Recently, consumers are demanding more natural pet food offerings due to the perception that natural pet food is healthier and better quality than traditional diets. According to Petfood Industry, 52% of pet owners were more likely to purchase a pet food labeled “made with natural ingredients” in a recent survey.
AAFCO defines natural as “a feed ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources… not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur in good manufacturing practices.”
Pet food manufacturers can respond by including ingredients in their formulations that meet the AAFCO definition of natural and are produced using sustainable, transparent methods.
It’s easy for a supplier to meet the AAFCO definition of natural, but this definition doesn’t address the environmental impact or quality of ingredient production.
Kemin goes above and beyond by using sustainable crops to produce ingredients for its natural antioxidant products. Kemin’s rosemary and spearmint crops are Certified Sustainably Grown, a certification by SCS Global that recognizes leadership in environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic stability.
Traditionally, crops like rosemary are harvested via “wild harvesting,” meaning they are harvested from naturally occurring habitats. Wild harvesting can significantly harm the environment by altering the natural ecosystem.
Kemin developed cropping systems for rosemary and spearmint so these crops can be safely harvested in fields like traditional crops. Using conventional breeding practices, Kemin agronomists developed clonal lines of rosemary and spearmint to ensure consistent efficacy across the entire crop.
A quality natural ingredient is inadequate unless it’s effectively incorporated into a pet food product formula. Since every manufacturing facility is different, it’s important to customize application equipment to meet performance goals.
Kemin’s Product Application Department is a dedicated team of engineers and technical experts that design and install pet food application systems for our customers to ensure their formulations are meeting product goals. Even further, Kemin’s Customer Laboratory Services team tests finished products for ingredient efficacy. Learn more about Kemin's expertise here.
Decades before it became a trend, Kemin was a pioneer in using plant-based, sustainable ingredients. As one of the most vertically integrated suppliers of plant-based ingredients, Kemin controls the breeding, growing, harvesting, extraction and processing steps of its ingredients.
Today, Kemin produces eight natural ingredients for pet food: