Dog food made out of flies? Fly-based dog food is a new trend that’s here to stay! Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits.
Nowadays, we have a greater appreciation of the role that diet plays in the health of our dogs. We’re starting to understand how allergies to pet food ingredients could be at the root of chronic health issues ranging from arthritis to skin conditions to ear infections. Because of this, many pet food manufacturers are going beyond the staple ingredient list to find new sources of protein that are easy on the canine gut and immune system.
The new buzz
One new ingredient that’s generating a lot of buzz in the hypoallergenic pet food category is protein made from black soldier fly larvae (or grubs). To create this ingredient, the grubs are dried, heat treated, and ground into a protein-rich powder or oil that can then be added to a pet food recipe, alongside other ingredients.
Black soldier fly protein is an excellent choice for a hypoallergenic diet because it’s a novel ingredient – meaning it has never been used in dog food before. That’s a benefit for sensitive dogs because, in general, they need to have been previously exposed to a food ingredient for their bodies to react against it. In other words, this is an ingredient you can feel confident about feeding to your dog.
Nutritious and digestible
The powder created from black soldier fly grubs is filled with prebiotics, essential amino acids, and digestible lipids. Black soldier fly oil is rich in lauric acid – the medium-chain fatty acid that drives the popularity of coconut oil – and it also contains a significant amount of unsaturated fats.
Trials have shown that black soldier fly protein and fat are also highly digestible and palatable.
A sustainable protein source
There’s another major reason to incorporate black soldier fly protein into dog food – it’s one of the most sustainable sources of protein available in the world today.
Enterra is one company pioneering the use of this protein to help create a more sustainable future for us (and our animals). This renewable insect ingredient has less impact on the environment than existing alternatives — it uses only a fraction of the land and water needed for other protein sources.
Enterra also naturally upcycles the nutrients found in organic matter such as food waste. They provide their black soldier fly larvae with 100% plant-based, traceable, recycled food like vegetables, fruit, and grain – which stops food waste from ending up in landfills, all while ensuring the larvae receive the nutrition they need.
Most of us go to great lengths to provide the best care for our dogs, and part of that care is giving them healthy, tasty, natural – and sustainable – food.
As the product line manager for feed ingredients at Enterra, Brad Ewankiw is responsible for all aspects of product management for the current portfolio of black soldier fly larvae-based products and ingredients. As well, he manages the product development process, focusing on new products that will provide value in the pet food and feed markets.