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Around 1860, American businessman James Spratt made dog biscuits by mixing vegetables, flour, beetroot, and meat. His novel idea came after he noticed dogs eating leftover biscuits from ships in England. Following the commercial success in Britain, he started production in America, and it didn’t take long before others developed their own baked pet food formulas. But the need for more palatability led to experiments beyond the oven. In 1956, extruded dry pet food production made its splash on the market.

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Stories about Dry pet food

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Dry pet food production is not all about extrusion

About 95% of dry pet food production uses the extrusion technique. Pet food manufacturers choose this process not only for its convenience and low cost but also for its flexibility and efficiency.

The extrusion method gives you better control of processing parameters such as pasteurization and density. At the same time, however, the high temperature and pressure used in extrusion reduce the overall nutrient content. Consequently, this pet food type requires further coating with oil, vitamins, and other additives.

Baking retains higher nutritional values of ingredients

The versatility of extrusion allows you to make a range of pet foods, including kibbles, treats, snacks, and semi-moist foods. But you can use alternative methods such as baking, air-drying, freeze-drying, cold pressing, and cold extrusion. However, most of these methods are expensive compared with extrusion and are rarely applied. But baking is trying to find its way into the market.

Baking involves a milder process for nutrients, similar to baking human food. The lower temperatures and longer residence time help preserve tastes and nutritional values better than extrusion. However, the process takes about 10 times longer, making it a more expensive production option.

Alternative protein in dry pet food production

Producers and customers are increasingly turning to sustainable products, and the pet food sector is no stranger to this change. Manufacturers are adapting their methods to align with the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).

One method of achieving SDGs is replacing fishmeal and soybean meal protein with black soldier fly protein. Insects have always been part of the animal food chain. Insect proteins present an alternative to integrating dry pet food production into the circular economy.

Processing steps involved in dry-pet-food making

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