GERMANY- Functional ingredients manufacturer BENEO has launched its new toolbox of high-quality and non-GMO vegetal proteins that allow manufacturers to cater to the increasing demand for natural, plant-based, and sustainable pet food products.

The new toolbox features rice protein, vital wheat gluten, and faba bean protein concentrate, each offering specific nutritional and technical benefits that allow manufacturers to tap into this trend in pet food.

According to BENEO, 1 in 3 pet food shoppers believe that using plant-based ingredients makes pet food seem a lot healthier. 

Moreover, pet food manufacturers increasingly face lower availability and price volatility, mainly for meat (co)products. 

Therefore, many producers are willing to explore new protein sources and diversify their portfolios. 

With a range of versatile solutions that can also be combined, BENEO’s vegetal proteins provide high-quality concentrated and non-GMO sources, with excellent amino acid profiles that enable the development of plant-based or hybrid pet foods.

For example, besides its high protein density of approximately 80%, BENEO’s rice protein is hypoallergenic and highly digestible, making it suitable for pets with allergies, and sensitive pets such as puppies and older animals. 

Therefore, it is a particularly attractive solution to target the approximately 6 in 10 cat and dog owners that are interested in allergen-free pet food.

It is also a good source of several essential amino acids (methionine, cysteine, phenylalanine, and tyrosine) that are involved in some major metabolic processes and support a pet’s normal and healthy growth.

Additionally, rice protein is a clean-label ingredient that is perceived as (very) natural by 61% of pet owners globally.

Another BENEO genius ingredient is the vital wheat gluten, which, according to the pet food expert offers a high protein density of approximately 80%. 

It delivers an interesting amino acid profile, as it is rich in glutamine, which is the preferred fuel for intestinal cells that can help repair damaged cells, as well as tyrosine, which plays a vital role in maintaining fur color. 

Vital wheat gluten also has excellent viscoelastic properties that can improve the texture of different types of pet food and offer great technological and application benefits. For example, it can positively affect the extrusion behavior in dry pet food and the chunkiness and meat structure in wet pet food. 

Additionally, BENEO’s faba bean protein concentrate is a great alternative to animal and soy proteins and is suitable for “no grain” claims in pet food. Its amino acid profile is relatively rich in lysine and can complement cereals’ protein. 

It also contains relatively high levels of glutamine, which improves palatability and supports the growth of intestinal cells, as well as arginine, which is important for cognitive health. 

It has excellent solubility and functional properties, allowing for soft and delicate mousse-like gels, making it particularly suitable for use in wet pet food products. 

These elements are key, considering that more than half of pet owners pay attention to sustainability and the carbon footprint as part of their pet food purchasing decisions. 

BENEO’s toolbox of vegetal proteins, as well as the company’s longstanding nutritional and technical expertise, stands to help pet food producers develop innovative recipes that tap into the trend for more natural, plant-based, and sustainable options.

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