Friday, October 31, 2014

Presto Products teams with Jack Link's Beef Jerky to enhance supply chain

    To enhance supply chain efficiency and sustainability for Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, Presto Products Company enrolled the company in Presto’s Fresh-Lock Zipper Spool Recycle and Reuse program. Annually, Jack Link’s will support the reuse of 30,000 pounds of high impact polystyrene, reducing the environmental impact of its supply chain. This initiative is just one of several measures in which Presto has assisted Jack Link’s in advancing packaging operations, according to the company.
    Presto offers its Fresh-Lock Zipper Spool Recycle and Reuse program to help manufacturers enhance the sustainability of their supply chains. Since 2009, Presto has championed the reuse of 3 million pounds of high impact polystyrene across various product categories, diverting this material from landfills and reusing the spools in new shipments of Fresh-Lock Zippers.
    Jack Link’s participation in Presto’s Fresh-Lock Zipper Spool Recycle and Reuse program—coupled with the company’s state-of-the-art central warehouse distribution program to streamline efficiency, fuel and energy usage across its supply chain—have helped the meat snack manufacturer achieve a zero-landfill plant in Alpena, South Dakota.
    Made from Presto’s soft-seal resin, the most recent press-to-close (PTC) innovation rolled out by Jack Link’s since August 2014 features a blend of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE). The material provides a high-melt index, giving operators more time to ensure the zipper adheres properly to film pouches and reducing the number of imperfect pouches that come down the line. By minimizing the number of imperfect pouches, the solution helps to decrease costly product waste and increase the efficiency and quality output of the facility.
    In addition to providing Jack Link’s with PTC closures that advance sustainability and efficiency, Presto also provides the company with technical service and support to speed delivery times, streamline processes and respond rapidly to urgent order requests, as well as proactive consultation for ‘big picture’ improvements to packaging operations.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fetch...For Pets! acquires Bistro Bites from Small Dog Wonders Bakery

    Fetch…for pets!, a manufacturer of pet products, has entered into an exclusive licence agreement with Small Dog Wonders Bakery LLC for its Bistro Bites dog treat.
    “We look forward to bringing this high-quality line to a wider audience,” said Steven Shweky, CEO at Fetch. Bistro Bites are treats made for small dogs. They come in a variety of flavors and sizes, and are gluten-, grain-, rice-, soy-, and preservative free, made with all-natural ingredients in the US.

Nestlé Purina Australia upgrades PetCare factory

    Nestlé Purina Australia has upgraded its PetCare factory in Blayney, and the $65 million in improvements will create 117 jobs in the area, according to reports.
    The new facility will produce 100,000 metric tons of wet petfood each year. The latest upgrades include the installation of top production equipment, a 5,400-square-meter warehouse and an upgrade to the research and development facility. According to Vice President of Operations Suleman Khan, the upgrades will help ensure future success. "It's important that manufacturing facilities remain competitive to ensure future investment within the region," he said.
    The company has invested nearly $100 million into the facility since 2011. Petfood produced there will be sold in pouches in Australia and exported to countries such as Japan, China and ASEAN markets. More than 80% of the raw materials used at the factory are sourced domestically, including meat, grains and packaging, with a focus on buying ingredients from within the local region.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

InVivo NSA to acquire Total Alimentos

    InVivo NSA, a subsidiary of InVivo Group and a French player in animal nutrition and health, has reached an agreement to acquire Brazil-based Total Alimentos. This operation confirms the InVivo NSA development strategy on the industry and allows it to get a key position on the Brazilian market, second market in petfood after the US at world level.
    The acquisition of Total Alimentos confirms the petfood global strategy of InVivo Animal Nutrition and Health and allows it to gain a key position in the Brazilian market, according to the company. The expanding group said it is eager to consolidate its position in the sector of petfood in the emerging markets of Latin America and Asia. Furthermore, in order to benefit from both the positive demographic trend and the fast growth of middle and upper classes in Latin America, InVivo NSA wants to accelerate its development in the animal proteins sector.
    “The acquisition of Total Alimentos creates a Latin American leader on the petfood market where our group already benefits from a key position in Mexico (3rd market player in the country)," said Hubert de Roquefeuil, CEO of InVivo Animal Nutrition and Health. "It also gives us the opportunity to acquire petfood snacks and superpremium offers to be duplicated at world level and to strengthen our research ability in petfood. Beyond that, Total Alimentos’ positions in feed (dairy cattle, horse and aquaculture) will generate major synergies with our activities in Brazil and speed up our development on these three fast-growing markets.” 

Webinar to discuss high-meat recipes and single-screw extruders

    Current petfood product developments include high meat/grain-free recipes and related successes using the single-screw extruder to make commercial products.
    Register at to attend the webinar, “Processing Technologies in Petfood Manufacturing,” on November 10 at 10 a.m. Central to:
    • Discover new formulation synergies;
    • Leverage standard and existing production models;
    • Learn to maximize existing process architecture;
    • Secure the highest level of food safety utilizing systems already in place;
    • Enhance process efficiency;
    • Establish product protection validation; and
    • Identify gains in product value and challenges to managing yield.
    Petfood manufacturers, nutritionists, veterinarians, product formulators, QA/QC, and executives should attend this webinar, sponsored by Extru-Tech Inc. and 1 Solution Group and presented by Petfood Industry and WATT Global Media.


    Speakers for this webinar will be Greg Aldrich, PhD., and Will Henry.
    Aldrich is involved directly with formulation/nutrition technologies in the petfood market, and is recognized and respected in the industry for his work. Aldrich conducts research and aids companies with introduction of cutting-edge new products for pets. He actively participates in development of these high-meat extruded foods and will provide insight regarding some of the challenges and opportunities they present in an effort to produce safe and effective food solutions for the next generation of petfood.
    Henry addresses petfood manufacturers around the world regarding practical solutions for extrusion, processing, product development and food safety systems.  He will include technical process data regarding the trials completed on high-meat inclusion (with both typical grain-based and exotic no-grain recipes) and the single-screw technology used in the successful development of this new product category.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Blue Buffalo addresses Wilbur-Ellis petfood ingredient issue

    Blue Buffalo has taken to its site to address an issue with Wilbur-Ellis petfood ingredients, after the Wilbur-Ellis' Texas processing plant mislabeled some ingredients.
    "Blue Buffalo has recently learned from Wilbur-Ellis, a major US company that supplies ingredients to us and many other well-known brands of petfoods, that a Texas petfood ingredient processing plant they own had mislabeled some of the ingredients they shipped to their customers," said Bill Bishop, founder and chairman of Blue Buffalo, in an open letter to customers. "So while their customers were ordering and paying for 100% chicken meal, at times they were receiving shipments that contained poultry by-product meal.
    "Since this Wilbur-Ellis plant was the source of some of our chicken meal, we may have received some of these mislabeled shipments, and there likely are numerous other petfood companies who also received these mislabeled ingredients," he said. "The FDA has been informed of this situation, and you may rest assured that this mislabeling poses no health, safety or nutrition issue. And while this is comforting, since the health and well-being of our dogs and cats comes before anything else, the fact that any Blue Buffalo food could include a mislabeled ingredient is totally unacceptable. As a result, we have stopped doing business with this plant."
    The mislabeling issue was apparently corrected months ago, but Blue Buffalo strives for transparency, said Bishop, and he felt customers deserved to know.

Pets Add Life launches Pies 4 Paws to benefit pet shelters

    Pets Add Life spokesperson, award-winning animal advocate and bestselling author Jill Rappaport, who is best-known as a correspondent on NBC, has launched the Pies 4 Paws challenge, inviting people across the US to take a pie in the face to raise funds and awareness for shelter and rescue pets.
    Participants are encouraged to take a pie in the face, donate to a rescue or shelter or adopt a pet, and nominate four other people to do the same. Other celebrities are taking part in the challenge, including Robert Redford who has pledged to donate and Meredith Vieira who took a pie in the face and in turn challenged Betty White, Matt Lauer and Howard and Beth Stern.
    “Take a pie, donate and adopt, it’s the perfect trifecta,” said Rappaport. “There are 8 million companion animals living in shelters and more needs to be done for them to find them forever homes. The first time I heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge, I thought, I have to do this for pets in need.”
    Rappaport’s Pies 4 Paws challenge was first launched with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and has since garnered participation from major national organizations including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Humane Association, Pilots N Paws and the nationwide pet insurance provider, PetPlan. It is now spreading through shelters, rescues and pet lovers across the country, including the Southampton Animal Shelter, Pet Haven Rescue (Florida), Mainline Animal Recue (Pennsylvania), Connecticut Humane Society and the Humane Society of Utah.
    Pies 4 Paws encourages community based groups, schools and families to participate, joining Rappaport and many others to raise funds for animals in crisis. Take photos and upload them to social media with the hashtag #JillRappaportsPies4Paws and then make a donation to the shelter or rescue group of your choice. Then challenge your friends to do the same. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Backer's Total Pet Expo 2014 attendance down, show still strong

    Backer's Total Pet Expo 2014 show attendance was down, but the event still drew a quality audience and retains its importance to the industry, according to show organizers.
    The show, which took place Sept. 19–21 in Rosemont, Illinois, saw more than 5,600 registered pet industry buyers and 468 exhibitor booths. Highlights of the show included educational opportunities, a pet retail store mock-up and product innovation awards.
    2013 numbers were slightly higher: 6,500 registered attendees and 693 booths. However, "With such varied sectors as our New Exhibitor Area and All-Natural Area—along with features like the Smart Zone Education Stations and the Pet Store on the Floor—the show remains a vital part of the pet industry calendar, both in terms of order-writing events and networking opportunities,” said Patty Backer, president of H.H. Backer Associates.

Pet Food Experts celebrates two successful trade shows

    Pet Food Experts is celebrating the success of two recent trade shows.
    The first "official" annual Mid-West Customer Appreciation Trade Show took place on Aug. 22, 2014. The event was relocated to a larger venue at the Renaissance Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois, due to the increased number of new vendors offered to the Mid-West customers. There were 60+ vendor booths and 300+ buyers at the show.
    The seventh annual East Coast Customer Appreciation Trade Show occurred September 16–17, 2014. The event was held for the fourth year at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut. The show had 110+ vendors and 600+ buyers.
    2015’s East Coast Customer Appreciation Trade Show will again be held at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort on Sept. 10–11, and the Mid-West show will be in late August (date to be determined) at the Schaumburg Convention Center location.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rondo Food celebrates 120th anniversary

    Rondo Food is celebrating its 120th anniversary, as well as its 20th year as a manufacturer of pet snacks for dogs and cats.
    The company started as a baking ingredients manufacturer, until 1994 when it expanded into the petfood segment. At that time, the impulse came from a long-term business partner, who was using a cooking extruder for the continual production of meat strips. This technology was bought and the company was given the name “Rondo Food," and then it began with the production of snacks for dogs and cats. “We thought that we were buying a production system," said Managing Director Dirk Wellen. "In reality it was just a pile of steel and a good idea. This idea has been consistently developed. Dosing systems had to be integrated and hygiene had to be improved. We had to master a lot of requirements—the only thing we already knew was how to package at high speed."
    In 2000, Rondo Food made the decision to sell its food segment and focus on growing in the pet snack market, and today the company claims expertise as a private label specialist and in pet product development.

Food safety key, says Nestle Purina PetCare at USPOULTRY seminar

    “Food safety is key, and it is critical,” said Dr. Sarah Birkhold, manager of technical services, Nestle Purina PetCare, while speaking to attendees at USPOULTRY’s 2014 Poultry Protein & Fat Seminar in Nashville, Tennessee.
    In addition to addressing the changing environment and needs regarding pets, Birkhold reviewed the expectations and technical deliverables Nestle Purina PetCare seeks from its suppliers during her presentation on Pet Food Customer Expectations. She emphasized the need for raw material quality, ingredient quality, consistency and relationships. “We look at leveraging the relationships we have across our own companies and our industry," said Birkhold. "We want to leverage, today, what is available from a high-quality ingredient perspective and what may be available in the future."
    Andy Brashear, area environmental manager, Simmons Foods, discussed why minimizing water use is important to plant efficiency in his presentation on Plant Efficiencies Case Studies: Water. Brashear reviewed the cost of potable water, potential impact on ground water, associated cost of wastewater treatment and methods to minimize water use. Brashear concluded by describing the benefits of a new waste heat evaporator installed to help reduce wastewater use. The waste heat evaporator allows Simmons to process high strength waste streams, reduces Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen and phosphorus loading on wastewater and reduces sludge loads.
    In his presentation on Leaks with a Drop of Perspective, Brandon Lairmore, director of operations, Pilgrim’s, remarked that “the biggest opportunity from a rendering standpoint is eliminating leaks.” Lairmore said that a leak is technically an accident and reviewed various types of leaks and the costs associated with each. He also discussed the need to keep systems tight, efficient, clean and well lit.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

TAMU presents 25th annual practical short course on feeds, petfood extrusion

    A one week practical short course on feeds and petfood extrusion will be presented Feb. 1–6, 2015, at Texas A&M University by staff, industry representatives and consultants.
    The program will cover information on designing new feed mills and selecting conveying, drying, grinding, conditioning and feed mixing equipment. Current practices for production of petfoods; preparing full-fat soy meal; recycling fisheries by-products, raw animal products and secondary resources; extrusion of floating, sinking and high fat feeds; spraying and coating fats, digests and preservatives; use of encapsulated ingredients and preparation of premixes; and least cost formulation will be reviewed. Practical demonstrations of petfood, vacuum coating and several other processes will be demonstrated on four major types of extruders (dry, interrupted flights, single and twin screw), using various shaping dies.
    Reservations are accepted on a first-come basis. For more information, programs and application forms, contact Mian N. Riaz, PhD, head of TAMU's extrusion technology program (

FDA official discusses FSMA petfood safety supplemental proposed rule

    During the 2014 Feed and Pet Food Joint Conference, October 7-9 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, Daniel McChesney, PhD, director of the office of surveillance and compliance for the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine, highlighted key revisions to the preventive control rule for petfood and feed under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
    McChesney said FDA received more than 2,100 comments to the original proposed animal feed preventive control rule released in October 2013, including many from consumers. Industry organizations, such as the Pet Food Institute and National Grain and Feed Association (co-organizers of the Feed and Pet Food Joint Conference), along with the American Feed Industry Association, also offered in-depth feedback on the original rule.
    With the re-proposed rule, which FDA released September 29, 2014, and McChesney referred to as the supplemental proposed rule, the agency is only asking for comments on new or revised areas, though it will accept comments on other areas. FDA is accepting comments for 75 days from the release date.
    The major revisions included in the supplemental rule, McChesney said, include:
    • A “very small business,” which would be exempt from complying to some elements of the rule, is now defined as having less than US$2.5 million in total annual sales of animal food, adjusted for inflation. McChesney commented that 98% of the animal food (including petfood) industry in the US would be covered outside this exclusion. However, he also said FDA is seeking comments on whether dollar sales are the best measure for feed and petfood. Would units of sale, for example, be better?
    • Current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs), which were a big area and focus of comments received, McChesney said; feedback to the original proposed rule said it made CGMPs too prescriptive, too similar to ones for human food and too stringent to be prerequisites because of the diversity of animal food facilities. In response, FDA modified that section of the rule, keeping the structure of human food CGMPs but rewriting the ones for animal food to be less prescriptive. McChesney said he thinks they're much closer to being appropriate for animal food but FDA is still looking for comments.
    • Under hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) plans, comments to the original proposed rule expressed concern with use of the word “known” in terms of identifying hazards, because that might have led to food facilities needing to control every single conceivable hazard out there. While McChesney said that was never FDA’s intent, the agency did change the wording in the supplemental proposed rule to “significant hazards,” also replacing the wording “reasonably likely to occur.”
    McChesney commented that in written food safety plans, which FSMA will require of every facility but very small businesses, manufacturers will need to define hazards they are controlling—and how—outside of CGMPs. So, if a facility has comprehensive CGMPs, it might have a very narrowly focused, short safety plan.
    With supplier verification, comments to the original proposed rule agreed it's a good idea but didn't like how FDA proposed doing it. So, McChesney said, FDA looked at the foreign supplier verification rule under FSMA and how that might apply to domestic suppliers. In the supplemental proposed rule, FDA is providing flexibility for each facility to determine appropriate verification activities of its suppliers. However, it will likely require an annual audit of significant hazards; unless you're controlling that hazard at your facility, you should verify your supplier is controlling it.
    Finally, in response to a question about how FDA inspectors will be trained to enforce FSMA rules, McChesney said that at least initially, inspectors will be looking mainly to see that facilities and their personnel understand the rules and how their company is following them; they would not be looking to write tickets for noncompliance. In other words, initial visits will be focused on education, not compliance.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mars Petcare, Qualipet recognized at International Pet Conference

    A special prize for outstanding service to the pet industry was presented to Mars Petcare Germany, and "PET Personality of the Year 2014" went to founder and CEO of Qualipet Rolf Boffa. Both awards were presented by the specialist magazine PET worldwide at the International Pet Conference in Berlin, Germany.
    Mars Petcare Germany has advocated the promotion of responsible pet ownership for over 50 years. Although in the early years the emphasis was more on providing information about the use and advantages of industrially manufactured petfood, the company has, since then, significantly contributed to greatly improving the relationship between humans and animals. This has not been just a result of advertising campaigns, but also due to research projects and through the support given to non-profit associations.
    Qualipet AG, founded by Rolf Boffa, has been market leader in the Swiss pet retail trade for over 25 years. Today the company operates almost 90 pet retail stores in Switzerland, an online shop, a mail order company and a publishing group, the nucleus of the company. Thanks to Rolf Boffa’s tireless efforts and wealth of ideas, the quality of Qualipets’ specialist stores has constantly improved.
    More than 150 visitors from 18 countries attended the conference.

Interzoo posts exhibition film from 2014 show

    Interzoo has posted an exhibition video from its 2014 show, highlighting the atmosphere and international flair of the show, say organizers.
    The show was "once again the mega event for innovations, trends and product premieres," and satisfied both visitors and exhibitors, according to Interzoo planners.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Merrick kicks off 'Merrick Mealtime Mayhem' Facebook contest

    Merrick has kicked off its "Merrick Mealtime Mayhem" Facebook contest, which encourages pet parents to share video and photos of their dogs "going wild" for the taste of all-natural Merrick. The grand-prize winner will receive a two-year supply of Merrick, according to the company.
    To learn more about and enter the contest, check out Merrick's Facebook page. Tag entries with #DogsLoveMerrick.

Farm Food wins National Business Success Award for petfood

    Dutch dog food manufacturer Farm Food has received the National Business Success Award in the petfood category.
    The award is given each year to a company in the Netherlands that stands out in its respective industry on account of exceptional quality. In making the award, the jury cited the company's high quality standards and its decision not to use any chemical additives in its products.

Monday, October 20, 2014, Rescue Bank merge is bringing Rescue Bank into its family, a merger that will deepen the organization's positive impact on the lives of shelter pets, says GreaterGood.
    "We've worked closely with since our national expansion almost four years ago," says Elizabeth Asher, who continues to serve as executive director of Rescue Bank. "We are excited about the impact our combined programs will have on improving nutrition for rescued pets and making veterinary care and adoption program support more accessible. GreaterGood shares our commitment to improving the standards of care throughout the rescue and shelter community."
    GreaterGood says they are thrilled to be more closely integrated with Rescue Bank. "They are a tremendously impactful organization whose dedication to serving rescue groups and the animal welfare community as a whole is as inventive as it is compassionate," says Executive Director Liz Baker. "This merger allows us to expand our role in the animal welfare community and deepens our commitment to caring for shelter pets across the country."

Meat species study: Some petfoods may be mislabeled

    Researchers in Chapman University’s Food Science Program have published a study focused on commercial petfoods marketed for dogs and cats to identify meat species present as well as any instances of mislabeling. Of the 52 products tested, 31 were labeled correctly, 20 were potentially mislabeled and one contained a non-specific meat ingredient that could not be verified.
    “Although regulations exist for petfoods, increases in international trade and globalization of the food supply have amplified the potential for food fraud to occur,” said Rosalee Hellberg, PhD, co-author on the study. “With the recent discovery of horsemeat in ground meat products sold for human consumption in several European countries, finding horsemeat in US consumer food and petfood products is a concern, which is one of the reasons we wanted to do this study.”
    Chicken was the most common meat species found in the petfood products. Pork was the second most common meat species detected, and beef, turkey and lamb followed, respectively. Goose was the least common meat species detected. None of the products tested positive for horsemeat.
    Of the 20 potentially mislabeled products, 13 were dog food and seven were cat food. Of these 20, 16 contained meat species that were not included on the product label, with pork being the most common undeclared meat species. In three of the cases of potential mislabeling, one or two meat species were substituted for other meat species. While a seemingly high percentage of petfoods were found to be potentially mislabeled, the manner in which mislabeling occurred is not clear; nor is it clear as to whether the mislabeling was accidental or intentional and at which points in the production chain it took place, according to the report.
    The study was published in the journal Food Control.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dr. Tim, Dr. Tim's Pet Food, wins America's favorite vet award

    The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) has named Dr. Tim Hunt of Bayshore Veterinary Clinic in Marquette, Michigan, as the 2014 winner of the "America's Favorite Veterinarian" contest. Hunt was nominated by Kris Mitchell, a client at Bayshore Veterinary Clinic (which Hunt established in 1993). Mitchell nominated Hunt because he willingly performed a cesarean section on her bulldog on Christmas morning.
    The contest was inaugurated in 2013 via the AVMF’s Facebook page, and celebrates the relationship pet owners share with their veterinarians. In 2014 the contest grew to allow the public to vote to select the winner. The twenty finalists selected received over 86,000 votes from across the country. Hunt received over 12,000 votes to secure the title.
    Hunt is a Detroit native. He earned his undergraduate degree and Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University. In addition to his work as a small animal veterinarian, Hunt serves as a volunteer veterinarian in Alaska for the Iditarod and has founded the Alaska Veterinary Rural Program, where he conducts spay/neuter clinics and provides veterinary care in impoverished villages.
    "I am very proud and honored to have been voted the winner of the 2014 America's Favorite Veterinarian contest conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation," said Hunt. "I cannot say just how thankful I am for all that voted. I am so lucky to have such a great staff at Bayshore Veterinary Hospital and supportive family in that we all share a mutual love for animals and it really shows. Thank you Marquette, Michigan, a small town of 20,000 people and all those from various places around the USA. Honestly, I am speechless.

    "To the 19 other finalists in the contest, thank you for being such great vets. Your great work has surely been noticed by many people and is appreciated more than you will ever realize."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Registration open for AFIA 2014 Import & Export Seminar

    Registration is open for the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA)'s 2014 Import & Export Seminar in Arlington, Virginia, Dec. 9–10. The seminar is a collaboration of educational courses and discussions to address issues related to regulatory trade requirements for feed, ingredients and petfood.
    The educational event is open to industry professionals interested in learning about current trade industry constraints and how they can support the efforts of the varying agencies. It is ideal for anyone responsible for the importing and/or exporting of products for their company. Foreign Service Agriculture Administrator Phil Karsting will deliver this year's keynote presentation on "Linking US Agriculture to the World." Other speakers include individuals from the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Foreign Agriculture Service, and the US Food and Drug Administration.
    "AFIA is thrilled yet again to host an interactive event that benefits an array of key industry professionals who focus on regulatory trade issues," said Gina Tumbarello, AFIA director of international policy and trade. "With the recognized need for education on importing and exporting products, this unique, every-other-year event offers an opportunity for key industry professionals to engage in discussions with various government agencies and their role in regulatory trade."
    The early-bird registration is available through Nov. 10.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Glowing dog food in New Zealand blamed on bioluminescent bacteria

    Glowing dog food discovered by a New Zealand woman might be due to sea-based bioluminescent bacteria, according to microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles.
    A fluorescent blue glow was emanating from a pair of Jimbo's Pet Food bones Fiona Wallis bought for her dog. Jimbo's is considering a recall, but the exact cause of the glowing is still being investigated. The bones are kept in a kind of brine during production, which is hospitable to certain sea bacteria. While there are a couple strains of bacteria that could be dangerous, said Wiles, that's not likely the case with this particular strain.
    Jimbo's general manager, Dave Allan, said the glowing meat was packaged at the beginning of September, so most of the product has likely been consumed. "We are not aware of any risks to the animals," he said.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mars Petcare opens US innovation center

    Mars Petcare has officially opened the doors of its new, state-of-the-art, Gold-LEED certified US$110 million Global Innovation Center in Thompson's Station, Tennessee. The new campus, designed to help the company make "A Better World for Pets" through petfood innovations, is the third Mars Petcare innovation center and first in the US. It will serve as the global center of excellence for the company's portfolio, according to the company.
    The center will join with similar Mars Petcare Global Innovation Centers located in Verden, Germany and Aimargues, France, and will focus on dry cat and dog food in both the natural and mainstream petfood categories. "Everything about this campus is dedicated to helping pets live longer and happier lives," said Larry Allgaier, president of Mars Petcare North America. "Mars has been doing business in Tennessee for the past 35 years, employing nearly 1,700 Associates across our petcare, chocolate and Wrigley business segments. Our US$110 million Global Innovation Center marks the sixth Mars site in Tennessee and will employ more than 140 Associates."
    Much of the activity at the Global Innovation Center will be focused on caring for the pets—up to 180 dogs and 120 cats when fully staffed—many of which will be adopted from area shelters and rescues. In accordance with the caring science approach developed by Mars' Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in the United Kingdom, each pet will be treated like a member of the family, regularly receiving grooming services, veterinary care, training and exercise. The campus also includes outdoor space designed for pets to relax and play with caretakers and their other furry friends, says Mars.
    The center will include a product development center, pet feeding center and learning center. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Petfood Forum launches new website, opens registration for 2015

    Information on the Petfood Forum conferences is now available via a new website, as registration opens for Petfood Forum 2015 and Petfood Innovation Workshop: Next Generation Treats. The new site,, features full information on upcoming Petfood Forum and Petfood Innovation Workshop events, access to registration for attendees and exhibitors for Petfood Forum 2015, photos and videos from past events, and more.
    Making its debut in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, Petfood Forum 2015 will run April 27-29, starting with an opening reception on April 27. From 9:00 am to 5:00 pm that day, Petfood Innovation Workshop: Next Generation Treats will offer expertise and insights on pet treat trends and projections, an ask the experts panel and an interactive, new product development exercise.
    Early bird registration savings are available for both Petfood Forum 2015 and Petfood Innovation Workshop through February 15, 2015, with additional savings on Workshop registration when also registering for Petfood Forum. For more information, visit

Friday, October 10, 2014

Meow Mix sponsors country love song 'Country Cat'

    Meow Mix has brought together country music and cats with "Country Cat," a song by J.R. Moore that features Cowboy Jake and his cat Coco.
    The song is available on YouTube: It can also be downloaded on SoundCloud.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chicken Soup for the Soul to donate petfood to SPCALA

    In honor of National Adopt a Shelter Dog month, Chicken Soup for the Soul will join forces with Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) to encourage pet adoptions beginning October 1 through October 12, 2014.
    Along with donating 6,000 pounds of Chicken Soup for the Soul petfood to support the shelter’s homeless animal initiatives, Chicken Soup for the Soul is also encouraging adoption by gifting a bag of Chicken Soup for the Soul petfood and a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What? or Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What? to all new pet parents who adopt a dog or cat from spcaLA during this time frame. “All of us at Chicken Soup for the Soul are passionate about helping shelters and promoting the adoption of cats and dogs,” said Amy Newmark, publisher, editor-in-chief and author of the last 100 Chicken Soup for the Soul books. “We use rescue dogs and cats as models on the packaging for our petfood, and we have been contributing to shelters for years. We wanted to find a way to make an impact in Los Angeles and spcaLA seemed like a perfect partner.”
    spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein said, “spcaLA is honored that Chicken Soup for the Soul chose to help the abandoned and abused animals in our shelter with this donation. Because spcaLA is an independent nonprofit, we rely on the generosity of donors to help thousands of animals each year.”

Merrick Pet Care presents 2014 fall/winter seasonal petfoods

    Merrick Pet Care has presented its 2014 fall and winter seasonal petfood options, using seasonally inspired grain-free ingredients. All of the dog food recipes have a balance of meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables, suitable for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities.
    A special limited edition recipe, Forever Home Holiday Recipe, will benefit homeless dogs. For every can of Forever Home purchased during the holiday season, a meal will be donated to a local shelter. The recipe is made with beef, chicken, Yukon gold potatoes, red delicious apples and peas. Other recipes include Gameday Tailgate (chicken thighs, beef, carrots, peas, bacon and tomatoes in gravy), Homecoming Holiday (chicken, sweet potatoes, peas and butternut squash in gravy) and Festive Holiday Stew (turkey, sweet potatoes, pears and herbs in gravy).
    Merrick's recipes will be available throughout the US in Petco and independent pet specialty stores.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Coveris Battle Creek facility receives top food safety certification

    The Coveris manufacturing facility in Battle Creek, Michigan has received the highest level of certification from the Safe Quality Food Institute, Level 3, representing the company’s “comprehensive mastery of safety and quality management systems.” The facility earned Level 2 recognition in 2013.
    The SQF Program, administered by the Food Marketing Institute, harmonizes the standards for food producer, manufacturers, distributors and brokers, meeting the diverse needs of everyone in the food industry “from farm to fork.” It is the only food safety program recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative. “Every day at the Battle Creek Facility, 165 Coveris employees are dedicated to enhancing the safety and quality of our partners’ products,” said Barry Fulcomer, the plant manager for Battle Creek. “Achieving this Level 3 certification is a remarkable recognition for how we extend our corporate commitment to these important measures every day.”
    Coveris manufactures flexible packaging solutions for the consumer food sector at its Battle Creek facility, including printed form-fill-seals films for frozen foods, breakfast foods and coffee.

Mycotoxins key topic at upcoming World Nutrition Forum 2014

    An expert panel at the 2014 World Nutrition Forum will set the tone for emerging issues and critical research in the development of novel strategies to manage the global mycotoxin issue, according to event organizers.
    • Professor Franz Berthiller of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Mycotoxin Metabolism and Center for Analytical Chemistry at the Department for Agrobiotechnology IFA-Tulln will present an overview of the multiple methods of determination, with a focus on liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS), the most sensitive and potentially most accurate mycotoxin determination method to date.
    • Dr. Betrand Grenier of Purdue University and the BIOMIN Research Center in Tulln will share research showing how even low doses of mycotoxins can increase animals’ susceptibility to diseases, in particular through the effects of mycotoxins on the gut and subsequent inhibition of immune responses. 
    •  Professor James Pestka of the Center for Integrative Toxicology at Michigan State University and Dr. Siska Croubels of the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Biochemistry at Ghent University will focus on deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) and Fusarium toxins. Pestka will highlight recent findings on the effects on the DON at the hormonal level, specifically through a mechanism of the enteroendocrine cell hormones that induces satiety in the gastrointestinal tract. Croubels will address the impact of Fusarium mycotoxins on poultry gut health by exploring the effects on the intestinal morphology and the barrier function.
    The mycotoxin expert panel discussion will be held on October 17, 2014, and will be chaired by Dr. Gerd Schatzmayr, global research director of BIOMIN. The World Nutrition Forum is a premier scientific event organized by BIOMIN. The 6th World Nutrition Forum will take place October 15–18, 2014, in Munich, Germany. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

P&G sells Europe petfood brands to Spectrum Brands

    Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G) is selling its remaining petfood business to Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc., as the company plans to focus on its main home and personal care businesses. The transaction includes P&G's Iams and Eukanuba brands in most of Europe.
    P&G completed the sale of about 80% of its petfood business to Mars Inc. in August 2014, including the Iams, Eukanuba and Natura brands in North America, Latin America and other select countries. Mars also exercised the option to purchase P&G's petfood business in some parts of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
    A.G. Lafley, CEO of P&G, is cutting costs and focusing on the company's leading brands. He said P&G will divest or discontinue as many as 100 brands over the next two years, leaving 70 or 80 that account for more than 95% of its profit. Spectrum, whose pet care brands include Tetra and Furminator, currently has pet care sales of about US$600 million per year.
    The transaction is expected to close in 2015.

Grain explosion at Nestle Purina plant injures four

    A grain-dust explosion at a Flagstaff, Arizona Nestlé Purina plant injured four people on September 14, 2014.
    The four contractors were doing welding work when the dust ignited, and the explosion blew out several metal doors and burned the contractors. All four were sent to the hospital, one with severe burns, according to reports. About 250 people work at the 70,000-square-foot plant.

Monday, October 6, 2014

AFIA comments on revised FSMA rules

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has commented on the pre-publication of four re-proposed rules pertaining to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), saying that at first glance, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has incorporated many of the changes AFIA recommended in its original comments.
    The reissued rules are Produce Safety Regulation, Foreign Supplier Verification Program, Current Good Manufacturing and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food, and Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals. AFIA previously submitted comments on five major sets of FSMA-related proposed rules during the last 10 months.
    "The American Feed Industry Association is pleased the Food and Drug Administration has issued a revised proposal for these complex rules," said AFIA President and CEO Joel G. Newman. "This re-proposal will allow stakeholders to review these rules one last time before the final rule is issued."
    While AFIA believes it is reasonable for FDA to re-propose these rules based on complexity alone, the association said it is concerned with the re-proposal's financial impact. "The additional cost, with very limited added benefit, continues to be a major concern for AFIA," said Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs. "FDA seriously underestimated the cost of the proposed rule and the additions within this re-proposal have the potential to drive that cost up even further. AFIA is committed to advocate for a final rule that is appropriate for the low risk that animal food presents. The cost-benefit ratio is nearly 20-to-1 and federal laws require the costs to reasonably approximate the benefit."
    With input from membership, AFIA will review the latest rules, develop comments and submit to FDA. AFIA staff also intends to work alongside its animal food coalition partners in hopes of the development of consistent comments on the FDA proposals as needed. The comment period to review all four rules is 75 days after publication in the Federal Register. AFIA plans to request an extension to the comment period as all the rules were released simultaneously versus in succession.

Purina, Blue Buffalo continue arguments in false advertising case

    On September 18, 2014, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company filed an amended complaint in its false advertising lawsuit against Blue Buffalo, alleging additional false advertising in the marketing of the company's petfood, treats and cat litter. On September 19, Blue Buffalo posted a letter from founder and Chairman Bill Bishop disputing Purina's independent testing, saying the person involved has "dubious scientific credentials."
    According to Purina, new testing showed that "Blue Buffalo's 'LifeSource Bits' actually have lower levels of some key nutrients than the standard kibble found in Blue Buffalo petfood." In addition, said Purina, Blue Buffalo's Jolly Joints dog treats have inadequate levels of glucosamine to provide the joint and hip health benefits the product claims. The company also said that "Blue Buffalo’s claims that its cat litter products have 'three times the absorption power' of the leading clay-based litter, and '1.5X-8.5X More Odor Control' than leading clumping litter, are also false and misleading against Purina’s litter products."
    But Blue Buffalo has called into question Purina's independent testing by Windsor Laboratories, saying that the research "does not even come close to meeting the basic requirements of a scientific test, let alone being something to use as support to make their outrageous, malicious allegations." The lab, said Blue Buffalo, is actually a single individual with "dubious scientific credentials" who works out of a home lab. The analysis was performed "with a rudimentary microscope under less than optimal conditions with questionable methods and record keeping." The company has conducted a report on the research, via Vinayak P. Dravid, PhD.
    According to Purina, "Windsor Laboratories is a well-recognized laboratory specializing in microscopic analysis for the agricultural and other related industries, including the petfood industry. Its owner, Dr. James V. Makowski, is the author and lead editor of Microscopic Analysis of Agricultural Products (4th Edition, 2010), a training resource on the subject of microscopic analysis of agricultural products used by the US Food and Drug Administration."
    The case in question is Nestlé Purina PetCare Company v. Blue Buffalo Company Ltd., Civil Case No. 4:14-cv-00859.

    For further coverage of Purina vs. Blue Buffalo:
    Purina sues Blue Buffalo for false advertising, disparagement
    Blue Buffalo responds to Nestle Purina lawsuit
    BLOG: Purina and Blue Buffalo wage petfood marketing claims war
    Blue Buffalo officially files lawsuit against Nestle Purina
    Review board recommends Blue Buffalo modify advertising

Friday, October 3, 2014

Webinar to discuss natural, organic trend in petfood

    The adage in journalism has always been “follow the money,” but the business wisdom in the pet nutrition industry might be “follow the human.”
    More than ever, people buying natural and organic for their table are buying natural and organic for their pets. In today’s rapidly growing natural products industry, innovation and an intimate understanding of consumer wants and needs are a precious resource driving the industry forward.
    Join us for a webinar to discuss the consumer trends driving growth in the natural pet products space. Learn about the link between human and pet trends and what innovators in the space are doing to take advantage of this dynamic market growth.
    This educational webinar, “Consumer trends driving growth in natural pet products,” is brought to you by Trouw Nutrition and sponsored by Trouw Nutrition and presented by WATT Global Media. It will be held Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 10 a.m. CDT. Register at to attend.
    Petfood manufacturers, nutritionists, veterinarians, petfood professionals and petfood suppliers should attend this webinar to learn:
    • What consumer trends are driving growth in natural pet products
    • What fears and values are playing a role in this growth
    • How the lines are being blurred between supplements and treats
    • How innovators are playing with ingredients and marketing claims to take advantage of growth opportunities
    • Recommendations for those committed to serving the growing natural pet product market
    The speaker for this webinar will be Eric J. Pierce, director of strategy and insights at New Hope Natural Media. Pierce is a proven strategic marketing and market research leader with nearly 20 years of research and insights experience. In various consulting roles, he has been instrumental in maximizing the value of his clients’ business and marketing investments and has built a reputation for being a great partner, problem solver and adviser.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Presto, Mondi continue to collaborate on packaging solutions

    Presto Products Company and Mondi have collaborated for 18 years to provide packaging solutions to global customers. Collaborations include the expansion of Mondi’s FlexZiBox portfolio in Europe with a flat-bottom, reclosable bag featuring a Slide-Rite slider, and technical support to help Mondi’s customers in North America.
    The relationship began when Mondi was exploring reclosable pouch options to penetrate the North American market. The company (then known as Nordenia USA) enlisted Pactiv’s zipper group, which was acquired by Presto in 2010, to provide PTC technology for easy resealability. Prior to that acquisition, the two companies were also working together in Europe, with Pactiv providing Slide-Rite sliders for larger sized bags beginning in 2000. Four years later, Nordenia looked to Pactiv to equip an extension of its FlexZiBox flat-bottom bag portfolio with Slide-Rite sliders. Today, Presto services Mondi on both sides of the Atlantic with resealable innovation.
    “We recently completed a multi-year project where Presto provided invaluable insight and assistance from inception to commercialization,” said Mark Gum, Technical Support and New Product Development, Mondi Jackson Consumer Goods Packaging. “Presto’s immersion in the entire process and its ability to respond quickly to our customer needs helps us bring our ideas for packaging innovation to life—and speed their time to market.”

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Kong Aussie Sticks recalled due to possible mold contamination

    Petfood product manufacturer JAKKS Pacific has recalled its Kong Aussie Sticks dog treats due to possible mold contamination.
    "The products were not dried properly, so a small percentage of finished goods have gone moldy," said a company spokesperson. "The majority of the product is fine, and the mold was caught at our distribution center, but some product may have made it to PetSmart. So, we are recalling all the product at PetSmart and destroying all the product we have at our DC."
    The products being recalled have item numbers of 75559 or 75560, and Best Before dates of 1/30/16 or 1/31/16. Product can be returned to PetSmart for a full refund.

Three Dog Bakery honors US military with Veteran's Day promotion

    Three Dog Bakery will donate to FISH—Food Industry Serving Heroes—an amount equal to 15% of the total sales of its products, whether through its bakeries, its retail outlets or online, made on Veteran’s Day (November 11, 2014). In addition, the company will contribute a year’s supply of its dog food and treats to the recipients of its service dog initiative to further lessen the financial burden on America’s veterans.
    FISH is a non-profit organization designed to engage the food industry in serving US military veterans. With the donations from the Three Dog Bakery Veteran’s Day promotion, FISH will purchase service dogs to distribute to veterans in need.
    Three Dog Bakery Co-owner Aziz Giga said the health and well-being of returning servicemen and women is a subject that is close to his heart. “I’ve always been humbled by the sacrifices the men and women of our military make on behalf of American freedom, and I recognize the struggles they have returning home,” said Giga. “It’s so important for those of us who have benefitted from their sacrifices to do what we can to help. For many, there is no greater need than simple, daily assistance—the kind that can often be provided with a service dog. We are encouraging our suppliers and service providers to participate with us by donating to FISH as well.”

Paw's Natural Pet Emporium owner eats petfood for nutrition awareness

    Dorothy Hunter, owner of Washington-based Paw's Natural Pet Emporium, went on a "petfood diet" for 30 days in order to bring ingredient awareness to pet owners.
    In a country where more than half the pets are overweight or obese, Hunter said it's important to pay attention to what pets are eating. A video of her discussing her experience on the show "The Doctors," including a discussion of pet obesity and the humanization of petfoods, can be found here.