Food processing

Cross-industry collaboration continues through Pet Food Alliance

KANSAS CITY, MO. – Suppliers, manufacturers and academics from the pet food and rendering industries gathered May 4-5 for the Pet Food Alliance (PFA) Annual Technical Meeting, co-located with the Petfood Forum at the Kansas City Convention Center.

As evidenced by this year’s Technical Meeting, PFA’s mission is to encourage cross-industry collaboration between members of the pet food and rendering industries and academia in order to build relationships, to share innovations and to identify and fund research initiatives. The 2022 meeting provided opportunities for networking, convening working group meetings and direct focus areas for the future of the organization.

Source: Sosland Publishing Co.

“The Pet Food Alliance intentionally tries to bring together members from all walks of pet food and rendering with members from academia to say, ‘Here’s a challenge, here’s an opportunity; let’s find a solution for this. Let’s move together in this direction,” said Jennifer Martin, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Center for Meat Safety and Quality in the Department of Animal Science at Colorado State University (CSU).

“We are here to bring people to the table to find answers to problems,” she continued. “…We truly believe that impactful research requires everyone around this table. New ideas, new perspectives and new experiences make a richer research project, and a richer research project gives you actionable solutions, where you can take the research that is being done through this alliance, its supporters and the industry members who are in this room, and implement these findings in a way that you can see the impacts within your own businesses. »

Presentations and discussions focused on two topics: product safety and standardization of industry best practices. Speakers included:

  • Jennifer Pelerin, biochemist and chemical sales associate at Quartz Analyticswho shared a collaboration between Quartz Analytics and Tyson Foods on peroxide value and free fatty acid testing of rendered protein flours;
  • Craig Coon, co-owner of Four Rivers Kennel, LLC and poultry nutritionist at the University of Arkansaswho discussed the effects of oxidation on palatability and the role played by peroxide value;
  • Mary Landis, Grain, Milling and Feed Industry Sales Manager at FOSS North Americanwho shared several product inspection capabilities offered by FOSS to analyze quality and safety;
  • Scott Knowlton, North American Sales Manager, Pet Food and Rendering Division, TOMRA Sorting Solutionswhich detailed the company’s optical sorting technologies and how they can be used to improve the safety and quality of pet food ingredients and finished products;
  • and Tammy Hogan, Senior Quality Manager, General Mills Blue Buffalo Companion Animal Segment, and Doug Harkness, President and CEO, American Tank Wash Partners, LLCwhich discussed cross-industry opportunities to standardize tank washing instructions and options for liquid ingredient tank trucks.

Closing the day’s presentations, Martin spoke about PFA’s successes and next steps for the organization.

Martin discussed the possibility of updating the structure of PFA meetings and refining communications to allow for better engagement and participation, particularly within the university community. By involving aspiring students more in the organization, supporting engagement on college campuses, and possibly hosting more frequent task force meetings, PFA hopes to maximize its positive impact in the pet food and pet food industries. rendering.

“What haven’t we accomplished? Martin asked. “What do we really need to be intentional about accomplishing as we move forward?”

At the end of the day, the three PFA working groups met to identify specific projects to fund. All funds raised through Technical Meeting registration fees will be used to support research determined by the priorities of these working groups.

Pet Food Alliance members meet in working groups to determine research funding opportunitiesSource: Sosland Publishing Co.

“When you pay to attend today’s meeting, you’re not paying for the pretty gray tote bag…You’re paying to fund research that you have the ability to identify as important,” said Martin. “Today, thanks to your investment, we have raised approximately $100,000 to fund research. It’s impressive.”

The Product Safety Working Group continued the conversation on tank washing standards with the goal of influencing future improvements. The Product Quality Working Group discussed studying peroxide value testing methods to determine effectiveness and best practices. The Consumer Perception and Sustainability Working Group looked at the quality of rendered protein and how it is perceived by the consumer. These three priorities will guide the organization’s future research initiatives.

PFA was founded in December 2017 when it first met at CSU. Since 2017, membership has grown from around 30 to over 400 in the pet food and rendering industries and in academia. The organization has been funded largely by the Fats and Protein Research Foundation, which has historically focused on supporting research for the benefit of the rendering industry and adjacent stakeholders.

More information about the PFA can be found at

Learn more about the Pet Food Alliance Or other pet food and treats industry events.