PET Food Processing - June 2020 - 22

SAFETY

Left: Pet Food
Solutions purchases
chicken fat and
refines it before
supplying to pet food
manufacturers, which
requires a keen eye for
food safety and quality
on both sides of the
supply chain.
Pet Food Solutions

Right: Manufacturers
typically require
a Certificate of
Analysis in addition
to conducting their
own assessments and
validation measures,
which vary from
company to
company and even
from product
to product.
D&D Ingredient Distributors

22

conduct or commission audits of their suppliers to ensure processing and handling procedures meet their own
specifications. Of course, these certifications, audits and
company-specific practices used to validate pet food ingredient safety all boil down to one thing: testing.

Testing, testing...

In-house and third-party tests are used by both manufacturers and suppliers to analyze ingredients for composition,
pathogens and defects.
"We test all our products for impurities, including dioxins and PCBs because those are considered risks in our
drying process," Molenaar said. "We test every batch of our
product that's going out to customers ourselves and provide
COAs for those depending on the customer requirements."
Pet Food Solutions leverages its extensive testing experience to ensure its ingredients are of the highest quality.
"We are very particular about the raw materials we start
with and have intensive protocols in place to ensure our
quality from the start," Grantham said.
"An initial review of a new ingredient generally includes
receipt of a sample of material and a specification sheet,"
he explained. "The ingredient sample is then lab tested at
a third-party lab for those items listed on the specification
sheet and other values that are of interest to our company.
If an ingredient passes this inspection, supplier certification
forms are required to be submitted."
Wet chemistry lab testing is the most common way to
validate ingredients. It includes the "full gamut of laboratory techniques to determine the elements and chemical
compounds in an ingredient sample and their exact proportions," Wright said.
"Wet chemistry is the original type of analytical chemistry consisting of time-consuming lab techniques, but
it's now even more accurate and faster with modern
equipment, chemical reagents and computerized databases," Wright explained.
Petcurean utilizes near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, a
rapid testing method used to measure nutritional value,

such as fat and protein levels, as well as moisture content.
The use of digital microscopy is another quick way to
validate ingredients visually for crystalline and other structural characteristics. This allows operators to compare new
ingredient samples with images of ingredients that have
already been characterized to meet a company's standard.
"Some materials may look the same to the naked eye,
have the same bulk density, and even have the same nitrogen content (which is a marker for protein)," Wright explained. "Yet, one may be a legitimate ingredient and the
other may be a 'foreign material' or even an 'economically
motivated adulterant' - that is, a very similar-looking but
potentially harmful material incorporated to lower the cost
of the ingredient."

Setting the record straight

Keeping careful records and trending ingredient data over
time is a common practice to ensure continued compliance. This is often done through digital databases and
"scorecards" that allow manufacturers to track quality and
food safety specifications from shipment to shipment.
At Petsource, each incoming ingredient has its own
set of testing and validation procedures, Moore said, and
results are uploaded to a supplier management software.
"The software creates a real-time scorecard showing
completed and overdue items for each supplier and ingredient in our supply chain," Moore said. "Data from assessments, audits, incidents, recalls, and incoming testing and
receiving are automatically collated and incorporated in a
configurable report, which triggers follow-up actions."
Petcurean maintains scorecards for its suppliers based
on COA data, other documentation and testing results.
This allows the manufacturer to keep tabs on compliance
over periods of time and even discontinue a partnership
with a supplier if an ingredient's performance continuously
falls short of its standards.
"Even after receiving ingredients, manufacturers
have safety checks in place throughout the manufacturing process to ensure the ingredients are safe, including

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PET Food Processing - June 2020

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http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_03_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_12_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_10_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_09_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_03_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_12_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_09_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_03_01
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