The challenges of sourcing novel functional petfood ingredients
Nutritionists must partner with suppliers, manufacturers for innovative success
As a result of increased nutritional awareness and consumer demand for more nutritious foods made with better ingredients, we have seen in the past 25 years the emergence of the superior quality petfood segment. These novel foods are based on the inclusion of primarily natural and functional ingredients. Many of these are biologically active, meaning that they provide some health benefit beyond basic nutrition, the overarching goal of which is to help pets live longer and healthier lives and thereby increase the happiness and wellbeing of their pet parents.
Although petfood formulation is based on science, the successful inclusion of novel ingredients is an art and has usually been the result of partnerships among nutritionists, scientists and specialty ingredients suppliers. Innovation occurs when a scientific concept, a social or commercial vision, artistic creativity and technical know-how meet.
For petfood nutritionists, the pleasure and passion is to develop new ideas with the goal of improving our furry companions' health and lives. New concepts come in two different ways: 1) through ideas on how to improve our pets' health, and 2) from novel ingredients introduced through suppliers and manufacturers.
The first way causes nutritionists to search constantly through the market and researchers to find novel ingredients that could achieve the target goals…