PET Food Processing - June 2018 - 53
of research equipment and the expertise required for research and production," says Frank Ballard, CEO, Ballard
Manufacturing, Springville, Utah. "A brand can focus on
marketing and sales and let the highly specialized comanufacturer focus on product quality and production."
Standard versus ideal
Pet food today is well-balanced in that the essential nutritional requirements are established for pets,
Johnathan Stockman, Ph.D., head of Clinical Nutrition
Services at Colorado State University says, "...where we
still need to improve is in finding the ideal level for each
nutrient in each pet." New alternative protein sources
from crickets, beans, fungi and bacterial sources are
receiving attention. Stockman says, "The challenge we
have is that we need to assess the safety of a new protein
and figure out how to make sure all the necessary amino
acids are bioavailable for pets that consume it."
New ingredients, efficacious supplementation and
new processing will continue to change in the future.
Understanding the overall diet will improve as well.
Stockman suggests long-term, well-controlled, feeding
trials using new technologies will likely make it possible
to assess the impact of the change in a diet. These would
include "food-omics" a research technique allowing an extremely large number of nutrition-related measurements
to be taken over a short period of time. In this instance, he
believes it may take the form of a microbiome assessment
in the gut and fecal matter that could reveal how feeding
various diets impact the canine metabolism differently.
As the science and technologies used in formulation
and producing food for both humans and pet foods continue to become more advanced, the resulting outcome
will be reflected in what is consumed and why. Many of
these changes will come under scrutiny and pet owners
will ultimately choose what specialty diet, functional
food or treat is best for their pet.
As a consultant to the pet food and treat industry, author
Deena Krestel-Rickert, Ph.D., works with clients on ingredient introductions, palatability opportunities, brand development and pet food innovations.
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