Last year, 2017, was the year of the unicorn. We saw unicorn pancakes, unicorn frappuccinos, and so much glitter, everywhere! This trend continues this year as well, sites such as Instagram and Pinterest are bursting with images of glitter in foods and beverages.
We all know that trends move from the food industry into the pet food industry. We have seen it with organic, grain free, gluten free, non-GMO, locally-sourced... the list goes on and on.
The nation is fascinated with glitter in food. Will this the be year that unicorn treats hit the pet food aisle?
Watson manufacturers Edible Glitter™ for the food industry.
Back around 1956 my father, John Watson, created Edible Glitter™ at the new startup company that
he called Polymer Films. Today that company is part of Watson Inc. We still make Edible Glitter™ here in our West Haven CT facility, from a clean, simple recipe of food-grade ingredients: Gum Arabic, which is the sap of the Gum Acacia tree, and a food coloring. For the color, we can use any FD&C color, EU colors, or what is called “color additives exempt from certification” These colors are the ones that consumers usually call ‘natural colors’, since there is no legal food-industry definition of the word "natural." Examples would include black carrot juice, cabbage juice, red radish, the yellow spice turmeric, etc. These are what most people refer to when they say natural colors.
So can these Edible Glitters™ be used in pet food? The answer is yes, they can, and they are already being used in some commercial pet treats today. The trend is just starting to take off in the pet food industry. In the next few years, expect to see much more Edible Glitter™ being used in pet foods and treats.
Here’s a very useful link with regards to color additives put forth by AAFCO.
Color Additives Used in Animal Food
All approved color additives (colors) are in 21 CFR 73 or 21 CFR 74
These are the glitters we can use for pet treats and foods
- Mauve - F290075
- Beta Carotene Red ("brick red") - F290003
- Amethyst C (Cabbage) - F290074
- Yellow - Turmeric - F290002
- Radish Red, Gum Arabic 8 mesh - F290028 (WT-10529AL)
- Blue, Gum Arabic, 8 mesh (Spirulina) - F290008
Pet Food Forum 2018
If you are attending the pet food forum, stop by our booth to see Edible Glitter™ and other Watson ingredient systems first hand. Learn more here.
Nutrition and Innovation for Companion Animals
To learn more about Watson ingredients that have applications in the Pet Food Industry, download our full brochure for Companion Animal Health here.