Pet food manufacturers should consider yeast-derived postbiotics for their pet food, treat and supplement products, according to Sharon Norton, Ph.D., director of companion animal research and technical support at Diamond V, who delivered a Tech Talk at Petfood Forum 2021 on September 23 in Kansas City.
In highlighting Cargill-Diamond V’s postbiotic products TruMune and TruPet, Norton explained some of the benefits of postbiotics.
- Yeast culture-based products are AAFCO approved. “Yeast in foods is something consumers recognize as a wholesome and healthy nutritional input,” Norton said, and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has approved their use.
- Postbiotics offer excellent utility. When exposed to difficult conditions, such as extrusion, high pressure or retort, postbiotics still perform well. “I like to think of them as the Timex watch of ingredients: They can take a licking and keep on ticking,” Norton said.
- They are a multi-faceted ingredient. “Our postbiotic is a complex mixture created by growing Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast on a specific media, under stringent conditions with a resulting mixture that includes inanimate cell bits and pieces and a constellation of different bioactive components that collectively confer health benefits to the host,” she said.
- A growing and specific body of evidence. There are 80 years of evidence-based research and commercial application in dogs, as well as humans and several livestock species that show postbiotics contribute to immune health, digestive health and other relevant outcomes.
- Postbiotics support gut health. Use of postbiotics have been shown to have a positive effect on the microbiome and reduce fecal odor.
- Optimized immunity. Postbiotics help strengthen and balance the immune system and provide antioxidant support.
- Improved vitality. Dogs fed TruMune postbiotics were able to run faster and were more active versus their control counterparts when subjected to varying degrees of exercise stress.
- Highly palatable and preferred. Research shows dogs’ preference for supplements and food containing yeast culture postbiotics.
- Positive label optics. Use of postbiotics can give pet owners what they want without compromising safety, stability or palatability, “which is important when pet owners shop and choose products. They want to see wholesome, natural and simple ingredients that sound like something they would eat,” Norton said.
- Supports human-animal bond. “Data shows humanization continues to grow and drives premiumization and choice of products,” she said.