Ray Matulka, Ph.D.
Director of Toxicology
The Burdock Group
Safety and technology roundup: Mitigating the risks of unconventional and novel protein ingredients to ensure safe pet food — Ray Matulka, Ph.D., director of toxicology, Burdock Group, discusses the different aspects of a new protein-based pet food ingredient to decrease the risk of potential noncompliance or safety concerns when incorporated into the diets of pets. Consumers are looking for a wider variety of environmentally sustainable, better-for-you meat-alternative ingredients to promote a healthier lifestyle, not only for themselves but also for their pets. The food industry is looking at a variety of new protein sources that may substitute for some, if not all, of the typical animal-based proteins in a pet’s diet. However, any new ingredient needs to first be evaluated for safety and concluded as safe under the conditions of intended use for regulatory and manufacturing compliance. The discussion emphasizes the development of new protein sources, potential risks and methods to decrease potential concerns.
Matulka is the director of toxicology at Burdock Group, a food safety consulting firm headquartered in Orlando, Florida. Matulka has more than a decade of experience in the analysis of toxicity data and conducting safety and risk assessments. Previous areas of work include a variety of different food and feed ingredients, including evaluating the safety of microalgae as ingredients in human food, to unique plant extracts as ingredients added to animal feed. Matulka earned a doctorate in toxicology from the Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia and has post-doctoral experience at both the Boston University School of Medicine and the University of North Carolina. Matulka is currently the chair of the Institute of Food Technology’s (IFT) Toxicology and Safety Evaluation Division (TASED).