Since first introduced in the mid to late 1970s, meat based dry extruded pet foods have been limited in how much meat they could include (typically 15-30%) because of processing and quality limitations. In attempts to exceed 30% meat, manufacturers were hampered by production equipment unable to handle higher meat levels. They experienced increased density due to reduced expansion, which made drying more difficult. They also experienced reduced kibble durability, resulting in significant fines.
OptiSol 9000 significantly reduces these difficulties. After more than 40 production test runs on Wenger extruders at the Wenger Extrusion Technical Center in Sabetha, Kansas, the OptiSol 9000 ingredient in concert with optimized formulas, equipment and process controls, repeatedly allowed for 50% and more meat in extruded recipes with significant benefits over existing technology.
In palatability comparisons of dog foods, products made with OptiSol 9000 and consumed by dogs were preferred 7:1 to the leading super premium brand. In breakage and kibble durability testing, products made with OptiSol 9000 produced less than 1% fines. In digestibility testing with cats, the product made with OptiSol 9000 showed 82.7% Dry Matter digestibility 88.3% Crude Protein digestibility, 91.2% Fat digestibility and 88.3% ME digestibility. Cat stool testing resulted in over 95% normal stools.
Numerous recipe variables were tested including type of meat (chicken, lamb, bison, salmon, whitefish), starches (tapioca, pea protein starch, potato starch, ground peas starch) and grains (corn, wheat, rice, and combinations of each). In every recipe tested, OptiSol 9000 enabled higher levels of fresh meat while maintaining kibble durability.
There are several reasons why increasing fresh meat to levels of 50% or more of dry ingredients is important to the food industry. Meat is perceived by consumers as better, safer and of higher quality, likely because they are familiar with meat themselves, but not with grain or animal meals. Meat is easy to understand, whereas consumers may perceive meals as containing unlisted additives like melamine and preservatives. Fresh meat has more functionality, which means it contributes to expansion and binding in the extrusion and baking process as compared to rendered meals. Fresh meat makes it possible to have a “single source protein” formulation in conjunction with meals of the same species. Finally, raw meat diets are new possible without the safety concerns from bacterial contamination from lack of refrigeration (unneeded with baked kibble).
Glanbia Nutritionals, a division of Glanbia plc, is an innovator in the expert delivery of science-led ingredients and customized solutions for a broad range of industries. These include fortified foods and beverages, performance nutrition, weight management, health & wellness, and animal nutrition.
For more information about Glanbia Nutritionals and its ingredients, visit www.glanbianutritionals.com.