Cutting-edge testing technology fuels new cat food brand

Cutting-edge testing technology fuels new cat food brand

Expanding into the pet food items sector was often a portion of the plan for Sean Wittenberg, president and founder of Safe and sound Capture, a seafood model developed on claims of protection, sustainability and transparency, and Pure Cravings, a soaked cat food model cut from the identical fabric.

After founding Protected Catch in 2014, Wittenberg and his staff put in the past eight decades scaling the human seafood business enterprise — and wonderful-tuning the engineering that begun it all — to help its endeavors to revolutionize seafood-primarily based nourishment for felines.

A proprietary seafood testing strategy is the founding pillar of equally Safe Catch and Pure Cravings. The technology was born of Wittenberg’s quest to assure harmless mercury stages in canned seafood products and solutions following a troubling own knowledge involving his mom.


Mercury-screening know-how

In 2004, Wittenberg’s mother started off a calorie-primarily based diet plan by which she picked and eaten tuna-based meals just about each day. An if not healthful woman, she started suffering from mysterious signs or symptoms and was sooner or later identified with mercury poisoning.

From that day forward, Wittenberg created it his mission to defend many others from the hazards of significant-mercury amounts in professional seafood merchandise. He partnered with educational and market industry experts to start the development of a technology capable of speedily and reliably screening thousands of foodstuff-sure fish for mercury degrees. Kevin McCay, now chief functioning officer at Safe Catch, joined the exertion in 2006 to lend his engineering background to the energy.

“As we had been creating the technological innovation — hardening it and testing it — we experienced to overcome a lot of hurdles,” McCay stated. “We were being likely into seafood processing facilities and storage amenities that are typically tremendous cold and super damp. You have forklifts driving all in excess of the position. So, we experienced to develop a technology that was likely to be sturdy and correct. It took us a superior 15 decades to perfect the technological innovation to the issue where we can have adequate throughput to be able to scale large volumes in business amenities and make sure accuracy.”

The technological innovation was first launched as a strategy of certification, in which Wittenberg, McCay and their staff performed 3rd-occasion screening of seafood products and solutions for the human food market. It was not until eventually 2013 that they determined to transfer ahead with their very own seafood manufacturer, Safe Catch. The crew ongoing to wonderful tune its technology as a result of 2020, when they submitted it for an AOAC overall performance tested methods (PTM) certification. That very same 12 months, the technological know-how was successfully licensed, assuring it was as exact as the latest formal US Meals and Drug Administration (Food and drug administration) technique and performs as expected in a business placing.

Every salmon and tuna is tested through Pure Cravings' proprietary method, and smaller fish like sardines and mackerel are batch tested for mercury.Each individual single salmon and tuna is examined from stringent mercury ranges before they are accepted. Lesser fish like sardines and mackerel are batch analyzed for mercury using a statistical algorithm.  

“Part of what will make us so distinctive is this know-how is really easy to use,” McCay mentioned. “We get a 50 to 100 mg sample of the seafood tissue, or the edible tissue, and feed it into a sample port within the device. A species-measurement mercury profile is selected from a touchscreen. Then, the equipment processes anything within of it, and generates both a inexperienced display or an out of spec monitor. If it can be in spec, it receives put into the Pure Cravings basket. If it’s out of spec, we will not obtain the seafood.

“We’re usually at the sorting area as the fish are coming off the boats, so we will not make any commitments to acquire the product right until we’ve experienced a possibility to inspect it for our technical specs,” he additional.


Pet food with reason

Ideas to start Pure Cravings began in 2020 with a tentative start day of 2021, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed that timeline by about a calendar year. Even so, the mercury-examined damp cat foodstuff model pulled through the pandemic and officially launched in the marketplace in June 2022.

“We often realized that we were being going to get into pet foods,” McCay explained. “We just desired to make Protected Catch a big enough firm to be in a position to maintain the cat foodstuff company, to use the complete fish in some of our innovation, and to get our quantity to in which we could start some true products and solutions.”

In establishing and launching Pure Cravings, just one of the initial issues the Harmless Catch staff did was carry out study about the addressable industry for mercury-examined damp cat meals. Are pet homeowners as anxious about mercury levels in their cats’ food as they are with their possess seafood? How do higher mercury degrees in a diet plan influence cats’ over-all health and fitness and wellbeing? Is pet food stuff a possible software of the company’s seafood screening engineering?

“We did a ton of investigate, and as a result of our personal screening we were being ready to uncover that heavy metals in pet food items can be up to 670-moments larger than in human meals,” stated Bond Milburn, countrywide pet food supervisor at Pure Cravings. “We needed to be able to take that similar purity normal that we’re placing into our possess food stuff and implement it to the extensions of our families: our animals.”

“…As a result of our personal testing we have been in a position to uncover that hefty metals in pet foodstuff can be up to 670-moments larger than in human foods,” explained Bond Milburn, nationwide pet meals supervisor at Pure Cravings.

The business sought veterinary input when placing its mercury limit for cat meals. Pure Cravings only accepts fish with mercury degrees at or below .07 areas for every million (ppm). McCay spelled out, due to the fact .07 ppm is the ceiling, the ordinary mercury stages of all recognized fish and of its finished cat meals formulas are usually much below .07 ppm.

Pure Cravings takes advantage of salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel in its existing formulations. For the much larger fish — salmon and tuna — every single single fish is examined for mercury. For scaled-down bait fish — sardines and mackerel — the organization uses a statistical algorithm to batch sample the fish for mercury amounts.

Apart from its mercury-testing emphasis, Pure Cravings is also designed on a number of other model promises that resonate with fashionable shoppers: sustainable sourcing, traceability, grain-free and non-GMO. For the reason that Pure Cravings leverages the exact seafood source chain as Secure Capture, all fish utilized in its cat meals formulation are human quality, sustainably caught in the wild, and traceable from sea to can.

“Because we are MSC certified for sustainability on the human side [with Safe Catch], a great deal of the byproducts of all these sustainability practices that we make the most of for our human food stuff drop into the tactics that we are working with for Pure Cravings,” McCay mentioned.

The company sources pink salmon from the Northern Pacific, and yellowfin and skipjack tuna from the Pacific Ocean. Once each individual fish is analyzed for mercury stages, approved seafood materials are moved to a storage and processing facility in Thailand. Finished goods are then shipped to the Pure Cravings warehouses in the United States. The business presently operates warehouses on each the East and West Coasts.

Milburn said a massive part of study and enhancement for Pure Cravings cat foodstuff was making certain a top quality, good quality visual appeal, so considerably so that a cat owner could possibly crack open a can and say, “’Okay, I can absolutely understand why my cat would take pleasure in this,’” as Milburn place it.

Pure Cravings won first place in the Cat Category of Global Pet Expo's 2022 New Product Showcase AwardsPure Cravings received initially spot in the Cat Category of Worldwide Pet Expo’s 2022 New Item Showcase Awards. (Picture by Sosland Publishing Business) 

“It does not glimpse like your typical around-processed, above-created fish in a can,” he said. “It maintains the integrity of the fish for the cats to take pleasure in it like they are a element of the household.”

Milburn discussed the complete loin, or white meat, of tuna is used for its Harmless Catch brand, while the red meat, or the bloodline, is not. The business observed this as a great opportunity to benefit from the pink meat portions, which are frequently utilized in pet food items in any case, for Pure Cravings cat food items. The company’s present items use the same loin meat included in Harmless Catch merchandise, but designs to commence applying the purple meat and other areas of the fish in potential products and solutions and formulations.

Pure Cravings now provides 6 SKUs in its first Cutlets in Gravy line: Wild Sardines & Mackerel, Wild Mackerel, Wild Tuna & Salmon, Wild Tuna, Wild Salmon, and Wild Sardines. Every recipe is packed in 3-oz cans, which can be procured in packs of 12 by recipe, or in a Seafood Selection Pack of 12, which incorporates a few cans each individual of its Wild Sardines, Wild Tuna, Wild Salmon, and Wild Tuna and Salmon Cutlets in Gravy.

“We want to make guaranteed as we’re scaling up each organizations that we’re obtaining techniques to utilize that pink meat together with the whole loin,” Milburn mentioned. “It’s all dependent on how significantly we are making for Safe and sound Catch and then also Pure Cravings, but we want to make positive that we’re getting a way to improve all of these proteins and make use of the complete fish in our manufacturing.”

The enterprise anticipates launching a minced tuna meal topper for cats, which will assist the company’s capability to repurpose the secondary products of its manufacturing. This incorporates the bloodline, or pink meat, as properly as juices and trappings that comprise essential vitamins but would usually go to squander.

“Through all of that output, we finish up with a ton of fish juices and trappings that we want to be able to incorporate into other lines down the road, producing certain that we are actually amplifying those amounts of Omegas for pores and skin and coat assistance and boosting the nutrient profile of the line,” Milburn explained. “For the sardines and mackerels, we use the whole fish currently in our Cutlets in Gravy line, and we will carry on to do so. That’s the entire fish, like skins and a pleasant improve of the Omegas.”

Reducing waste and maximizing diet, all though guaranteeing safety from large-mercury seafood, will go on to be the guiding concepts of Pure Cravings.

Likely ahead, the mercury-examined cat foods business will proceed to innovate and develop on its present portfolio. This includes the development of a cat food line that incorporates land animal proteins along with seafood proteins. Milburn reported nutritional because of diligence need to be done to make this addition, such as making sure the company is sourcing only the best, hormone- and antibiotic-absolutely free land animal proteins available.

Pure Cravings only accepts fish with mercury levels at or below 0.07 parts per million (ppm)Pure Cravings’ hallmark may well be its mercury testing abilities, but the model is also committed to sustainability, traceability and excellent. Foreseeable future innovations will target on using “the total fish.” 

“Down the street, it is it is on our radar to look at incorporating a mercury-analyzed fish food when we appear at heading into kibble,” Milburn additional. “It’s not going to be in the quick upcoming, but it is anything that we are on the lookout at.”

Problems and alternatives ahead

Despite the fact that Pure Cravings’ flagship products line is “Cutlets in Gravy,” the process of transporting solutions overseas to the United States is not constantly “all gravy.” The ocean freight crisis has impacted numerous brands’ ability to get product into the United States in an cost-effective and timely method. Exorbitant prices for shipping and delivery containers, uncertainty with specified carriers and congestion at US ports are all road blocks Pure Cravings is presently going through and will go on to face in buy to compete in the American pet foodstuff current market.

“Thankfully we had the foresight to know that we would need to have to build our Protected Catch company to help us to have the sources, the quantity, the connections, the sourcing, and all that goes into a effective pet foodstuff manufacturer,” McCay added. “I imagine having that foresight and knowledge served us weather conditions the storm, alongside with some luck of recruiting genuinely terrific staff to our logistics crew in Thailand.”

After winning Best in Present in the Cat Classification of Global Pet Expo’s 2022 New Product Showcase awards, Pure Cravings is seeking to develop its existence in the US cat food items market place. 

The mercury-analyzed cat food stuff business is concentrating on the pet specialty retail channel, aiming to not only deliver a safe and sound, transparent and high quality soaked cat foodstuff choice to consumers, but also to set up interactions with independent pet suppliers that can inform item progress and make certain the brand’s know-how is conference pet owners’ requires and anticipations.

For instance, as sustainability results in being more and more significant to pet owners, Pure Cravings has produced transport and merchandise packaging to fulfill this need. All cans are effortless-open to offer advantage to shoppers, and there are no plastic parts. Plastic has also been eliminated in just Pure Cravings’ shipping and delivery palettes. The business has also partnered with rePurpose World-wide, by which it has pledged to take away as a great deal plastic squander from the ocean as it generates per year.

“We have the technological innovation, and we have the processing capabilities to make excellent products and solutions,” Milburn explained. “We want to listen to and fully grasp what the merchants and pet mothers and fathers want, so we can use our technology to fill their wants.”

The company is at this time in search of distribution and retail partners in the United States and is welcoming new prospects to help bring its solutions to market.

Read extra about solution advancement, substances and formulation.