Freeze-dried or air-dried raw-meat pet food belonged to the most popular new products at Global Pet Expo 2022. Producers take humidity of by transforming ice into steam by sublimation. Therefore, consumers face less storage issues using the freeze-dried meats. Furthermore, it can be used organ meat also, that would have been thrown to waste otherwise improving pet industry‘s sustainability.
Morasch Meats uses the amenities of freeze-dried food for about 20 years now. Its daughter company Northwest Naturals produces pet food out of bison liver. The new freeze-dried products presented at Global Pet Expo are made out of protein like turmeric and New Zealand green mussels.
Enhanced digestion and dental health are just some oft he benefits that lead to the popularity of raw pet food among pet owners. Manufacturers often use high-pressure processing inactivating microorganisms and food-spoling enzymes making a safe product.
Although, producers of raw pet food try to eliminate any causative organisms, consumers need to exercise care regarding the storage. The products must be kept frozen and be carefully used avoiding greasing surfaces with raw meat. All these issues are eliminated by freeze-dried pet food.
“Freeze-drying removes moisture by converting ice directly to vapor by sublimation rather than transitioning through a liquid phase,” wrote Greg Aldrich, pet food program coordinator at Kansas State University, in his Petfood Industry column. “Even though some heat is used during freeze-drying, the temperatures do not exceed more than a few degrees over freezing.”
Susequent to that, pet food producers add the freeze-dried ingredient, meat or plant, to the formula. Producers use these ingredients in all different ways. Some only add one freeze-dried protein in pet food or treats, others offer pet food fully made out of freeze-dried ingredients, which need to be moistened before feeding.
“The add-water category has grown dramatically,” Zach Franke, key accounts manager for Grandma Lucy’s, told Petfood Industry.
„The company introduced its Three Bears freeze-dried dog food at Global Pet Expo“, he said. In that product grains were added to the Three Bears dog foods supporting the dogs‘ bodies to make taurine.
“Some people prefer to go the dehydrated route,” he said. “I believe the freeze-dried route is a better option in many ways. If you freeze dry a product, you’re not heating it up too much. You’re not going to break down all the vitamins and minerals that are inside of it. The way that we freeze dry, it’s going to rehydrate a lot faster than dehydrated food… The other thing with some dehydrated foods is that, if you don’t allow enough time for it to rehydrate, it can continue to expand a little bit inside the stomach. So, if you feed too fast, then that’s not really good for the dog. You don’t have quite the same problem with freeze-dried.”
Some of the brands showcased freeze-dried or air-dried products at Global Pet Expo are: West Paw, Natural Pet Foods, Pure Bites, Catit and Carna4.
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