Govt. fund purchase of state-of-the-art extruder
The federal government announced CAD$1.6 million in funding to purchase a state-of-the-art single-screw extruder and establish an Animal Nutrition and Ingredient Development Programme at the University of Alberta.
At the announcement in Edmonton, Calgary-Centre North MP Michelle Rempel said retail sales in the Canadian pet food market are projected to grow to CAD$1.9 billion — a 10.2% increase — by 2016.
"We're here to capitalise on an emerging market opportunity," said Rempel. "There are some big job creators in Western Canada that work in this sector."
Partnering with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) and pet food companies Champion Petfoods and Elmira Pet Products, the entire sum of the funding tips in around CAD$2.7 million.
Using water converted into steam, the Wenger X-115 extruder pushes combined pet food ingredients through a die, cuts them to shape, and then dries and cools them to create pet food.
"It's a very unique technology to press ingredients that normally wouldn't stick together, but now stick together using water and heat," said Ruurd Zijlstra, professor of Agricultural food and nutritional science.
With the rise of the grain-free movement in pet food, the new extruder will allow pet food to be tested with less impact on production.
The extruder has been ordered and purchased, and will make its home at the University of Alberta's Agri-Food Discovery Place building. Zijlstra hopes to have everything up and running by October 2014.
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