RF Pasteurization of Freeze-Dried Pet Foods

RF Pasteurization of Freeze-Dried Pet Foods

Radio Frequency Pasteurization of Freeze-Dried Pet Foods

One of the newer options on shelves now, freeze-dried pet food, has become an increasingly popular choice in recent years as it is easy to digest and is packed with nutrients that can help support your pet’s health because the food retains all of its nutrients during the dehydration process.  Humans have been freeze-drying food for centuries.  The global freeze-dried food market is expected to reach $85.3 billion by 2024 and part of that number comes from the rise of freeze-dried pet foods including beef, chicken, lamb, and fish. These meats are all packed with nutrients that your pet needs to stay healthy

However, many veterinarians worry about illness-causing bacteria. “Freeze-drying alone, without a prior heating/cooking step, is not an effective way to eliminate microbial pathogens like Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria,” says veterinary nutritionist Dr. Megan Shepherd, who is also a clinical assistant professor of nutrition at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. “Therefore, I recommend avoiding raw and freeze-dried animal tissue-based products, unless the manufacturer can confirm that the finished product is pathogen-free.”

To date, there are three primary methods of pasteurization of freeze-dried foods, high pressure (HPP), irradiation, and Radio Frequency Pasteurization.  Of the three, Radio Frequency is the only continuous method that does not require special labeling, and complies with USDA “Organic” and FDA “Clean Label” standards.  Radio Frequency is also FSMA compatible as a critical control point (CCP) kill step.

Radio Frequency’s unique volumetric heating means there is no temperature differential from the surface to center, and no prolonged soak time which could be damaging to protein functionality.  This short heating cycle allows the product to maintain protein functionality, and other organoleptic and nutritional qualities.

With systems available for production capacities ranging from less than one thousand pounds per hour to over ten thousand pounds per hour, the correct fit and maximum return on investment can be easily achieved.  

Founded in 1946, Radio Frequency Company’s 40,000 square foot design and manufacturing facility is located in the suburbs of Boston Massachusetts alongside of the historic Charles River.  RFC is the world’s leading manufacturer of advanced industrial RF processing systems for the rapid heating, drying, disinfestation and pasteurization of food products and ingredients.  Sample testing as well as microbial challenge studies can be performed at RFC’s in-house laboratory.For further information, please reach out to Lisa Mitchell at lmitchell@radiofrequency.com or contact us here.

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