Novel pet food ingredients 2020: whisky, wood, possum, TCM

From algae grown on pot ale, a co-product of the Scottish whisky industry, to torula yeast grown on wood product left-overs, a range of potential novel ingredients emerged in 2020, despite the pandemic. To the contrary, the pandemic increased pet owner awareness of health issues, and that focus expanded to pet foods, treats and supplements made with phytonutrient-rich plants and functional ingredients.

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(courtesy ProVet)
(courtesy ProVet)

In 2020, pet food makers and marketers learned about these 10 novel pet food ingredients in Petfood Industry. From algae grown on pot ale, a co-product of the Scottish whisky industry, to torula yeast grown on wood product left-overs, a range of potential novel ingredients emerged in 2020, despite the pandemic. To the contrary, the pandemic increased pet owner awareness of health issues, and that focus expanded to pet foods, treats and supplements made with phytonutrient-rich plants and functional ingredients. In Hong Kong, a 123-year-old traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) company introduced pet supplements made with plants and fungi found in TCM, such as longan fruits, shiitake and lingzhi mushrooms and cordyceps fungi. However, the pandemic disrupted shipping of some novel pet food ingredients. In the Himalayas, Nepali farmers turn milk from yaks (domesticated wild ox) into churpi dog chews, but months-long lockdowns dramatically reduced production while the lack of international flights to send their premium dog chews abroad.

1. Australia bushfires stop the kangaroo culling for pet food

ALMA BUELVA - JANUARY 10, 2020

Australia’s culling of kangaroos, some of which went into pet food, has been stopped in some state due to the bushfires.

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2. Scotch whisky co-product feeds algae for pet food omega-3

TIM WALL - FEBRUARY 11, 2020

Leftovers from Scotch whisky distillation got another shot as nourishment for algae that scientists processed into a pet food ingredient.

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3. COVID pandemic hits Nepal's churpi dog chew industry

ALMA BUELVA - JULY 30, 2020

Shipping issues paramount as demand continues but costs increase.

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4. Safe history helps novel protein from wood-eating yeast

TIM WALL - SEPTEMBER 2, 2020

Wood-eating torula have several things going for them as a sustainable, novel protein source. Wood is abundant, renewable and doesn’t compete with human food crops.

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5. South Korea develops new pet food from local plants

ALMA BUELVA -UGUST 3, 2020

Scientists have recently formulated a dog food using kiwifruit and the leaves of loquat trees as the primary ingredients.

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6. Possums in New Zealand: from pests to pet food

ALMA BUELVA - NOVEMBER 16, 2020

This novel protein has potential as a sustainable option in pet food and treats.

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7. Insects accepted, but best unseen in U.S. pet food

TIM WALL - NOVEMBER 17, 2020

U.S. residents stated they were more willing to try feeding their pets a product made with insect flour than dried whole insects.

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8. Traditional Chinese medicine pet brand thrives in pandemic

TIM WALL - DECEMBER 4, 2020

In August, Wai Yuen Tong introduced herbal supplements for pets under the brand ProVet.

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9. Ancient grains: pet food lessons industry missed or ignored

RYAN YAMKA - DECEMBER 15, 2020

At a time when the pet food industry and consumers have been plagued with recalls and the canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) scare, you would think that manufacturers would want to do everything in their power to gain back consumer trust.

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10. Lamb kidney may be palatable sub for liver in cat food

TIM WALL - DECEMBER 28, 2020

While liver was the most palatable raw ingredient in the test, the scientists pointed out limitations to the ingredients' use.

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