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Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition and Bond Pet Foods enter into partnership to develop ingredients through precision fermentation

April 26, 2024

Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition, a leading provider of innovative animal nutrition solutions, and Bond Pet Foods, the Boulder-based leader in creating sustainable animal proteins via fermentation, have announced a partnership to develop tailored ingredients for pet food applications. The collaboration is the first of its kind for Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition, and it is Bond's second strategic partnership with a global pet food industry player.

"Our partnership with Bond expands our capabilities and opens up new ways to deliver sustainable, innovative ingredients to pet food manufacturers around the world," commented Matt Fanta, President of Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition. "We see tremendous opportunity with Bond's technology to expand what's possible with pet nutrition and support our pursuit of a more responsible pet food future."

Animal-derived ingredients are the mainstay of dog and cat diets. While the demand for these ingredients continues to grow, meat production to satisfy this demand can have an oversized impact on the environment. As noted in the scientific journal PLUS One, if US pets were their own country, they would be the fifth-largest meat consumers in the world, and responsible for up to 30% of associated carbon emissions.

Bond approaches production of these foundational pet food ingredients differently, employing a yeast-based precision fermentation process that has been around for more than half a century to make ingredients such as vitamin B12, flavors like vanilla, and enzymes for cheese manufacturing, but has creatively reassembled the process to more efficiently produce proteins like chicken, turkey and fish without the animal. Its 'brewing' platform also has the ability to enhance the finished products' nutritional and functional performance, compared with conventional options available today.

"As the petfood industry focuses more on sustainable solutions, precision fermentation is an increasingly attractive tool to produce proteins, flavors, and blends that perform," added Nick Braden, Vice President of Wilbur-Ellis Pet Nutrition. "This collaboration with Bond, and their deep fermentation expertise, will allow us to further advance our ingredient portfolio."

"We are thrilled to partner with Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition on this important work," enthused Rich Kelleman, CEO & Founder of Bond Pet Foods. "For more than 100 years, they have been known for high-quality ingredients and have a genuine commitment to innovation in the pet nutrition space. We look forward to developing a new class of products through this JDA program that will provide pet food manufacturers with more sustainable, functional formulary alternatives."

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