On October 3, 2012
The promise of science for petfood
New research and technologies offer tantalizing glimpses of possible breakthroughs in pet nutrition and sustainability
I confess, I don’t have a strong background in science, but I definitely have immense appreciation and respect for scientific research and breakthroughs, along with the people behind them. So I can’t help but be blown away by some cutting-edge science that’s starting to enter the world of petfood.For example, an article by Dr. George Burdock provides an overview of nanotechnology and explains the promises—and caveats—for petfood (p. XX). “Nanotechnology is more than the science of small things; it is nearly as profound as the discovery of another previously unknown universe simultaneously inhabiting the same time and space that we do,” he writes. How can you not be excited by that and its potential application for the way we feed ourselves and our pets?Dr. Burdock stresses there is still much that scientists—not to mention regulators—don’t know about nanoparticle-size substances; no petfood company will be able to use claims like “nano-powered” on its packaging any time soon. But the promise is difficult to ignore.In a separate message, Dr. Burdock added these comments: “Nanoparticles are not totally new. They are present naturally in our environment as volcanic dust and ash, smoke from forest fires, clay, viruses and biogenic magnetite (the iron particles in the brains of birds that act as a compass and help them migrate).”The comments resonated because of a presentation I heard recently at a companion animal summit on sustainability organized by Trouw Nutrition USA. The opening speaker, Dennis DiPietre, PhD, an economist and owner of KnowledgeVentures, delivered a very ...