Bond Pet Foods Develops The World’s First Animal-Free Chicken Protein For Dog And Cat Nutrition
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 11/11/2021
Proprietary approach brews chicken protein through biotechnology and fermentation, instead of harvesting conventionally on farm and field
Bond Pet Foods, Inc., the Boulder-based company working with biotechnology to make animal-free and protein-rich pet food, today announced the creation of the world’s first animal-free, cultured chicken meat protein for pet food applications. The prototype is a big step on its way to scale-up and commercial production.
Using a proprietary production process that is more humane and sustainable compared with conventional agriculture, Bond is able to take a harmless, one-time blood sample – in this case, from a heritage hen named Inga who is alive and well at a farm in Lindsborg, Kansas – to determine the genetic code for the best types of chicken proteins to nourish dogs and cats.
The genetic code is then coupled with a strain of food grade yeast. When this yeast is grown in a fermentation tank, it churns out meat proteins that are identical to those typically produced on farm and field. It’s a similar fermentation process that’s been used for half a century to make enzymes for cheese, but Bond is reassembling the process to harvest high quality animal proteins.
To demonstrate the cultured chicken protein’s cooking potential as well as its palatability with dogs, Bond enlisted its culinary and nutrition teams to develop a baked treat recipe with the novel ingredient, and then fed samples to a select group of lucky dogs at the company’s Boulder headquarters. The exercise showed promise on both fronts, with high mixability and enthusiastic uptake from dog volunteers. More robust feeding trials, including detailed analysis of palatability and digestibility, will be performed in the future.
Bond’s cultured chicken protein, once fully developed, will have the same primary nutrients of conventional chicken meat including its essential amino acids, and will meet or exceed AAFCO requirements for both dogs and cats. Its first chicken-based products will debut in 2023.
Find out more in the press release.