Emerging Pet Food Nutrition Trends

Petfood Forum Europe presented Emerging Pet Food Nutrition Trends, a virtual seminar held June 2-4 during Interzoo Digital.

This free seminar, consisted of three sessions of 30-40 minutes, providing new research on evolving protein sources for pet food. At the end of each session, attendees had an exclusive opportunity to ask the expert their own questions, to better understand how to apply the research to their own company’s business model.

View the presentation decks and on-demand session recordings here.

Emerging Pet Food Nutrition Trends was sponsored by Extru-Tech Inc., Reading Bakery Systems and Schenck Process.

Topics and speakers:

Wednesday, June 2, 10:00 CET
Black soldier fly larvae proteins as functional pet food ingredients — Aman Paul, Ph.D., director-product development, Protix.

Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL)-derived ingredients are gaining popularity as sustainable and nutritious pet food ingredients. These ingredients contain bioactive peptides with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and hypoallergenic properties; bioactive lipids with antimicrobial and brain health improvement potential; and chitin, which also has anti-inflammatory properties. Osteoarthritis (OA) accounts for one of the major problems in old dogs and cats worldwide, and initiation factors are associated to trauma, obesity and aging (inflammation-related conditions). Symptoms of this pathology include inflammation of joints, severe pain, stiffness and discomfort. Due to anti-inflammatory potential, BSFL protein derivatives may provide a solution to prevent or suppress osteoarthritis in pets. To explore this possibility, for the first time, Paul and his colleagues evaluated the anti-arthritic potential of BSFL protein derivatives using the in vitro cell models of red blood cell membrane stability, nitric oxide inhibition and reactive oxygen species inhibition. Additionally, content of glucosamine, which is used in the treatment of OA as a supplement, was also analyzed for the different samples.

Thursday, June 3, 10:00 CET
Corn fermentation protein: Novel grain-based, high-concentration, functional protein source — Peter Williams, Ph.D., professor and senior nutritionist for Green Plains

There is a need to find alternative proteins to replace feed protein sources that are imported and associated with deforestation in the developing world. Corn fermentation protein (CFP) produced by mechanical means is a novel, high-concentration (54%) protein product, suitable for use in companion animal, livestock and aquaculture feed formulation. This product is a derivative of the corn dry-grind ethanol industry, and unlike traditional ethanol co-product feed products, which have a reputation for being inconsistent in nutritional composition, CFP has a coefficient of variation of less than 6% in proximate nutrient composition from different batches of the product from the same plant or between plants operating the same technology. The functional characteristics of the protein are derived from the spent yeast components that represent 25% of total dry matter. The yeast cell wall materials composed of mannans and β-glucans are reported to act as immune stimulants in a wide range of species. CFP has been evaluated in livestock and aquaculture nutrition trials demonstrating its use as an alternative protein to replace soy-based concentrates and alternative corn grain-based protein concentrates with positive and significant benefits in performance. CFP is currently being used in formulations in feed for dogs, and Williams will present results on the impact on feed intake and stool consistency.

Friday, June 4, 10:00 CET
Consumer trends and expectations: Vegan and other alternative pet foods — Andrew Knight, Ph.D., professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics, and founding director of the University of Winchester Centre for Animal Welfare.

Global trends such as population growth, increasing competition for protein sources, environmental degradation and farmed animal welfare concerns are all driving plant-based pet food development. However, lack of evidence of nutritional sufficiency is inhibiting their uptake, interfering with the ability of some consumers to adopt pet foods more aligned with their values and the ability of the pet food sector to fully realize the potential of this emerging market, while also reducing its environmental footprint. To date, no systematic study has been published examining the prevalence of steps taken to ensure the nutritional soundness and quality of pet foods, and whether plant-based diets have lower standards in these respects. Knight’s team surveyed pet food manufacturers producing 19 meat-based and 10 vegan, almost vegan or vegetarian pet foods. Their findings indicated acceptable or superior standards at nearly all stages examined, and also the need for companies and regulators to implement a comprehensive range of best practices and communication models to reassure consumers about the nutritional soundness of products.