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K-State Today

July 9, 2021

K-State hosts successful Pet Food R&D Virtual Showcase

Submitted by Stephanie Pierce

Event Photo

More than 165 pet food industry professionals from 30 countries and 31 states Zoomed into the K-State Pet Food R&D Showcase on June 24.

The event featured two tech talks by K-State faculty, a demonstration by Extru-Tech, graduate student research presentations and networking opportunities. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from Greg Aldrich, research professor and Pet Food Program coordinator in the grain science and industry department, speak about nutrition and processing implications of starches in pet food. Valentina Trinetta, associate professor in the animal sciences and industry department, also presented her research on the effects of moisture on salmonella survivability in different types of rendered fats.

Will Henry from Extru-Tech hosted a helmet-cam demonstration that allowed attendees to watch new treat products being made with emerging protein ingredients and with an increased focus on food safety.

The Pet Food R&D Showcase is typically hosted by K-State on the K-State campus each fall.

"This online format allowed us to overcome the limitations due to COVID-19 restrictions and reach a wider audience than ever before," Aldrich said.

The showcase was a combined effort between the K-State Pet Food Program and K-State Innovation Partners. It also featured eight sponsors: Extru-Tech, Petfood Forum, The F.L. Emmert Company, IsoNova Technologies, Balchem, EuroFins, Kansas Department of Ag and the National Corn Growers Association.

Attendees were asked to select the best graduate student research presentations. The top three received scholarships totaling $1,000. The winners:

  • Isabella Corsato Alvarenga
  • Samuel Kiprotich
  • Aiswariya Deliephan

Starting in fall 2022, the event will be rebranded as KibbleCon. This new, interactive, in-person event will be held next year in Manhattan. Dates and the agenda will be announced in early 2022. Please check out the website to sign up for updates.

For links to presentations or more information, please visit the Pet Food Program events webpage, or contact Stephanie Pierce, economic development and entrepreneur relations manager at K-State Innovation Partners, at smpierce@k-state.edu or 785-532-3892.

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