Ibbenbüren/Germany, February 2023: Huge trends such as “plant-based”, “diversity” and “sustainability” are no longer the sole domain of the human nutrition market, as pet-owners increasingly pay closer attention not just to their own diet, but that of their animals too. For many people nowadays, the thought of picking up a random can of dog food in the supermarket is unimaginable. As a result, the progressive humanisation of the pet food industry means manufacturers are innovating like never before: functional ingredients such as Trigea’s wheat-based products offer the opportunity to technologically implement sophisticated products on a large scale, thus allowing pet food manufacturers to adapt their portfolio to current trends.
#1 Plant-based as an alternative for animal by-products
According to a survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, one-third of dog owners who were interviewed no longer want to buy animal by-products for their dogs. At the same time, the demand for plant-based alternatives to meat products continues to grow. Dogs are omnivores and therefore also need plant-based food for a balanced diet. Vegetable proteins, for example in the form of textured or hydrolysed wheat protein, can be considered a good source of protein. Trigea's Trigovit® Tex range includes textured wheat proteins that can be used as a plant-based protein in hybrid products with reduced meat content, as well as in vegan dog food alternatives, and can imitate the typical fibrous structure of meat. Trigovit® Protein, on the other hand, is ideal for protein enrichment in dry or wet food as well as treats. It is produced through enzymatic hydrolysis and is therefore highly soluble.
#2 Various options for dog food
While dog food used to be available in just wet and dry offerings, today there is an enormous range of different types of dog food. The segment of dog treats, in particular, offers great potential for development. These are meant to imitate delicious food for humans, such as pasta for dogs or toppings for wet dog food that mimic muesli toppings. High-protein treats, such as plant-based chews for dogs, are also possible. These can be produced with the textured wheat proteins of the Trigovit® Tex range, are extremely flexible and do not require any additional binding agents compared to conventional products.
#3 Eco-friendly pet food
With an environmental focus, many people are trying to make more sustainable purchasing decisions. Even when choosing the right dog food, consumers are paying more attention to the carbon footprint of the products they buy for their furry friends. The wheat Trigea uses for its pet food ingredients is grown in Europe – mainly Germany – which means that transport distances can be kept short. This not only makes for an efficient process, but is also resource-friendly.