LAS VEGAS — Trouw Nutrition’s kelp-based superfood ingredient, Tasco, will be the centerpiece of its exhibition during SuperZoo 2019 from Aug. 20 to 22. This “superfood of the sea” can provide exceptional immune system support when incorporated into a pet diet, Trouw says.

The all-natural ingredient is harvested from Ascophyllum nodosum, a species of macroalga native to Canada’s North Atlantic region, a particularly harsh environment that adds to the species’ resilience as an animal food ingredient.

“Different species of kelp contain different constituents and improper handling and processing can destroy important compounds originally present in the live plants,” said Scott Baker, manager of strategic marketing and analytics for Trouw’s companion animal division. “Commodity kelp meal can contain mixtures of species from all parts of the world and can contain varying compositions of constituents that are not well characterized or scientifically researched.”

The particular species of kelp leveraged in Tasco contains a variation of prebiotic fibers, protective compounds and antioxidants that fortify pets’ immune systems against environmental stresses when incorporated into their diets, according to Trouw.

The bioactive compounds found in Tasco also support gastrointestinal tract health due to a “naturally occurring mix of polysaccharides and other protective compounds [that] improve digestion by positively changing the gut microbiota,” said Dr. Trevor Faber, nutritionist for Trouw’s companion animal division.

“By helping cells suppress the production of harmful proteins and metabolic byproducts, as well as boost animals’ metabolism, Tasco enables animals to more easily regulate their body temperature, thereby reducing vulnerability to heat stress,” Faber added.

Trouw also noted the harvesting process for this macroalga is highly selective and, after processing Tasco, the finished ingredient is closely analyzed to ensure only the purest batches are sent to manufacturers to incorporate in pet foods.

Trouw Nutrition will be exhibiting at booth #3215 during SuperZoo.

Read more about product development, ingredients and formulation.