Thai Union Group PCL has a literal bone to pick that will stand to benefit household pets, especially those experiencing calcium deficiency.
New product made from tuna bones
Its subsidiary, Thai Union Ingredients (TUI), ushered in 2021 by introducing a new product called UniQTMBone made from the bones of tuna. Crushed into an off-white powder, UniQTMBONE promises to deliver a range of nutrients for bone health when used as supplements in capsule and tablet forms, added to different kinds of human food or used as an additive for pet food and pet nutrition. TUI guarantees that UniQTMBONE can be incorporated in products without affecting the sensory characteristics because the fine powdered tuna bones have neither a strong taste nor smell. They also vouch for its efficacy as marine fish bone, they say, is a form of calcium that is readily absorbed by the body.
“As an ingredient, UniQTMBONE can play a role in ensuring that consumers receive their recommended daily dose of calcium as it contains calcium and phosphorus in a ratio of 2:1 in its natural hydroxyapatite form — the same structure that is also present in human bones and teeth, as well as, typically, 17% naturally occurring collagen,” the company said.
Dogs require a good balance of phosphorus and calcium in their daily diets. Calcium supplements require veterinary supervision because too much calcium can also lead to other health issues.
Tuna bone supplies not an issue
Supply of tuna bones is not a problem for Thai Union as it is one of the world's leading seafood producers and one of the largest producers of shelf-stable tuna products with annual sales exceeding THB126.3 billion (US$4.1 billion). UniQTMBONE is produced at the Group's newly opened fish bone powder facility in Songkla Province south of Thailand.
Taking advantage of the often-discarded fish bones brings Thai Union closer to its goal of using every part of the fish to minimize, if not totally eliminate, wastage. Every year, the world wastes at least 110 billion pounds of seafood, according to a study published in Global Environmental Change in 2015. TUI plans to launch other innovative products like UniQTMBONE in the near future.