Thanks to the advancements in the field of pet food extrusion, consumers around the world are becoming far more specific with what they want. Over the past many years, terms like natural and organic have been increasingly common among pet food buyers.
However, pet food producers are also expanding the scope of their operations and have excessively ventured into the realm of high-meat pet food.
What is high-meat pet food?
We define high-meat pet food as any kind of pet food that comprises more than 30% of fresh meat content. This is more or less a combination of vegetable protein and low-end animal protein along with regular meat.
Ever since the buzzword has emerged, more and more pet food products are now relying on meat content at some level. The overarching trend has emerged from the fact that consumers now have an increasing desire for greater digestibility.
However, the need for high-quality pet food also comes with a set of challenges:
Raw ingredients are difficult to work with. The regular moisture and fat in the raw animal food ingredients make it very difficult for the extruder barrel to achieve the right cooking temperature. This is largely because of the fact that the ingredients tend to counteract friction.
Besides, there is a lot of variation between the different raw animal ingredients. This makes consistent processing very hard. This is why pet food producers also need to seek help from inspection programs to consider the high-variance ingredients.
The need for higher throughput rates
Besides, the high-meat pet food also needs two screw extruders instead of single screws. The two screws have a significant advantage over the latter and result in improved kneading and mixing capabilities. The higher need for high-meat products has also led to an increase in the need for higher throughput rates while sticking to the same footprints and machine sizes.
At the same time, some high meat levels also require reduced throughput rates compared to dry food; therefore, the extruder manufacturers are now required to develop extruding methods that guarantee higher overall throughput rates without compromising the physical consistency of the food.
CFAM Technologies (Pty) Ltd is a pioneer of advanced extruder processing technology. We offer a wide range of extrusion equipment, including turnkey extrusion plants and tin screw extruders. You can read more about our extruder-related products and services here.