BOULDER, COLO. — MFiber, a supplier of Miscanthus grass ingredients to the pet food processing industry, requires 86% less fossil fuel use, 98% less water, and emits 87% less GHG during extraction and processing than traditional powdered cellulose, according to a life cycle analysis (LCA) conducted in collaboration with Pet Sustainability Coalition (PSC).
“The results of the LCA were astounding,” said Melissa Bauer, director of sustainability at PSC. “MFiber used 86% less fossil fuel and a whopping 98% less water than powdered cellulose, and generated 87% less Greenhouse gas emissions. It is exciting to think of the global impact if even a fraction of the pet industry switched from powdered cellulose to MFiber.”
MFiber is owned by Aurora, Mo.-based Renew Biomass. Both Miscanthus grass and powdered cellulose can be incorporated in pet food products as a source of fiber.
MFiber is a cellulose fiber extracted from Miscanthus giganteus grass grown in the Midwestern United States. Powdered cellulose is fibrous plant material extracted from tree wood before it is “mechanically and chemically cleaned, processed and disintegrated,” PSC explained.
PSC and MFiber included the material and manufacturing phases of extraction and production in determining each ingredients’ environmental impact. In sum, the LCA revealed MFiber has a considerably lower environmental impact than powdered cellulose across all categories.
The extraction and production processes of MFiber utilize 153.2 million fewer gallons of water than the extraction and production processes for powdered cellulose. MFiber uses less fossil fuels to extract and produce, enough energy savings to power 169 homes per year on average. Additionally, every one million lbs of powdered cellulose replaced with MFiber is equivalent to the carbon sequesteration of 12,614 acres of US forests over the course of one year.
“Sustainability has always been at the forefront of our work at MFiber,” said Dustin Dover, chief executive officer of MFiber. “We joined PSC in 2019 because we shared their definition of sustainability, focusing on people, pets, and the planet. We are committed to providing excellent employment opportunities and value-driven work in rural areas of the United States, as well as reducing the environmental impact of an important, healthy, ingredient used in pet food.”
Read more about sustainability in the pet food and treat supply chain.