SANIMED dry foods for dogs and cats are made in our own factory in the Dutch town of Veghel, which is also home to our Research division. This allows us to keep a close eye on the quality of our products at all times. Want to learn how we make our dry food? Let us take you on a tour of the 7 steps!
Step 1: Arrival of ingredients
In order to make good, high-quality food, you need high-quality ingredients. The origins of our ingredients are verified and fully traceable. We source our raw materials exclusively from certified suppliers. This guarantees quality and safety, even before the raw materials arrive. We also conduct thorough inspections of the ingredients upon their arrival.
Step 2: Milling & mixing
The actual production process starts with the weighing out of the ingredients. Most ingredients are automatically weighed in the correct amounts and ratios. The ingredients used in smaller quantities, the fine components, are added manually.
After dosing, the ingredients are ground by hundreds of hammers in a hammer mill until this meal reaches the required fineness and exits the hammer mill through a sieve. Vitamins and minerals are added manually and bypass the hammer mill, so they remain intact during the production process. After this, the mixer blends the meal mixture into a homogeneous substance.
Step 3: Extrusion
After milling and mixing, the mixture is ready to be shaped into kibble. With the addition of water and steam, it is pressed through a die and cut to the desired thickness. And so, the SANIMED kibble is born. When the kibble comes out of the die, it expands. It is a kind of popcorn effect. We call this process “extrusion”, and it takes place in an “extruder”. The die determines the final shape of the kibble.
Step 4: Quality control
During the production process, we take a sample from every batch of kibble. These samples are checked for properties such as thickness, diameter and aroma. Next, we verify the nutritional values of the kibbles, such as crude protein, crude fat, moisture content and crude fiber. Since we use natural ingredients, not all the products are the same color. This is because the different batches of natural raw materials may be slightly lighter or darker.
Step 5: Drying, coating & cooling
After leaving the extruder, the kibble is dried. This occurs at temperatures between 80 oC and 130oC (176 to 266oF). After drying, the kibble is coated. During the coating process, the kibble is sprayed with fats and digest. For oils and certain concentrations of fat, the vacuum is used, drawing some of these into the kibble. The fats and digest not only increase the energy content of the kibble, but they also add an aroma and flavor that is attractive to dogs and cats.
Next, the kibble is cooled to room temperature in a cooler. The hot air extracted from the cooler is reused to dry the kibble. Drying and cooling are essential to prevent mold.
We keep an eye on the entire production process from a control room. This includes detailed monitoring, inspection and documentation of the production process. For instance, during the production process, we take one sample every hour and test its hectoliter mass, shape and moisture content. The Quality Department checks the sample for nutritional value, color, aroma and dimensions.
Step 6: Packaging
In the packaging line, the correct amount of food is automatically weighed out and dropped into its package. Every package is stamped with a unique batch code and an expiration date. The unique batch code on each bag guarantees end-product traceability of the individual ingredients used and their origins.
Step 7: On its way to you!
Finally the SANIMED packages are stored in our large, on-site warehouse. From there, we load the bags of food onto trucks that take them to your veterinarian or online retailer. All ready to provide your dog or cat with excellent and, above all, naturally healthy food.