Dogs, cats and other pet food manufacturers can meet pets’ nutritional

requirements, while still delivering a plant-based food to consumers, but ithas to be properly formulated.

Three factors can stand in the way of acceptance of plant-based proteins aspet food ingredients, said Kate Guan, business development specialist forKerry Animal Performance Solutions , during a Petfood Industry webinarorganized and sponsored by her company.

“They are sensory, nutrition and cost,” she said.

Dog and cat owners won’t sacrifice taste and texture for their pets whenconverting to plant-based products. If the plant protein flavor has an off-note, or the texture doesn’t taste like animal protein, a pet may refuse it.Characteristic off-flavors from plant-proteins in pet food include bitternessand astringency.

The second potential cause of failure for plant-based pet foods is nutritionalquality.

“Most plant proteins are imbalanced in essential amino acids, and have a lowerprotein digestibility,” she said. “It is critical to combine different plantprotein resources to improve protein quality.

Cost is the third concern.

“If you compare the plant protein products side by side and with an animalprotein today, the plant protein has a higher price in general,” she said. “Wealso need to continue to deliver innovative technologies that will enable usproduce and process plant proteins, then offer them at the right price point.”

Nutrition and plant-based pet food formulation

Of these three challenges, one webinar participant presented a solution to oneof them. Dogs, cats and other pet food manufacturers can meet pets’nutritional requirements, while still delivering a plant-based food toconsumers, but it has to be properly formulated, Ruben Santana, global pet R&Ddirector for Kerry said.

Two cases arise for plant-based pet food proteins, he said. They can be usedin a 100% veggie, plant-based pet food. Or the veggie ingredients can be usedin a product with meat, often as the first ingredient.

“In both cases, plant-based analogues can fulfill these desires of themarket,” he said.

Source:Tim Wall Petfood

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