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High pressure processing solution for decontamination of raw pet food

26 May 2022

Holmach and UHDE have introduced a process solution for UK and Eire manufacturers to help maintain the nutritional benefits of raw pet food, whilst ensuring end user safety. 

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The health benefits of a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet (BARF) for dogs and cats are not in question, however, there still continues to be some nervousness in the sector relating to handling of the raw product and potential contamination from pathogens for both the owner and their pet.

Holmach’s technology partner, UHDE, has been hosting High Pressure Processing (HPP) trials with a customer in Germany to address the concerns surrounding handling of Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diets (BARF) for dogs and cats, and the potential contamination from pathogens for both the owner and their pet.

HPP is a method of applying high pressure to food efficiently and gently. Also known as high pressure pasteurisation or pascalization it is an ecologically pure method as no further preserving agents or chemicals are used and the nutritional and sensory benefits of the products remain almost unchanged.

From the outset, the priority for this project was to ensure the protection of the pet owner when they prepare the food. It was also a priority for the pet food manufacturer to ensure that their processes aligned with the needs of their retail partners, in terms of shelf-life, and in-store display requirements.

The solution sees the raw meat being HPP processed and then frozen until it is ready for distribution. After defrosting, the shelf life of the raw meat is approximately 4-6 weeks, meaning that it only needs to be refrigerated during transportation, on retail display and ‘at home’. The HPP process ensures that the raw meat doesn’t contaminate fridges after opening, meaning that it doesn’t have to be stored away from human food. 

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