The humanization of pets by their owners in the previous years made them to be more concerned about the way they are feeding them.
The different kinds of pet foods
Pet food is the first way of feeding pets and consists of all the pre-packaged / processed industrial foods specifically designed to fulfill their nutritional needs.
Made out of multiple ingredient types (animals, vegetables, minerals, additives), pet food can take various formats and shapes:
- Dry pet food (kibbles),
- Wet pet food (pouch, trays, etc.),
- Semi-moist pet food(semi-moist kibbles)
But also claims different properties:
- Nutritional values.
Regulation also evolved over the past years and the requirements tend to differ from one market destination to another in terms of nutritional testing. From ingredients to finished and packaged products, each step of the process is important to avoid contaminations.
Pet food testing - safety and quality are highly regulated by the law
Safety and Quality of the products
According to the RASFF data monitored and analyzed in Mérieux NutriSciences' solution: Safety HUD, Salmonella spp. is the first cause of recalls of pet food products in Europe and represents around 50% of the recalls in 2020.
Pet food safety, a highly regulated sector
European Feed and Pet Food market became highly regulated and requires a lot of attention from manufacturers on:
- Additives - Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003
- Undesirable substances and residues - Directive 2002/32/EC
- Pesticides - Regulation (EC) No 396/2005
- Salmonella - Commission Regulation (EU) No 142/2011 (zero tolerance)
- Labeling - Regulation (EC) No 767/2009
- Feed hygiene, traceability and arrangements for registration and approval of establishments - Regulation (EC) No 183/2005
- Official Controls in Europe - Regulation (EU) 2017/625
Moreover, the European association of reference for pet food, the FEDIAF (European Pet Food Industry Federation), has issued nutritional guidelines that identify specific nutrients and reference values, based on the latest scientific knowledge.
Producers must rely on adequate safety and quality controls to keep up with market needs in terms of:
- supply chain traceability,
- nutritional quality,
- health safety,
- selection of raw materials,
- standardization of best practices,
- new formulations,
- presentation of product (packaging, advertising).
Furthermore, the new trends in organic, grain-free, sustainable, GMO-free or unprocessed pet food impose even higher standards of control.
Pet Food manufacturing process
Discover how Mérieux NutriSciences can help you to meet the pet food safety and quality requirements in Europe:
- Nutritional values
- Environmental safety
- Safety and quality of ingredients
- Process validation
- Packaging safety
- Sustainable packaging
- Safety and quality of finished products
- Sensory analysis
- Product traceability
- Labeling and claims