Aurélie de Ratuld, PhD
Diana Pet Food
Aurélie de Ratuld will speak on lifecycle assessment and eco-design of pet food products on Thursday, September 23 at 3:10-4:15 p.m. during the “Sustainability in pet food” concurrent sessions. Register here
Why are sustainable pet food products critical to the industry's growth?
With an increasing pet and human population, feeding everyone everywhere on the planet will be challenging, especially with a pet parent population demanding high-quality standards for pet food. In addition, global warming may introduce uncertainty in resource availability and force the need for better food chain wastes management. Moreover, the sanitary crisis we have recently experienced – creating difficulties for the industry to get ingredients from other countries and animal based material shortage – showed that it is time to source differently.
How can manufacturers move beyond sustainable ingredients to a fully sustainable value chain?
We have to make it logically simple: being close to raw materials and close to the markets to avoid transportation, push side streams valorization, turn when possible to vegetal originating raw materials and ingredients. All of this without forgetting cats’ and dogs’ nutritional needs and sensorial preferences.
What is the #1 initiative a pet food manufacturer can take now to begin developing a sustainable process?
Sustainability is often linked to efficiency. Focusing first on energy efficiency is important and can help to avoid a lot of direct GHGs emissions or water usage when scarcity occurs! Efficiency programs can be held in every manufacturing site and benefit from global programs to enrich each other: Zero Waste, Waste valorization, and green energy, for instance.
What is your next vacation plan now that we're coming out of lockdowns?
As usual, I plan to sail with my family on the south coast of Brittany in France. We also fish for our food and when we are lucky, enjoy lobsters, crabs, mackerels or sea bass! No fossil energy, only local food, just what we need.
Sustainability roundup: Lifecycle assessment and eco-design of pet food products – Aurélie De Ratuld, Ph.D., CSR director for Diana Petfood, introduces a new approach for developing sustainable pet food products that takes into account their environmental performance through tools such as the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Eco-Design Matrix. Pet food manufacturers wishing to address sustainability must now consider their products in the whole value chain, from the extraction of raw materials through to processing, transportation, usage and up to end-of-life of the packaging. LCA identifies the environmental critical points of a product, while the Eco-Design Matrix assesses and improves the environmental performances of palatants focusing on sourcing.
Aurélie De Ratuld has a Ph.D. in biotechnology applied to aroma. With seven years experience as flavorist and biotechnologist, De Ratuld joined Diana Pet Food in 2001 to work on innovation projects for both cats and dogs palatability. She then led the R&D team in charge of developing palatable solutions for wet pet food and treats for five years. Since 2010, she has been managing the Diana Pet Food R&D cat platform, focusing on basic research projects dedicated to cat food palatability understanding and improvement through both molecular and holistic approaches of palatability. She was recently promoted as the CSR Director of Diana Pet Food to drive the sustainability policy within the worldwide business.