Steve’s Real Food of Cottonwood, Utah, is a pioneer in raw pet food manufacturing that has implemented High Pressure Processing (HPP). Through this non-thermal preservation technology, they’ve been able to keep their pet food safe while using only natural ingredients without preservatives. Because of the massive interest around HPP for Pet Food, Steve’s Real Food and Hiperbaric will be hosting a webinar with Dr. Vinicio Serment-Moreno, Applications & Food Processing Specialist at Hiperbaric, on Wednesday, February 12th, 2020, at 1:00pm MST.
Who is Steve’s Real Food?
Steve’s Real Food of Cottonwood, Utah, is a pioneer in raw pet food manufacturing. The pet food company was the first commercial raw brand on the market in 1998, and since that time has worked to create the “perfect” raw pet food diet. The company attributes its 22 years of success to providing a product with optimal nutrition that pets love and pet parents love feeding. Now, with the help of High Pressure Processing (HPP), they’re able to keep their pet food safe while using only natural ingredients without preservatives.
Products of Steve’s Real Food are produced with locally sourced and meat and poultry free range fed on a species appropriate diet, without any antibiotics or hormones. Thus, the company guarantees the quality of its products and reduces carbon footprint.
Their products are commercialized to independent retailers around the U.S and thanks to using HPP, the company has opened new export markets.
Steve’s Real Food challenge
Steve’s Real Food has been looking for a solution to keep its pet food safe while using only natural ingredients without preservatives. The company was using a test and hold process to test for foodborne pathogens, but it proved insufficient. They were also looking for a way to prevent cross contamination for production of meat and poultry.
Nicole Lindsley, Owner of Steve’s Real Food, stated, “It became a challenge since we would have to produce meat and poultry on different days to ensure that cross-contamination did not happen. Additionally, we were opening ourselves up to human error by doing two different processes on meat versus poultry”.
Pet as Family Members
Today, pets are considered part of the family. That’s why an increasing number of pet owners are searching for healthier alternatives to traditional pet foods like canned or dry.
Although appealing, feeding pets with raw food may pose a health risk for animals and humans since it can be contaminated with several pathogenic bacteria. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) conducted a study comprising more than 1,000 samples, reporting that Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes were more prevalent in raw pet food (present in approximately 16% of the tested food) than other forms of pet foods.
As a result of these tests and others, Steve’s Real Food wanted to ensure its food was safe and healthy.
Benefits of HPP for pet food
High Pressure Processing (HPP) is a non-thermal preservation technology that meets the high-standard requirements of both consumers and manufacturers of the pet food industry: premium raw like quality, clean label, safety, and extended shelf-life.
HPP eliminates harmful and spoilage microorganisms by holding the products under high hydrostatic pressure (4,000 – 6,000 bar / 400 – 600 MPa / 58,000 – 87,000 psi), reducing or eliminating the need for chemical preservatives.
HPP preserves the fresh attributes of the products, such as flavor and nutritional content, for several weeks up to a few months under refrigeration. HPP allows your pet to have the benefits of a raw-like food, such as healthier skin, coat, and teeth, without the danger of pathogenic bacteria. Pressure transmission is uniform and instantaneous regardless of shape or size, allowing pet food processing in any type of flexible plastic packaging.
Typically, the raw pet food is freshly prepared, submitted to HPP to ensure its safety, and then frozen or freeze-dried. However, it is also possible to launch refrigerated products with a shorter shelf-life.
Steve’s Real Food implementation of HPP
Steve’s Real Food began using Hiperbaric to implement high-pressure processing on its poultry products last year. It tested nutritional validity and pathogenic reduction before starting the process and spent the rest of the year testing and researching the effect of HPP for Pet Food.
“In December 2019, we decided to use HPP on all poultry and meat products to increase shelf life, eliminate preservatives from the formula and simplify production while mitigating pathogens,” Lindsley said.
Steve’s Real Food uses Raw Advantage Processing, a pet food toller, that uses Hiperbaric HPP machines to HPP its raw pet food. Today, Lindsley is an HPP advocate, conducting consumer awareness efforts to educate pet owners about the benefits of HPP.
“HPP will ensure the growth of the raw pet food sector, as more consumers and retailers are educated about it,” she said. “As they become more knowledgeable, more pet owners will try raw pet food knowing that with HPP it is safe and free of pathogens.”
Video Description: Steve’s Real Food discusses the benefits of HPP and their double grind process that allows them to keep a high nutrition profile
Steve’s Real Food & Hiperbaric – HPP for Pet Food Webinar
Because of the massive interest received regarding HPP for Pet Food, Steve’s Real Food will be hosting a one-hour webinar with Dr. Vinicio Serment-Moreno, Food Scientist & USA Applications Director at Hiperbaric.
Join us on Wednesday, February 12th, 2020, at 1:00pm MST to learn more about High Pressure Processing (HPP) and how the pet food industry is leveraging our technology.