Fresh from the farm to Fido.
It’s about time you asked just how is The Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated pet food manufactured? And we’re gonna tell you, here’s how:
#1 Get ingredients from trusted suppliers We only procure ingredients from our trusted suppliers in the human food industry, many of whom we’ve worked with since we started in 2002. They provide us with ingredients that are non-GMO, non-irradiated, and none that are sourced or grown or processed in China. Most of them are organic, Fair Trade and free-range.
#2 Harvest ingredients
Every ingredient is nurtured to its peak of ripeness, then washed and trimmed to size. Foods like root vegetables are finely diced to ensure easy digestion for our four-legged friends.
#3 Dehydrate ingredients
This is a slow process that is much gentler than cooking. It helps to retain the nutrition of each ingredient. Items like meats and fish are steamed to eliminate pathogens, then they are removed from dehydration after reaching a certain temperature. The entire process of dehydrating meats takes about 45 minutes. When it comes to potatoes and grains, these are flash heated and/or rolled so as to break down cellulose, which is beneficial for better digestion. After which, the starches are gently dehydrated to remove remaining moisture. Even our vegetables and fruits are dehydrated using warm air to gently blow away moisture – a process that takes several hours. This is done to eliminate any traces of microbial exposure. While drying the veggies may prevent the growth of yeast and mould, it doesn’t fight all potential contaminants such as Salmonella (which steaming can eradicate).
Why do we steam our ingredients first?
This is done to purge all pathogens in our ingredents. Just by gently steaming our produce, we are able to remove all potential contaminants without actually cooking the product, so this ensures that its nutritional value stays intact. This procedure – Steam Sterilisation – is a process of treating the produce with continuous steam at a temperature ranging between 73 and 82 degrees Celsius to remove harmful bacteria while keeping the structure and flavour, as well as moisture content, of the original produce undamaged. What makes this method even better is that it leaves behind no toxic residue and is an equally eco-friendly solution because it uses less energy no chemicals. Steam sterilisation is also considered to be a truly organic process.
Image Credit: Olearys, Frutas e Vegetais, CC (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/)