We wanted to provide some information and an update on the recent issue with the size of kibble found in Annamaet dog foods. First, we want to assure you that there have been no ingredient or formulation changes in our dog food diets. The kibble size is a result of the unintended consequences of an equipment upgrade.
Here’s an explanation of the situation from Rob Downey, Founder and President of Annamaet Petfoods.
"The kibble size change was due to an update of our equipment at the plant. As you may know our products are extruded. The mixed raw material will pass through the barrel of the extruder under pressure and heat, and comes out through the holes in the die plate, most people envision it like a meat grinder. The holes in the die plate will determine the diameter of the kibble, a revolving knife blade then determines the length of the kibble.Over time friction will make the diameter of the holes larger and the kibble size will increase. A small change in the diameter of the hole in the die plate can make a large change in the diameter of the kibble because of various factors including moisture, pressure, density and temperature. The other problem is the holes in the die plate do not wear evenly over time, some get bigger than others. This allows for variation in kibble size in the same batch which is also a concern for some customers. So over time we do have to change the die plates. Earlier this year we decided to go to a high tech titanium die plate that would last much longer and wear evenly throughout its lifespan. This should make for less variation over time. Unfortunately the first batch we ran, the kibble was much smaller than we expected. We didn’t anticipate any size change. So then we had to buy a second set of plates the next size up which is the product you are seeing. The bottom line is our intention is to maintain a consistent size kibble, we invested in these new plates thinking that would help help us reach this goal.We use a smaller extruder that runs at lower temperatures to do a slow cook for better bio-availability for the dog. This artisanal production makes maintaining consistent kibble size more difficult than using large extruders that run at very high temperatures for much shorter periods of time, but allowing for a more uniform kibble size. I value digestibility over appearance as high temperatures have a negative effect on absorption rates. For example, only 60% of Vitamin A is available with an extruder temperature of 300 degrees, but at a 200 degree extruder temperature, over 90% of Vitamin A is available. With studies showing that dogs on extra high vitamin levels will live 23% longer than dogs on average vitamin levels this becomes critical."
We've listened to the feedback from our customers, most importantly the four-legged friends who eat our Annamaet kibble. We have been researching and working to find a solution. Beginning with our February 2019 production, the kibble will be extruded to a smaller size than you are currently seeing. This new size will more closely match the kibble size we have been producing and your dogs have been enjoying for years.
We hope this helps explain any issues you may have come across and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We are happy to discuss any additional questions. You can reach us by email at info@Annamaet.com or phone at 267-382-0163.
Thank you again for your time and support of Annamaet Petfoods.