Nutraceuticals in Pet Foods: Big and Growing Bigger

Friday, June 1, 2018

The nutraceuticals pet food industry is presently worth about $5 billion based on research conducted by

Mordor Intelligence published in Jan. 2016. The main reasons cited for the growing trend is favourable

consumer acceptance of quality nutraceutical ingredients and a demographic that is increasingly better

informed about health benefits of quality nutraceutical ingredients. People want to keep their pet

healthy, and not just treat ailments after they happen. Nutraceutical are often used as both

preventative and as part of a treatment program. Common ailments in pet include obesity, joint disease,

skin and hair problems, oral health concerns and cancer. There are literally hundreds of different

ingredients that are capable of exerting some type of health benefit for each ailment, or better yet to

prevent ailments from occurring. The tricky part is designing a product that has achieves the maximum

effect you are looking for, safely.

Many commonly used nutraceuticals are already used as flavouring agents, olfactory agents, and as

topicals. The dietary amount needed to support a health benefit is almost certainly greater than that

needed as a flavouring agent, and it is likely that many such ingredients are safe at the required

inclusion levels.

The main categories of nutraceutical ingredients presently on the market as food ingredients and

supplements are anti-oxidants, omega fatty acids, joint health products (such as chondroitin sulfate,

glucosamine and MSM), and prebiotics and probiotics for supporting gut health and immune status.

Ingredients in pet foods are regulated in the USA and Europe, but not in Canada. Canada, however, does

have a notification program in place for supplements (Veterinary Health Products). Many companies

currently have ingredients in pet foods without adequate regulatory approvals in place. This may be fine

so long as these companies have compiled their regulatory dossiers and are on their way down the

approval pathway.

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