Extruded product manufacturing for cats and dogs have been a very important part of the food industry for over a century. It’s the food extrusion process that makes your pasta, snack items, and pet food into cute little shapes. Had it not been for pet food extrusion, you would not have many options for dry pet food you have today. You can find dry pet foods rolled into balls, formed into squares or cut into fish, chicken, or any other shapes.
Ingredients in the manufacturing of pet food mostly include animal derivatives and other by-products. Animal derivatives can be a chicken meal, poultry meal, or fish derivative. The animal derivative then has its fats removed out and dried out for the next step.
The by-products are either fresh or frozen. The sources of by-product materials are cereals, grains, and vegetables. Other ingredients include fats, minerals, vitamins, and preservatives.
Every pet food brands have their own recipe. But the basic recipe and processing methods are more or less the same. Pet food extrusion process began with mixing wet and dry ingredients to form dough. The dry ingredients typically consist of flour or starch, meat carcass, protein, wheat or cereals. Wet ingredients include sugar, water fat, or oils. The preservative can be either a wet or dry ingredient depending upon the formulation.
Before extrusion, the dough goes into a preconditioner for heating. After that, it goes under immense pressure inside an extruder machine, where it puffs up and gets a chewable texture. The dough then passes through a shaping die which forms the dough into a specific shape. The knife then cuts the dough out into kibbles.
The kibbles dry in the oven for the removal moisture. Moisture removal increases the shelf life, preventing quick spoilage of the kibbles.
The kibbles are then pass onto a revolving platform where the coating of flavor or enhancers takes place. Some makers can add preservatives at this stage too.
After the pet food manufacturing process, the final product undergoes packaging according to the declared weight. Proper packaging is necessary to avoid spoilage and increase the product’s shelf life.
It is an obvious fact that all pet foods are not the same. The formulation differs according to your pet’s requirement. Dogs are omnivores. Food products for dogs contain a combo of meat, vegetables, and grains.
On the other hand, cats are carnivorous; they mainly thrive on meat sources. They do not need food products with high amounts of vegetables of grains. Some brands use a little number of grains to bind and hold the kibble. But it’s better that your cat eats rich protein food that is grain free.
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