Pet food manufacturing is the process of producing food for domesticated animals. And since pets are a major aspect of our society, it is no surprise that pet food manufacturers are in demand. What people might not realize, however, is that the pet food manufacturing process is not that different from human food manufacturing processes.
When we discuss human food, and specifically the manufacturing process affiliated with its production, we consider sanitary conditions and health-related protocols that are put in place to prevent contamination or other safety concerns. These are the same considerations and protocols that are implemented by pet food manufacturing plants as well.
After all, these conditions are put in place to make sure the food is made without risk of contamination, and also maintains a standard of quality that purchasers expect. Whether a particular pet food manufacturer is a private label pet food manufacturer, meaning they are producing a particular product for another company who will brand it as their own, or producing their own name-brand pet food to be sold in supermarkets, they still must adhere to the same standards of quality.
It’s Still Food
The bottom line is that pet food manufacturers must adhere to these health and safety standards because the product is still food. Food is vulnerable to disease and contamination if not handled appropriately. After all, the ingredients that go into pet food are such things as meat (or meat byproducts), vegetables, or grains. All of which can spoil and even be harmful if health and safety protocols are not strictly followed.
And these protocols pertain to both wet and dry pet food. If you are a pet owner, then you know that pet food does not come in a one-size-fits-all option. There are many differences, but a common point of reference is the difference between dry pet food and wet pet food. And sure, the production process will not be the same for each, but at the end of the day, they are still food products that need to be regulated and maintained for quality and health.
However, just like human food products, there are differences in how various pet foods are manufactured, or rather, the tools that are used in the process. For example, dry pet food is commonly made by mixing wet and dry food products together to make a dough, which are then commonly heated under pressure. This process requires various components and tools that need to be incorporated.
Because sanitary conditions are so crucial for the pet food manufacturing process, there are many considerations when it comes to designing a pet food manufacturing plant, or incorporating new technologies into your existing plant to be able to produce pet food.
These considerations include everything from the materials used to make your machines to the degree of personnel stations (such as hand washing stations) within the facility. For instance, stainless steel is the standard when it comes to machine materials, and this is for several reasons. For starters, stainless steel does not accrue rust and can be cleaned and sanitized easily, which is crucial for maintaining an ongoing pet food manufacturing process.
Additionally, stainless steel is customizable, which puts the pet food manufacturer in control over all aspects of how they want their facility to run. As mentioned, you certainly have steps and procedures that you need to follow, but this doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate your own proprietary manufacturing designs into the process. This is why the ability to customize your pet food manufacturing plant is so crucial to longevity as well as minimization when it comes to disrupting your current work flow.
Labeling and Packaging
Labeling and packaging is another important part of the pet food manufacturing process, and should not be considered as an afterthought. Just like the food production aspect itself, there are guidelines and regulations that go into the labeling and packing aspect of the production process.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with the Federal Trade Commission have final authority in the claims and advertisements made on pet food labels. There are state and local regulations as well, but these are some of the more common standards that are put forth regarding pet food labeling:
- The product must be identified as dog or cat food.
- Name of the manufacturer or distributor must be displayed.
- A guarantee of chemical analysis that meets animal feed laws.
- Full and accurate ingredient list.
While this might be a surprising list, it is important to be aware of all aspects of the pet food manufacturing process if you are considering the world of pet food manufacturing.
Bring in The Experts
The best way to make sure you get the pet food manufacturing process right in your new or existing facility is to call in the experts. EAD provides custom solutions to meet your needs and help you get your pet food manufacturing plant where it needs to be, to make your business as successful as possible.
Contact the experts at EAD today to learn more about pet food manufacturing, and understand the benefits of having an expert team on your side.