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Adventures in Pet Food

Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry, shares her insights and opinions on all things pet food, addressing market trends as well as news and developments in pet nutrition, food safety and other hot topics for the industry.

Will 2013 be another bad year for mycotoxins in petfood?

With the news last week that a scientist is studying Salmonella in space and, more importantly, gleaning important insights from the study, we can hope that this pathogen might become easier to control in petfood plants and everywhere else it shows up. (Because, after all, it's in the environment nearly everywhere.) That might help decrease the number of petfood recalls related to Salmonella each year.
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New petfoods and treats abound at Global Pet Expo

Innovation is often in the eye of the beholder. What one person or company might see as innovative (or at least label "innovative" in marketing materials), another might see as just a continuation or expansion of an ongoing trend or category. Such has been the case with innovation in petfood for a few years now. The new petfoods and treats on display at Global Pet Expo last week might have changed that a little -- depending, again, on your perspective.
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Petfood ingredient purchasing strategies in a volatile market

If you are responsible for procuring and purchasing commodity ingredients for your company's petfoods -- or you formulate with such ingredients -- you probably are already aware that 2013 is shaping up to be another challenging year. (The same is true for meat ingredients, since that meat often comes from animals that eat commodity grains.) But do you know where specific challenges lie and how to prevent or handle them?
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Surveys confirm that pet owners need pet nutrition education

Surveys conducted by the pet care website petMD.com show that many pet owners are confused about pet nutrition, petfood labels and ingredients and, more importantly, their own pets' nutrition needs. While the overall results may not surprise anyone in our industry, some of the individual survey findings might provide beneficial insights on how to address the problem.
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Learn how commodity grain prices are trending for 2013

At the start of trading today (January 9) on the Chicago Board of Trade, a bushel of corn was going for US$6.88, while wheat was at US$7.52 a bushel and soybeans, US$13.85 a bushel, according to Agriculture.com. While these prices have moderated somewhat from last fall's all-time highs, they still present challenges for the food industry and for petfood producers looking to obtain the ingredients they need at prices their budgets can accommodate.
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Purrs and growls for petfood in 2012, opportunities for 2013

I know, at this time of year, everyone does one of these blog posts or columns trying to sum up the year for an industry or assign accolades and criticisms to entities within the industry. But as cliché as they may be, people tend to read such posts or columns, so I'll jump on the bandwagon and issue my "purrs and growls" for the petfood industry for 2012 and look ahead to opportunities for the coming year.
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