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Revolutionizing Pet Nutrition: The Rise of Microbial Protein Treats


Pure Bites and MicroHarvest Microbial Protein
Courtesy of VEGDOG - Pure Bites and MicroHarvest Microbial Protein

In an innovative collaboration, German biotech startup MicroHarvest has partnered with VEGDOG, an animal-free pet food producer, to introduce a groundbreaking dog treat made from microbial protein. This novel treat, known as VEGDOG Pure Bites, is set to launch at the Pet Food Forum Europe in Germany, during the Interzoo Europe event. The treat combines microbial proteins with potato and apple pomace, making it tasty and hypoallergenic, catering to dogs with severe food intolerances and allergies.


MicroHarvest's use of microbial protein is not just a nutritional alternative but also a sustainable choice. This protein is derived from bacteria involved in fermentation processes similar to those used in the production of traditional foods like kimchi and kefir. It offers a smaller carbon footprint compared to conventional animal-based proteins, producing only 1.4 kg of CO2 equivalent per kilogram of product. This makes it comparable to insect proteins and far more sustainable than most plant-based proteins.


Market Reception and Scientific Backing


The acceptance of microbial protein in pet diets looks promising. A study conducted by MicroHarvest in collaboration with Wageningen University surveyed dog owners in the UK and Germany, finding that a significant majority are open to incorporating such innovative proteins into their pets’ diets. Additionally, palatability tests reveal a higher acceptance among dogs for treats made from microbial protein compared to those made with traditional poultry meal.


The implications of MicroHarvest's technology extend beyond pet food. The company is exploring applications of microbial proteins in livestock and aquaculture feeds and is even considering expansion into the human food sector. This approach not only addresses the nutritional needs of animals but also contributes to a more sustainable food production system globally.


As protein demand continues to rise globally, solutions like those offered by MicroHarvest and VEGDOG are pivotal. They not only provide sustainable and allergy-friendly alternatives but also pave the way for new food technologies that can greatly reduce our ecological footprint and foster a more resilient food system.


This collaboration not only marks a significant step forward in pet nutrition but also showcases the potential of modern biotechnologies to revolutionize food systems to be more sustainable and responsive to global dietary needs.

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