Only the best is good enough for the safety of your pet’s food

Bruker’s Dr Adrian Fiege explains what X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is used for in pet food design and production.

In brief, XRF enables fast and easy elemental analysis of raw materials, intermediate products, and final pet food. It supports cost-efficient production of high-quality food and feed. 

Q: Adrian, can you tell us about the importance of production and quality control in the pet food industry?

A: When it comes to pet food, consumers expect top quality for their loved ones. Production and quality control are essential, especially in the case of specialised food and diets for different pet breeds and ages. Each cat, dog or horse breed has its own unique nutritional needs, and it is important that the food we produce meets these requirements. Quality control measures, such as testing for mineral compositions, help pet food producers ensure that their products are safe, nutritious and of the highest quality.

Q: Why are certain mineral compositions important for animal health while others are harmful?

A: Minerals play a crucial role in maintaining the health and wellbeing of animals. Certain minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, sodium, sulphur, chlorine and magnesium are essential for various bodily functions. However, an excess or deficiency of these minerals can have negative effects on an animal’s health. For example, an excess of calcium can lead to urinary stones, while a deficiency can cause rickets or osteomalacia. Similarly, heavy trace elements such as lead (Pb) or mercury (Hg) can be harmful to animals if ingested in higher quantities. These are just a few examples of why it is critical to carefully monitor the mineral composition of pet food products and supplements. And this is where XRF analysis plays an important role.