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Vets Plus ‘Shell’ Protects Probiotics in Soft Chews

Microencapsulation is being used in Vets Plus soft chews to preserve the stability of probiotic microorganisms.

Microencapsulation is being applied first to Vets Plus-manufactured soft chews, but the company is continuing its research.

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Vets Plus Inc. has started using microencapsulation to ensure the stability of active ingredients in soft chews for pets.

The manufacturer of private-label pet health products announced Monday that the proprietary technology is being used with probiotic microorganisms sensitive to gastrointestinal conditions such as stomach acids.

“With our proprietary cold-extrusion process for soft chew production, we’ve found ways to ensure viability of temperature-sensitive microorganisms,” said Vets Plus founder and CEO Raj Lall. “Microencapsulation allows us to work with an even broader range of ingredients to bring our partners innovative, targeted soft chew supplements.”

The technology also offers flavor protection, increased shelf life, controlled release and odor masking, the Menomonie, Wis., company reported.

Microencapsulation is widely used in the food industry but not so much with pets, company spokeswoman Katie Boehm said.

“Vets Plus is beginning to apply this technology, so it is newly developed for our products,” she said. “It has not been licensed to other companies at this time.”

The microencapsulation, or shell, is typically made from starches, milk proteins and gums in the human food industry, Boehm said, but “the details of our coating are proprietary.”

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