MANNHEIM, GERMANY — Ingredient manufacturer BENEO launched its new toolbox of high-quality and non-GMO plant-based proteins for use in pet food and treat formulas. The ingredients range from rice protein to vital wheat gluten to faba bean protein concentrate, with each offering nutritional and functional benefits.

BENEO introduced the vegetal proteins in response to increased consumer and processor interest in plant-based pet foods. According to BENEO’s “Consumer Research on Attitudes Towards Pet Food in US, Brazil, UK, Germany & China 2021” report, about one in three pet food purchasers believe that pet foods with plant-based ingredients seem healthier. Additionally, pet food processors continue to face lower availability and high prices for meat-based byproducts and ingredients, forcing many to look into more plant-based protein sources.

BENEO’s vegetal protein toolbox for the pet food and treat industry offers high-quality, non-GMO, concentrated ingredients that can be used to create completely plant-based or hybrid diets.

The company’s rice protein boasts a high protein density of 80% and is also hypoallergenic and highly digestible. According to BENEO, this makes it perfect for pets with allergies or sensitivities, as well as puppies and older pets. The ingredient can be used in allergen-free pet food formulas, in which about six in 10 dog and cat owners are interested for their pets, according to BENEO’s report. The rice protein also serves as a good source of methionine, cysteine, phenylalanine and tyrosine amino acids that are involved with metabolic processes and can support healthy growth in pets.

BENEO’s vital wheat gluten also contains  a high protein density (80%) and is rich in glutamine and tyrosine. The ingredient can help repair damaged cells and help maintain fur color in pets. Alongside its nutritional benefits, vital wheat gluten also offers strong viscoelastic properties, improving the texture of pet foods. With its water absorption capacity, the ingredient can be used in extruded dry formulas, wet diets, and semi-most foods, serving as an alternative to spray dried plasma.

BENEO’s faba bean protein concentrate can serve as an alternative to animal- and soy-based proteins, making it suitable for grain-free pet foods. The ingredient is rich in lysine and can be easily blended with rice protein or vital wheat gluten, as well as cereal proteins. With high levels of glutamine and arginine, faba bean protein concentrate can help enhance a formula’s palatability and support the growth of inessential cells in pets, as well as cognitive health. Alongside its nutritional benefits, this ingredient also offers solubility and functional properties, which can be used to create soft, mousse-like gels for use in wet diets.

Additionally, faba bean protein concentrate features sustainability benefits due to the ingredient’s cultivation and BENEO’s local sourcing and production. According to BENEO’s research, ingredient sustainability is key, as more than half of pet parents take into account sustainability and carbon footprint when purchasing pet foods.

Among their range of benefits, BENEO’s plant-based proteins also offer high digestibility, with rice protein and faba bean protein concentrate offering a nearly 90% digestibility score and vital wheat gluten offering a digestibility score over 90%.

Read more news from pet food and treat industry suppliers.