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Common black fly larvae added to list of alternative protein source in animal feed
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Common black fly larvae added to list of alternative protein source in animal feed

The black soldier fly is a common, widespread fly of the Stratiomyidae family. After a meeting with the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry's Agricultural Product Standards Committee on Thursday, Deputy Agriculture Minister Anucha Nakasai said the committee had approved six new or updated items in agriculture standards. The items include BSF larvae for animal feed, updated durian farming methods, good hygiene practices (GHP) for egg collection centres, good agricultural practices (GAP) for growing orchids, GAP for sesame farming, and guidelines for analysing risks of food-based antimicrobial resistance drugs. Anucha said these standards are crucial for elevating the quality of Thai agricultural products and bringing food up to international standards, ensuring safety and building consumer confidence both domestically and internationally, as well as promoting Thailand to become the world's kitchen. Better agricultural standards will also help farmers sell their products with a bigger profit margin, thus enhancing their living standards, he said. Anucha added that one of the key topics at the meeting was the standard for BSF larvae as animal feed. The committee acknowledged that BSF or black soldier fly larvae could serve as a good source of protein that is easy to raise, has low breeding costs and few natural enemies. After hatching, the larvae grow fast, consuming a variety of organic materials and only producing organic, decomposable waste that makes the raising process sustainable and environmentally friendly. BSF larvae are also high in nutritional value, making them suitable as a key ingredient in feed for fish, chicken and pig farming. The meeting on Thursday also upgraded the regulations for mushroom manufacturing, in place since 2016, to standards that will ensure the production of quality mushrooms. Currently, there are more than 60 companies registered for large-scale mushroom farming.

Source: The Nation.

Domestic Dining
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7+ MIN

Domestic Dining

Premium cat foods that are made in the USA continue to fare well on the market, with transparency and ingredient tracking an important selling point.
"Many consumers have become interested in providing better nutrition for all of their pets, not just their dogs," said Janet Scott, owner of Rawz Natural Pet Food, a manufacturer in York, Maine. For manufacturers, made in the USA is a point of pride and indicator of quality. "Consumers desire made-in-the-USA products overseas and at home in the U.S.," said Holly Sher, president and owner of Markham, Ill.-based Evanger's Dog and Cat Food Company. "The made-in-the-USA flag is correlated with quality and peace of mind." Retailers say most consumers are not aware of the difference between made in the USA and sourced in the USA. "And boy are they surprised when we tell them all about it," said Pattie Zeller, pack leader at Animal Connection All Natural Store for Pets in Charlottesville, Va. "We spend a lot of one-on-one time with customers and do nutritional consulting. We talk about sourcing and why it makes a difference, too." Animal Connection is big on transparency. For example, Zeller is particularly fond of Open Farm's commitment to transparency, including QR codes on packaging that show ingredient sourcing. Tabitha McKinney, senior category manager for dog and cat food at Feeders Supply Company in Louisville, Ky., agreed that made in the USA and sourced in the USA are one and the same in many customers' minds. In the past, these phrases would also be associated with a higher price tag, she said. "In some cases, this is true," McKinney said. "However, in most cases, made in the USA items are comparable in price to items made elsewhere, at least in the food arena."
  Making food in the USA: Benefits & challenges For cat food manufacturers, there can be pros and cons to sourcing ingredients in the U.S. Some benefits include: Maintaining supplier relationships. "[Rawz has] been able to work with the same manufacturers since we started our business in 2015," Scott said. "We have wonderful relationships and a great deal of trust in them, which certainly makes the process of making our foods in the U.S. worth it." Speed and logistics. "Making our food in the U.S. reduces lead times and logistical hurdles and helps us differentiate ourselves from the competition," said Grant A. Berry, director of sales for Bixbi, a manufacturer in Boulder, Colo. High quality standards. Because the U.S. has strict regulations and standards for pet food, manufacturers can be assured that their products are meeting specific safety and nutritional requirements, Scott said. Environmental impact. "Not only does sourcing locally allow [Evanger's] to control the supply chain tightly, often picking up our raw materials in our fleet of trucks, but it also helps reduce our carbon footprint as a company," Sher said. On the other hand, for manufacturers, some cons to sourcing ingredients in the U.S. can include: Higher costs. "Some ingredients cost more in the U.S. than outside the U.S.," Scott said. "Additionally, labor costs tend to be higher than in other countries, which can impact the overall cost of production." Ingredient availability. Some ingredients are not readily available in the U.S. to meet manufacturer needs or specifications, Scott said. Ingredient availability can also vary by season, Berry noted. While Bixbi focuses on sourcing most ingredients in the U.S., the company sometimes sources globally to ensure consistency. At press time, Rawz planned to release a new Limited Rabbit Recipe for Cats at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla., in March. The grain-free kibble features a freeze-dried raw rabbit coating on every bit and is free from eggs, potato, corn, rendered fat, dairy, wheat, soy and canola oil, Scott said. "Sourcing within the U.S. is something that's very important to us, and we try to source domestically whenever possible," Scott said. "However, we have very high specifications for some of our ingredients, including high protein, and therefore we must source certain ingredients outside the U.S. to meet these specifications." Rabbit is one protein that Rawz has found to be difficult to source in the U.S., but the company has trustworthy suppliers in France and Italy, Scott noted. "It's important to us that we're transparent with our customers, which is why shoppers can see a complete list of sources for every single ingredient we use when they visit our website," Scott added.
Today's shoppers seem to be understanding of the fact that some ingredients are sourced or processed in other countries, McKinney said. On the other hand, Evanger's chooses not to source ingredients outside the U.S. "Using 100 percent USA-sourced ingredients is everything to our company and is always our priority," Sher said. "We source most of our meat and farm fresh fruits and veggies within 50 miles of our Markham, Ill., plant to ensure freshness of our premium dog, cat and ferret foods." One of Evanger's latest additions is EVx cat foods, a restricted diet line with solution-focused formulas including Bland Diet, Urinary Tract, Weight Management, Low Phosphorus and Senior & Joint Health. "It was and continues to be very well-received by our retailers and customers, with more and more pet parents looking to their neighborhood indie pet retailer owner to help guide them on health decisions as well as solve problems with the most common health challenges," Sher said. Manufacturers of U.S.-made premium cat food say they hold themselves and their suppliers to high standards. Bixbi puts its focus on high-quality ingredients, transparent testing, and meeting and exceeding standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), Berry said. The company prioritizes sustainable sourcing, such as cage-free chicken and wild-caught tuna. Its dry and freeze-dried foods are made at a family-owned facility and put through rigorous testing. Raw ingredients are tested based on their type and origin. Foods are batch tested for contaminants like salmonella, listeria, E. coli, yeast and mold—and also for nutritional content including protein, fat, moisture, fiber, minerals and amino acid levels. Products also undergo routine testing for heavy metals and environmental toxins. "We want your pet to get the most out of every bioavailable ingredient we craft our food with," Berry said. "Therefore, our recipes are thoroughly tested for maximum nutrient absorption and industry-leading digestibility results." Along with quality and transparency, Rawz places an emphasis on creating high-meat, minimally processed diets that are similar to feeding raw. "While we believe that the best way to feed an animal is with a raw diet, we understand that not everyone feels that same way, nor can everyone afford to feed raw," Scott said. When evaluating suppliers, the company researches and looks for options with a good reputation and transparent processes. "We've been using most of the same suppliers for the almost 10 years that Rawz has been in business, and we have a great deal of faith in them to deliver the best products for our customers," Scott said.
  Trustworthy partners  Just as trust between suppliers and manufacturers is important, so is trust between retailers and manufacturers. "We spend a lot of time evaluating brands and ask 'the hard questions' because our customers expect us to know the product inside and out," Zeller said. When deciding which products to carry, Zeller looks for quality ingredients, human-grade and humanely raised or wild-caught proteins, independent third-party testing results and nutritional profiles. For dry diets, she only considers products made in the U.S. or Canada. She also considers sales support, loyalty programs and store event support. "[For example,] Petcurean's commitment to quality ingredients is impressive," Zeller said. "Our sales rep, Charles Eiler, is great about engaging with customers when he's visiting the store." In addition to quality standards and testing, McKinney looks for brands that differentiate themselves in some way, such as incorporating something unique or offering solutions-focused diets. One major way that Rawz differentiates itself from other pet food manufacturers is its commitment to philanthropy. "We're a family-run business that has been in the pet food industry for 64 years," Scott said. "We started with Old Mother Hubbard, and then Wellness and have now created Rawz, so we certainly have a lot of experience when it comes to product development." One hundred percent of the company's profits are donated to the Rawz Fund, which supports organizations that help those living with brain or spinal cord injuries get the services—and service dogs—they need. The founders of the company and the fund, Janet and Jim Scott, found the inspiration for their cause close to home. Both of their sons suffered life-altering injuries from unexpected accidents. During their recoveries, the Scotts were inspired by the profound connection both sons developed with the family's yellow Lab. "Our focus continues to revolve around the recovery and success of our children, as it would for any parent," the couple writes on Rawz's website. "We wanted to share this ability with all individuals and families who are affected by injury and/or disability."

Source: Pet Product News

Truly Green or Greenwashed: One way pet owners can discern which pet brands are sustainable
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Truly Green or Greenwashed: One way pet owners can discern which pet brands are sustainable

"Green", "neutral," and "small carbon footprint" are no longer simply cool catch phrases to have on product packaging. These days, more and more consumers demand these attributes from the brands and products they purchase. However, consumers often find it hard to tell if their purchasing decisions are truly beneficial for the environment, as these very same terms can be vague and misleading. Fortunately, many brands and manufacturers in the pet market are responding to a consumer cry for transparency on these issues and taking steps to reduce the carbon footprints of their products, from ingredient sourcing right down to the packaging. One organization that is key to helping pet brands toward their sustainability goals is the Pet Sustainability Coalition (PSC). It is a nonprofit that helps brands work with other responsible partners along the value chain and gives consumers the assurance that their hard-earned money is supporting sustainable and fair practices. Tempo Flexible Packaging is among the companies that have earned accreditation from PSC, having done so in late 2023. "Getting the accreditation from PSC helps solidify what it means to take steps to create a better future … and how genuine we are about our vision to be the preferred partner for sustainable flexible packaging in North America," said Optimist & CEO Leonardo Giglio. To acquire the accreditation, Tempo completed an in-depth review of its business operations and passed a third-party verification audit, the company reported. To keep the accreditation moving forward, it is required to demonstrate year-over-year improvements on its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments and continue doing its part to create a better world for future generations of people and their pets.

Tempo's vision is to be the preferred partner of sustainable and socially responsible flexible packaging solutions in North America. As part of this vision, it is important to the company that it not only produces packaging designed for a circular economy, but that it ensures that its business and manufacturing practices contribute toward a better future. While the PSC accreditation is a formal recognition of the company's efforts, Tempo has been a pioneer in sustainable packaging design since 2015. That year, it received a PAC Global Sustainable Design Award for its first HarmonyPack—a recyclable pouch designed for a circular economy. "We knew we had to create a new path for Tempo and for flexible plastics because it was the right thing to do," said COO Lee-Anne Giglio. "We could not only add value to our clients and the end consumer, but also contribute to a better system and a better product for future generations." Today, the company's research and development team has developed HarmonyPack solutions for various categories, including all aspects of the pet industry. In addition to pursuing the PSC accreditation, the company has strategically expanded its production capabilities and manufacturing facilities over the last year. Tempo is already a vertically integrated, full-service supplier and the expanded space will house Tempo's customer service, pre-press, sales, marketing, and sustainability teams. This frees up valuable room for additional production space and enables new flexible packaging options such as extra-large, pinch-bottom pouches that can hold up to 30 pounds of product. Tempo is very fortunate to have built 54 years of exceptional partnerships within the pet industry and wants to offer brands support, knowledge, and, most importantly, transparency in the product life cycle and supply chain. The Pet Sustainability Coalition Accreditation not only gave the company that confidence and a standard to grow from—it also gave Tempo, and its industry partners, a powerful way to demonstrate that there is action behind the company's words.

Source: Pet Product News

The innovation revolution in pet food
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4+ MIN

The innovation revolution in pet food

By María Candelaria Carbajo

Business challenges Nowadays, one of the main challenges for producers and manufacturers is the availability of labor. We are not the only market dealing with this problem. However, it represents a significant obstacle for pet food manufacturers to achieve their goals of meeting the growing pet owners' demands. The need for trained workers and the responsibility to maintain safe manufacturing practices and work environments are today, in an increasingly demanding and demanding context, fundamental issues. But not all is lost! In contrast to this problem, we know that the industry is experiencing an increase in demand driven by the growth of pet ownership. This represents an important opportunity for manufacturers to take the opportunity to develop new products and offerings for those new to the market. Product innovation Meeting the changing needs and demands of pet owners is of great importance. Animal food manufacturers are constantly immersed in a process of product renewal to provide food that is in line with the values ​​and expectations of consumers. We have known that, for some time now, sustainability is one of the main factors owners have in mind when selecting food for their pets. Awareness, both personally and for their pets, regarding the ecological impact of the products they purchase is increasingly high, and that is why they look for alternatives in pet food that promote environmentally friendly practices, focusing on the reuse of plastics and the sustainability of the production chain. This reflects a mentality that is more friendly to the natural environment and more ecology-oriented. Additionally, consumers are paying more attention to the ingredients that contain the products they choose. Pet owners carefully scrutinize ingredient lists, seeking transparency and opting for natural, healthy ingredients that contribute to their beloved pet's well-being and health. The push for development Lately, research has ceased to be the only factor driving the development of new products, beginning to share its space with unique ingredients and human food trends. Nowadays, it is easy to predict that when we see a new product gain popularity on human plates, it will not take long to reach the pet food shelves. The biggest difference between these two markets is, without a doubt, their palatability. For instance, there have already been cases of companies that, following human trends, have sought to develop snacks or supplements for pets in the form of chewable candies, also known as 'gummies,' and they have not worked since they stuck to pets' teeth. We already know having the best product in the world is useless if no animal is willing to eat it. Customization in production Product customization has been increasingly creeping into our industry. At first, in a more superficial way, such as personalizing large feed bags with the pet's name or putting together product packs for a specific animal. As people seek increasingly personalized paths to well-being, we find new proposals such as specially formulated foods, personalized probiotics, and the use of precision-based production. Technology Using HPP to improve production As pet food manufacturers look to meet the demand for safe, clean, and nutrient-dense products, High Hydrostatic Pressure (HPP) technology is emerging as a viable solution. Its ability to achieve food safety goals, offer clean labels and produce pet foods with a similar profile to raw foods makes it a technology with immense potential in the future of the industry. The data suggests that HPP technology could find applications in products like kibble, freeze-dried foods, and wet foods. This technology appears to be a compelling alternative to traditional high-temperature methods. Its advantages, such as maintaining nutritional integrity and obtaining the "raw profile" preferred by pets, are increasingly attracting industry attention, not only from large companies but also from medium-sized ones, which are already showing significant growth in their plans to use this technology.   Technology for everyday life Technology is not only being used to improve production and the final product, but it is increasingly impacting the small actions and everyday objects of pets' routine, such as automatic feeders, smart toys, GPS collars, and physical activity trackers.   Innovation: a topic on everyone's agenda The industry's challenges in terms of innovation arise from the pet food-producing field and extend to all the ecosystems that make up the industry. If we use our intelligence, knowledge, and technology to our advantage, we will be able to find new and innovative alternatives to answer the demands of both food and supplements, considering the trends, needs, and owners' lifestyle changes. The companies at the forefront that can quickly identify the new underlying human needs and wishes with respect to their four-legged animals will be those that, this year, will be able to gain a prominent place in their market and sector.   Source: All Pet Food Magazine.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae as an alternative protein source in pet diets
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5+ MIN

Black Soldier Fly Larvae as an alternative protein source in pet diets

The use of insects as a protein source has gained considerable popularity in the pet and human food industries as the consumer agenda focuses more heavily on sustainability.3 Insects are commonly consumed as human food in many cultures around the globe.4-6 Of the insects most commonly being produced on a commercial scale, black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) have been given considerable attention, as they are cheap to raise and possess a unique nutritional composition.7,8 The utilization of BSFL as a sustainable protein source in feed for swine, poultry, and aquaculture has been studied extensively, and researchers are beginning to study BSFL in feed for companion animals as well.3,9,10 According to previous studies, the environmental impact of BSFL production is far less than that of conventional livestock production.11,12 Black soldier fly larvae have the unique ability to transform organic waste such as cow manure, sewage sludge, restaurant waste, and fish offal into valuable biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, however, the nutritional composition of BSFL will differ depending upon their diet.13,14 Recently, BSFL, as an alternative protein source in pet food, has been the subject of much investigation. Many studies have been done to evaluate the nutrient composition of BSFL, noting a high-quality composition of nutrients.15 Black soldier fly larvae are considered a complete protein for humans, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids.21 In addition, BSFL has one of the highest amino-acid scores compared to conventional protein sources such as fish meal.16,17On average, BSFL contains approximately 400 grams of crude protein per kilogram of dry matter (DM) and 300 grams of crude fat per kilogram of DM.9,18 A recent study showed similar results when comparing BSFL (36.5% inclusion) and venison as the primary protein source in extruded dog kibble.15 In dogs, acceptability of dry kibble containing BSFL is good, with dogs accepting foods containing up to 20% inclusion rate of BSFL; however, acceptability is lower in cats, with acceptance up to 5% inclusion.19,20 When evaluating the sustainability, nutrient composition, digestibility, and acceptability of protein products to use in pet food, BSFL is comparable to conventional meat products. While adequate studies have shown that BSFL is an acceptable alternative protein source in pet diets, more studies to evaluate processing, digestibility, and palatability would be beneficial.17 By: Ada-Miette Thomas
Source: BSM Partners References American Pet Products Association. (n.d.). Industry trends and stats. APPA. https://www.americanpetproducts.org/research-insights/industry-trends-and-stats Sutton, A., Costa, N.D. 2023. The role of black soldier fly larval protein and fat in companion-animal nutrition: challenges and opportunities from an industry perspective. Animal production science. Wang, Y. S., Shelomi, M. 2017. Review of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) as animal feed and human food. Foods. 6(10):91. Paul, A., Frederich, M., Megido, R. C., Alabi, T., Malik, P., Uyttenbroeck, R., et al. 2017. Insect fatty acids: A comparison of lipids from three Orthopterans and Tenebrio molitor L. larvae. J. Asia-Pacific Entomology. 20(2):337-340. Paul, A., Frederich, M., Uyttenbroeck, R., Hatt, S., Malik, P., Lebecque, S., et al. 2016. Grasshoppers as a food source? A review. Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement, 20(AgricultureIsLife). Paul, A., Frederich, M., Uyttenbroeck, R., Malik, P., Filocco, S., Richel, A., et al. 2016. Nutritional composition and rearing potential of the meadow grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus Zetterstedt). J. Asia-Pacific Entomology. 19(4):1111-1116. Star, L., Arsiwalla, T., Molist, F., Leushuis, R., Dalim, M., Paul, A. 2020. Gradual provision of live black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae to older laying hens: Effect on production performance, egg quality, feather condition and behavior. Anim. 10(2): 216. Schmitt, E., Belghit, I., Johansen, J., Leushuis, R., Lock, E. J., Melsen, D., et al. 2019. Growth and safety assessment of feed streams for black soldier fly larvae: A case study with aquaculture sludge. Anim. 9(4):189. Barragan-Fonseca, K.B., Dicke, M., van Loon, J.J. 2017. Nutritional value of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens L.) and its suitability as animal feed– A review. J. Insects Food Feed. 3(2):105-120. Makkar, H. P., Tran, G., Heuzé, V., Ankers, P. 2014. State-of-the-art on use of insects as animal feed. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 197:1-33. Smetana, S., Schmitt, E., Mathys, A. 2019. Sustainable use of Hermetia illucens insect biomass for feed and food: Attributional and consequential life cycle assessment. Res. Conserv. Recylcing. 144:285-296. Gligorescu, A., Fischer, C.H., Larsen, P.F., Nørgaard, J.V., Heckman, L.H.L. 2020. Production and optimization of Hermetia illucens (L.) larvae reared on food waste and utilized as feed ingredient. Sustain. 12(23):9864. Van Huis, A., Van Itterbeeck, J., Klunder, H., Mertens, E., Halloran, A., Muir, G., Vantomme, P. 2013. Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security (No. 171). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Tomberlin, J.K., Cammack, J.A. 2017. Black soldier fly: Biology and mass production. Insects as food and feed: from production to consumption. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, the Bosch, G., Zhang, S., Oonincx, D. G., & Hendriks, W.H. 2014. Protein quality of insects as potential ingredients for dog and cat foods. J. Nutr. Sci. 3(e29):231-246. Penazzi, L., Schiavone, A., Russo, N., Nery, J., Valle, E., Madrid, J., et al. 2021. In vivo and in vitro digestibility of an extruded complete dog food containing black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae meal as protein source. Front. Vet. Sci. 8:653411. Loho, L., Lo, D., Romulo, A. 2023. Amino acid analysis and physiological properties of protein concentrate made from Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Hermetia illucens). In IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science. 1200(1):012028.  Bosch, G., Swanson, K.S. 2021. Effect of using insects as feed on animals: Pet dogs and cats. J. Insect Food Feed. 7(5):795-805. Abd El-Wahab, A., Meyer, L., Kölln, M., Chuppava, B., Wilke, V., Visscher, C., Kamphues, J. 2021. Insect larvae meal (Hermetia illucens) as a sustainable protein source of canine food and its impacts on nutrient digestibility and fecal quality. Anim.11(9):2525. Yamka, R.M., Koutsos, E.A. and McComb, A., 2019. Evaluation of black soldier fly larvae as a protein and fat source in pet foods. Petfood Forum, Kansas City, MI, USA, pp. 8-9. Paßlack, N., & Zentek, J. (2018). Akzeptanz, Verträglichkeit und scheinbare Nährstoffverdaulichkeit von Alleinfuttermitteln auf Basis von Hermetia-illucens-Larvenmehl bei Katzen [Acceptance, tolerance and apparent nutrient digestibility of complete diets based on larvae meal of Hermetia illucens in cats]. Tierarztliche Praxis. Ausgabe K, Kleintiere/Heimtiere, 46(4), 213–221. https://doi.org/10.15654/TPK-180372 Miron, L., Montevecchi, G., Bruggeman, G., Macavei, L. I., Maistrello, L., Antonelli, A., & Thomas, M. (2023). Functional properties and essential amino acid composition of proteins extracted from black soldier fly larvae reared on canteen leftovers. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies, 103407.