January 13, 2016


As the pet food market has expanded and matured globally, the role of proteins in pet foods and pet food palatants are changing.

Proteins and Palatants

AFB supports customers with changing needs. That’s why we formulate palatants with various protein sources. Our solutions allow flexibility in meeting palatability performance targets for products manufactured around the world. Our goal is to boost palatability, period. For example, if a customer is using a combination of proteins like chicken, pork and salmon all in one pet food formula, there are many options. AFB might supply a non-meat palatant or a palatant to complement one or each of these individual proteins that will enhance overall palatability of the finished product.

Pet Food Protein Sources

Protein sources are wide-ranging and those used most frequently vary around the world, often following source trends in human consumption. For example, pork protein may be more readily available and easy to source in one region, while chicken protein is more readily accessible in another. Ready supply may have an impact on the protein selected in formulation.

In recent years, proteins have evolved to serve not only nutritional needs, but also formulation needs. These can include various claims like “no by-product” or “chicken and rice.” The need to support pet foods using unique proteins like duck, turkey, lamb, kangaroo and even alligator with palatants is rising as well. Non-meat protein sources also serve an important purpose, whether to support palatant inventory management for multiple diets or flexibility in global supply.

Pet food trends toward higher meat inclusion and higher-grade meat products are increasingly at odds with the trends toward ingredient sustainability. AFB International research suggests these clashing trends will continue to gain attention in 2016 as the pet food and human food markets increasingly compete for human food grade products. This has generated interest in new protein sources for further research such as insect protein.

Labeling and Shipping

Pet parents are paying more attention to labels, including ingredient lists and guaranteed analysis (GA). For these customers, protein is a hot topic. They may look for meat first on the labeled ingredients, a high percentage of protein in the GA—or both. Palatants are designed to meet performance with this in mind.

Animal proteins and palatants containing animal proteins are subject to time, temperature and other regulations that vary from country to country. One country’s protein source may be restricted for import/export either temporarily or long-term. To ensure customers have what they need when they need it, AFB tracks changes in regulations around the globe to understand needed protein substitutions that maintain a flexible supply chain while meeting performance targets.

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