Historically, protein products have contained high levels of ash, due to the nature of the animal by-product raw materials used, according to Ashley Burdock, Commercial Manager at SARVAL, a UK-based supplier of protein ingredients to the pet food market. SARVAL provides the option of lower ash levels within its protein products.

The residual ash levels are derived from animal bones and contain essential minerals such as calcium and phosphorous. Although a safe ingredient, ash has minimal nutritional benefit. As such, pet food manufacturers are now looking for supplies to provide alternative protein sources with lower ash levels.

“From the trends that we see, low ash products will continue to increase in popularity,” said Burdock in a press release. “As well as a healthy diet, low ash products ensure a premium end pet food.”

SARVAL reports that is has invested in recent months to implement technologies and production processes intended to minimise the ratio of ash to nutritionally-high protein.

SARVAL pet food ingredient plants in UK

At the company’s Nottingham site, which is currently under development, two new production lines will be installed to solely process poultry products. The new site will comprise two high-capacity rotary disk dryers, along with a twin stream press module and an additional grinding and sieving system. In total, the process will be capable of processing over 3,000 tonnes of poultry every week. The new lines are due to come on stream in September 2017.

SARVAL operates four pet food plants in the UK. Its Nottingham and Widnes sites produce dried poultry materials, while Doncaster specialises in chilled and frozen products. The Hartshill plant produces a range of dried mixed mammalian products, as well as animal fats for a variety of markets.