Anton Beynen, PhD, head of research and development for Vobra Special Petfoods, will examine, from the standpoint of scientific data, how carnivorous dogs are. The trend among dog owners today is toward "natural" or "back to nature" nutrition for dogs, which is perceived as being heavy on meat with low or no amounts of grain. Does this perception match up with the nutrients that, research shows, dogs need and thrive on? Dr. Beynen will present relevant data and studies on whether dogs should be fed as carnivores or omnivores.
Vobra Special Petfoods is based in Veghel, Netherlands. Beynen is also a professor of animal nutrition at Rajamangala University of Technology in Thailand and King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.
Marcel Blok, owner and founder of Change Stranamics, will explain structured product development (SPD), a practical way to not only develop your products but also link them to your company's strategy and the market in which it operates. He will highlight the many benefits of SPD, including that it severely limits the chances of error, provides focus (and therefore speeds up the development process), makes you look at opportunities differently, is creative and fun and provides clear yardsticks for success and planning for return on investment.
Blok has nearly 30 years of experience in the pet industry in senior marketing positions, including as the founder and first president of Iams Europe, interim managing director for a food processing company in the Netherlands and as consultant to top US and European industry leaders as well as family-owned companies. He founded Change Stranamics in 1995 to act as a strategic advisor to players in the global pet industry and help them find and stay on the road to a sustainable future. Blok has a degree from the Rotterdam Business School.
Isabelle Guiller, global research and innovation director for SPF, will share recent research and data on how cats' feeding preferences change over time and are influenced by a lifetime of feeding experiences. Specific to cats, the data show a correlation between dietary past and feeding preference orientation and that the effect of exposure degree on preferences could be positive, negative or neutral, depending on product characteristics.
In her role with the Pet Food Division of Diana Group, Guiller supervises palatability science research and manages partnerships with external research centers worldwide. She holds a master's degree in food science and technology. Previously, Guiller worked at INRA institute (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France) before joining the SPF team in 1989.
Wouter Hendriks, PhD, professor of animal nutrition at Wageningen University, will share new research on how processing affects nutritional benefits and features of both wet and dry petfoods. He will discuss various aspects of the Maillard reaction (a chemical reaction that can impact flavor), digestibility measurements and other nutritional factors that are subject to change or influence by common processing methods.
Hendriks completed his doctorate in monogastric nutritional physiology at Massey University in New Zealand, then served as a research officer in the Department of Animal Science there. In 2000, he became head of the Department of Animal Nutrition & Physiology at the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health of the university. In 2005, Hendriks moved to Wageningen University in the Netherlands, his alma mater for his undergraduate degree in animal nutrition; he is now chair of that department. He also chairs the animal nutrition group at the Faculty of Veterinary Science of Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
Will Henry, director of technology and research and development for Extru-Tech Inc., will discuss recent innovations within process management and equipment design for typical extruded petfood production, focusing on preconditioning, extrusion, drying and batch coating. Using real-world applications and internally targeted production trials, he will explain the merits of proper management and design, as well as the consequences of not addressing these key manufacturing considerations.
In his role at Extru-Tech, Henry addresses petfood manufacturers and audiences around the globe about extrusion, processing and food safety systems. He joined Extru-Tech in 2006 after serving as senior project engineer with Bachelor Controls. Henry holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Kansas State University and is certified in HACCP, BSL-2 and as an SQF practitioner.
Hans Schieven, founder and owner of Uniqair, will share insights on new odor regulations worldwide on the horizon and how petfood manufacturers can prepare to comply. He will also explain how to solve odor emission challenges to prevent the need for long-term odor problem-solving and plant relocation, the most effective odor control technologies for petfood plants and the differences between volatile organic compounds control systems and regular odor emission systems.
Schieven invented cold plasma injection technology and started Aerox in 1994. Cold plasma systems have since been classified as BACT (Best Available Control Technology) by authorities, first in Europe. In 2004, Schieven sold his shares of Aerox to the Verder Group and started Uniqair Technologies Ltd. in Canada to develop a new generation of high frequency plasma injection systems. He has presented information about odor emissions and control with cold plasma oxidation to hundreds of companies and to regulators and associations in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Pushan Tagore, director of pet nutrition services for GfK Animal Health, will showcase various influencers (stakeholders) and the relevance of their recommendation and advice within different retail environments to petfood consumers. Whom do consumers trust most when making their decisions to purchase petfoods, and how important are recommendations from veterinarians, pet store owners or social media? Do such recommendations influence purchasing decisions?
Tagore studied international management at Oxford Brookes University in the UK and has more than 10 years' experience in consumer research. His career started with the Nielsen Co. and includes five years in a regional market research role with Hill's Pet Nutrition. In his current role with GfK, he is responsible globally for all petfood syndicated retail tracking and consumer research.
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