Pet treat trends, formulation: Petfood R&D Showcase 2018

At Petfood R&D Showcase, attendees will learn about how human trends are shaping pet treat formulations.

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(Sheila F |
(Sheila F |

Fitness advocate Jack LaLanne gave this advice for identifying healthy food, “If it tastes good spit it out.” Try explaining that to a cat. Healthy pet treats need to be palatable and nutritious. Many new human snacks, from veggie chips to protein-rich energy bars, now try to blend nutritiousness with deliciousness, and likewise people want healthy, yet tasty, snacks for their dogs, cats and other pets.

At Petfood R&D Showcase, attendees will learn about how human trends are shaping pet treat formulations. Hands-on sessions will also teach attendees how to make those treats using novel and conventional ingredients. Petfood R&D Showcase will occur October 9 to 11, 2018 at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. 

Register for Petfood R&D Showcase

Palatability and preference of treats, toppers and inclusions

Kadri Koppel, Ph.D., assistant professor at Kansas State University, will provide an overview of sensory analysis and consumer behavior research methods that are useful in pet foods and treats analysis. She will focus on treats and toppers evaluation and research on preference evaluation techniques conducted so far at Kansas State University.

What human food trends mean for pet treats and toppers

As human food goes, so goes pet food — and vice versa, according to Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight, Mintel. Dornblaser will explore what pet treat and topper developers and producers can learn from the human food industry, including health and wellness trends, in addition to indulgence.

Extruded toppers and inclusions

Extru-Tech and The Peterson Company will focus on how to extrude toppers and inclusions. The two companies will team up to discuss and demonstrate the basic criteria for producing an extrusion, retort and oven stable inclusion and discover how to improve pet acceptance with properly developed toppers.

Topping formulation palatability

Tree Top Ingredients will explore Topping formulation palatability in a hands-on workshop on the characteristics and endless possibilities of formulating with fruit, vegetables, ancient grains and plant-based proteins by creating your own kibble topping. They will also explore convenient, shelf-stable packaging.

Development of a gluten-free, sorghum-based, rotary-molded baked dog treat

United Sorghum Checkoff, in collaboration with the Pet Food Program at Kansas State University, will demonstrate how to make a gluten-free, sorghum-based, rotary-molded baked dog treat. The team will explore the addition of animal-based proteins like egg white, gelatin and plasma as replacements for gluten to produce a high-value product for the pet market. Participants will be able to explore the mixing qualities, dough formation, die release and breaking strength up-close and personal using pilot-scale baking equipment similar to what is found in full-scale production settings.

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