PET Food Processing - March 2018 - 41


Ingredient suppliers go to great efforts to ensure that the flavors
they offer appeal to the target animal's taste buds.
By Donna Berry |


Consumers love their pets just like human family members. It's no wonder many owners go to great efforts to
make sure pets enjoy their meals, treats and even nutritional supplements.
For many pets, it's the highlight of their day. Just the
sound of a can opener gets a hiding cat's attention while
opening the refrigerator wakes a sleeping dog.
"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," says Dale Spence, vice
president of marketing, AFB International, St. Charles,
Missouri. "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."
Abby Castillo, global product manager-palatants,
Kemin, Des Moines, Iowa, says, "For most pet owners,
the proof of quality and flavorful pet food products is in
watching our friends enjoy their food. When a new diet
is introduced to a pet and it stimulates active consumption, it's considered palatable, and therefore a success."

foods. Wet foods tend to naturally be more palatable due to
processing techniques and higher moisture content."
Not long ago, pet food palatants were referred to as
digests, a nod to their process and product. These ingredients are basically chemically or enzymatically hydrolyzed clean animal tissues that have not undergone
decomposition. Their intent is to provide the sensory
impact of meat, as if the pet were scavenging in the wild.
"Palatants have grown significantly more sophisticated since the days of digests," Spence says. "Today, pal-

The name of the flavor can influence the
purchasing behavior
of pet owners.
American Pet Nutrition

Formulating palatability
Many pet food and pet treat processors rely on palatants
so that the flavors they offer appeal to pets and stay fresh
throughout the product's shelf life. Palatants are ingredient systems designed to make pet foods, treats and supplements taste better in order to ensure that pets receive
the vital nutrients they need.
"Palatants entice a pet to consume the product, which
while nutritious, may be inconsistent with their native diet,"
Spence says. "Dry foods make more frequent use of palatants and use palatants at higher inclusion rates than wet | March 2018 | PET FOOD PROCESSING


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