PET Food Processing - September 2020 - 23

INGREDIENTS

EXPLORING ALTERNATIVE

PROTEINS
Alligator, insects and lab-cultured proteins are just a few of
many sustainable meat alternatives finding a place in pet food.
By Donna Berry | petfoodprocessing@sosland.com

F

Farm-raised animals and staple crops have long been
the go-to sources of protein for pet food formulators.
Chicken, beef, lamb, salmon and even turkey, as well as
legumes, pulses and soybeans are familiar ingredients
and tolerated by most pets. However, some cats and
dogs have allergies and sensitivities, requiring special
diets and often alternative sources of quality protein.
There are other reasons pet owners may seek out foods
that include alternative proteins, including environmental platforms and personal preferences.
These non-conventional proteins may come from other
animal species, as long as they are approved for use, as
well as plants. They may even be microbial and produced
through fermentation. Navigating the growing number of
options can be exhausting, yet essential. It is paramount
that scientists identify new sources of protein for the
growing population of both humans and pets.
"Recent interest in incorporating non-traditional
proteins into companion animal diets stems from factors related to trends such as pet humanization, functional nutrition and sustainability," said Elizabeth

Donald, vice president of research and development,
AFB International, St. Charles, Mo. "Once primarily observed in human-geared products and now emerging in
the pet arena, consumers demonstrate elevated awareness of and interest in food label complexity, origin and
nutritive value. As such, pet food manufacturers now
increasingly strive to simplify labels and include ingredients perceived as simpler, cleaner and more sustainable, offering specialized nutritional support. To enable
incorporation from the taste and acceptance standpoint,
there is ongoing research to understand and maximize
the palatability of non-traditional protein sources.
"Beyond nutrition and consumer perception, alternative proteins can support efforts to reduce dependency
on traditional proteins," Donald continued. "Typically
used animal-origin protein sources are often susceptible
to supply disruption threats to product and manufacturing facilities and personnel, such as the spread of disease
and incidences of natural disaster. As such, the future
state of leveraging alternate protein sources in part or
as total replacement could prove a significant supply

Bond Pet Foods'
treat bars for dogs
are designed for
easy portion control
and feature novel dry
yeast protein.
Bond Pet Foods

www.petfoodprocessing.net | September 2020 | PET FOOD PROCESSING

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PET Food Processing - September 2020

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