TORONTO — Talk of protein alternatives for pet nutrition begs the question: how do they stack up against animal-based proteins from a nutritional standpoint? Recent third-party validation for CULT Food Science Corp.’s patented cultivated ingredient, Bmmune®, shows the ingredient not only exceeds protein and amino acid standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), but also delivers postbiotic benefits superior to those offered by plant-based sources.

According to the company, independent lab testing revealed Bmmune to be rich in polyphenols, a natural compound found in fruits and other plant-based ingredients that cannot be digested directly, but are broken down by intestinal bacteria. This process creates short-chain fatty acids, which CULT described as “healthy byproducts” for supporting intestinal health, combatting inflammation, and minimizing oxidative stress.

CULT shared its Bmmune ingredient boasts 1,000 mgs of polyphenols per 100-g serving. In comparison, fresh apples, pears and berries typically contain between 200 and 300 mgs of polyphenols per 100-g serving.

“As a cultured protein, Bmmune yeast was able to be developed to meet very specific nutrient targets, providing not only an excellent amino acid profile, but other non-essential beneficial nutrients,” said Sarah Dodd, BVSc, MSc, Ph.D., DECVCN, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist who joined CULT’s advisory board in June. “It’s more than ‘just’ a great protein source, Bmmune is also a functional ingredient intentionally designed to promote the health of dogs consuming it.”

CULT created Bmmune as a high-protein blend of nutritional yeast and products of fermentation. The ingredient serves as the foundation for its Noochies! Cultivated Pet Food brand, which was reintroduced to the market in April.

“Forget long ingredient lists or multiple supplements; Bmmune, with its fermented and cultivated proteins, is the single ingredient which can provide all 10 amino acids and impressive gut health benefits to dogs,” said Joshua Errett, vice president of product at CULT.

In addition to its nutritional merits, Bmmune also meets demand for more sustainable pet food ingredients. According to CULT, the ingredient is created with very little inputs, requires less water and significantly fewer acres of arable land, and does not emit as much carbon as farm animals or farm equipment used to produce animal-based proteins.

Read more about alternative proteins in pet food.