Antarctic krill for pet food? 5 Benefits of this unique ingredient

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By Aysen Korucu - Marketing Manager, October 06, 2017

Creating a new recipe for a pet food formula can be a challenging task. Especially, if you want to develop a product that will stand out in a competitive market, but sometimes it feels like there are just too many ingredients to choose from.

New ingredients are regularly introduced to the market. This makes keeping up with the latest developments and innovations a challenge. However, it is crucial in the pet food industry, where premium and exclusive products are on the rise.

 

Antarctic krill is a fresh and relatively new ingredient in the world of pet food, but something to keep an eye on in the years to come. To introduce you to the highlights of this tiny crustacean from the pristine waters of the Antarctica, we have summarized 5 key benefits for pet food brands:

 

 

1. Ideal for premium pet food brands

One of the challenges that many premium pet food brands face is to find an ingredient that will make their product stand out and cater to an audience that is willing to buy the best product for their pets. High quality krill meal for pet food is produced in a human-grade production facility, which guarantees the best benefits for every pet.

In addition, Antarctic krill is an ingredient that will add a compelling story to your pet food product. How many other ingredients come from the clean and pristine waters of the Antarctica? Probably none other than krill, since the fishery down in the southern ocean, rightly, is very well regulated by CCMLAR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources).

 

 

2. Omega-3s in form of phospholipids

Every pet food formula contains fats, which ideally consists of a balanced combination of omega-6s and omega-3s. There are different sources in the market that can be added to provide pets with essential omega-3 fatty acids. Most omega-3 sources are in form of triglycerides. If we think of adding such an omega-3 oil to a glass of water, the oil would float on top of the glass. This is the case with all triglyceride omega-3s as they do not dissolve in water.

In comparison, most of the omega-3s in Antarctic krill are bound to phospholipids. Unlike triglycerides, phospholipids are water-soluble. This distinctive benefit of phospholipid omega-3s, make them gentle on the pet’s stomach and are more rapidly taken up in the pet’s cells. This allows the pet to take full advantage of the health benefits of these essential fatty acids.  

 

Read more: Which nutrients are essential for pet foods

 

3. Improved taste with marine proteins

When creating a pet food formula, another vital aspect is that the pets actually like the product. Just like humans, some pets are fussy eaters and this worries many pet owners. Pet parents want to offer a healthy meal to their furry family members as well as provide them with a meal that they will enjoy.

The highly palatable marine proteins that are included in Antarctic dried krill meal are the preferred choice by many dogs. In an experiment, 9 out of 10 dogs actually preferred the food that included a high quality Antarctic krill ingredient.

 

 

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4. Additional source of choline and astaxanthin

While many of the nutritional needs in pet food have to be sourced through different ingredients, Antarctic krill offers many benefits in one.

One of these being choline, which is essential for a healthy liver and important for brain health. Choline is available from other sources as well, however, krill as a clean and pristine ingredient delivers it in addition to the previously mentioned benefits.

Last, but not least, krill also naturally contains the antioxidant astaxanthin. Not only is astaxanthin known as a natural protectant, like Vitamin E - it also helps to boost a pet’s immune system.

 

Read more: Choosing the right omega-3 source for your pet formulations

 

5. Sustainable and traceable ingredient

When it comes to marine ingredients, sourcing them from a supplier that values sustainability has become very important for many pet brand owners. More than ever, consumers and businesses alike care about the health of our oceans. Fishing in the Antarctica is highly regulated by catch quotas and responsible companies operating in the Antarctica are involved in research and maintaining a healthy ecosystem in the region. Therefore, choosing a krill source that is MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified, should be your preference.

 

Read more: What is sustainable fishing? 

 

The MSC certification also means that your Antarctic krill ingredient’s entire  supply chain can be traced back to the location it originates from. This becomes increasingly important for pet owners when it comes to the food choice for their pets. With the right Antarctic krill source, you can let your customers be part of the whole journey of this unique ingredient.

 

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Read more about krill omega-3s

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