How is dry kibble made? Iams & Eukanuba Behind the Paw

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Behind The Paw

After my mom returned from the Iams & Eukanuba Behind the Paw summit, I had a lot of questions about how dried kibble is made.  I told my mom that just because she has had the opportunity to visit and see behind the scenes at many food manufacturing facilities, doesn’t mean that the rest of us  know what an auger in an extruder is or how it works exactly.  Have you ever wondered how dry kibble is made?

I bet many of you have eaten an extruded product.  Here is a photo of a very common human food that is made by the extrusion process.

Pasta spirals extruded by machine

Extruded Pasta Spirals.

The dry kibble at the Iams and Eukanuba plant are also made my the extrusion process. I thought you might like to know that ALL the raw materials, another name for ingredients that are in Iams and Eukanuba dried food are sourced from North America, actually the United States and Canada, except for the lamb and venison that comes from New Zealand.

When all the ingredients have been tested  and cleared for processing the kibble is ready to be made.  I found a flow chart from the Pet Food Institute and I thought this would help me explain the kibble making process.

Please note, this is not the flow chart from the P&G Leipsic Plant. This is just for me to show you how the extrusion process works.

Pet Food Extrusion Flow Chart

Flow Chart by Pet Food Institute http://www.petfoodinstitute.org/Index.cfm?Page=DryPetFood

  1. All the Ingredients in their proper quantities are placed together in a mixer.  Dry ingredients might be ground, for example meat ground into meal, prior to mixing with  wet ingredients.  After the dry and wet ingredients are mixed, they will form  a moist dough.
  2. The dough may be  heated in the pre-conditioner before advancing to the extruder.
  3. The extruder, is like a big meat grinder or pasta maker.  The dough is extruded under intense heat and pressure as the auger  moves  the dough  through a shaping die with a blade that moves in a circular motion cutting the pieces of kibble to just the right size.
  4. The kibble moves along a conveyer ,where it is dried in an oven reducing the moisture content until the kibble  will be shelf stable.  That means the kibble will be just fine stored at room temperature. The kibble is then cooled to a precise temperature.
  5. When cooled,  the kibble  passes through a machine that adds the flavor that makes the kibble taste good.
  6. Packages are formed filled  and sealed during the last step.  Each package is filled  to the exact amount to meet the weight advertised on the label and is code dated for quality and safety reasons.
  7. The  finished goods, or packaged kibble are then  palletized,  shrink wrapped and labeled for shipping to  a retailer near you.

I hope you found my extrusion post interesting.

My next post will tackle your questions about ingredients.  Thank you for reading.

We received no compensation from P&G other than hotel, transportation, meals and bowling during the

Behind The Paw Summit

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Comments

  1. Hmm, interesting process. I’m looking forward to hearing about the ingredients. Thanks for the good/ hard work Gracey and mom!!