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Food Processing & Technology

Mini Review Volume 12 Issue 1

Innovations in pet nutrition: investigating diverse formulations and varieties of pet food: mini review

Rishav Kumar, Meena Goswami, Vikas Pathak

Department of Livestock Products Technology, College of Veterinary Sciences and AH, India

Correspondence: Rishav Kumar, Department of Livestock Products Technology, College of Veterinary Sciences and AH, DUVASU, Mathura, U.P., India, Tel +405762687

Received: March 18, 2024 | Published: April 5, 2024

Citation: Kumar R, Goswami M, Pathak V. Innovations in pet nutrition: investigating diverse formulations and varieties of pet food: mini review. MOJ Food Process Technols. 2024;12(1):86-89. DOI: 10.15406/mojfpt.2024.12.00302

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This paper provides a comprehensive overview of innovations in pet food products, focusing on kibbles, chews, and treats. Kibbles, which are processed dry dog food, play a crucial role in the pet food industry, with ongoing efforts to enhance their formulation to improve dental health and increase pet preference. Coated kibbles introduce a novel approach with a core and coating, offering a customizable composition of proteins, binders, carbohydrates, and fats. These innovations aim to meet the diverse nutritional needs of pets while improving palatability and health benefits.

Keywords: pet food innovation, kibble formulation, dental health, coated kibbles, palatability


In recent years, the global population of dogs has experienced a notable increase, leading to significant advancements in the quantity and quality of commercial pet foods.1 This surge has prompted the development of pet diets tailored to different body sizes, life stages, and specific breeds, resulting in a thriving pet food market considered one of the fastest-growing segments within the food industry. With a valuation of $58.6 billion in 2011 and an average annual growth rate of 4%, the pet food industry has attracted substantial attention and investment. The rise in demand for high-quality pet foods has spurred intensified research into dog nutrition, aiming to ensure the production of balanced diets utilizing premium raw materials and enhancing nutrient absorption by animals. Innovations and ongoing product developments have been instrumental in driving market expansion, fueled by dynamic economic conditions and rising disposable incomes, particularly in emerging markets like India. Factors such as changing family dynamics, declining birth rates, and evolving social norms have contributed to the growing adoption of pets worldwide, driving sustained growth in the pet food market.2 Additionally, there is a discernible shift towards healthier, more nutritious, and organic pet foods, reflecting changing consumer preferences influenced by urbanization and increased purchasing power, notably in regions like India.

Rapid expansion of the Indian pet food market

The emergence of India as a hub for unprecedented growth in the pet food and pet care product industries underscores a significant shift in consumer preferences and market dynamics. With the pet food market commanding a substantial share of the overall pet industry landscape, surpassing 50,000 tons, and experiencing an impressive growth rate of 10 to 15 percent annually, India has become a focal point of attention for stakeholders across the globe.3 This growth trajectory is particularly noteworthy given the diverse socio-economic landscape and cultural nuances prevalent in the country. While a considerable portion of the Indian pet food market comprises imported products, the landscape has witnessed a notable transition towards domestic manufacturing in recent years. This shift can be attributed to various factors, including regulatory interventions such as the ban on imported pet food products in 2006-07 due to concerns surrounding the avian flu outbreak. Such regulatory measures have not only spurred domestic production but also incentivized investments in local manufacturing facilities and infrastructure. The surge in domestic manufacturing signifies a paradigm shift in India's pet food industry, with local players capitalizing on the burgeoning demand for high-quality pet products. By leveraging indigenous resources, expertise, and innovation, domestic manufacturers are poised to meet the evolving needs and preferences of pet owners while fostering economic growth and job creation within the country. Despite the remarkable growth witnessed in the Indian pet food market, several challenges persist, necessitating strategic interventions and collaborative efforts from industry stakeholders. One such challenge revolves around ensuring the safety and quality of domestically manufactured pet food products, given the stringent regulatory standards and consumer expectations. As the market continues to expand, there is a growing need for robust quality assurance mechanisms, supply chain transparency, and adherence to international best practices to instill confidence among consumers and promote sustainable growth. Moreover, the Indian pet food industry must navigate cultural sensitivities and dietary preferences unique to the country's diverse population. Tailoring product offerings to suit regional tastes and nutritional requirements while maintaining consistency and quality presents a multifaceted challenge for manufacturers and marketers alike. However, it also offers an opportunity for innovation and differentiation, enabling companies to develop customized solutions that resonate with local consumers and cater to specific pet health concerns and dietary preferences.4 In the pursuit of sustainable growth and market leadership, research and innovation play a pivotal role in driving advancements across the entire pet food value chain. Collaborative research initiatives involving industry players, academia, and government agencies can yield valuable insights into pet nutrition, health, and behavior, facilitating the development of evidence-based formulations and product innovations tailored to Indian pet owners' needs. Furthermore, investments in research and development (R&D) infrastructure, technology adoption, and talent development are essential for fostering a culture of innovation and competitiveness within the Indian pet food industry. By harnessing cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and nutrigenomics, manufacturers can unlock new possibilities in pet nutrition and product development, paving the way for breakthroughs in personalized pet care and wellness solutions.

India's emergence as a hotspot of unprecedented growth in the pet food and pet care product industries underscores the country's evolving socio-economic landscape and consumer preferences. The transition towards domestic manufacturing, coupled with regulatory interventions and market dynamics, has positioned India as a key player in the global pet food market. However, navigating challenges related to safety, quality, and cultural nuances requires concerted efforts from industry stakeholders, policymakers, and regulatory bodies.5 By embracing research and innovation, fostering collaboration, and prioritizing consumer trust and satisfaction, the Indian pet food industry can unlock its full potential and contribute to the well-being of pets and their owners nationwide. As the market continues to evolve, strategic investments in infrastructure, talent, and technology will be crucial for sustaining growth, driving competitiveness, and capitalizing on emerging opportunities in the dynamic landscape of pet care.

Pet food market dynamics in Asia

Dogs, being mammals, exhibit a range of emotions and moods that, while distinct from humans, form the basis of their communication with pet owners. These emotional interactions play a crucial role in fostering a strong bond between pets and their owners, enriching the human-animal relationship. As a result, there has been a growing emphasis on understanding and catering to pets' emotional and nutritional needs, driving the demand for pet food, including snacks and treats, not only in India but also across other Asian countries. The pet food market in Asia is experiencing a remarkable surge, propelled by factors such as increasing pet ownership, urbanization, and rising disposable incomes. Among Asian countries, India ranks third in terms of the size of the pet food market, with India and Saudi Arabia emerging as the top two fastest-growing markets.6 This rapid development underscores the evolving landscape of pet care and the growing importance of pet food as a vital component of pet wellness.

Classification of pet foods and market segmentation

Pet foods are commonly categorized into three primary forms: dry, semi-moist, and moist, each differing in their water content and nutritional composition. Dry food typically contains 3 to 11 percent moisture and is characterized by its long shelf life and convenience. Semi-moist foods, with a moisture content ranging from 25 to 35 percent, offer a balance between palatability and convenience, appealing to pets' preferences. Moist food, containing 60 to 87 percent moisture, provides hydration and is often favored for its texture and flavor variety. Within the pet food industry, various segments cater to different pet dietary needs and preferences.7 Treats and snacks are popular options for supplementary feeding, offering pet owners a convenient way to reward and indulge their pets while providing additional nutrients. Therapeutic foods are formulated to address specific health concerns or dietary restrictions, catering to pets with medical conditions or special dietary needs. Complete feed options provide comprehensive nutrition for pets, ensuring they receive a balanced diet that meets their daily requirements.

Trends driving market growth and innovation

Several trends are driving the growth and innovation in the pet food market, particularly in Asia. Increasing consumer awareness of pet nutrition and wellness has led to a demand for premium-quality, natural, and functional pet food products. Pet owners are seeking products that offer specific health benefits, such as improved digestion, joint health, or skin and coat support. Moreover, there is a growing preference for personalized and customized pet food solutions tailored to individual pet preferences and dietary requirements. Manufacturers are leveraging advancements in technology and nutrition science to develop innovative formulations that cater to pets' unique needs, preferences, and life stages. Furthermore, the pet food industry is witnessing a shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly practices, driven by consumer demand for ethically sourced ingredients and environmentally conscious packaging. Manufacturers are exploring alternative protein sources, such as insect-based proteins or plant-based alternatives, to reduce the environmental impact of pet food production.8

The pet food market in Asia is experiencing rapid development and expansion, driven by factors such as increasing pet ownership, urbanization, and rising consumer awareness of pet nutrition and wellness. The classification of pet foods into dry, semi-moist, and moist forms, along with various market segments catering to different pet dietary needs and preferences, underscores the diversity and complexity of the pet food industry.9 As the demand for premium-quality, natural, and functional pet food products continues to grow, manufacturers are innovating and diversifying their product offerings to meet evolving consumer preferences and market trends. By leveraging advancements in technology, nutrition science, and sustainability practices, the pet food industry is poised to address the changing needs of pet owners and contribute to the overall health and well-being of pets across Asia.

Pet treat innovation: a path to enhanced nutrition and functionality

While treats are not a dietary necessity for dogs, they serve a vital role in pet care, commonly used for training purposes and as supplemental or therapeutic feeding options. This segment of pet treats continues to offer significant growth opportunities within the pet food market, as pet owners seek high-quality, nutritious options to enhance their pets' well-being. In recent years, researchers and manufacturers have been at the forefront of innovation in pet treatment development, aiming to create products that not only satisfy pets' taste preferences but also deliver added nutritional benefits. Several patents exemplify the innovative strides made in this field, each presenting unique formulations and production methods to meet the evolving needs of pet owners and their furry companions. One such patent (US 20060188632A1) granted to introduces a pet treat with a rough surface texture and appearance, crafted from a matrix binder and granular fillers.10 The inclusion of ingredients such as gelatinized starches, flours, wheat gluten, and mill feeds contributes to shaping the treat through extrusion, resulting in a product that offers both sensory appeal and nutritional value.

Similarly, secured a patent (US006228418B1) for developing a pet treat, primarily for dogs, by preparing a wet dough composition containing corn flour, palatability enhancers, proteins, and aqueous solutions.11 This formulation, enriched with seasonings and nutraceutical products, underscores the importance of flavor and functional ingredients in enhancing palatability and nutritional content. Moreover, devised a low-calorie dog treat composed of food-grade cellulose, a unique binder, coloring and flavoring ingredients, and salt. This innovative product offers pet owners an alternative to traditional treats, with its primarily fiber-based composition minimizing calorie intake and addressing concerns related to pet obesity. The incorporation of non-caloric binders and a novel production process further enhances the treat's nutritional profile and functionality. These patents highlight the ongoing efforts to push the boundaries of pet treat innovation, leveraging advanced ingredients, processing techniques, and nutritional science to develop products that meet the diverse needs of pets and their owners. By combining sensory appeal with functional benefits, such as improved digestion, joint health, and weight management, these innovative treats contribute to the overall health and well-being of pets, fostering stronger bonds between pets and their human companions. Looking ahead, continued research and development in pet treat innovation will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the pet food industry, driving growth, and meeting evolving consumer demands. By staying abreast of emerging trends and technological advancements, manufacturers can continue to create products that deliver optimal nutrition, taste, and functionality, ensuring the health and happiness of pets around the world.12

Advancing canine nutrition: the evolution of pet biscuits

In the ever-evolving landscape of pet nutrition, pet biscuits have emerged as a focal point of innovation, serving as more than just simple treats for dogs. Recent developments in pet biscuit formulation underscore a profound shift towards customization, functionality, and enhanced nutritional value, reflecting a deep understanding of dogs' dietary needs and preferences. Embarked on a groundbreaking journey to develop functional biscuits tailored specifically for adult domestic dogs. Enriched with probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus plantarum) and prebiotics (inulin), these biscuits represent a significant stride towards supporting digestive health and overall well-being in dogs. The meticulous application of a protective coating, particularly the utilization of starch-glycerol, ensures the optimal survival of beneficial bacteria, even after passing through the rigors of a simulated gastrointestinal system.13 This innovative approach not only showcases the potential of probiotics and prebiotics in pet nutrition but also underscores the importance of proactive measures in promoting canine health. Meanwhile the revolutionized pet biscuit formulation with their patented process for creating visually appealing biscuits with discrete particles distributed uniformly throughout. By blending meat by-products, farinaceous material, and textured vegetable protein, these biscuits offer a sensory experience that delights dogs while maintaining microbiological stability.14 This emphasis on texture and visual appeal highlights the pivotal role of sensory enrichment in pets' lives, reinforcing the notion that pet biscuits can be as enjoyable as they are nutritious.

In a similar vein, introduced an innovative technique for enhancing pet biscuits' nutritional profile through the application of a proteinaceous coating. By carefully crafting a viscous formulation comprising dextrin carrier, meat, glazing agent, and polysaccharides, these biscuits offer a delectable fusion of taste and nutrition. The incorporation of proteinaceous coatings represents a significant leap forward in pet biscuit formulation, catering to pet owners who prioritize quality and nutritional value in their pets' treats. Together, these advancements herald a new era of pet biscuit formulation, characterized by a relentless pursuit of excellence and a deep commitment to canine well-being. As pet owners increasingly prioritize their pets' health and happiness, the demand for high-quality, functional pet biscuits is expected to soar. By harnessing the power of probiotics, prebiotics, and proteinaceous coatings, manufacturers are not only meeting this demand but also revolutionizing the way we nourish and care for our furry companions.

Investigating advanced formulations in pet food: the dynamic role of kibbles and chews

Pet food, particularly in the form of kibbles and chews, stands at the forefront of nutritional innovation, driven by a deep understanding of pets' dietary requirements and evolving consumer preferences.15,16 Kibbles, as processed dry dog food, and chews play a vital role in providing pets with convenient, balanced, and palatable meals while addressing specific health concerns, including dental hygiene. Within the realm of pet food, the continuous refinement of kibble formulations remains a focal point for manufacturers. Pioneering initiatives, such as the development of coated kibbles, exemplify the industry's commitment to enhancing pet nutrition.17,18 These coated kibbles boast a dual-layered structure comprising a core and a coating, offering not only enhanced flavor but also potential dental benefits. The core of coated kibbles is meticulously crafted to include a diverse array of ingredients to meet pets' nutritional needs comprehensively. Carbohydrate sources such as cereals, grains, and bran provide essential energy, while protein sources derived from meat meals, poultry, beef, and soy products ensure optimal muscle development and maintenance. Additionally, fat sources such as poultry fat and vegetable oils contribute to skin and coat health, alongside providing necessary fatty acids. The innovative coating further amplifies the nutritional profile of coated kibbles, often comprising protein and binder components.17,18 This outer layer not only enhances palatability but also aids in reducing plaque and calculus formation, promoting oral health in pets. By incorporating ingredients like gelatinized starches, flours, and various proteins, manufacturers optimize both the taste and functional benefits of coated kibbles, thereby elevating the overall quality of pet nutrition. Furthermore, advancements in chew formulations reflect a growing emphasis on pets' oral health and satisfaction.19,20 Chews offer not only an enjoyable sensory experience but also serve as effective tools for plaque removal and dental hygiene. Products like dry, hard canine biscuits, with visually apparent particles distributed uniformly throughout, exemplify the integration of dental benefits with nutritional excellence, ensuring pets receive holistic care with every bite.19,20

In essence, the ongoing evolution of kibbles and chews in the pet food industry underscores a commitment to excellence in pet nutrition.21 By leveraging innovative formulations and ingredients, manufacturers strive to provide pet owners with products that not only meet but exceed their pets' dietary needs and preferences.22 As research and development in pet food continue to progress, the future promises even greater strides towards ensuring the health, happiness, and well-being of our beloved animal companions.

Future directions in pet food innovation

As we embark on the journey towards advancing pet food innovation, several promising avenues emerge for future exploration and development. One key direction involves leveraging emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data analytics to enhance the precision and efficacy of pet food formulations. By harnessing big data and predictive analytics, manufacturers can gain deeper insights into pet health trends, nutritional requirements, and consumer preferences, allowing for the development of personalized and tailored pet food solutions. Additionally, the integration of novel ingredients and bioactive compounds, including botanicals, antioxidants, and nutraceuticals, holds immense potential for improving pet health outcomes and addressing specific health concerns. Furthermore, exploring alternative and sustainable protein sources, such as insect-based proteins and plant-based alternatives, can contribute to reducing the environmental footprint of pet food production while meeting the growing demand for ethically sourced and environmentally friendly products. Collaborative research initiatives involving interdisciplinary partnerships between academia, industry, and government bodies will be crucial for driving innovation and accelerating the adoption of cutting-edge technologies in pet food manufacturing. By embracing these future directions, we can unlock new possibilities in pet nutrition, wellness, and sustainability, ensuring the continued health and happiness of pets worldwide.

Challenges and considerations in pet food innovation

Despite the remarkable progress made in pet food innovation, several challenges and considerations warrant careful attention as we chart the course ahead. One significant challenge lies in ensuring the safety and quality of pet food products, particularly considering increasingly stringent regulatory standards and consumer expectations. Manufacturers must adhere to rigorous quality assurance protocols, supply chain transparency, and traceability measures to mitigate the risk of contamination and ensure product integrity. Additionally, addressing the cultural and regional diversity in pet dietary preferences poses a complex challenge, requiring nuanced approaches to product development and marketing strategies. Moreover, the rise of counterfeit and substandard pet food products underscores the need for enhanced regulatory enforcement and consumer education initiatives to safeguard pet health and well-being. Furthermore, as the pet food market becomes increasingly saturated with a multitude of product offerings, differentiation and brand positioning will be critical for manufacturers to stand out in a competitive landscape. Balancing innovation with affordability and accessibility remains another key consideration, as pet owners seek high-quality products that align with their budgetary constraints. Collaborative efforts between industry stakeholders, regulatory agencies, and consumer advocacy groups will be essential for addressing these challenges and fostering a sustainable and thriving pet food industry that prioritizes pet health, safety, and welfare.


The evolving landscape of pet food innovation presents exciting opportunities and formidable challenges for stakeholders across the industry. Through advancements in technology, research, and collaboration, we can revolutionize pet nutrition, wellness, and sustainability, ensuring the continued health and happiness of our beloved animal companions. By embracing emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, exploring novel ingredients and sustainable protein sources, and fostering interdisciplinary partnerships, we can unlock new possibilities in personalized pet care and address evolving consumer demands. However, navigating issues surrounding safety, quality, cultural diversity, and market saturation will require concerted efforts from industry players, regulatory bodies, and consumer advocacy groups. By prioritizing pet health, safety, and welfare, and maintaining a commitment to excellence in product development and manufacturing, we can build a resilient and thriving pet food industry that meets the diverse needs of pets and their owners worldwide. Together, let us embark on this journey towards a future where every pet receives the nutrition, care, and love they deserve.



Conflicts of interest

Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.




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