MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State University’s (KSU) International Grains Processing (IGP) Institute hosted 32 participants for the a pet food formulation course to teach about the complexities involved in creating pet foods and treats. The training was held Jan. 13-17 and showcased pet food-related topics through labs and classroom exercises.

Participants learned about different aspects of pet food formulation and gained working knowledge of ingredients, processes and the software necessary to create new companion animal products. The diversity in the content of the course attracted pet food employees from a wide range of roles such as formulation, new product development, quality control, marketing, sales and new company startups.

Course participant Paul Paige, sales manager at Diana Pet Food, works with small company start-ups in the pet food industry and helps direct them on how to formulate and how to increase the palatability of their formulas.  

“This course gave me more of a first-hand knowledge base of what my customers are going through,” Paige said. “I’m able to assist more in the process and then able to recommend the best product for them to succeed.”

Course activities ranged from making extruded foods, treats and canned foods in the lab, to creating formulations using software. Participants also engaged in classroom discussions over various topics pertaining to ingredients, regulations, nutrition and the process of making pet food.

“They’ve been in the lab and learned how to make the food and the idea is to integrate the manufacturing process and connect with this knowledge about ingredients,” said Greg Aldrich, research associate professor and pet food program coordinator. “What we’re trying to do is teach our participants how to be effective formulations for new pet food products in all of the various formats: cans, baked, dry, extruded and even raw or other new food formats.”

The next pet food related course offering will be Aug. 20.

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