Antioxidants can be categorized as technological or physiological. Technological antioxidants are crucial in petfood preservation and product shelf life. The second, physiological antioxidants, are free-radical scavengers that protect cells against structural damage induced by free radicals which mainly attack cell membranes, protein structures and nucleic acids. Both are integral to any functional petfood formula.
In normal conditions, the balance between physiological antioxidants (vitamin E, vitamin C and glutathione, for example) and free radicals ensures effective cell protection. Increased production of free radicals (e.g., the ageing process, exercise, stress, disease, etc.) demands a supply of increasingly efficient antioxidants for our longer-living companion animals. Continuously improved nutrition in pet diets and fine-tuned veterinary medicine are raising the life expectancy of companion animals. An emphasis on the impact of nutrition on cell ageing is increasing due to this growing life expectancy for pets. The supplementation of petfood with natural antioxidants is a rising trend.
The newest breakthrough in natural shelf-life stability through the use of technological antioxidants from Kemin, for example, is the Verdilox line of products. These unique antioxidant combinations provide the ability for petfood manufacturers and ingredient suppliers to stabilize a wide range of petfood products and ingredients, according to the company. “Natural” has continued to be one of the top marketing claims for new petfood product introductions. This broad growth in natural antioxidants usage has created opportunities for innovation beyond mixed-tocopherols, says Kemin. The Verdilox line includes a unique blend of botanical-sourced antioxidants, improved chelation, vertical integration, improved sustainability and enhanced performance, according to company research.
Synox 3D from Vit2be is a carefully balanced blend of standardized GMO-free, hydrosoluble and liposoluble plant extract, in their nature-identical form (Rosmarinus sp., Vitis sp., Curcuma sp., Citrus sp. and Eugenia sp.), that the company claims is the first clinically proven functional aroma for petfoods. Rich in antioxidants carnosic acid, proanthocyanidins, curcuminoÃ¯ds, naringin and eugenol, the original formula is the result of a three-year intensive screening process including 134 titrated plant extracts. A randomized clinical trial on 16 healthy adult beagles split up in two parallel groups, each receiving, for a period of four weeks and in stress-free conditions, a high PUFA maintenance diet, demonstrated the benefits of Synox 3D on the initiation, prolongation and termination phases of the free radical cascade, says Vit2be. At the end of the trial, the reduced/oxidized glutathione ratio in supplemented dogs was five times higher as compared to the control group.
Synox 3D trims down the energy of free radicals and delays the progression of oxidation, concludes the company's research. Initiation of oxidation is postponed, without impacting bioavailability of either vitamin E or vitamin A. In a repeated double bowl trial, the first choice, related to the olfactory attractiveness of the food, was largely predominant and in favor of the Synox 3D formula, as well.
The production of ProTain liquid antioxidants at Perstorp’s production site in Waspik, The Netherlands has now been certified, according to food grade regulations. The largest part of liquid antioxidants is used to increase the shelf life of petfood for dogs and cats, says the company. With their increased quality awareness, customers in the petfood industry often require a product which is food-grade qualified. To meet this growing demand, Perstorp constructed a new, fully dedicated production line for liquid antioxidant products. According to the company, ProTain liquid antioxidants are feed additives that give key benefits like highly efficient protection against oxidation, prolonged shelf life, preventing loss of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, preserved pigment quality and maintained product palatability.
Preserv-8 from Trouw Nutrition USA is a new technology that combines a synergistic blend of ingredients to protect petfoods from microbial degradation. This liquid product can be applied in the mixer during manufacturing and remains stable through extrusion. Preserv-8 combines butter acid, leaf aldehyde and pelargonic acid to protect petfoods from microbial degradation.
Vitiva has also introduced a new rosemary-based formulation, Substar, an all-natural, oil-soluble oxidation management system. “The need for increased biodiesel production, and constant higher demand for edible oils and fats, has led to reduced source availability for natural tocopherols in the market,” says Ohad Cohen, CEO of Vitiva. “The result is constant increased prices of tocopherols over the last few years, thus higher prices of final products, so manufacturers are seeking to replace tocopherols with a cost-effective natural oxidation solution." Unlike traditional rosemary extracts that have high essential oil content, strong odor, bitterness and undesirable color capacity, Substar is all-natural, highly deodorized, and has reduced bitterness and flavor, plus it has a light color and is highly heat stable, says Vitiva. Substar is specifically designed to be applied at its full potential to multiple sensitive applications and products, such as edible fats and oils, fish oils, vegetable omega oils, petfood and feed. Substar does not need to be combined with any additional ingredients for total effectiveness.