They come in all different sizes and shapes; from large square bites, to little pellets, fish shapes, chicken shapes and everything in between. Making kibble is a baking process commonly known as extrusion where all the ingredients start as a dough.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
There are as many different pet food brands as there are pet breeds, and each one has it’s own unique recipe. However, the process of making kibble is relatively the same and every company has to obey regulated standards to provide a nutritionally balanced food. Firstly, protein sources like beef, chicken, fish and eggs must be included, then grains, cereals, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are added to give that extra boost in goodness.
All these ingredients are ground and kneaded into a heavy dough that is ready for baking.
The machines used in the extruding process were originally created for puffed breakfast cereals and manufacture bulk, shelf-stable food. First, the dough that’s created from proteins, grains and cereals is passed through a pressurized steam or boiling machine to cook the mixture. These are extremely high pressures and temperatures that compress the dough!
Once cooked, the dough is then pushed through an extruder, which is like a die cut of specially shaped and sized holes, and cut with a knife. Once the pressure is lost, the kibble will puff up, not unlike rice bubbles!
These added ingredients are an important step in the process of making pet food nutritionally balanced. After the dough has been passed through a dryer which transforms them into solid kibble pieces, they are sprayed with fats, oils, minerals and vitamins before being air sealed to keep these ingredients from spoiling. It is during this stage that nutrients such as Taurine are added, giving extra goodness to the pet food.
Once done, the kibble is bagged and sent on its way to the shelves, ready for our fur friends to enjoy!
WHY YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
We’re proud of our quality pet foods at PET GUARDIANS. We want your pet to have only the best food available – and there is a lot available out there!
However, not all pet foods were created equal, so make sure you read the label to know what is going into your pet’s stomach. Heavy use of grains and animal by-products as opposed to quality meat products should be a warning sign when choosing food.
HELPFUL HINT: The order of ingredients listed on the label is read in descending order. This means that a quality pet food is one that has the meat ingredients listed at the top of the order, with grain ingredients following. Remember, dogs are omnivorous, meaning that they need a variety of meat, vegetables and grains to give them a balanced diet. Cats, on the other hand, are carnivorous, and should be fed much smaller amounts of vegetable and grain. Most kibbles include grain as a binder, but the best food is one that has as minimal amount as possible.