RENDERED PRODUCTS IN PET FOOD Greg Aldrich, Ph.D. President, Pet Food and Ingredient Technology, Inc. Summary Globally, in 2005, pet food and products were a $53 billion industry—and the market is growing. In the United States, dog and cat food sales alone account for $14.5 billion with exports of nearly $1 billion. The global total for pet food and supplies for all pet animals is now approaching $40 billion annually. These rising sales are driven, in part, by increasing ownership of pets with more than 140 million dogs and cats and an estimated 200 million specialty pets, such as fish, pocket pets, and exotic animals. It is also moved by the trend that more people consider their pets as members of the family as demonstrated by everything from birthday and holiday celebrations, family photos, health insurance, burial plots, and preparation of special meals. Pet foods are now more than ever considered packaged goods that are co-mingled with other family food items. The top five pet food companies, over 65 percent of the market, are owned by household names like Mars, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, and Del Monte. Traditional retail outlets such as grocery and farm/feed stores have lost some market share to big-box mass market stores, warehouse clubs, and pet specialty stores, but grocery stores remain the largest outlet. Pet food choices have become almost limitless with options for different price points, life-stage, shapes and sizes, package type, ingredient preferences, breed, size, and disease condition. Pet foods are also becoming more “humanized” and tracking human food trends. Nutrition research is showing that companion animals have some unique dietary requirements, e.g., arginine in the dog and cat, the aminosulfone taurine, and pre-formed vitamin A for the cat. Emerging nutritional benefits from omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids, dietary fiber, mineral balance, and how meat proteins and fats are connected to optimal nutrition are actively under investigation. Rendered protein meals such as meat and bone meal, poultry by-product meal, and fish meal are almost universally used in pet foods. Generally, they provide high quality protein with a good balance of amino acids. Nutrient availability and (or) dietary utilization can be hampered by excessive heat treatment, dilution of essential amino acids with connective tissue, high levels of ash, and oxidation. Rendered fats and oils like tallow, lard, poultry fat, and fish oil provide a supplementary source of energy, flavor, texture, and nutrients in pet foods. Balancing for essential and conditionally essential fatty acids has become a key driver for selection of specific fats in the diet. Application and oxidation issues are the most common challenges faced in their use. Much of the information for pet food ingredients has been gleaned from livestock and human nutrition research. There is a fundamental need to develop these databases specifically for pets in order to address their unique nutritional idiosyncrasies and to support this growing and
Essential Rendering—Pet Nutrition—Aldrich
continually segmenting industry. Raw, fresh, human edible, and alternative protein sources are competing to supply the protein and fat needs in pet foods. Opportunities for various rendered ingredients especially those that are able to retain their species identity and maintain control over processing conditions while retaining nutrient quality, will be welcome. The Pet and Pet Food Industry Size, Growth, and Demographics Globally, pet food and pet care product sales were nearly $53 billion in 2005 (Kvamme, 2006). In the United States, pet food sales totaled $14.4 billion in 2005 with 54 percent from dog and 32 percent from cat foods (Euromonitor, 2005) with an annual expected growth of three to four percent. Exports were just over $900 million in 2005 (U.S. Bureau of the Census Trade Data, 2006). Pets live in 70 percent of American homes, with 15 percent of those...
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