Research – Using lactic acid to control Salmonella in raw dog food

Pet Food Processing

Can encapsulated and raw acidulants help to control Salmonella in raw meat-based dog foods? Samuel Kiprotich, a Ph.D. student at Kansas State University (KSU), presented his research on this topic at the American Feed Industry Association’s (AFIA) Pet Food Conference on Jan. 25, held in conjunction with International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Ga.

Kiprotich noted that current methods of achieving kill steps for raw diets, such as high pressure pasteurization and irradiation, can be costly. The purpose of his study is to find a more inexpensive way to control foodborne pathogens, looking specifically at organic acids such as citric acid and lactic acids.

When incorporated into a raw meat-based pet food formula, organic acids can “shock” the product, causing discoloration and syneresis, Kiprotich explained. Encapsulating the organic acid, or coating it with edible vegetable oil, would allow it to be released more slowly into the product, “giving us the antimicrobial protection that we want without damaging the product,” he said.

Kiprotich’s study was conducted in two parts over a 22-day storage period: one to determine the efficacy of encapsulated and dry-plated lactic acids in controlling growth and survival of Salmonella enterica in a raw pet food, and another to monitor pH progression to measure acidity.

The experiment included two types of lactic acids — encapsulated and dry-plated — and three treatment levels for each acidulent: 1%, 2% and 3%. Two control diets formulated without acidulants were used, in which the positive control was inoculated with Salmonella, and the negative control was not inoculated.

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