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Optimizing health & taste ® Pet food performance and quality require careful selection of materials, efficient processing, and proper control of the finished product. Companies use palatants to enhance pet food acceptance, so the performance and quality of these palatants affect final acceptance of the pet food by the animal. Historically, palatant consistency has been measured in terms of analytical parameters such as protein, moisture, fat, and ash. However, it is uncertain how these pa
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  Optimizing health & taste ® Pet food performance and quality require careful selection of materials, efficient processing, and proper control of the finished product. Companies use palatants to enhance pet food acceptance, so the performance and quality of these palatants affect final acceptance of the pet food by the animal. Historically, palatant consistency has been measured in terms of analytical parameters such as protein, moisture, fat, and ash. However, it is uncertain how these parameters correlate to product palatability, performance, and quality. Therefore, to ensure that pet foods meet expected performance, including dietary and nutritional requirements of pets, a comprehensive, extended approach is appropriate. Such an approach identifies critical in-process and finished product parameters that contribute to overall performance and palatability of pet food. These include physical, chemical, and nutritional parameters, as well as other aspects of the product. Identification, consistent monitoring, and control of critical performance indicators helps enhance product performance and ensure customer satisfaction. To study the impact of these considerations, AFB International evaluated in-process and finished palatant parameters for direct correlation to the performance of a selected feline food. Examples of these parameters are shown in Table 1. TABLE 1: EXAMPLE PARAMETERS METHODOLOGY In-process data analyses as well as extensive analytical testing were performed on multiple lots of a commercialized dry cat product. For performance evaluation, two bowl paired comparison palatability tests were conducted on these products. Subsequently, statistical analyses were performed on all chosen in-process and analytical parameters for each lot to determine possible correlations to final product palatability. RESULTS Results show that at different stages of the manufacturing process, intermediate and process temperatures were very critical (Table 2), with direct correlations to the overall PROCESS AND PRODUCT PARAMETERS AFFECTING PET FOOD PERFORMANCE   In ProcessFinished Good Process TemperaturesProcess TimesProximatesPressure Amount of MaterialspHStandard ProximatesAmino Acid ContentSugar ContentBulk Density StarchFlowabilityWater ActivityColor  performance of the final product (Figure 1). Table 2 shows final temperature and hydrolysis temperature have high and significant correlation indices of 0.981 and - 0.566 respectively to the product’s performance measured by Intake Ratio (IR). Final Conductivity also shows some correlations to product performance with correlation index of -0.411. Figure 1 provides a graphical representation of these three in-process parameters as a function of their direct correlations to product performance. TABLE 2: CORRELATION MATRIX Total Batch Reactor TimeHydrolysis TimeHydrolysis TempInitial Conductivity Final Conductivity pH InitialpH FinalReaction TempFinal TempIR Total Batch Reactor Time1.0000.9210.8870.6070.007-0.722-0.2180.711-0.015-0.184Hydrolysis Time1.0000.3090.323-0.175-0.4300.0180.4190.224-0.115Hydrolysis Temp1.0000.3990.019-0.440-0.0160.556-0.191-0.566Initial Conductivity1.0000.626-0.670-0.8880.406-0.336-0.131Final Conductivity1.000-0.373-0.8000.147-0.865-0.411pH Initial 1.0000.456-0.9320.568-0.025pH Final 1.000-0.1220.5230.008Reaction Temp1.000-0.551-0.051Final Temp 1.000 0.981 IR 1.000 ParametersFinal TemperatureHydrolysis TemperatureFinal Conductivity 1.210.80.60.40.20-0.2-0.4-0.6-0.8  -0.566 -0.41 -0.98    C   o   r   r   e   l   a   t   i   o   n   I   n   d   e  x FIGURE 1  Optimizing health & taste ® Furthermore, analysis conducted on the finished product indicated that raw material quality, including fat content and other physical and chemical parameters related to product handling, showed excellent correlations to product perfor- mance (Figure 2).   Figure 2 shows that the presence of certain protein-type components, especially amino acids, in the final product and in the right state were important for good product performance. Additionally, other parameters such as flowability and bulk density, which impact the way the product is handled in the plant and packaged, show high correlations to the performance of this product. Through the use of advanced technology like Mass Spectro- metric and Spectroscopic techniques including Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTNIR), additional infor-mation related to the chemical composition of products could be obtained. AFB utilized the FTNIR technology to develop qualitative identification (ID) model equations for the product. Obtained spectra were analyzed for differ-ences and/or similarities in chemical information, using both residual and distance tests. Figure 3 shows the Scores vs. Scores plot for the distance test. The natural variance existing within the product as determined from chosen calibration samples were used to calculate and define acceptable limits for consistent product performance. From the figure, Lot 6 falls within the limit, while Lot 8 falls outside. These results were further validated by palatability results, showing that the developed calibration equation is robust for monitoring subsequent lots of this product. FIGURE 2 Color Value   ParametersAmino AcidsGlucoseBulk DensityFatFlowability 0.80.60.40.20-0.2-0.4-0.6-0.8    C   o   r   r   e   l   a   t   i   o   n   I   n   d   e  x  Optimizing health & taste ® LOT 6 CONCLUSIONS In summary, this research indicated that proper control of a combination of in-process, physical, and chemical component parameters is critical to ensure that consistently performing palatants are produced and delivered to the customer. Traditional proximates alone may not completely define palatant performance. NEXT STEPS Given the insight yielded by this intensive study, AFB International developed an enhanced performance monitoring program to identify critical performance criteria. This program entails longer term observation and data collection to identify and establish appropriate performance criteria. These criteria are then monitored to ensure consistent performance. Performance monitoring follows the commercialization step of AFB’s stage gate process. It is particularly well-suited for the launch of products with new ingredients and/ or new technologies. The learnings from the performance monitoring program ensure consistency of the product that is being directly monitored, as well as other products in the same product or technology family.   Authors and Contributors: Oladipupo, Bola; Radosevich, Jennifer; Perry, Keith; Shepherd, Vonnie; Figge, Kris; Francis, Debbie. 1.510.50-0.5-1-1102 ++++ PC 2All Spectra    P   C    3 FIGURE 3: SCORES VS SCORES north america 800.218.5607northamerica@afbinternational.comlatin america 54.2304.480747latinoamerica@afbinternational.com.breurope 31.73.5325777europe@afbinternational.nlasia/pacific 61.398.799093khall@afbinternational.comaustralia 61.359.711105jseletto@inghams.com.au To discover all the ways AFB International can help you improve product palatability and market share, visit our website at www.afbinternational.com or contact us directly. LOT 8
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