Nutritional value and functional application of fruits and vegetables in pet food

Like humans, animals need a variety of foods and nutrients for a balanced diet. Foods such as fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients, including fat, carbohydrates and fiber, and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables provide a healthy nutritional balance in a pet’s diet, and certain fruits or vegetables can replace allergen components or improve overall formula digestibility and reduce fecal cleanup.

1.The nutritional value of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are familiar ingredients in life. Pet parents know they should eat more, and they trust their furry friends to do the same. Research on fruits and vegetables shows them right. Research articles on regular consumption of fruits and vegetables are mainly aimed at some chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts and some aging-related functional degradation risks, etc. For these chronic diseases, prevention is often more effective than treatment, and many epidemiological research results also reflect this. In developed countries such as the United States, heart disease, cancer and stroke are the three leading causes of death, and it is estimated that one-third of cancer deaths in the United States can be avoided through proper dietary adjustment. This favorable evidence points to a problem that changes in diet, such as increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, can significantly reduce the risk of chronic disease incidence. In particular, adding citrus fruits, carotene-rich fruits and vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables to the diet is of great value in reducing the risk of cancer.

2.The nutritional value of fruits and vegetables in pet food
Fruit fiber is an important source of soluble and insoluble fiber in pet food formulations due to its good fermentation properties to promote pet gut health, when the benefits of enteric fermentation are achieved without compromising nutrient digestibility, fecal quality or palatability , you can achieve an effective dose of fruit fiber. This requires evaluating the ratio of insoluble fiber to soluble fiber in the finished product. In addition to providing fiber, fruits and vegetables are a source of antioxidants, including flavonoids, polyphenols, carotenoids, and vitamins C and E. Antioxidants slow oxidative damage to cells by scavenging free radicals, which are unstable molecules produced by the body. The types of antioxidants and their functions vary by plant species. Anthocyanins, found in blueberries and strawberries, for example, can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the cortex and hippocampus, affecting cognitive performance. Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, which have functional antioxidant properties that can support the cognitive health of pets. In addition, the science of the efficacy of plant-based ingredients in pet food is still developing.
3. Functional application of fruits and vegetables in pet food
① As a high-quality ingredient in pet food
According to Mintel’s report “For Pet Food: Including the Impact of COVID-19, 75% of People Believe It’s Worth Paying More for Premium Pet Food.” Not only do fruit and vegetable ingredients look good on pet food labels or packaging, but They are also an indicator of the pet owner’s choice of food, indicating that the product is beneficial to the pet’s health and well-being. Often, staple fruits and vegetables consumed in the human diet are also used in pet food formulations, and this list includes sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, blueberries, and cranberries, among others. It is most economical to add powdered, powdered or flaked dried fruits and vegetables to kibble. For canned, refrigerated, and frozen pet food, semi-dried, fresh, or individual quick-frozen ingredients are often preferred. Potatoes and sweet potatoes have been shown to be highly digestible, making them an excellent solution for “sensitive digestion” formulas, valued by small dog owners. More and more brands are trying to stop using synthetic vitamins and minerals and add more natural micronutrients by adding fruits and vegetables. There is also a trend to remove carbohydrate-based fillers, which provide calories without nutrients. In addition, fruit powder provides a range of benefits for pet food formulations. Not only does this include flavor enhancement, but the powder also helps with moisturizing, controlling water activity, increasing yield, reducing fat, inhibiting microbial growth and providing antioxidants. Fruit and vegetable powders are usually produced by drum drying or freeze drying. They may include a carrier to help preserve the nutritional value of ingredients and improve ease of use and storage.
2. Enhance pet food nutrition
Pet parents’ fears that feeding their pets the same things day in and day out will damage their pets’ health is part of the reason why the market for dietary ingredients and mixed foods is starting to gain traction. A new category gaining momentum in the pet food space is dietary ingredients and mixes, which offer humanity, personalization and variety. But more importantly, being able to address health and well-being. Just as more and more people are realizing that their diet can affect their overall health, this awakening also applies to their furry friends. Good pet nutrition can help keep pets healthy and happy and avoid expensive veterinary bills. Meal ingredients and mixes are great vehicles for delivering ingredients like fruits and vegetables, providing digestive health, coat health, joint health, stress relief, cognitive health, and more. Different combinations of purees, vegetables, and grains with an eye toward maximizing nutritional content, such as berries, pears, oats, and organic fruit and vegetables blends that are rich in nutrients—antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber—and attractive label ingredients to enhance the nutritional diversity of pet food.
3. Increase the color of pet food
There is a clear link between consumer food preferences and consumer choice of pet food. Not all natural colors are the same. Just like human food, formulators of pet food and treats are increasingly choosing colors from fruits and vegetables and making such claims on product packaging. Common sources of color are black and orange carrots, paprika (paprika), carrots, and red beets, and other plant-based colors include annatto and turmeric. But some natural colors tend to be sensitive to heat, shear and pressure. Therefore, they must be added to the production process at the right time for the best results. Exposure to oxygen can also affect the hue of some natural pigments, and the more air is added to the production process, the lighter the final hue will be. Coating kibble and snacks with fats and oils can also affect color. Wet pet food is made by mixing recipe ingredients together and cooking directly in a can, tray or bag. Color can be added at any step before filling. The main heating step – distillation – will always take place after adding color, so heat stable colors are recommended. But using color actually increases the cost of the formula, and since it’s primarily added to appeal to pet parents, visual sensory testing is a wise investment.

Post time: Mar-24-2022