Processors are turning to high-pressure pasteurization (HPP) to reduce pathogens and keep both pets and humans safe from dangerous cross-contamination. “HPP is most widely used for the inactivation of pathogens in the raw materials of pet food,” says Errol Raghubeer, Ph.D., senior vice president of R&D at JBT/Avure, Middletown, Ohio. “After HPP, the product can be sold as refrigerated or frozen pet food or sent to a clean room to be formed into shapes such as nuggets, bones or biscuits. The shaped, pathogen-free product can then be sold refrigerated or frozen, or further dehydrated by heat or freeze drying.”
Raghubeer adds that while moderate levels of pathogenic bacteria naturally found in raw or minimally processed meat may not be harmful to dogs and cats who eat these diets, cross-contamination poses a dangerous risk to the humans who encounter these pets, as well as their food and dishes. The Food and Drug Administration recognizes HPP as an acceptable method to achieve pathogen reduction.
For dry pet food processors who blend freeze dried meat and dehydrated fruits and vegetables as inclusions with kibble into cat and dog diets, HPP provides an important level of assurance that the processor isn’t introducing a pathogen into the finished product. Co-manufacturer C.J. Foods produces kibble that is coated with ground freeze dried meat. Before being delivered to C.J. Foods, freeze-dried ingredients are pasteurized through HPP. Read the full article here.