Dehydrated meat-containing foods have become popular in the pet food aisle in the last few years. They seem to be positioned counter-opposite to conventional extruded pet foods and as an alternative to raw foods for the nutrition-conscious or very high-involvement pet owners. To produce these foods and treats there are two basic approaches—one involves heat and the other cold. The heat-based technology includes spray-drying, drum-drying, solar-drying and convection-drying and will be covered in future articles. The cold process is lyophilization (a.k.a. freeze-drying) and has been around since the 1940s.
Freeze-dried meat and pet food
There are a couple of approaches in which freeze-dried meats are included in pet foods.