Pet Food Specification Writing | Smart Supplier

Molly Colbert

September 23, 2021

Pets have many individual needs and preferences; their foods are formulated to give them all the nutrition they need. There is a wide variety of pet foods and treats, and the standard of which they are held has dramatically increased in the last few decades.

There are 5 formats of pet food:

-       Wet

-       Dry

-       Complete

-       Complimentary

-      Commercial  

Wet Pet Food

This format of pet food can include cans, foil trays and pouches, with the contents including, chunks in gravy and jelly, casserole, and meatloaf formats. Wet pet foods have a high moisture content of approximately 70-80%. They are sealed and cooked at a specific temperature for sterilisation. This ensures the safety and maintains shelf life.

Dry Pet Food

Dry pet foods may be extruded/baked (kibbles) or flaked. They have a much lower moisture content than wet foods and therefore are fed to pets in smaller quantities. Dry foods tend to have higher level carbohydrates, but this does not prevent them from having the suggested levels of protein to meet a pet’s nutritional needs in line with the FEDIAF Nutritional Guidelines.

Complete Pet Food

‘Complete’ pet foods are carefully formulated to ensure all nutrients a healthy pet needs are provided, no matter the format. The FEDIAF Nutritional Guidelines detail the nutritional needs for cats and dogs throughout their life stages.

Complementary Pet Food

This pet food is designed to be only a part of the diet and does not meet the known nutritional requirements when fed alone. Therefore, they must be fed alongside an additional food type such as mixer biscuits. Some complementary pet foods are referred to as treats and can be in moderation. Some raw manufacturers produce complementary pet food with the intent of it being mixed with other products to make a complete meal.

Commercial Pet Food

Additionally, to the standard wet or dry pet food, there are ranges of commercially produced raw products available in frozen or freeze-dried formats. These products can be either complete or complementary. When considering preparation, meat and edible bone are minced, mixed, and then frozen.

Pet Food Specifications and Labelling

In the food and pet food industry, there are specifications for raw materials, finished products, packaging and manufacturing equipment. All aspects related to the product itself are required to be listed to ensure the product is managed safely through the lifecycle. Every item on the shelves has its own unique specification.

A product’s specification is used to create the pack copy, it holds all information that legally must be included on the packaging. For example, a specification includes all ingredients in the product, how the product should be stored and transported, and any cooking or feeding guidelines.

For pet food, the specification must include the feeding guidelines, legal name, percentages of analytical constituents such as protein, fat, fibre and ash, the composition/ingredients list, additives, nutritional additives, ‘best before date, and the net weight.

Why Does Pet Food Need Specifications?

-       They ensure compliance with EU regulations

-       Having the proper documentation in place increases due diligence

-       Identifying product problems will be simplified with the correct documentation

-       They are necessary throughout all stages of the production process. Suppliers, producers, buyers, and customers all rely on specifications to ensure the industry standard has been met

-       It is required to list the raw material specifications and primary information to adhere to the numerous standards to guarantee food safety

How can NT Aid Pet Food Specifications?

A product specification needs to be carefully created and managed to ensure there are no data errors made. Specification management systems enable all product information to be stored and managed within a secure location.

A specification management solution allows businesses to manage products from the development right through to the finished product. This keeps suppliers and businesses accountable for their products and product data.

We offer a product information management (PIM) system, Smart Supplier, which is an industry-standard software as a service (SaaS). This system allows collaboration and communication between businesses and suppliers enabling them to manage products throughout their lifecycle. The product specification system has been independently approved, ensuring clients provide strong due diligence and protect their brand.

Additionally, NT has digital experts who can write industry-standard specifications specific to a client's needs. Our technical team can also check current existing documentation to ensure legal compliance.

For more information or to speak with our team, email or ring 01933 272089 📞

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