PET Food Processing - March 2018 - 46


Fresh, gently-cooked
refrigerated options
require a different flavor system from dry
food formulations.

plant proteins and Maillard technology to generate aromas and flavors that appeal to pets and are compatible
with all animal proteins.
"These palatants can provide sources of natural vegetarian flavor and flexibility for addressing ingredient restrictions and customer-label requirements," Castillo says.
Spence agrees that there's a trend toward vegetablebased palatants to support single protein, clean-label
pet foods. Vegetable-derived proteins come from many
sources, including corn, soy, potato and specialty grains,
he says.
Regardless of animal- or vegetable-based, palatant
performances range from economy to mid-level to premium. Their price points are reflective of their effectiveness in delivering desirable flavor to the food.

"There's a trend
toward vegetablebased palatants
to support single
protein, clean-label
pet foods."
Dale Spence, AFB International

"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," Spence says.
"Great results can be achieved by formulating with bestin-class palatants, particularly when the brand capitalizes on the positioning opportunity that comes with the
use of a premium palatant."
Something to keep in mind is palatants are not the
only contributor to flavor. Raw materials and flavor in-



gredients play an important
role in the sensory attributes
of the finished product.
And pets can be fickle.
"There is no universal 'best palatant,'
only the best one for
a given set of parameters,"
says Han Laumen, research
and development director at
AFB International. "Think of it
this way: In a restaurant, would you
say, 'send me your best dessert' if you know you love
fruit and are allergic to chocolate? The server would
need to know something about your tastes and situation
to select the best dessert for you."
"Choosing the best palatant for a customer's situation
is even more complex," he says. "To serve a customer
optimally, we want to get the best information available,
then perform a careful analysis to recommend options
that will work synergistically with the desired product
for a high-performance result."
Crucial to performance are factors like product formulation, ingredient quality and process capabilities.
And, what is the aroma the pet owner expects? If the
aroma does not meet the owner's expectations, or even
worse, the owner finds it offensive, it will likely not be
served to the pet.

Appealing to owner and pet
When it comes to specific taste profiles, there are common flavors that work well for each animal species, but
there are also preferred flavors. This is evident between
cats and dogs.
"While they both tend to like meats such as beef or
chicken, on an individual basis, their flavor preference
can be very different," says Mark Pieloch, president, Pet
Flavors Inc., Melbourne, Florida. "Cats have a tendency
to lean more toward saltier flavors such as those found
in fish. Dogs, on the other hand, prefer savory flavors,
like liver."
In specialty diet and supplement foods, this can be
very helpful. "The ingredients in supplements tend to
taste bitter or sour," Pieloch says. "These different flavorings can increase the palatability for both canines and
felines. This means that the animals are far more likely
to live healthier lives as they take the natural supplements that help them maintain proper nutrition."
Megan Trent, marketing representative, Gold Coast
Ingredients, Commerce, California, says, "The name of
the flavor can influence purchasing behavior of pet owners. For example, pet owners who want the best products for their animals are likely to compare a beef vs.

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