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Quest for Antioxidant Innovation Meeting the Need for Change


By Jim Mann, Kemin Industries


Understanding the Market Over the last decade pet foods have increasingly come to look more like human foods, not only in design, but also in composition. There has been a proliferation of ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, as well as the marketing of functional benefits, like low-fat diets, that give pet food a more human food attribute. Much of this is driven by the urbanization of society and transformation in the social role of pets. Pets have become valued members of the family and people are willing to spend extraordinary amounts of time and money on them. Euromonitor International has consistently noted that pet humanization and premiumization of products will continue to drive the global pet food market. One specific growth area in both human foods and pet foods is demand for health and wellness product solutions. One specific aspect of this segment that has seen tremendous growth is organic or natural labeled products. The number of new pet products that were labeled as natural or organic more than tripled worldwide from 2004 to 2009 (Mintel, 2010). In addition, in North America natural has been the top pet food marketing claim for new product introductions every year from 2005 to 2011 (Packaged Facts, 2012). Much of this change in demand for natural products is driven by consumer preference and the perception that natural products are healthier. The development of the natural market has been significantly


impacted, in part, by the use of natural antioxidants to provide shelf- life extension to pet foods and pet food ingredients. The use of natural antioxidants is pushed by several important consumer-driven factors, including the demand for healthier, more natural ingredients with cleaner product labels. In addition, there has been a public resurgence in health concerns over synthetic antioxidants, such as Tertiary butyl


hydroquinone (TBHQ), Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), Ethoxyquin (EQ) and Propyl Gallate (PG).


New Opportunities for Natural Antioxidants As the increased demand for natural consumer products continues, it is becoming increasingly evident that in order to meet this demand for natural antioxidants in both pet foods and human foods, shelf- life product solutions must go beyond the established standard of a natural mixed-tocopherol supply. Historically, the demand for natural antioxidants has been in developed countries but the recent growth of packaged foods in China and Southeast Asia has also contributed to the overall demand for antioxidants (Euromonitor, 2010). The rise in the demand for natural antioxidants has led to raw material supply challenges and escalating prices as a result of the supply and demand imbalance. Adding to this imbalance is the growth of the health and wellness


segment, which is also driving the utilization of novel ingredients in pet foods. Specifically the increased use of fish oils, fish meals, other marine ingredients, vegetable oils, novel grain and protein sources, and various fruit and vegetable products have contributed to this challenge. In many cases, these ingredients provide new stability challenges where traditional antioxidant solutions cannot sufficiently meet the expected shelf-life requirements. Whether it is the higher level of lipid unsaturation, the increased mineral content, or the enzymatic activity contributing to the challenge, it is clear that these ingredients will require new solutions to obtain the required ingredient and pet food diet stability.


Antioxidant Innovation Understanding how all these marketing, ingredient and formulation challenges interact has been a critical element in the development of a new innovative product line, VERDILOX™, for oxidation management that keeps up with the changing dynamics of the pet food industry. This unique product line goes beyond mixed-tocopherols to provide a blended antioxidant that provides enhanced performance, better supply sustainability, and a broader spectrum of efficacy. Countless, painstaking hours were spent by Kemin research and development scientists to use plant-based sciences to harness nature’s potential to develop new ingredient sources that complement the effectiveness of mixed-tocopherols.


Left: Kemin leads the world in the sustainable production of scientifically advanced rosemary


PAGE 18 PET FOOD SUPPLEMENT ISSUE 15


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