When operating as a pet food manufacturer, it can be challenging to strike the right balance between ingredients. After all, the needs of your target audience must come first at all times.
The supply chain must be as streamlined as possible because nobody wants to spend hours going from vendor to vendor to ensure that their raw materials come from approved sources.
Thanks to the expansion of the Internet, procuring raw materials has become much simpler. However, to meet your production goals and maintain brand standards for quality control, you should develop a plan for how you will source your animal protein. You can get more information from U.S. Soy.
Here are five ways you can provide protein for animal diets when manufacturing pet food:
1. Proteins from preserved food Sources
When formulating protein for animal nutrition, consider using preserved food sources. These food sources have been processed to extend their shelf life and increase portability. Examples of preserved food sources include soybean meal, corn gluten meal, dried peas, and dried corn.
While these food sources do not contain the same protein level as fresh ingredients, they are convenient and consistent, making them ideal for animal food manufacturers. Dried legumes, for example, are typically about 25% protein, and dried peas are about 33% protein. Because dried foods are already pre-processed and consistently manufactured, they are perfectly suited for the animal food manufacturer.
In addition to being an affordable source of protein, these ingredients also come with a long shelf life. This can be helpful for animal food manufacturers that operate on a tight schedule. If a shipment of fresh ingredients is delayed, food scientists can use preserved ingredients to ensure that the production line keeps running.
2. Fishmeal and ocean-based proteins
Fishmeal is a type of byproduct created from the processing of fish. It is a high-quality protein source that is rich in essential amino acids. Fishmeal is ideal for pet food manufacturers because of its high protein content, hypoallergenic properties, and low cost. It is also high in omega-3, minerals, vitamins, and omega-6 fatty acids.
You can use it as an ingredient in dry feed, or you can use it in canned pet food. Fishmeal can also preserve the omega-3 fatty acid content in corn and soybean meal. This can be helpful for pet food manufacturers that want to increase the omega-3 fatty acid content in their products.
Additionally, fishmeal is readily available, making it a perfect option for those sourcing animal protein. Proteins extracted from fishmeal can be used to formulate wet and semi-moist pet foods and dry dog and cat foods. Fishmeal is also a good choice for those formulating animal treat recipes, as it can provide extra fiber and nutrients.
Besides fishmeal, ocean-based proteins such as seafood meals and fish oils can typically be used in wet and semi-moist pet food formulas. Ocean-based proteins provide a rich source of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. You can also use ocean-based proteins to fortify your pet food with extra fiber. Because ocean-based proteins are expensive, pet food manufacturers typically use them to add flavor and texture rather than as a source of protein.
3. Dried beans and legumes
Dried beans and legumes are a great way to provide protein for animal diets. They are a complete protein source that contains all the essential amino acids. They are also rich in fiber and other important nutrients, such as iron, zinc, and folate.
These ingredients are inexpensive, consistent, and easy to use, making them a good choice for those who are formulating pet food. Dried beans and legumes are typically about 25% protein and can be used in a wide range of products, including canned, extruded, and extruded/dried formulas. Unlike some protein sources, dried beans and legumes do not need to be cooked before they are added to animal food formulas.
4. Wholesome, organic grains
Wholesome, organic grains are a great way to provide protein for animal diets. Many grains can be used as a protein source in pet food, including barley, sorghum, and oats. These grains are all high in protein, rich in fiber, and low in fat.
They also contain many vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and zinc. Most animal food manufacturers use a byproduct of the human food industry, such as whole-wheat flour, to add protein to their products.
When formulating animal food with these grains, you should note that they have a coarser texture than other grains, such as corn or wheat. Because these whole grains are unprocessed and contain bran, germ, and endosperm, they are considered organic. When adding organic grains to pet food, be sure that the product is USDA-certified organic. The certification ensures that the grains meet specific organic production requirements.
5. Meat byproducts from animal processing firms
Meat byproducts from animals such as pigs and chickens and excess protein from animal processing firms are good protein sources for pet food manufacturers. Meat byproducts are typically about 20-30% protein. Most pet food manufacturers use meat byproducts as an inexpensive source of protein in their products.
As with ocean-based proteins, these ingredients add flavor and texture to animal food formulas. While they can be used to add protein to commercial pet foods, they are not considered safe for human consumption. Meat byproducts are also high in fat and can have a distinctive odor.
When formulating animal food, you must consider the needs of your animals or target audience if you are manufacturing for commercial purposes. After all, every decision you make will affect your animals or customers daily. When sourcing animal protein, you should consider each of these options. They will help you provide protein for animal diets consistently, conveniently, and inexpensively.