Listen in today from 11am for a look back as Suzanne takes you on a journey to the south of France to Royal Canin HQ to look at how their pet food is created – from research to finished product!
Suzanne speaks to Thomas Bissot, Global Scientific Communication Manager, about the importance of achieving exactly the right balance of nutrients in Royal Canin products.
Also from Suzanne’s visit to Royal Canin HQ is a special interview with Global head of sustainability at the Royal Canin headquarters, talking about the business of pet food and a new shift in providing sustainable product and practice.
Check out the photos from Suzanne´s trip to Montpellier below!
The Royal Canin product comes into the UAE and is distributed by the St Vincent Group. Check out the short film here as Suzanne gets a tour with Lucy Hives, Scientific Sales Advisor at Saint Vincent Group!
Suzanne at the Royal Canin campus in France with Head of Global Sustainability Fabrice Mathieu
The Royal Canin headquarters/farm in France:
Royal Canin pet food is distributed to the UAE, Bahrain and Oman via the St Vincent Group based in Dubai. Suzanne headed to Royal Canin’s headquarters in the South of France to have a look around the campus where she saw the kennels and cattery. There she learned about palatability, nutrients, packaging and the innovation behind kibble. Set in amongst green fields, Royal Canin was started by a local vet in the village close by back in 1967. Royal Canin has now grown with factories in twelve countries and 35 trucks of raw materials and ingredients arriving every day to the France campus every day and around a thousand SKUs (range of products). That’s producing 200,00 tons of food feeding two million dogs coming out of the Royal Canin Headquarters.
L.I.P. stands for Low Indigestible Proteins. When you see L.I.P. proteins in the ingredient list, this means that very high quality, highly digestible protein has been used in the food. For protein to be classified L.I.P. it must be over 90% digestible and easily assimilated into the body.
The use of high quality, easily assimilated proteins helps reduce the amount of undigested remains reaching the colon. If a large quantity of protein is undigested, it can lead to an increase in fermentation and result in soft and smelly stools.
All Royal Canin products use extremely high quality proteins which are rigorously selected and controlled throughout the manufacturing process.
Importance of the kibble
Our innovation doesn’t stop with formulation. The breed, age, size and sensitivities of cats and dogs are also taken into account when we design kibbles.
The size, shape and texture of kibbles change according to the specific characteristics of the animal it is intended for. Siamese cats – who are known for picking up their food with their tongue or teeth and eating fast – have a tube shaped kibble with a specific texture designed to encourage grinding, which works to slow down the speed of ingestion and even helps maintain good dental hygiene. Mini Junior dogs have an easily re-hydratable kibble especially suited to their small jaws, with a crumbly texture to aid oral hygiene from early on in life.
Choosing a kibble
The final decision makers on which kibble shape, size and texture we use are the cats and dogs themselves. When developing our Bulldog kibble, 26 English Bulldogs tried out 10 different kibble designs. The dogs were given a tasty meal of Bulldog 24 in a see-through glass bowl, which was filmed from beneath with a hidden camera. From the video footage, each shape could be accurately assessed for ease of gripping and chewing, plus the time spent eating.
After study of the video and further input from our network of Bulldog breeders, a wave shape kibble, which is easy for the Bulldog to pick up and facilitates chewing, was selected.
Debunking Pet Nutrition Myths
Today, pet owners want to be more informed when it comes to what they feed their pets. But there’s also a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to ingredients like protein sources, grains, fillers, gluten and by-products. So what do these ingredients really mean for your pet? Let us tell you.
Should Chicken Be the First Ingredient?
Contrary to popular marketing messages, chicken listed first on a label is not an indication that the diet contains more protein. Ingredients must appear in descending order of their weight in the diet. The total weight of the ingredient includes the water content. And since chicken meal is chicken with water and fat removed, it weighs less than chicken but actually can contain a higher percentage of protein.
Why Are Grains Important?
Many people will tell you that corn causes allergies and has no nutritional value. And while a food reaction may affect some dogs with rare, documented food allergies, there is no evidence to support claims that grains in general cause health problems.
When processed properly, grains like corn can be a healthy part of any cat or dog’s diet. In fact, properly processed corn contains far more nutrients than ingredients commonly used as replacements for it in grain-free diets.
Royal Canin grinds the corn very finely before it’s added to any of our formulas. This makes it a very effective and digestible carbohydrate source.
We also recently added corn gluten meal and wheat gluten to some of our feline and canine formulas. Both are great sources of highly digestible protein, and wheat gluten contains amino acids that support gastrointestinal health. Both corn and wheat gluten are good complements to chicken meal.
What Do You Need to Know About By-Products?
Misinformation about by-products in pet food is widespread, and many people believe that by-products are bad for pets. The Association of American Feed Control (AAFCO) defines chicken by-products as the ground, clean parts of the chicken, which include internal organs, bone/cartilage and other parts. Royal Canin only uses high-quality by-products, like hearts, livers and lungs. And when processed properly, by-products provide valuable nutrients for the pet. They are excellent sources of quality protein, vitamins and minerals and can help contribute to a balanced nutritional profile. At Royal Canin, we take great care in selecting and processing by-products for our feline and canine diets. We only use suppliers whose offerings are up to our strict standards, and our intensive food testing program double checks both quality and safety in our raw materials and finished goods.
France is a nation of animal lovers and in particular dogs. See some of the French pooches Suzanne managed to capture whilst on her visit to Paris.
And this cute fellow is producer Linda´s King George who loves his Royal Canin indoor cat food!