During difficult times in our history, whether it is illness, war, or an economic crisis, one thing has always been stable, our pets. Pets have been a comfort and reliable source of happiness throughout the existence of human relationships.

Arguably so, pets have become an integral part of the nuclear family. Statistics show that more Millennials are opting for a pet as opposed to starting a traditional family. Furthermore, at least fifty percent of all adults age 18-70 own a pet. [1] Due to Millennials and Boomers alone, the considerable number of pet owners in our society has offered immense potential for companies that provide sustainable and safe food for our four-legged kin.

Trends in the pet food industry are constantly evolving and tend to follow those set in the human food industry.  The human food industry ensures fresh, clean and minimally processed food on the table; as members of the nuclear family, the same quality standards are desired for family pets. In recent years, pet food manufacturers and R&D labs have answered this call by supplying minimally processed freeze-dried pet foods and treats to the market.

Traditionally, achieving a freeze-dried result requires the method in Figure 1.

Step-by-step process for freeze-drying pet foodIn 2016, as this trend was beginning to surge, Deville Technologies/FAM began working with partners within the industry to better understand current processes and identify bottle necks that may exist. Resounding feedback highlighted challenges with the time needed to temper product prior to dicing and the lack of durability and inadequate cutting principle of the conventional dicing equipment for this type of application. Specifically, for frozen beef liver, the industry was experiencing down time due to maintenance issues from machinery that lacked the robust design and blades to handle the uniquely frozen product. Due to the fragility of the conventional equipment being used, valuable time, resources and capacity were consumed to temper the protein products to a state that was gentler on the equipment.

After years of testing products from rabbit muscle and beef liver to salmon fillets and duck hearts, Deville has provided the industry with a dicer that fulfills the industry’s needs. Keeping in mind the end customer’s requirement for a minimally processed and clean product, the FAM CMD.2 Dicer was created with minimal cutting tools and complete separation between the mechanical and food product zones. With increased durability to handle a variety of product temperatures while yielding a high capacity, the FAM CMD.2 Dicer has provided our partners in pet food the opportunity to eliminate steps in their process and become more competitive and flexible within the marketplace.

Deville/FAM continues to provide frequent and ongoing R&D testing with partners throughout the pet food industry. As the end customer’s attitude and requirements continue to change, Deville Technologies and FAM, are committed to supporting and developing value-added products with their partners. These solutions provide the nourishment for our prized family members.

[1] Baby Boomers and Millennials are Redefining Modern Pet Ownership Trends, reports Packaged Facts, Dec 03, 2019

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