primary Yeast Solutions are Helping Boost Pet Health and Well-Being
Vitamins
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3+ MIN

Primary Yeast Solutions are Helping Boost Pet Health and Well-Being

Yeast-based ingredients are playing an increasing role in pet foods premiumization as a source of improved health and well-being for pets around the world says Rodolphe Rabot.  'Yeasts have been widely used in pet foods in the past to assist cat food palatability and protein supply,' said Dr Rabot. 'What we're seeing now, however, is a growing interest in the value and impact of yeasts in boosting immunity levels in pets and helping to improve gut health.' Current industry statistics for pet food launches in the last 10 years show yeast-based ingredients are declared and valorised in only around 20% of new products, although with clear evidence of a growth in usage taking place across all segments and global markets. While the increasing use of yeasts in pet foods is well accepted by industry specialists, Dr Rabot believes many aspects of today's 'yeast revolution' aren't well enough understood by users.  'All yeasts are not just a yeast! The family is extremely large, involving several thousands of different strains,' he said. 'In looking at the future use of yeast strains in pet foods, therefore, we are potentially at the beginning of a huge change.' A key question for yeast product users is whether or not to work with primary yeast ingredients, which have been specifically selected for pet purposes, or to use second hand yeasts, such as spent yeasts which have already been used in the brewing industry, or similar. 'Spent yeasts come from an initial industrial process and are then re-used as by-products of the beer or ethanol industry, or similar,' said Dr Rabot. 'Residues of such processes are passed to people who are trying to recover some money by creating a cheap end product. I say cheap because these products use yeast strains which have already been depreciated by their original use. 'Even after industrial by-products are processed again, a lot of variability exists in the spent yeast batches which are received, while blending by collectors to minimize inconsistencies fails to deliver health guarantees. In short, it's a playground!' Speaking in his role as global species manager for pets and horses for Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care, France, Dr Rabot said that, as a producer of yeast-based items for use for humans and domestic animals, Lesaffre has always been highly focused on the way it selects yeast strains and the benefits which it can deliver to pets. 'Our strains are selected to help boost the health of pets while spent yeast strains are selected to make beer or ethanol,' he said. 'The first direct advantage we look for in pet food, is to deliver consistent and constant health benefits. In that context, we have carefully developed a yeast 'library' containing thousands of species, constantly working on the basis that the more strains you have to choose from, the more chance there is of finding something which is in line with our targeted benefits, such as boosting disease resistance, immunity, microbiota biodiversity and so on.' Lesaffre has been focusing on primary yeasts for 160 years, driven by the fact that they offer much higher activity levels than spent yeasts, many of which will have been through eight or nine beer processes. Primary yeasts, in contrast, can be selected and grown under fully controlled processes and quality standards to have higher bioactive compound content than spent items. As a result, they bring much more value to pet foods, while insuring safety and complete traceability. 'Recent studies in pets have also confirmed that some selected strains of live yeast should be considered, alongside some live bacteria, as real probiotics with proven health benefits when given orally at the right dose,' said Dr Rabot. 'Additional yeast autolysis and purification processes enable selected yeast fractions to be delivered with a high concentration in certain active components, such as Mannans to bind pathogens, betaglucans to modulate innate immunity or nucleotides to aid cell renewal. 'My last word! Natural primary yeasts are the basis of the health promise that our beloved companion animals deserve and that pet parents are expecting. In short, primary yeasts are more than an ingredient, they're the solution.' by Dr Rodolphe Rabot, DVM Global species manager for Pets and Horse • Phileo by Lesaffre

PLP Systems launch Innovative Online Exhibition Stand
Preservatives
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2+ MIN

PLP Systems launch Innovative Online Exhibition Stand

Italian dosing and handling specialists, PLP Systems, have recently launched their online exhibition stands, showcasing their latest, innovative solutions for a digital audience. With the continued postponement of trade shows due to COVID-19, many companies have taken to online exhibitions in order to provide customers and industry leaders with an opportunity to better understand their solutions, and PLP Systems have launched a state-of-the-art platform that truly showcases their expert solutions to the market. PLP Systems was founded in 1980, by three friends passionate about the farming sector they grew up in. Through their technological studies, they came to form PLP Systems and innovate the future of liquid and powder dosing systems for a variety of industries. The polished online exhibition and wide variety of solutions on display demonstrate that the company continue to grow and are leading members in the liquid and powder handling sector. The online exhibition stand is categorised into three sections; pet food, feed and aqua feed as well as food equipment. Attendees can explore these sections in detail at a virtual booth and explore the various solutions PLP offer for a variety of processes, ranging from micro-dosing, process hygiene, liquid spraying and pellet coating. One of the most intriguing aspects of their presentation is their new nano-dosing system for animal feeds. PLP's nano-dosing solution, the Nano-DP is designed for dosing very small batches of feed with extreme precision. These products are then forwarded onto the main batch mixer. This solution is ideal for dosing antibiotics and other medicinal materials for feed, as well as low inclusion additives. Should attendees have any questions concerning any of the solutions on offer, contact forms are readily available for them to get in touch with a member of PLP System's expert team. You can access the online exhibition at: mymag.info/e/879 By PLP Systems Source : Milling and Grain 

Small but Powerful: The Importance of Micro-Ingredients for Pet Health
Micro Ingredients
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2+ MIN

Small but Powerful: The Importance of Micro-Ingredients for Pet Health

Micro-ingredients are a valuable resource that can have an important impact on pet health, if we can manage to get the formulation just right. That is often one of the hardest tasks to achieve. What are micro-ingredients? Even though they are only present in tiny amounts in pet food, micro-ingredients are crucial when it comes to the health of our pets. As they should be, considering the variety of metabolic, immunological and structural roles they play in the organism. We can roughly divide micro-ingredients into two major groups: inorganic (minerals and trace elements) and organic (vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutraceuticals). Between those two groups we can count more than 100 nutrients, some of them being essential, and others simply important, as they play a crucial role in providing beneficial effects when it comes to stress, pathologies or ageing of our pets. The right minerals and vitamins Minerals and vitamins are fundamental as structural components of organs and tissues, and as co-factors in enzyme and hormone systems. Specific concentrations and functional forms of minerals and vitamins must be maintained within certain limits for optimal growth, health, and fertility. To avoid deficiencies, or over-supplementation and possible toxicities, it is important to stay within recommended limitations. It is not as simple as that, however, because many factors can influence their activity, absorption and utilisation, including their formation in the food, concentrations of other micro and macronutrients (phytate or certain fibres), as well as processing and storage. Finding the right balance Our pets possess homeostatic mechanisms that attempt to maintain concentrations of minerals and vitamins within narrow physiologic limits despite over- or under-ingestion. Nevertheless, a toxic dose for trace elements and liposoluble vitamins can be easily reached if a mistake in the formulation or manufacturing process is made. Vitamin D, for example, is an essential nutrient that allows regulation of the balance and retention of calcium and phosphorus. But, when high levels of vitamin D are consumed, excessive amounts are stored in fat tissue and the liver. Adverse health consequences can lead to kidney failure and even death. Disease control Meanwhile, to control certain pathologies, one would intentionally limit or increase the supplementation of specific nutrients to get the desired metabolic response. For example, to control chronic kidney disease, formulation of a diet with organically derived phosphorus at a level that is on the lower range of recommendations, is a scientifically proven approach. Additionally, higher concentrations of water-soluble vitamins would be provided to make up for losses through urine. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutraceuticals would slow down disease progression. When it comes to kidney stones (urolithiasis), one would control the crystal formation mainly through adjusting the concentration of micro-ingredients, aiming for the perfect relative super saturation number. There are many other chronic pathologies where we intentionally use and adapt micro-ingredient concentration, so that they contribute to controlling or preventing disease progression. by Diana Brozić , Pets International 

Premiumisation in Pet Food: Beyond Ingredients
Micro Ingredients
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3+ MIN

Premiumisation in Pet Food: Beyond Ingredients

For what kind of food is a pet parent prepared to spend more than usual? The key to a new successful product may well be its resemblance to human food. Premiumisation trends: alive and well Premiumisation trends within global pet food are alive and well. After setting a new high in 2018, the industry topped itself again in 2019 with value sales growth reaching 6.5%. Emerging regions like Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe and Latin America continued to post double-digit gains, while North America – the world's largest market – nearly matched the global figure with 5.8% growth. Even Western Europe, the slowest-growing region in 2019, recorded its strongest growth since 2015. Impressive value growth continues despite modest volume increases. While pet population and shrinking dog sizes still limit potential volume growth, people's willingness to spend more money on premium food continues to expand. Pets are increasingly viewed as family members by owners who want quality food to keep their companion healthy, active and strong. Premium frontiers: going for fresh For decades, ingredients have been the primary battleground in premium food. Brands encourage shoppers to compare their ingredient list to competitors as a key point of differentiation. Ingredient-focused messages are seen in many advertising and marketing materials. While specific ingredient trends have changed over time – functional, high-meat, local, organic and sustainable traits are currently trending – this overarching focus on product formulation has not wavered. As the industry moves into a new decade, there are signs that premium pet food may be on the precipice of a transformational shift. Owners are moving beyond ingredient lists to gauge the physical appearance of pet food. In many ways, the processing method used is becoming as important as the ingredients themselves. This change is rooted in broader dietary shifts. Dried and processed food has generally fallen out of favour as consumers gravitate towards chilled or refrigerated offerings that maintain a 'fresh' or 'less processed' image. Across the supermarket – from dips and ready meals to breakfast cereals and snack bars – shoppers increasingly view shelf-stable categories in the centre of the store as more 'processed', with longer ingredient lists, than chilled products that reside alongside store perimeters with fresh produce, bakery and meat. New formats driving growth Dry food commands the lion's share of global pet food sales, comprising nearly 70% of the market in 2019. As consumers look for less processed food, however, the opportunity is ripe for new formats. Wet food has been one important innovator on this front. Brands are developing product forms that resemble human foods. These could be soups, stews or fillets and are shifting from traditional metal cans (associated with processed food) to pouches, plastic containers or trays that resemble human food packaging. Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) also continue to gain ground as minimally processed alternatives to dry kibble. These foods appeal to pet owners by mimicking the carnivorous diets that the ancestors of dogs and cats ate in the wild. Disruptive brands like Chunky Menu Natural (Colombia), Fanni's Barfshop (Hungary) and Barfbox (Thailand) continue to witness strong growth with freeze-dried or frozen offerings that sell at high price points. Chilled/fresh pet food represents another major growth frontier with products that are 'gently cooked' and refrigerated to maintain freshness. These brands are preservative-free, claim to maintain the nutritional integrity of ingredients, and more closely resemble human food in appearance. Brands like FreshPet (US) and Billy + Margot (Australia) continue to expand their presence in refrigerators within retail outlets. The explosion of direct-to-consumer brands in e-commerce has also driven tremendous growth for fresh pet food. Online-only brands like DogChef (Belgium), Lyka (Australia), The Farmer's Dog (US) and Butternut Box (UK) offer subscription-based delivery of fresh pet food to a customer's doorstep. Online business models also allow for customisation, with recipes designed for each animal's breed, age, activity level, allergies, et cetera. Judging by appearances The future of premium pet food will increasingly be defined by physical format. Regardless of ingredient claims, dry kibble faces threats from wet, frozen, freeze-dried, refri­ge­rated, fresh or chilled products that look like human food, claim to be less processed, and mirror the choices pet owners are making in their own diets. By Jared Koerten - Pets International 

Learning to Navigate a New Normal
Palatants
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4+ MIN

Learning to Navigate a New Normal

As I look out my office window, it almost looks normal. Trucks are coming and going, and employees are busy. But if I look closer, it's easy to see signs that these are not normal times. Employees and truck drivers are social distancing, most offices are unoccupied, and there is little traffic on the roads. In these times, AFB is incredibly fortunate to be able to continue our operations, as our part of the pet food supply chain has been deemed an essential business by the government. It is great to be part of an industry that supports the health and well-being of our beloved pets. Our two top priorities are the health and safety of our employees and ensuring the continuity of operations for our customers. These are not so different from normal, but the crisis has challenged us to look at our priorities even more closely. The first priority is to create a safe working environment for our employees. In my role as General Manager, I am responsible for asking people to come to work, which is not easy in a crisis like this. We must be certain our employees return home in the same condition they arrived. We need to reassure them and show them that we do our utmost to keep them safe. To do so, we have strengthened our sanitary and hygiene measures, changed the routing in our facilities, and adjusted breaks and shift changes to prevent co-mingling at all times. We regularly update employees about company and governmental changes that affect them, and we implemented new employee communication tools to speed delivery of important updates. We also focused on making sure employees know just how much they are appreciated. Therefore, we are financially recognizing on-site employees who are considered essential workers in our vital business. While our on-site team is thankful for the gesture, they also say they would do it without extra compensation. Their enthusiastic, positive response really demonstrates the culture of AFB. Our employees are proud of what we do and realize that what we are doing is vital for our families and our customers. We want to reassure our customers that even in tough times, we do the right things the right way. Of course, achieving the first priority helps us achieve our second priority of continued operations for our customers. We are in regular communication with our customers, suppliers, and freight carriers to ensure continuity of supply. Our Supply Chain team is in frequent contact with suppliers, updating demand and checking availability. Our Customer Service and Sales teams are in contact with customers, monitoring and responding to changing requests, and learning how we can help. We are supported by our customers and freight haulers, who shared ways to make sure our palatants are easily accepted at the point of delivery and move quickly across borders. For example, we added lines of text to our shipping documents for products going to Spain in case truck drivers get stopped. We welcome more suggestions like this at any time! To support our priorities, I am part of three response teams: AFB European regional, AFB global, and our parent company, EBI (Ensign-Bickford Industries). These almost-daily conversations and meetings have increased interactions between regions and business units; we can support and learn from each other, propose initiatives, and implement them very quickly. Most of our daily meetings now occur via videoconference, especially with colleagues who normally work in the office. It is surprising how easy our work-from-home technology is to use and how fast people have adapted to it. In a sense, we are now welcomed into one another's homes. During a recent call, a colleague's kids and dogs were very busy in the background. It was amusing to see – we were all having a laugh – but we realize too, it may be part of a 'new normal'. Employees' cats are also joining our meetings – stepping on keyboards, trying to rest in inconvenient places. And this reminds me why we are working so hard in the first place: because our pets really are critical members of our family and they, too, must be fed. We are not out of this pandemic yet. We still have a long way to go and many difficult decisions ahead of us. But we know that with our employees and their families, as well as our amazing customers, suppliers, and freight haulers – not to mention the comfort and unconditional love of our dogs and cats – we will persevere and come out the other side even stronger.
  by John Vergeer

Essential Nutrients for Companion Animals
Minerals
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2+ MIN

Essential Nutrients for Companion Animals

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

Why Should Pet Formulations Contain Antioxidants?
Micro Ingredients
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5+ MIN

Why Should Pet Formulations Contain Antioxidants?

Antioxidants perform very important functions for the human body and also for food products. Because of this, they are always in evidence regarding scientific research and the media. They slow aging. They help in the prevention of chronic diseases. They increase the shelf life of food products. Regardless of the context, most people have heard of antioxidants. These compounds capable of retarding the negative effects of the oxidation process, either in vitro or in vivo , also find use in animal nutrition. If used to increase the shelf life of pet formulations, antioxidants are classified as technological antioxidants. On the other hand, if the goal is to promote benefits to the health of animals after consumption, they are classified as physiological antioxidants. Consumption of physiological antioxidants is related to a decrease in chronic diseases and an improvement in the cognitive health of animals. This factor makes these compounds extremely attractive from the development of feed rich in antioxidants point of view, which contains functional properties. But, to understand the action mechanism of antioxidants in pet food, the types that can be used and the sources from which they can be extracted, one must first understand the problems caused by the oxidation process. The excess of free radicals decreasing the quality of life of pets  In the pet organism, as well as in the human body, there is a balance between pro-oxidant factors, usually generated during the breathing process, and antioxidants, which can be consumed through diet. This balance is necessary to keep the organism healthy; however; when animals have poor health, advanced age, exposed to toxins or ingesting a diet poor in nutrients, this balance is affected and the number of pro-oxidant factors in the cells outnumbers the amount of antioxidants. This condition is called oxidative stress. The major problem with oxidative stress is the excessive generation of free radicals, species that have unpaired electrons and, as a result of this, are extremely reactive. Free radicals trigger a series of chain reactions, damaging cell membranes, proteins and DNA. The excessive multiplication of free radicals is related to the development of chronic diseases, including cancer and coronary diseases. Given this worrying scenario, is there any way to prevent the spread of free radicals and protect the health of pets? Antioxidants: the key to reducing oxidative stress Antioxidants, as the name suggests, act in order to slow or stop oxidation reactions. Each type of antioxidant will have a different mechanism of action. In general, this type of compound works by donating electrons or hydrogen atoms to free radicals, stabilizing them and stopping chain reactions. Therefore, it is interesting have antioxidants in pet food, for the maintenance of their immune system throughout life. Studies conducted on dogs have found that older dogs on a diet rich in antioxidants are able to learn complex tasks with a higher success rate than those which are deficient in this type of compound. According to the researchers, this result may be linked to the fact that oxidative stress contributes for the dogs' brains to deteriorate faster. Another study, also conducted in old dogs, found out that a diet rich in antioxidants decreases the chance of animals developing conditions linked to cognitive decline, such as easier recognition of family members. With all these benefits, how to ensure a diet rich in antioxidants? The key to this question lies in the ingredients used for pet formulations. Such ingredients should contain compounds that have antioxidant properties. Among them, may be present: • Carotenoids: group of pigments with colors ranging from yellow to red. Beta-carotene stands out, which has proactivity of vitamin A, responsible for maintaining the eyesight and skin of animals healthy, beyond the maintenance of growth, lactation and digestion. Also worth mentioning is lycopene, which has an efficient mechanism of deactivation of reactive species that lead to the multiplication of free radicals. Carotenoids are present in carrot, peach, tomato, watermelon, guava and other fruits and vegetables, as well as some fish and seafood such as salmon and shrimp. • Ascorbic acid (or Vitamin C): protects the immune system from the attack of bacteria and viruses. It also protects fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) from oxidation, maintaining their functions intact in the organism. Found in citrus fruits like strawberries, but also present in peppers, broccoli and leafy green vegetables. • Vitamin E: group comprising 8 different compounds (4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols). They have the ability to stop chain reactions of free radicals through the donation of a hydrogen atom to them. Highlight to the alpha-tocopherol, the form that presents the greatest biological activity among all the others. Present in walnuts, chestnuts, seeds and vegetable oils. • Phenolic compounds: group of compounds comprising phenolic acids, flavonoids, tannins and anthocyanins. Just like vitamin E, they also act as antioxidants through the donation of a hydrogen atom to free radicals. Found in fruits and herbs. • Bioactive peptides: recent research has shown that bioactive peptides with low molecular weight from enzyme hydrolyzed proteins present important antioxidant activity. But, how does the regulation of antioxidants work in animal nutrition? The european legislation classifies antioxidants in animal nutrition as 'technological additives', defined as 'substances that extend the shelf life of feed or materials used in feed, protecting them against the damaged caused by oxidation'. This regulation also describes how authorization should be required for an additive, in this case an antioxidant, to be used in animal formulations.It should be included basic information of the antioxidant as well as its classification and purity degree. In addition, manufacturing aspects should also be described, such as the way of obtaining the antioxidant, its methods of analysis and the metabolites formed after its consumption. It is also necessary to attach studies that prove the effectiveness of the antioxidant in question, as well as a commercialization proposal. Conclusion Nature has a great quantity of abundant sources in antioxidant compounds. These sources can be used as functional ingredients that will help the metabolism of animals to stay healthy, mitigating the harm caused by excessive multiplication of free radicals. The antioxidants in pet food formulation is an interesting way for the maintenance of animal health, promoting growth and development without further setbacks throughout the life of pets. Besides that; It is important to insert other ingredients in the formulation to enrich the pet food. Ingredients such as oils and fats from animal origin, which are rich in saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. by brf Ingredients
 

Principles of Pet Food  Palatabity
Palatants
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8+ MIN

Principles of Pet Food Palatabity

People expend a great deal of effort making food taste good. In pursuit of palatability, we sprinkle spices, use flavorful fats, and choose varying preparation methods. Appetizing foods take center stage at parties, holidays, and family gatherings. We applaud superstar chefs, and dedicate television channels, magazines, websites, and countless books to the subject of pleasurable flavors. Is it any wonder that our pets respond to food flavors, as well? Instead of food on your plate, consider the fare served in our pets' bowls. A celebration of flavor happens every time a pup bounds to his bowl, or a cat responds to the sound of a can opening. Not only do we want pets to enjoy meal time, we want to ensure they're getting proper nutrition to support a vibrant, healthy life. Just as most people probably won't eat a bowl of wheat germ each morning — no matter how healthy it is — a pet can't be forced to eat a healthy but unpalatable meal. WHAT ARE PALATANTS? Palatants are ingredient systems that are specially designed to make pet foods, treats, and supplements taste better, ensuring that pets receive the vital nutrients they need. Palatants entice a pet to consume a food, treat, or supplement that, while nutritious, may be inconsistent with their native diet. Pet food palatants are widely used in many regions of the world. In particular, large markets exist in regions that have high per household pet food consumption, such as the United States, Australia, France, Japan, and Chile. Dry foods make more frequent use of palatants, and use palatants at higher inclusion rates than wet foods. Wet foods tend to naturally be more palatable due to processing techniques and higher moisture content. Adopting palatants in emerging pet food markets are beneficial to both manuacturers' brands and the pet. As consumption of pre-packaged pet food grows, flavor requirements for the food become more important. Originally, pet food palatants were referred to as 'digests.' Digests are proteins that are enzymatically broken down and applied to dry foods to provide the sensory impact of meat. Palatants have grown significantly more sophisticated since the days of digest. Today, palatants are as varied as the pet food brands that rely on their use. PALATANT FORMS Palatants are available as dry powders and liquids, and as systems that use both dry and liquid components. Some palatants are designed to be applied topically, while others function best when mixed into the kibble or can. Typically, palatants are formulated for either dog or cat foods, but sometimes a palatant works well across diets. The interplay between the kibble or chunk that underpins the food and the palatant is important. Certain kinds of pet food work better with specific kinds of palatants. For instance, richer pet food formulations may utilize mild supporting flavors in lieu of a very strong palatant. The quality of the chunk or kibble is important as well. Even a premium palatant may not be able to significantly improve a very poor quality kibble. PALATANT SOURCES Palatants can be meat or vegetable based, and may be designed to meet a variety of claims (grain-free, limited ingredient, non-GMO, natural, low fat, etc.). Palatant components include proteins, yeasts, phosphates, antioxidants, antimicrobials, processing agents, and other ingredients. Palatant protein sources vary depending on desired performance targets, cost requirements, and brand claims. The protein can be vegetable or animal derived. Vegetable derived proteins come from many sources, including corn, soy, potato, and specialty grains. The desired vegetable protein source often depends on customer-specific needs. Common animal derived proteins are poultry, pork, and fish. A protein source that is available in one region — say kangaroo in Australia — may be considered uncommon in other regions of the world. Just as meat proteins can come from different animals, they can also come from different parts of the animal. Meatbased protein might come from skin and muscle tissue, or it might come from viscera. Viscera is a meat by-product that generally refers to the soft internal organs from the main cavity of a slaughtered mammal. PALATANT PERFORMANCE AND APPLICATION Palatant performances range from economy to mid-level to premium; price points are typically commensurate with performance. The upcharge per ton depends on the application rate, which generally ranges from 1% to 3% for liquid palatants, and 0.5% to 2% for dry palatants. Great results can be achieved by formulating with best-inclass palatants, particularly when the brand capitalizes on the positioning opportunity that comes with the use of a premium palatant At the pet food manufacturer, palatants are usually applied topically to kibble in liquid or dry form, or a combination.  Liquid and dry powder palatants are commonly applied using a drum coater, spinning disk coater, or a vacuum coater. Topical application methods depend on the chosen palatant system and equipment flexibility.  If both liquid and dry palatants are used, the process will often call for topical application of an oil or fat, followed by the liquid palatant, followed by the dry palatant. For a canned product, palatant may be added on top of the food just before the can is sealed, or it may be mixed directly with the paté, gravy or chunk before canning occurs. Not only have palatants become more sophisticated, the science of pets' tastes and preferences have grown too. MEASURING FLAVOR PREFERENCES Pets can't voice their opinions about particular flavor preferences, so it's necessary to discover their preferences in other ways. Pets 'vote' on flavor preference through their consumption of food. The gold standard of consumption testing is a paired comparison, also known as the 'twobowl' test. In this type of test, the animal is allowed to choose between two bowls of food for a pre-defined  amount of time. The animal is observed, and numerous measurements are recorded. Common measures include intake ratio, consumption ratio, first choice, preference, and first approach. Intake Ratio (IR) measures the amount of one ration consumed divided by the total consumption. The mathematical formula is: Ration A Consumed ÷ (Ration A Consumed + Ration B Consumed). For example, if a dog consumes a total of 400 grams of food, and Ration A comprises 240 grams of the total consumption, the IR for Ration A is 0.60. Consumption Ratio (CR) compares the consumption of one ration in terms of the other ration. The mathematical example of this formula is Ration A Consumed ÷ Ration B Consumed. If a dog panel ate 1500 grams of Ration A and 1000 grams of Ration B, the CR would be 1.5A.   Both IR and CR account for the fact that total intake may vary from day to day depending on external factors, such as weather or the animal's mood. While the total amount consumed from day to day may change, the IR and CR measures remain valid because external factors would be expected to impact consumption of both rations similarly. First Choice (FC) measures 'draw' to the bowl, or which ration first attracts the pet to eat. It is expressed as a fraction of animals that ate a particular ration first. For instance, if 15 cats on a 20-cat panel ate Ration A first, Ration A would have a FC of 0.75.
Preference provides insight into significant preferences by individual animals in a group of pet taste testers. If part of the panel has an extreme preference for Ration A, and the balance of the panel has an extreme preference for Ration B, the CR might appear as if the rations have parity palatability. However, taking a deeper look at Preference data will indicate that the data do not have a normal distribution. First Approach is an observational measure that indicates which bowl the pet first approaches, regardless of whether the pet consumed any of the ration. If a dog approaches Ration A in a two-bowl test, sniffs Ration A, then switches to the Ration B bowl and consumes it, Ration A would still win First Approach. TESTING PROTOCOLS Different brands and manufacturers rely on different consumption testing measures, depending on the desired outcome. Some brand teams place importance on the pet racing to the bowl. Others place importance on the bowl being emptied completely. It is important to clearly define the preferred outcome with the palatant provider so the proper palatant is selected. Though the two-bowl test is the industry standard, users of preference testing data should be aware that there are variations between testing protocols. Some variations include the number of pet participants, the environment, the feeding length, the 'normal' diet of pet participants, the breed of the pet participant, and even the region where the test is run. In addition, there are different ways to test and verify the pet participants' tasting talents.  Some common ways of evaluating an animal's ability to discriminate are to run a set of known tests and evaluate their choices. One such test is an Obvious Test: two products with a known large difference (such as unflavored kibble versus flavored kibble) are compared. The winner of this test should be 'obvious' to the pet. Another common test is an A/A Test, where the same product is placed in both bowls.  In this test, the animal should not show preference for either bowl. If they do, something other than flavor discrimination is driving consumption. Finally, an Application Test, in which different application levels of the same palatant are compared, will evaluate a pet's discrimination ability. This test helps the researcher understand which animals can discern slight differences, and which animals prefer higher or lower flavor applications. Regardless of the kind of tests used, it is important to understand the individual animal's feeding behaviors, and to make sure the pet participants are making consistent feeding choices. In addition to understanding testing variation, it is important that researchers establish the question they want answered before testing begins so tests can be structured appropriately. For example, a test to indicate whether a new flavor performs better than the existing flavor would be structured differently than a test between a new flavor and a benchmark (typically a primary competitor). The former test answers 'how does the new flavor compare to our current flavor?', which may allow for a 'new and improved' type claim. The latter answers 'how does the new flavor compare to my primary competitor?', which may support a selling strategy or defend a brand's positioning. EQUAL VS. IDENTICAL It's important to remember that, even if two products demonstrate palatability parity, it does not mean the two products are identical. It simply means the animal has the same preference for both foods. In fact, the foods could be quite different. For example, say you like pizza and burritos equally. Though you like them to the same degree, the meals are quite different in flavor. In the same way, if the intake ratio between a chicken-flavored diet and a fish-flavored diet is 0.5, it means the pet liked both diets equally, but not that the diets are the same. Much goes in to ensuring that the fare formulated for pets actually gets eaten by the cats and dogs for which it is created. While applause and rave reviews are not the typical pet responses, wagging tails and insistent mealtime meows are. Palatants make happy mealtimes possible, and help ensure that our beloved cats and dogs get the nutrition they need to be healthy, lifelong companions. by AFB Imternational  Source: All Extruded
 

Dogs prefer to eat Fat, and Cats surprisingly tend toward Carbs
Minerals
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4+ MIN

Dogs prefer to eat Fat, and Cats surprisingly tend toward Carbs

Dogs gravitate toward high-fat food, but cats pounce on carbohydrates with even greater enthusiasm, according to research into the dietary habits of America's two most popular pets. The study sheds new light on optimal nutrition for the animals and refutes a common notion that cats want and need a protein-heavy regimen. Findings were published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. "The numbers were much different than what traditional thinking would have expected," said the study's corresponding author, Jean Hall, a professor in the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University. "Some experts have thought cats need diets that are 40 or 50 percent protein. Our findings are quite different than the numbers used in marketing and are going to really challenge the pet food industry." Dietary proteins contribute to a number of important physiological functions such as blood clotting, production of hormones and enzymes, vision and cell repair. Protein also has the most power to make the eater feel satiated; carbohydrates are No. 2 in that regard, followed by fat. Hall's research involved monitoring 17 healthy adult dogs and 27 cats over 28 days and used four types of food that were designed to taste equally good; with flavor out of the equation, the animals could make macronutrient choices based only on what their bodies were telling them they needed. "Previous studies have shown that if you don't balance palatability between foods, cats do in fact prefer to eat very high levels of protein and dogs want to eat a lot of fat," Hall said. "When you balance palatability, both dogs and cats prefer significantly different macronutrient content than what they would choose based on taste." The animals studied by Hall and her collaborators could choose among high-fat, high-carbohydrate, high-protein and balanced foods. Each day, dogs had an hour to eat all they wanted up to a predetermined caloric intake -- that is, they could get all the calories they needed for metabolic requirements and to maintain weight, but no more. The cats in the study were likewise not allowed to overeat, though even if given unlimited access to food that tastes how they like it, cats tend to eat in a weight-maintenance way by adjusting their intake based on the food's energy density. In the study, cats had 24-hour food access up to the point of hitting their caloric threshold. Food container placement for both dogs and cats was changed daily to guard against "bowl position bias" affecting the results, which showed the cats on average chose to get 43 percent of their calories from carbs and 30 percent from protein. Dogs on the other hand went for 41 percent fat and 36 percent carbs. Not a single dog or cat chose to get the highest percentage of its calories from protein. Within the aggregate cat findings were trends correlating with age and lean body mass -- how much muscle an animal has. Younger cats with less lean body mass tended more strongly toward protein consumption than younger cats with more lean body mass; younger cats in general wanted protein more than older cats. On the dog side of the study, high-protein foods were the least popular among younger animals with less fat body mass; dogs with greater fat body mass had the strongest preference for getting calories from protein. "Because the choice of macronutrients was influenced in both dogs and cats by age and either lean body mass or fat body mass, that suggests a physiological basis for what they chose to eat," Hall said. The research also involved determining the diets' effect on selected metabolites of each macronutrient class -- what they break down into in the body. Hall found the older cats' blood had much lower levels of DHA, a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that's important for the brain, heart and eyes, than the younger cats. "None of the foods had ingredient sources of DHA or EPA, another long-chain omega-3, but cats are able to synthesize DHA by elongating and desaturating fatty acids," Hall said. "The older cats, though, are a lot less efficient at that." More potential bad news for the older cats: Their concentrations of sulfated microbial catabolic products -- protein-breakdown leftovers that in humans are connected to cardiovascular and kidney disease -- were significantly higher. "Just like with older people, older cats may have a different gut microbiome than younger cats, which would mean different microbial metabolic activities," Hall said. Basically, if a younger cat gets more protein than it can use, it can safely deal with and dispose of the excess a lot better than an older cat can. The Pet Nutrition Center of Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc., supported this research. by Oregon State  University Source : All Extruded

Symrise Successfully Closes Acquisition of ADF/IDF
Palatants
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1+ MIN

Symrise Successfully Closes Acquisition of ADF/IDF

Symrise AG today announced that it has successfully completed the acquisition of ADF/IDF, a leading U.S. meat and egg-based protein specialist and pioneer in all-natural nutrition ingredients. The acquisition has been cleared by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Symrise will now begin the process of integrating ADF/IDF. With its comprehensive portfolio of solutions for the food and pet food industries, ADF/IDF will complement the Nutrition portfolio with a highly diversified range of natural based solutions.  "We very much look forward to teaming up with ADF/IDF given our shared focus on innovation and meeting customer needs. Together, we will work to continue expanding our diverse solutions portfolio using the highest quality natural ingredients. Our combined reach will allow us to expand our footprint in the marketplace, particularly in the U.S., and to widen our range of meat and egg-based protein products to our growing customer base' said Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise AG.
 
The integration process will begin immediately and will follow a defined roadmap overseen by cross-divisional teams. Symrise expects the transaction to be fully earnings accretive in the first year after closing.  Symrise announced the acquisition of ADF/IDF which was valued at USD 900 million, on January 31, 2019. The transaction has been financed through a combination of debt and equity.     by Symrise

Fat Quality:  Impact of Fats on Palatability
Palatants
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5+ MIN

Fat Quality: Impact of Fats on Palatability

Pet food palatability is the result of what we at AFB International call 'the triangle of palatability success ingredients, palatants and processing.  Fats can provide important functions on all three sides of the triangle. As research and development director at AFB's European headquarters in Oss, The Netherlands, it my job to understand the science behind palatability and to share technical insights for delivering palatability performance with customers and  colleagues. FATS IN INGREDIENTS  Fats may be naturally present in ingredients chosen for a pet food formulation. These fats can serve as a source of important Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, boosting nutritional value, as well as flavor for pets. Pet foods that include Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids in ratios between 10-to-1 and 5-to-1 have been shown to have health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, joint problems and other issues related to inflammation. FATS AS PALATANTS  Fats can be applied topically or internally to pet food.The most common topically applied fats are animal fats. Chicken fat provides high palatability but also greasiness, while pork offers a less-greasy but less palatable alternative. Both chicken and pork fat have a low melting point, keeping them liquid at lower temperatures.  Beef fat is used less often because of the need for a beef-free claim in many countries and because of its high melting point, causing it to become hard at temperatures from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. For total fat application, up to 8% may be used in a dry pet food formulation with a single-screw extruder. Fish and flaxseed oils are some examples of the most common fats used as internal sources. Fats generally aren't used internally at high application levels because of their negative effect on the expansion rate, which correlates to increased specific weight of the kibble. FATS IN PROCESSING  Choosing a high-quality fat and processing it to maintain its quality is critical. Adding antioxidants immediately during the rendering process and maintaining a proper storage temperature before and after application are keys to success. How fats are applied in pet food production is important, too. As noted, fat may be applied topically or internally, though topical application is used about 80% of the time. The most common processes for adding topical fats are drum coating, vacuum coating and spinning disk coating. A fat often is combined with liquid or dry palatants— or both. When used in combination, the fat is applied first, then the liquid palatant, then the dry palatant. This order helps ensure the dry palatant will adhere better, as well as keeps the fat from masking the effect of the dry and liquid palatants.  ENSURING FAT QUALITY  Pet food scientists know fat is an important ingredient in pet food. However, not all fats are quality fats and even high-quality fats need to be treated to ensure they maintain that quality. That's why it's crucial for all disciplines within pet food producers—from purchasing and sales to marketing and general management—to understand how the investment in good fat quality contributes to pet food palatability and, ultimately, the bottom line. Fresh fat will positively influence the total flavour of pet food, while rancid or oxidized fat can generate unpleasant off-notes that may impact a pet's interest in the food.  Generally, any level of rancidity negatively impacts cat palatability, while dogs can tolerate moderate levels. If the pet won't eat the food, the pet parent is unlikely to purchase it again. RANCIDITY AND OXIDATION Rancidity is the result of oxidation.  This is a chemical reaction in which the double bond of the lipid molecule reacts with oxygen to produce a variety of chemical products. The oxidation process can be influenced by moisture, temperature, light, trace metals, oxygen, and enzymes. METHODS OF VERIFYING STABILITY The presence of free fatty acids (FFA) indicates poor quality (freshness) of the raw material.  FFAs are sensitive to oxidation.  A high level of FFAs in animal fat can be a cause for concern with respect to rancidity. The colour may also provide an indication of the fat quality as impacted by the intensity of the process. High temperature and pressure create a darker colour, which typically has a negative impact on palatability. Peroxide value and hexanal are indicators of rancidity.  Peroxide value is the primary and hexanal is the secondary oxidation product.  Both of these in combination provide a true indication of rancidity. In the pet food industry, in general, levels below 3 indicate that the products are good or stable; levels 3 to 5 indicate products are going bad; and levels above 5 indicate that the products are bad and show off-flavours. Accelerated test methods to measure the stability of fat include OSI (Oxidation Stability Index), AOM (Active Oxygen Method), and oxygen bomb. HOW TO PREVENT OXIDATION So how does a pet food company prevent oxidation and verify that prevention is working to help deliver the desired palatability? Here are some important tips:  Know your fat supplier. Governments do not regulate fat oxidation levels, so it's up to you to ensure quality. Procure consistently good quality fats from a reputable source with whom you have an ongoing relationship. Choose fats low in FFAs. FFAs indicate a lack of freshness. If used as ingredients in foods, those foods can become rancid in a short time. Have antioxidants added to fats at the supplier before delivery for maximum effect. Once fats begin oxidizing, it's difficult to arrest the process—so stop it before it starts.  Antioxidants interfere with oxidation reactions in one of the following ways: Chain-breaking antioxidants intercept free radicals involved in the oxidation process. Oxygen scavengers react directly with oxygen and remove it from the system. Chelating agents or sequesters are effective inhibitors of oxidation by chelating metal ions that may catalyse oxidation. Protect fats through the production process by adopting pet food packaging processes that replace oxygen with inert gas or use adequate antioxidants. Monitor fats of raw materials and pet food products through the production process at a regular frequency by measuring both peroxide value and hexanal.  Don't be fooled by a peroxide value that climbs early in oxidation, then falls again as the secondary oxidation process takes over. Measure hexanal as well, which shows a linear increase across time, for a true and complete picture of rancidity, see Figure 1. Figure 1: For a true and complete picture of oxidation and potential rancidity,measure both peroxide value and hexanal. CONSISTENT PALATABILITY Monitoring fat quality, measuring oxidation, implementing best-in-class manufacturing processes and appropriately applying antioxidants (time and level) are crucial aspects to achieve consistent palatability for dogs and cats. by Han Laumen - AFB International  All Extruded

Pet Food: Colors Sourced from Nature
Colorants
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3+ MIN

Pet Food: Colors Sourced from Nature

With the launch of a whole new range of ingredients with coloring properties for dog and cat food, Chr. Hansen uses it's 140-years of formulation and application know-how to support the pet food industry A full product range is being launched for use in multiple dog and cat food applications – including dry, semi-moist and treats. The solutions consist of 28 products sourced from nature with coloring properties. The extensive range provides the most common shades for pet food – yellow, orange, red and brown. The range is available in the US and in Europe. 'In partnership with some of the largest manufacturers of pet food – we have gained deep expertise in pet food applications. Together with the launch of this new product range, we provide support for the formulation needed to convert from artificial colors, to natural. With our products and know-how, we help customers achieve the shades that are right for their brand,' explains Rikke Sakstrup Frandsen, Industry Business Manager, Pet Foods. Man's best friend Dogs are the most popular pet in the world, owned by one in three people. With nearly 70 million dogs in the US alone, and half of these sleeping in their owner's bed, it's no wonder that dogs are big business. Cats are not far behind in popularity, with 23% of people globally living with a pet cat1. The dog and cat food industries have a combined retail value of approximately EUR 65,5 billion2. Just as consumers are increasingly demanding healthy, natural and safe food for themselves, so too are pet owners increasingly seeking foods for their pets that don't include artificial ingredients or preservatives3. Pet food manufacturers are responding to consumer demand with premium pet food and pet products. Following human trends 'Pet trends are closely following human trends. This means that consumer willingness to buy premium pet food products is increasing, with 'pet parents' often using similar criteria to select pet food as they use when purchasing food for themselves,' explains Klaus Bjerrum, executive vice president, Natural Colors Division. 'At Chr. Hansen, it is our business to develop natural solutions that meet changing market trends. This enables our customers to boost consumer trust and gives them the leading edge to protect and nurture their brand by meeting changing market preferences. It is in light of these latest market trends in pet food that we have decided to support this industry, using our strong foundation of formulation and application knowledge from over 140-years in the food & beverage industry,' adds Bjerrum. 1. Data from a survey by GFK/SCIENTIFIC REPORTS VOLUME 7
2. Euromonitor and Chr. Hansen data, 2017
3. The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Trends in pet care mirror those of pet owners, 2018
About Chr. Hansen Chr. Hansen is the world leader in natural colors. We apply our deep knowledge and insights about pigments, applications, and regulatory requirements around the globe to help our customers – and consumers – bring safe and appetizing food to the table. Sourced from nature, our color portfolio is the largest and most vibrant in the food industry, and our active role in the industry spans 140 years. We are part of Chr. Hansen Holding, who develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. Chr. Hansen employs over 3,000 people in 30 countries and is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen.

Videka joint venture between Diana Pet Food and Kalsec
Preservatives
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2+ MIN

Videka joint venture between Diana Pet Food and Kalsec

LVEN, France and KALAMAZOO, Mich. —Diana Pet Food and Kalsec, Inc, two global pet food and treat industry companies, have established Videka, a joint venture for the production of antioxidant solutions specifically for pet food applications. Videka leverages the palatability and pet food ingredient knowledge of Diana Pet Food with the oxidation management experience of Kalsec to deliver natural protection solutions for the pet food and rendering industries, according to the companies. 'Through this joint venture Diana Pet Food continues to answer the growing demand for safe and natural pet food. Both companies share a strong commitment to customer services with responsiveness and transparency as core values. The future of Videka will be driven by a shared culture of innovation and creativity,' said Bertrand de Launay, president of Diana Pet Food. Oxidation solutions developed through this joint venture are applicable to rendered proteins, including poultry, fish and lamb, rendered fats and oils, as well as extruded, baked, freeze-dried and semi-moist pet foods and treats. Videka currently offers four product lines — Duralox, Herbalox, Essentia and Greenway — each catering to specific product formats and processing methods. 'Together we see companion pets and the positive role that pets play in people's lives. We believe we can provide a better outcome for a pet's wellbeing. Together we see an economical, clean-label, plant-based antioxidant that is based on strong science and sustainability,' said Dr. Scott Nykaza, CEO of Kalsec.  Kalsec is a family-owned company that specializes in naturally sourced antioxidants and rosemary extracts for pet food applications. The company operates facilities in North America, Europe and Asia and has been serving the food, beverage and pet food industries since it was founded in 1958. Diana is a subsidiary of Symrise, Inc. Diana Pet Food offers solutions for palatability, health and nutrition, pet food protection and cat litter, and offers a pet and consumer preference and behavior database for processors to optimize their products and product analysis methods. by Diana Pet Food
 

Scoular, Gray ‘turn the dirt’ at New $50 Million Freeze-Drying Facility
Vitamins
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2+ MIN

Scoular, Gray ‘turn the dirt’ at New $50 Million Freeze-Drying Facility

Scoular officially broke ground August 6 on its new manufacturing facility for freeze-dried pet food ingredients in Seward, Nebraska. The company announced plans along with a $50 million investment into the 105,000-sq.-ft. plant in March 2019. The plant is expected to be up and running by fall of 2020, operated by an 'indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Scoular,' according to the company. Scoular's new freeze-dried facility will include a warehouse, cold storage for raw meat, freeze dryers and clean rooms to manufacture high-quality, safe pet food ingredients as the market for them continues to grow. 'We are continually identifying new ways to meet our customers' needs and help solve their business requirements. This new facility reflects this commitment, as one of the first in the country to bring multiple phases of the freeze-drying manufacturing process under one roof for the pet food industry,' said Paul Maass, CEO of Scoular. The ceremony featured Stephen Gray, president and CEO of Gray, the design firm tasked with engineering, architecture and construction of the facility, as well as Maass, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, Seward Mayor Josh Eickmeier and Jonathan Jank, president and CEO of Seward County Chamber and Development. 'We're thrilled to be part of this exciting endeavor,' Gray said. 'The state-of-the-art facility is sure to make a positive impact on the industry and local economy.' A 126-year-old employee-owned company with more than $4 billion in sales, Scoular has more than 100 strategic offices, grain elevators and processing facilities in North America, South America and Asia. The company's more than 1,000 employees are engaged in the business of buying, selling, storing, handling and processing grain and ingredients as well as managing transportation and logistics worldwide. by Scoular   

Palatability: A Fundamental Concept for Pet Food Formulation
Palatants
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6+ MIN

Palatability: A Fundamental Concept for Pet Food Formulation

The food taste is one of the main characteristics that determine our choice of purchase. Often, we stop consuming extremely nutritious products because they do not have pleasant sensory characteristics. Just like us, animals also take into account characteristics such as flavor and aroma at the time of feeding. This is known as palatability. There are several ways to study this aspect during the development of a pet formulation. This type of analysis is a powerful tool that has the ability to help us reach the type of formula that most pleases our target audience. Like palatability, digestibility is also something the R&D formulator must be aware of when developing pet foods. In addition to being tasty, they must have bioavailable nutrients for a healthy development. Formulations that combine palatability and digestibility meet the current demand of the pet market, which in 2017 was responsible for an amount of 25 billion reals in Brazil, 7% more than in the previous year, showing the great potential of this segment. In this post, we will discuss how palatability affects the formulation of pet products, we will understand some of the tests used in companies to measure this characteristic and we will learn some ways to improve the palatable aspects of pet formulations. Palatability: concept and measurement Palatability can be defined as the acceptance of a feed by a pet related to odor, taste and texture aspects. This aspect will directly affect the type of relationship the animal will have with its food. In some cases, when the sensory characteristics are not approved by the pet, the pet may refuse to eat, affecting its weight and causing its owner to change brands of feed. With this example it has already been possible to see that palatability has a significant influence on pet food sales. The behavior of the animal related to the formulation will dictate the purchase or not of a certain product by its owner. There are several ways to measure this parameter and they usually involve studying how the animal will behave when in contact with the newly formulated product. The First Option measure is focused on the food's odor. The animals' nose, especially dogs, is extremely acute. Therefore, this parameter is the first one that attracts the pet to the food. In this test, different formulations are placed in the environment where the participating pets are and it is observed which formulation will be the first to attract the attention of the animal. The Ingestion Rate will measure the taste of the feed. In this method, the total volume of the formulation ingested by the animal will be divided by the general consumption. For example, if the pet ingested 600g of feed in total, of which 300g corresponded to the feed tested, the ingestion rate would be 50%. A third measurement is the Consumption Rate, which encompasses all palatability characteristics of the food: odor, taste and texture. In this method, the preference for one formula over another is analyzed. It is a widely used test when one wants to formulate a product that is superior to the leading brand in the market, which is called the control. To calculate the rate of consumption, the amount ingested by the animal is measured, both the brand and the control mark, and an index is calculated to determine how much the new formulation was preferred by the participating pets. It should be noted that the conditions of these tests may vary from company to company. Variables such as the number and breed of animals used and even the region from which they come from can affect the final outcome of the measures. The importance of digestibility together with palatability As important as the palatability of a pet food is its nutritional composition. The food destined to the pet must have all the nutrients essential for the healthy development of it. However, it is not enough that the food contains a high content of nutrients. They must also be capable of being absorbed by the animal's organism and be available in tissues and organs so that they are appropriately used for vital functions. The digestibility can be measured in laboratory tests. In these, the animal is fed with the formulation tested and the undigested matter, present in the feces, is analyzed. With this measurement, it is possible to know the content of nutrients that are not used by the body of the animal. Therefore, a smaller volume of feces demonstrates high digestibility of the food. Some factors affect the digestibility of a pet food. They are: Formula: the type and quantity of the different ingredients that make up the product, carry the most diverse nutrients. Each of these nutrients has a different characteristic of absorption and availability. Quality of the ingredients: those of better quality tend to be better digested. Low quality proteins, high ash content, certain types of dietary fiber and presence of phytate are factors that decrease the digestibility of the pet formulation. Processing: it should be adequate, since the treatment conditions as well as the form of storage affect the digestibility. Very high temperatures, for example, may make some nutrients unavailable for use by the pet's body. Thus, it is possible to understand that the choice of the ingredients of a formulation must take into account both sensory characteristics, to awaken the palate of the animal, as well as the quality and availability of the nutrients so that its health is not impaired. Palatants for pet food The palatability of pet foods is influenced both by the quality of raw materials and ingredients, and by the use of palatants. Palatants are a type of ingredient used with the specific function of improving the flavor, aroma and texture characteristics of the product. Dry foods, such as feeds, usually require a greater use of palatants, since liquids are naturally more palatable due to the presence of moisture. Palatants can be found in both powder form and liquid form and are most commonly used for dogs and cats food. The sources for obtaining the palatants can be both vegetal and animal and include proteins, yeasts, phosphates, antioxidants, antimicrobials, among other compounds. Proteins are one of the main components of palatants, and those extracted from animal sources can originate from chicken, pork or fish meat and those extracted from vegetable sources can be obtained from corn, soybeans, potatoes, among others. It is also necessary to mention that, based on quality, there are basically three levels of palatants: economic, mid-level and premium. As expected, premium palatants have a higher cost, however, this can be balanced by the development of a pet food with high palatability, having an increase in sales as a consequence. The chicken protein hydrolysate, already available in the market for pet nutrition ingredients, is an example of a premium natural ingredient that, among other functions, also has palatant properties. This ingredient is produced by enzymatic hydrolysis, which guarantees the presence of bioactive peptides. In addition, it has high crude protein content and high digestibility. In this way, it guarantees more energy and nutrients to the pet and decreases the volume of feces, since the nutrients are well used by the body. When formulating pet foods, it is of fundamental importance to choose carefully the suppliers of raw material and ingredients (mainly palatants, in this case). It is necessary to look for suppliers that have knowledge in the area of ​​pet food and that are aligned with the concepts of palatability and digestibility, thus guaranteeing the formulation of a successful product. Conclusion Palatability, combined with digestibility, are key parameters for the acceptance of a pet food. These characteristics can be incorporated into the formulations through the use of specific ingredients, of high quality and supplied by companies that have the necessary know-how on animal feed. The palatants of protein origin, produced by enzymatic hydrolysis, besides providing flavor and odor, contain a series of bioactive peptides that contribute for the health and well-being of the pet. The measurement of palatability and digestibility of a pet product are tools that make the work of R&D formulators easy, since they provide data with which it is possible to infer what should be adjusted in the formulations. by brf Ingredients Source: All Extruded

Promoting Health habits to address Pet Obesity
Palatants
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3+ MIN

Promoting Health habits to address Pet Obesity

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), more than half of U.S. pets are considered overweight or obese, and the number affected is expected to continue to rise. Weight concerns in pets are a significant issue for veterinarians, pet owners and society as a whole. Obesity is a big risk factor for many diseases and disorders in pets, including diabetes, cancer, kidney, liver, inflammatory bowel, respiratory compromise and others – impacting their quality of life and life expectancy. As a veterinarian for more than 30 years, pet obesity and related behavioral disorders and diseases are now the top patient concerns addressed in my practice. Despite its prevalence, I am often met with surprised reactions from pet owners when they are told their pet is obese or overweight. While there are many factors contributing to the issue, one of the most important is the lack of education on the ideal weight and lifestyle needs of different pet breeds. The pet food industry has long been a leading advocate for pets and their health, and I believe it can also play a significant role in tackling the pet obesity epidemic. The industry, along with pet retailers, veterinarians, and pet associations, can continue to help educate pet owners on the key tools for a healthy and active lifestyle for their animals, helping reduce pet obesity. Specifically, pet food companies can continue to help pet owners translate what's healthy for their pets in a few key ways: Encouraging active lifestyles and exercise for pets As U.S. lifestyles have changed, people today are less active and more sedentary, which has impacted the amount of exercise pets receive. The result: most pets don't get enough exercise. For example, dogs need, on average, approximately 30 – 45 minutes of activity twice a day. Depending on the breed of dog, they may need even more. Promoting the role exercise plays in a healthy lifestyle for pets is key. Creating consistencies in feeding recommendations Pet food companies work hard to ensure their nutrition labels not only meet regulations, but also provide helpful information to consumers. As the industry continues to grow and new brands enter the market, pet food companies have the opportunity to present pet food portion and feeding guidance in consistent, easy-to-interpret terms related to pets' ideal weight – This can help minimize pet owner confusion and misinterpretation on how much to feed their pet. Promoting Healthy Portion Control in Overweight Pets When pets need to slim down, it's important for pet owners to consult their veterinarian for proper instructions on how to slowly decrease the amount of food their pet receives until achieving the amount of food required to meet their nutritional needs. Animals that have their food cut back too quickly can be prone to behavioral problems, and are likely to go looking for food in other places, like the kitchen counter. Encouraging regular veterinary care Too frequently pets come to our office after there is a serious weight-related issue, which often could have been prevented. The highest expression of love pet owners can provide their pets is a commitment to their health and wellness. Routine veterinary care is essential. by Dr. Amy Wolff  Email: [email protected].
 

Cats are not Small Dogs: Unique Nutritional Needs of Cats
Vitamins
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3+ MIN

Cats are not Small Dogs: Unique Nutritional Needs of Cats

Different from dogs, who are omnivores (meaning they are designed to eat a combination of animal and plant foods), cats are carnivores and have unique metabolism compared to many other domestic animals. Cats have special dietary needs that omnivores do not have and for this reason they should not be fed as vegetarians and should always have some animal protein (meat) in their diets. That does not mean that they can safely eat only meat – cats can digest and utilize nutrients from plants and a very high or all meat diet is dangerous for cats! Some of the unique nutritional needs of cats: Protein: Cats need more protein than other species like humans or dogs. Kittens need more protein than most other animals and adult cats need 2-3 times more protein than dogs or herbivores like cows or horses. Arginine: Arginine, an amino acid (which is a building block of protein) found in meat, is another unique requirement of cats. Most other animals can make some arginine (so their dietary needs are lower), but cats lack the enzyme needed to make arginine in their own bodies, so it needs to be provided in higher amounts in their diet. Arginine is important because it is involved in removing ammonia (the waste product of protein breakdown) from the body. If cats cannot remove the ammonia from their bodies, they can suffer weight loss, vomiting, neurological signs, and even death. Taurine: Taurine is another amino acid that cats cannot make themselves like many animals can. It is important in kittens for them to grow normally and in adult cats to remain healthy. In addition, when cats are fed a diet too low in taurine they can become blind as a result of retinal degeneration and their heart can become enlarged and not be able to pump blood appropriately (dilated cardiomyopathy). Queens (adult female cats) can also develop reproductive problems. Because of these serious issues that develop with taurine deficiency, all cat foods should include taurine. The total amount in the diet, however, is not the only important factor. Other ingredients in the diet can affect how taurine is broken down in the gut and how available it is to the cat so it's important to feed a diet that has been carefully formulated and tested. Vitamins: When it comes to vitamins, cats require some vitamins like niacin in higher amounts than other animals like dogs. In most animals, vitamin A can be made in the body from compounds that are present in plants like carrots and green leafy vegetables (carotenoids). The enzyme needed to do this is not very active in cats, therefore diets for cats must include pre-made vitamin A.  Vitamin D is normally made in the body in many animals including humans when they spend time in the sunlight. Cats (as well as dogs) are not able to make adequate amounts of vitamin D in their bodies, so they must always get it in their diet. Unlike dogs, cats cannot use the plant form of vitamin D as efficiently as the animal form, so feline diets should include the animal version of vitamin D (vitamin D3) or the levels of D2 need to be adjusted to compensate for its lower efficiency.  Because of limited production of the vitamin niacin in cats' bodies, feline diets must also contain more niacin than diet for other animals. Cats also have a number of other unique needs, including those that affect their essential fatty acid metabolism, higher requirements for some B vitamins, and differences in carbohydrate metabolism. These special needs of cats are the reason cats should not be fed dog food and require a very carefully formulated diet. If you pick commercial cat foods that say they are formulated to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles or have passed animal feeding trials for cats (and are from a manufacturer with good quality control), then these special needs are already taken into account! by Deborah E. Linder, DVM, MS, DACVN, Written in conjunction with veterinary student, Sasha Santiago.

Green Tea Extracts: Product of Green Source Organics
Vitamins
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1+ MIN

Green Tea Extracts: Product of Green Source Organics

Green Tea is an excellent source of polyphenols as well as vitamin C, chromium and selenium. Polyphenols stimulate fat oxidation and metabolic processes in the body making Green Tea a useful application for weight loss. Green Tea also contains catechin, an antioxidant chemical which may help to reduce incidences of tooth problems. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of Green Tea have lead to its use in many anti-aging formulas and topical applications for sun damage. Products: Green Tea Powder – #1173 Powder Extract (95% Poly, 50% ECGC) – #1218 Powder Extract (60% Polyphenol, 20% ECGC) – #1218 Powder Extract (45% Poly, 12% ECGC) – #1218 Green Tea Seed Oil – #1101 Tea Saponin (60-90%) – #1290 Functional Foods: Foods and beverages, baked goods, nutritional products, supplements, confections, snacks and nutiritional bars, trail mixes, dairy products, flavorings. Nutraceuticals: Supports healthy blood levels of cholesterol, boosts immune system, used in weight management, supports gut, heart and digestive health, provides energy, supports prostate health. Cosmeceutical: Adds suppleness and moisture to the skin (anti-aging), nourishes damaged hair. Animal Nutrition: Adds antioxidants, supports eye and cardiovascular health, palatant, masking agent, feeding stimulant, odor inhibitor, rich source of minerals to support healthy system function. by Green Source Organics All Extruded 

Fat Type and Amount: It’s Impact on Palatability
Palatants
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3+ MIN

Fat Type and Amount: It’s Impact on Palatability

Research reveals preference differences in Dogs and Cats for Kibble Fat Sources and Concentrations Overview: Fat plays an important role in dog and cat food, providing nutritional, functional and palatability benefits. The type and amount of fat used varies by the diet, the finished product specifications and the manufacturer. There has been limited research evaluating the correlation between palatability and topical fat sources and their applied amounts, leaving many pet food manufacturers questioning the potential impact various combinations may have on dog and cat preference. To evaluate, AFB International conducted research at the company's Palatability Assessment Resource Center (PARC) facility on the effect both external fat sources and levels have on palatability preference in dogs and cats. The research found differences in fat sources and levels preferred by dogs and cats, demonstrating that diets can be tailored based on animal preferences. These insights help pet food manufacturers determine potential fat source and concentration adjustments to increase palatability of their dog and cat food brands.  Experimental Design and Trial Protocol: The study design consisted of 5 sources of fat (canola oil, chicken fat, beef tallow, bacon fat, and herring oil) applied topically at two levels (3% and 9%). The different sources of fat represented a variety of flavors and aromas, while the two application levels simulated the low and high levels applied in a topical coating. To control variability, the same kibble, equipment, measurements and palatants were used on both rations in each species. All combinations were topically coated on an economy grain-based dog and cat kibble along with a non-meat palatant. The fat and palatant were applied sequentially on the kibble. Each fat source and application level combination was tested versus each other in a round robin process and the data analyzed in a Bradley-Terry model. This took the data from each pairing and formed a ranking of the fats from most preferred to least. Feeding trials were conducted with mixed breed animal panels at PARC. Paired preference feeding trials were conducted with two exposures (20 animal x 2 days) and bowl placement was alternated each day. Data was collected on grams consumed and the firstchoice bowl for both animal species. Results: Dogs and cats have different preferences when it comes to the source and concentration of fat source. Dog and Cat Panel Trial Results: Fat source and applied percentage in order of preference For dogs, the results showed a greater overall response to higher fat concentrations / percentage levels (9% vs. 3%). The results also demonstrated a preference for fat sources with more flavor and aroma. Additionally, there was a significant difference in palatability between the two highest-ranked variables compared to all others. Cat trial results were very different compared to the dog trial results. For cats, there was less preference differentiation between the top ranked fat sources and concentrations vs. the bottom ranked, which statistically did not provide a stand-alone favorite as in the dog trials. Cats, overall, preferred the lower fat concentration level (3%). Fat sources with more flavor, such as bacon, also ranked well. Conclusions: The research showed differences in kibble fat sources and concentration preferences in dogs and cats. For dogs, a nine percent fat concentration on a kibble will be generally preferred over the lower application of three percent. Bacon and beef tallow fat sources were the most preferred by dogs in the trials. For cats, a three percent fat concentration will generally perform better than the nine percent for majority of the fat sources. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, AFB INTERNATIONAL

Developing Tomorrow’s Workforce – University Relation and Recruiting Program
Palatants
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2+ MIN

Developing Tomorrow’s Workforce – University Relation and Recruiting Program

Attracting and developing top talent is a priority at AFB International. As the pet food industry continues to grow and advance, our workforce needs are expanding and evolving too, requiring new knowledge, techniques and leading talent to help meet our clients' needs and industry challenges. In collaboration with our parent company, Ensign-Bickford Industries (EBI), AFB actively participates in EBI's University Relations and Recruiting program, designed to recruit and hire top student talent, to build a pipeline for tomorrow's workforce. Our program takes a team-based approach to promote all EBI companies and the intern and employment opportunities available to students. We collaborate with five key universities: Purdue University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, University of Connecticut and University of Southern California.  All were selected based on their academic excellence, curriculum, programs and diverse student populations in the STEM field.  For students, AFB internships provide a unique opportunity to be a key team member on large, cross-functional teams tackling complex projects that have a direct impact on our business. They have opportunities to work and learn from senior company employees, as well as participate in professional development activities. AFB's collaborative and team-focused culture creates a structure that delivers a positive and rewarding experience for each student.  In 2019 you will find EBI companies participating at partner university career fairs. We will also continue to support students' education and career development through campus lectures, industry roundtables, mock interviews and resume reviews, or student days at AFB's headquarters in St. Charles, Missouri.  Special thanks to AFB's senior leadership team for their active involvement and continued support of the University Relations and Recruiting program. We also want to recognize all AFB and EBI employees whose dedication and passion for this initiative is guiding both the students' aspirations and future of AFB. For more information on AFB's University Relations and Recruiting program, contact Preetha Banerjee ([email protected]) or Joseph McVey ([email protected]) by Preetha Banerjee & Joseph McVey - AFB International Source: All Extruded

Importance of Aroma in Petfood Palatability
Palatants
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2+ MIN

Importance of Aroma in Petfood Palatability

If a pet won't eat its food, that's the end of the story. It doesn't matter if the nutrition is balanced, the price is right, or the packaging and marketing claims are attractive enough to secure a first purchase.  Unlike humans, pets do not talk. They cannot 'describe' why they like food A but not food B, or vice versa. Therefore, pet owners look for pets' behavioral signals of accepting or rejecting the foods. First Choice observation In pets, olfaction (sense of smell) is believed to play a key role in sensory experience and petfood preference.  To monitor how pets respond to food aroma specifically, 'first choice' is observed: The food first approached and consumed by the animal.  First choice is a direct assessment of how much an animal is attracted by one aroma over another by smelling both rations of foods.1 As first choice measurements are typically averaged as proportion of total choices, statistical analysis can be used to assess the correlations between first choice and intake ratio. Figure 1 demonstrates a strong correlation of first choice and mean intake ratio from over 300 palatability trials (both canine and feline) conducted by Kemin through third-party kennel facilities. 2 This indicates that if pets find the food aroma enticing, they are very likely to eat more of that food. In other words, a winning palatant should be designed to improve the aroma profile of pet foods, as a start. Developing aroma profiles The Maillard reaction, as a type of non-enzymatic browning, plays a major role in developing characteristic aromas of many food products under high temperatures, such as roasted meat, toasted marshmallow, baked bread, chocolate, etc. Domesticated pets, particularly dogs, have engaged their olfactory senses to seek those types of aromas since they joined humans around campfires. Nowadays, the influence of the Maillard reaction is ubiquitous in pet food matrix flavor development. It is also the key mechanism to develop the savory, meaty, robust aroma profiles of palatants. The aroma portion of palatants or pet foods typically consist of hundreds of volatile compounds, with many potent odorants present in extremely low concentrations. Even the modern chromatographic methods such as gas chromatography (GC) coupled with non-specific detectors (e.g. FID), or fast GC-based electronic nose technology are challenged by the limited separation resolution and lack of identification specificity when applied to the analysis of complex flavor matrices like palatants or pet food. Understanding the chemistry of Maillard technology is vital, as is the ability to translate this knowledge into new formulations. The Palatant R&D team of Nutrisurance investigates palatability at the molecular level and develops proprietary Maillard techniques to obtain desirable reaction flavor profiles that are more appealing to cats and dogs.  By understanding palatability as aroma chemists, we are continuously seeking more sustainable, versatile and effective ways to deliver high-performance PALASURANCE® palatability enhancers for pet food manufacturers. By Kemin

Animal Technicians Find Passion and Purpose at AFB’ s Parc
Palatants
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2+ MIN

Animal Technicians Find Passion and Purpose at AFB’ s Parc

We were excited for the opportunity when we were hired as animal technicians at AFB International. We understood that our love for pets, past experience and education would allow us to play an important role in the development of pet food palatants. What we didn't anticipate is everything we'd gain from the job – a rewarding career and much more. As animal care and health technicians, we have the pleasure of caring for the animals that reside at the company's Palatability Assessment Resource Center (PARC). This facility is where we study palatability and behavior with cats and dogs. PARC provides a loving and playful environment that creates special bonds between its resident animals and the technicians that look after them. Those relationships are just one of the reasons we feel so passionate about our jobs. Being able to love and care for these animals is a great feeling. While spending time with the animals is incredibly rewarding, working as an animal care or animal health technician is also a great responsibility. PARC is home to more than 200 dogs and cats of varying sizes and breeds, and features more than 25,000 square feet of pet-focused indoor and outdoor areas. Animal care technicians are charged not only with watching over and feeding resident animals, but continuously cleaning up after them to help ensure the facility maintains the highest standards to support their health and well-being. Animal health technicians play a critical role too, and contribute to the Center's animal health program. In addition to completing daily tasks, animal health technicians assist PARC veterinarians in providing care for any sick resident animals, maintaining records, and enhancing the Center's health services.  Another rewarding aspect of our jobs is the role we play in supporting our customers. The purpose of PARC is to help our customers better understand companion animal food preferences through palatability testing and behavior studies. We enjoy when customers visit PARC, and we get to witness their enthusiasm and excitement for the Center. It reflects our feelings and passion about our work, and is affirmation of the importance of the work we are doing to help our customers develop nutritious food pets want to eat Working at PARC has not only helped us find rewarding careers, but also discover a greater life purpose of supporting and advancing the quality of life for the cats and dogs that make their homes here. For more information on AFB's PARC resource center or career opportunities as an animal care or animal health technician, contact Stacey Schlanker at [email protected]. by: Erica Nichols & Amanda Huenefeld – AFB International All Extruded

Symrise Strengthens Pet Food activities and Expands US footprint with Acquisition of ADF/IDF
Palatants
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5+ MIN

Symrise Strengthens Pet Food activities and Expands US footprint with Acquisition of ADF/IDF

Symrise has signed a purchase agreement with the owners of ADF/IDF, a leading natural nutrition ingredient provider for pet food, regarding the acquisition of their business. ADF/IDF a pioneer in clean label meat and egg-based taste and nutrition ingredients. With the acquisition, Symrise aims to broaden its activities in the fast growing pet food business and to expand its position in the attractive food nutrition market. The purchase price amounting to $ 900 million will be financed by debt and equity. The acquisition is expected to be fully EPS accretive from the first year after closing. With its approximately 470 employees, ADF/IDF generated sales of $ 220 million and an EBITDA margin of 23 %. The transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. "The strategic acquisition of ADF/IDF perfectly delivers on our strategy to expand in fast growing, high margin business areas. The complementary offering will further diversify our Diana portfolio in pet food and nutrition. The acquisition of the leading provider of natural pet food nutrition ingredients is a further breakthrough for Symrise into the pet food nutrition market. With our expertise in pet food palatability and competence in nutrition solutions, we will create an integrated partner for our pet food clients," said Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise AG. "Through this acquisition, we will also broaden our global presence especially in the USA – a strategically important growth market for us – and strength our customer base." ADF/IDF (American Dehydrated Foods/International Dehydrated Foods) was founded in 1978 and is specialized producer of sustainable meat and egg-based nutrition ingredients. Headquartered in Springfield, MO, the Company is a partner of choice for clients in the pet food, food and nutrition industries, offering a wide range of natural and clean label product solutions. In pet food applications, the Company has become a leading natural ingredient provider, offering taste and nutrition solutions as well as functional ingredients. With its highly recognized customer orientation, ADF/IDF has established a diverse client base consisting of many long-term, close relationships with global and regional pet food and food companies. The combination of ADF/IDF and the Symrise Nutrition division Diana will create a leading global player in meat and egg-based protein specialties with focus on all natural and sustainable solutions. Highly complementary acquisition offers cross-selling potential With the acquisition, Symrise leverages its leadership position in pet food, extending its palatability know-how towards the Premium Nutrition segment. The ADF/IDF"s brand IsoNova offers pet food solutions using egg protein specialties. It develops animal health, functional, and nutritional products. Thereby, Symrise becomes a unique player for pet food and nutrition. With ADF/IDF`s expertise in clean label chicken and egg-based nutrition ingredients Symrise will form a fully integrated supplier of protein specialty ingredients. Customers will benefit from a highly efficient supply chain and natural quality products. The combination of ADF/IDF and Symrise will furthermore result in an enhanced customer platform and strengthened international footprint. Symrise will reinforce partnerships with key multinational players as well as fast-growing regional brands in the United States, one of its key growth markets. In return, ADF/IDF will benefit from Symrise"s resources and expertise outside the American market. The acquisition offers also cross-selling potential to accelerate long-term profitable growth, especially in the attractive application area of pet food. Symrise and ADF/IDF will benefit from joint R&D capabilities and competences. Both companies share a strong reputation for investing in process and product innovation and the dedication to provide exceptional customer value.  William Darr, founder of ADF/IDF, added: "We are delighted to have found in Symrise a new strong owner for our Company, they share the same values and the same mindset on the further development of the business. In the starting phase of our company, we already worked very closely with Diana, which is today leading Symrise"s nutrition activities. ADF/IDF and Symrise have many things in common. We are both committed to high-quality natural products derived from sustainable resources. And we both drive innovation to develop solutions that best serve our customers" needs. Our company will benefit from Symrise"s scientific know-how to further improve our products. Also, Symrise"s wide global presence and broad customer base will allow ADF/IDF to expand its business faster." BNP Paribas is acting as sole financial advisor to Symrise. Clifford Chance is acting as legal advisor to Symrise. BNP Paribas and UniCredit will provide a bridge financing, which will be refinanced by a combination of equity and debt.  Houlihan Lokey is acting as sole financial advisor to ADF/IDF.  The transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. ADF/IDF is a leading meat and egg-based protein specialist and pioneer in all natural nutrition ingredients generating annual sales of $ 220 million The nutrition and taste solutions to the pet food and food segments are highly complementary to Symrise offerings A perfect fit in terms of culture and philosophy The investment amounts to $ 900 million Fully EPS accretive from first year after closing About Symrise: Symrise is a global supplier of fragrances, flavors, food and cosmetic ingredients. Its clients include manufacturers of perfumes, cosmetics, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and producers of nutritional supplements and pet food. Its sales of € 3 billion in the 2017 fiscal year make Symrise a leading global provider in the flavor, nutrition and fragrance markets. Headquartered in Holzminden, Germany, the Group is represented by around 100 sites in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the United States and Latin America. Symrise works with its clients to develop new ideas and market-ready concepts for products that form an indispensable part of everyday life. Economic success and corporate responsibility are inextricably linked as part of this process. Symrise – always inspiring more … www.symrise.com About ADF/IDF: ADF/IDF are industry leading suppliers of real, natural poultry ingredients for pet food and food applications. The companies produce a wide range of ingredients across three core pillars: flavor, nutrition and function. Customers of ADF/IDF include pet food, food and beverage, supplement and nutritional manufacturers. Headquartered in Springfield, Missouri USA, ADF/IDF operates 11 manufacturing sites and 2 technical centers throughout North America. In 2018, the companies had sales of $220m. By: Symrise Contact: Bernhard Kott - Contacto de prensa de Symrise Email: [email protected] Source: All Extruded

Ensuring FASMA Compliance for Pet Food
Micro Ingredients
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2+ MIN

Ensuring FASMA Compliance for Pet Food

When the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law, it marked the first major reform in food safety regulation in over 70 years. The goal of FSMA is shifting the focus from reacting to contamination of the food supply after it has occurred to preventing it from occurring. As of September 17th, 2018, animal food facilities (except for those qualifying as very small businesses) are now required to comply with both Subparts B and C of the Preventive Controls for Animal Food. Subpart B consists of the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs). Subpart C demands compliance with the preventive controls requirements including establishment of a food safety system with a hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls as needed. For AFB International, food safety and quality have always been our top priorities. Our Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) program has been part of our food safety program for many years, helping us to identify and mitigate food safety risks. Additionally, AFB"s sampling plan, positive release program and frequent internal compliance audits help to ensure we are meeting strict food safety standards in all of our manufacturing facilities and providing high-quality and safe products to our customers. With FSMA, AFB has taken an even deeper look into our food safety and quality programs to re-evaluate any potential food safety risks and provide our customers with the highest quality assurance possible. This assessment has resulted in enhancements to our HACCP Food Safety Plan, as well as our extensive supplier approval program, which helps to ensure our raw materials and ingredients come from sources that meet both AFB"s strict standards and FSMA requirements. As we are approving suppliers, one of the things AFB likes to see our suppliers have is a third-party certification. Third-party certifications, especially those certified under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) umbrella, are becoming increasingly important for our suppliers to hold, as they provide an added level of security that the supplier has the appropriate food safety and quality programs in place. AFB"s third-party certifications also demonstrate to our customers our commitment to, and compliance with, pet food regulations and standards. As pet food continues to parallel trends in human foods - such as non-GMO, all natural and gluten-free, we anticipate an increase in pet food safety regulations. In the meantime, AFB"s Quality Assurance team is dedicated to continually evaluating our programs and processes to help our customers ensure quality and food safety for pets and pet owners. To learn more about AFB International"s Quality Assurance team or FSMA requirements for pet food, contact Robyn Allyn at [email protected]. Author: Robyn Allyn – AFB International Source -  AFB International 

Antioxidants: Turning to Natural Solutions
Micro Ingredients
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3+ MIN

Antioxidants: Turning to Natural Solutions

Synthetic antioxidants are widely used to protect pet food ingredients. However, the demand for natural antioxidants has increased tremendously over the past decade. The quest for clean labels: Today, pet owners are becoming more and more engaged when shopping for pet products. Increasingly concerned by the quality of the food they buy for their four-legged family members, they are now taking a closer look at the labels of pet food products. They expect pet food brands to use "clean" ingredients that will preserve the food and health of their beloved animal. Pet food manufacturers thus try to eliminate all additives and ingredients that have a chemical sounding name, and will be seen as being artificial to the consumer. Antioxidants are no exception. What is oxidation? Fats and oils are essential constituents of dry pet foods. They contribute to the flavour, nutritional value, texture and palatability of the pet food product. However, fats and oils are highly sensitive to oxidation processes. Lipid oxidation is a complex process that cannot be stopped or reversed. It can only be slowed down with the help of antioxidants. When oxidation occurs, fatty acids react with free radicals, and "off" flavours and odours are created. Oxidation also alters the structure of essential fatty acids and vitamins in a way that makes them less nutritional to the pet. Moreover, the source of unpleasant odours caused by rancidity will be perceived by pet owners as a sign of poor quality, or harmful for their animals" health. Therefore, controlling oxidation from raw materials to the final pet food is crucial to ensure the quality of pet food. Why use antioxidants? Oxidation can be caused by many external and internal factors. Heat, light, oxygen, humidity or pro-oxidants can cause oxidation. Oxidation happens at almost every step of the pet food production. Once this oxidation mechanism has started, there is no way to stop it. It can only be slowed down.
 
To delay oxidative reactions, antioxidants should be added as early as possible to raw materials, and then regularly all along the kibble manufacturing process. Antioxidants are vital to ensure the preservation of the organoleptic and nutritional properties of the product during its shelf life. Freshness, naturally Today, the most common antioxidants used in pet food are BHA, BHT and propylgallate, all of them being synthetic. Yet natural solutions are available in the market. Indeed, various molecules from plants are currently under investigation for their potential antioxidant properties. Researchers at Videka have confirmed the efficacy of several natural extracts in various pet food applications. Moreover, they have found that their ability to delay oxidation is even higher when they are combined. Besides their efficiency to protect pet food from oxidation, new natural solutions must combine all the properties of the synthetic solutions to successfully replace them. Pets do not compromise when it comes to the taste and smell of their food. It is thus legitimate to wonder if going from synthetic antioxidants, which are generally odourless, to natural antioxidants, which may have more marked smells, affects pet food palatability. Here too, Videka has demonstrated with cats and dogs that the palatability of diets containing its natural solutions is equal to that of diets containing classical synthetic antioxidants. Plant based antioxidants are an excellent solution to naturally preserve both a pet food"s quality and the pet"s tasting experience. Using the synergy of natural extracts to improve oxidative stability of pet food is the future of shelf life solutions. Author: Sandra Grossmann - Director Business Development, Videka Source: Diana Pet Food
 

Ingredient patent granted for dog food applications in US
Micro Ingredients
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2+ MIN

Ingredient patent granted for dog food applications in US

Ingredient patent granted for dog food applications in US GREENWOOD, S.C. – Lonza, a global supplier to the pharmaceutical, biotech and specialty ingredients markets, has been granted a US patent (#10,016,382) for the use of L-Carnitine in pet food for its beneficial impact on performance and recovery in active dogs. The product, Carniking L-Carnitine, is approved for use in dog foods, wet and dry treats, and complete feeds, base mixes or premixes.  Carniking helps maintain lean muscle mass by reducing muscle degradation and oxidative stress resulting from intense physical activity and may improve the quality of life of active dogs, service dogs and tracking dogs. L-Carnitine also helps animals, as well as humans, utilize dietary fat in producing energy. Carniking utilizes dietary fat for energy by shuttling long- and medium-chain fatty acids across the outer and inner-mitochondrial membrane so they can be metabolized and converted into energy. Four canine research studies were conducted by Lonza Consumer Health & Nutrition (CHN), in which Carniking was shown to improve exercise performance and activity, as well as lean mass, muscle recovery and oxidative stress during exercise. Other applications of the product are pending in Brazil, Canada, Europe and Japan. "Bringing together 30 years of investment and discovery in L-Carnitine, Lonza"s new patent for L-Carnitine as Carniking highlights our continued commitment to exploring its health benefits for both animals and humans," said Kevin Owen, Ph.D., head of global business development for Lonza CHN"s companion animal division. "Backed by robust science, the patent confirms that L-Carnitine is good for both you and for your dog." Owen is also the co-author of the patent. Source: Lonza

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