PET Food Processing - March 2018 - 56
Des Moines, Iowa. "It's vital to partner with the proper
companies who can provide technical expertise, laboratory testing services, product application equipment and
The digestive systems of cats and dogs aren't identical, but they're similar in the way they process food
and absorb nutrients. There are some important differences, however, when it comes to specific nutrient requirements. "Dogs are very good at producing
some of their own necessary nutrients where cats
do not," says Frank Monteleone, president, FoodSafe
Technologies, Charlotte, North Carolina. "For instance, cats are obligate carnivores, and are very dependent on available animal proteins in their diets.
Unlike dogs, cats cannot convert amino acids into
taurine, so cats need taurine added to their diet. Cats
should not be fed dog food."
Also, dogs can make vitamin A by extracting betacarotene from other nutrients that are present, but cats
need vitamin A supplied in their diet. Another important difference is their requirement for protein. Ingmar
Middelbos, Ph.D., senior technical services manager, IsoNova Technologies, St. Louis, Missouri, says,
"Because cats continually break down protein at a high
rate, they require higher levels of total protein than dogs.
Cats also lack enzyme efficiency to generate arachidonic
acid, a long chain fatty acid that cats need in their diet,
but adult dogs don't."
Knowing what nutrients must be included for each
PET FOOD PROCESSING | March 2018 | www.petfoodprocessing.net
species is the place to start. Protecting nutrients through
processing and storage is the next hurdle.
"Some biologically critical nutrients are very stable and do
not require over-formulation to ensure targeted delivery
to the animal. Choline chloride would be one such nutrient. It has a lot of physiological benefits for pets. Unlike
many nutrients, Choline chloride is stable during cooking processes and does not interact with other nutrients,"
Altom explains. "Chelated or proteinated minerals are
highly bioavailable to the animal and can be beneficial
options in complete-and-balanced formulations because
they are sequestered from some of the degradative chemical reactions in a complex diet matrix such as oxidation."
In formulation and production trials, nutrient losses
over time are evaluated to make sure that, at the end of
shelf life, nutrients are available and the product is still
nutritionally balanced. "Vitamins are the biggest challenge. They are sensitive to both processing and shelf
life. Proteins and fats oxidize over time which can accelerate vitamin loss. Reducing pro-oxidative components
like ash and using inherently stable ingredients like egg
powder can help with shelf stability," Middelbos says.
Finding the right solution for each unique application
requires formulation and ingredient know-how, along with
processing knowledge to minimize nutrient losses, limit
known interactions, preserve product quality and stability and enable absorption once the product is consumed.
Manipulating molecules provides a few of the solutions.
"Organic trace minerals will survive the harsh con-