Petfood Essentials

Petfood Essentials reimagined into an online short course coming November 2020

Due to ongoing health and safety concerns over the global pandemic, Petfood Essentials is being transitioned into an online learning short course as Petfood Essentials CONNECT•ED. Registration will open September 2020.

This new short course, featuring six modules, offers learning on two of the most essential areas of dry pet food: production and safety. Starting with ingredient selection, then moving to dry kibble processing to packaging and stages in between, top industry experts will help you understand the key steps and functions of each stage of product development and production.

Petfood Essentials CONNECT•ED will feature six modules, which will be available on-demand:

1. Ingredient selection and sourcing
Speaker: Serge Boutet, agrologist and animal nutrition expert, SB Nutrinnov Consultants

  • Based on defined claims, functionality, production and regulatory parameters, which ingredients/ingredient categories are you targeting?
  • What is the available supply on an ongoing basis?
  • How do costs factor in?
  • What about considerations such as sustainability, local sourcing, animal welfare claims, etc.?
  • Which of your approved ingredient suppliers can fulfill the needs?
  • If you need to seek new suppliers, what are tips and questions to consider?

2. Batching, mixing, milling and grinding
Speaker: Charles Stark, Ph.D., associate professor of feed technology, Department of Grain Science and Industry, Kansas State University

  • What upstream processes are necessary to prepare ingredients/the mix before main production?
  • What types of equipment can perform these processes?
  • How might the processes impact your ingredient selection or formulation, or further production?
  • What are the cost considerations of these necessary steps?

3. Preconditioning and extrusion
Speaker: Brittany Benjamin, quality assurance, Octapharma Plasma; former product development/R&D technician, J.M. Smucker Co. and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition

  • Why use a preconditioner, and what are the most important preconditioning parameters, settings, etc.?
  • What are the main steps of the extrusion process, and what is the function of each?
  • What are the different types of extruders and preconditioners, and which is most appropriate for what kind of product, price point, etc.?
  • Where and when in the process can you make adjustments or changes to improve your final product?

4. Coating, drying and cooling
Speaker: Griffiths G. Atungulu, Ph.D., associate professor & agricultural/food engineer, Department of Food Science, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

  • What are the key purposes of each of these production steps?
  • What types of coatings might be applied to pet food or treats – what are functional benefits?
  • What types of equipment are used, and which is most appropriate for what kind of product, process, price point, etc.?
  • What are the key safety considerations of each step?
  • Are there new types of technologies or processes being studied?

5. Packaging
Speaker: William (Scott) Whiteside, Ph.D., Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences Department, Clemson University

  • What are the main types of packaging available for various products and the benefits/drawbacks of each?
  • What types of packaging equipment are available, and for which type of product/purpose?
  • What are the important considerations for functions like filling and seaming?
  • What role can/does sustainability play in the various packaging materials and types?

6. Quality, safety and testing
Speaker: Michele Sayles, Ph.D., executive director of food safety and quality, Diamond Pet Food

  • What are the main requirements for pet food producers under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Control Rules for Animal Feed?
  • What are best practices for quality and safety testing at various steps of the production process – for example, testing incoming raw materials, test and hold of finished products?
  • How can you ensure you’re meeting your critical control points as part of hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) and also following good manufacturing practices (cGMPs), as required under FSMA?
  • What are the main things to test for: contaminants (bio, toxins, metal, other), nutritional validity, guaranteed analysis, etc.?
  • How do third-party safety certifications fit in? Do those align with FSMA compliance? And what are key considerations for pet food producers contemplating pursuing such a certification?

Complete all six on-demand modules, including a brief quiz at the end of each, to receive a certificate of completion. Complete the full course to receive a discount coupon toward registration for Petfood Essentials 2021, April 26, at the Kansas City Convention Center.

Make plans to participate in this one-of-a-kind educational program this fall!