Adapted from a press release.
Bond Pet Foods has shipped its first two metric tons of an animal protein created through fermentation to Hill’s Pet Nutrition, which will begin to formulate test products using the innovative, more sustainable ingredient for regulatory review and market evaluation.
Separately, the companies announced a second joint development agreement to create an additional animal protein for potential use in Hill’s products. The collaboration between Bond and Hill’s, announced in late 2021, aims to develop a source of more sustainable animal protein to fulfill the dietary needs of dogs and cats.
The two metric tons produced by Bond represents a major milestone toward commercializing its fermentation technology for pet food applications. The scale of the delivery will allow Hill’s to formulate a variety of products at its Pet Nutrition Center in Topeka, Kansas, for evaluation. That data will be used for the ingredient’s eventual review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, as well as to prepare prototypes for market evaluation.
"We are excited to continue our relationship with Bond and support their truly novel approach to produce animal proteins in a more sustainable way that meets our high-quality standards," said Dave Baloga, executive vice president, Science & Technology for Hill's Pet Nutrition.
Established technology applied to pet food applications
Rich Kelleman, founder and CEO of Bond Pet Foods, said producing tons of product at the 45,000-liter scale is a major milestone in the Bond-Hill’s collaboration. “Additionally, Hill’s commitment to expand on our work together demonstrates the opportunity we collectively see in Bond’s ingredients for their and the pet industry’s food future," he said.
According to Bond, its precision fermentation platform is safe and established – building off a process that has been around for more than half a century to make everything from enzymes (rennet) for cheese manufacture to vitamin B12.
The process has been carefully reimagined to more efficiently produce proteins like chicken, turkey and beef for pet food applications, without the need to raise and process farm animals.
The company noted that in the U.S. alone, 74 million dogs and 56 million cats in households currently consume large amounts of animal-based protein. As a result, as noted in a 2017 study published in the scientific journal PLOS One, pets account for up to 30% of the carbon dioxide emissions associated with domestic meat consumption. This represents both CO2 and additional greenhouse gas emission from animal production.
According to Petfood Industry's Top Pet Food Companies, Hill's Pet Nutrition sells more than 300 products, principally through authorized pet supply retailers and veterinarians in more than 80 countries worldwide.
Bond Pet Foods is a Boulder, Colorado-based company using biotechnology to create meat proteins that are nutritionally comparable to their conventional counterparts. Using some of the same processes that are employed in craft brewing, Bond produces high-quality animal proteins through fermentation, harvests them to meet the nutritional requirements of companion animals, and supplies the ingredients to manufacturers for pet food, treat and supplement applications.