Krill is an ingredient that holds many benefits for pets, so how can you as a pet food formulator benefit from this tiny crustacean?
Rich in phospholipid-bound omega 3, choline, astaxanthin and marine proteins, this powerful ingredient can serve many purposes in pet food.
Read on to find out how krill can make a huge difference for your pet food brand.
Powerful and health-promoting nutrients
Krill meal contains a high proportion of fat, 25% of that being omega-3. Now, this means that a 5% krill meal inclusion on a Dry Matter (DM) basis may contribute with 0.3% of EPA and DHA or 0.4% of omega-3.
This makes krill a powerful omega-3 source for every pet food formula. Studies show that krill-sourced phospholipid omega-3 is much more effective (62%) in increasing the Omega-3 Index compared to marine triglyceride omega-3.
With a fat level of 28%, krill meal also contains approx. 1.4% choline. This means that krill can partly or completely replace any choline source used in a pet food formula.
Known as phosphatidylcholine, the choline from krill is capable of increasing plasma choline 12 times better than the commonly used choline chloride salt.
How important is choline for pets
Another natural component of krill is the extremely powerful antioxidant astaxanthin. This is not only a biological antioxidant for pets, but can also act as a product stabiliser. So, a 5% krill meal inclusion on a DM basis may provide 6.5 milligram astaxanthin per kilo.
A complete protein source
Krill is also a complete protein source, containing all amino acids essential for dogs and cats. Approx. 8% of krill protein is made by the limiting amino acid lysine, with glutamic acid making up another considerable percentage of this protein.
Although glutamic acid is non-essential, it is great for palatability. So, these proteins are highly digestible, with a large proportion made up of short peptides.
Other health benefits of krill for pets
Easy to use in different types of formulations
Even though it contains a high amount of fat, krill is an easy ingredient to work with and can be integrated into many types of formulations. A large part of the fat is present as polar phospholipids, which means krill is not greasy, but quite dry, light and free-flowing.
Despite the high level of vulnerable fatty acids in krill, this ingredient can easily cope with the normal heat treatment used in most extruders. It’s probably due to its astaxanthin, which is naturally integrated into krill.
Pet parents care about their pet's nutritional needs
Another reason why krill can make a difference for your pet food brand is that pet parents are now more interested in their pet's nutritional needs than ever before. As such, they are spending more money on pet food that contains omega-3.
Pet parents already understand how important the right diet is for a healthy pet, and that can only be achieved with a well-balanced diet. Adding krill to your pet food formula will give you a competitive advantage in this industry.
The latest pet industry trends in nutrition
Sustainable ingredients for pets
Pet parents increasingly want to make sure that the ingredients in the food of their dogs and cats are sustainable. So, sourcing ingredients from a supplier that values sustainability is another competitive advantage for your pet food brand.
Antarctic krill are the main food for fish, whales, penguins, and seals, making them extremely important for the ecosystem there. That’s why strict fishing regulations are in place in the Antarctica to help ensure that all life forms dependent on krill have plenty of food.
QRILL Pet is known and appreciated for being sustainable and traceable. In fact, all of our QRILL Pet products have the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certiﬁcation - the highest-ranking sustainability certiﬁcate available.
How krill is a sustainable ingredient for the pet food industry