Free-to-download publication identifies the three big threats to pet food safety and product quality, and spotlights how technologies new to the pet food industry can counteract these
TOMRA Food has published an eBook to help pet food processors and ingredients suppliers counteract the threats posed by aflatoxin, foreign materials, and cross-contamination. The six-page publication explains how many businesses could be doing more to ensure their production standards, protect their customers’ reputations, and safeguard their customers’ beloved pets.
The new eBook starts by asking: “Are you 100% sure the pet food you’re producing is safe?” This is a topical question just months after global news stories reported that more than one hundred dogs in the U.S.A. had died after consuming a well-known brand of pet food contaminated with the naturally-occurring poison aflatoxin. Soon after this, routine sample-testing for aflatoxin in dog foods led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to instruct 18 pet food brands to recall their products. And as the eBook warns, “If safety failings can happen on this scale in the world’s most sophisticated consumer market, they can happen in any nation where pet food is produced.”
The three big threats to pet food safety and quality are widely prevalent. Potentially lethal aflatoxins can originate in fungus in plants such as corn, peanuts and tree nuts that are used as pet food ingredients. Foreign materials can too easily get into the product stream during the rendering of by-products and the preparation of other pet food ingredients. And dry kibbles can easily become cross-contaminated when processors switch, as some frequently do, from one product batch to the next.
In addition to the need to ensure food safety, flawless product quality is also imperative. The eBook spotlights how global demand for high-quality pet food increases as pet owners in developing nations begin to earn more disposable income and shoppers in developed nations drive the premiumization of pet food containing near-human-grade ingredients. This is an opportunity for pet food producers because premium products command premium prices.
The eBook explains that new technologies are making these market demands easier to meet. This is because TOMRA Food recently introduced advanced optical sorting solutions to the pet food industry and the renderers of by-products from animal ingredients. This has been made possible by recalibrating machines previously designed and developed to ensure the purity of foods for human consumption - machines capable not only of detecting-and-ejecting materials from product streams according to their color, size, and shape, but also according to their structure and biological characteristics.