Water Activity in Pet Food
Headline: After 30 years of no problems, pet food company has to recall moldy product but claims moisture content didn’t change. If they had only been using water activity instead of moisture content.
Pet food production is one of the fasted growing industries worldwide valued at $91 billion dollars in 2018. Gone are the days of feeding your pet scraps from the table; pet food today is carefully formulated to provide healthy diets, avoid allergies, and provide variety. With the increasing value of pet food comes increased expectations for safety, quality, and consistency. Correspondent with
increased expectations has been more intensive governmental oversight and regulations. When the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed back in 2011, it included recommendations to make regulations on pet food production equivalent with human food production. The last of these updates in regulations went in to place for very small businesses as of September 2018. Meeting
these new FSMA regulations while still making a safe, quality product that is profitable is the current goal and challenge of the pet food industry.
WATER ACTIVITY IN PET FOOD AND MICROBIAL SAFETY
WATER ACTIVITY IN PET FOOD AND CHEMICAL STABILITY
WATER ACTIVITY IN PET FOOD AND PHYSICAL STABILITY
WATER ACTIVITY INGREDIENT INSPECTION IN PET FOOD
THE MOST IMPORTANT SPECIFICATION: WATER ACTIVITY IN PET FOOD
" For pet food, setting an ideal water activity specification is a critical step in formulating for safety and quality. The specification can be set to avoid microbial proliferation, chemical reactions, physical and structural degradation, and moisture migration. The ideal value can be determined based on the most likely mode of failure, such as texture loss for dry products, chemical degradation for semi-moist products, and microbial growth for wet pet food. Once the ideal water activity is determined, a combination of processing and formulation can be used to achieve that ideal water activity."
Dr. Brady Carter world-renowned specialist in water activity