MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. – The latest market trends on the use of whole and specialty grains in pet food will be discussed at the inaugural Petfood Research and Development Showcase from Oct. 10-12 at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, U.S.

This multi-day event, themed “Going with the Grain,” is a joint industry-academic venture with Petfood Forum and KSU to promote innovation, research and talent development focused on pet food and pet treat manufacturing. The Petfood Research and Development Showcase is hosted by the Kansas State Pet Food Program Team, and utilizes student volunteers as well as facilities within the community.

Throughout the event, attendees will gain insights on the latest market trend shifts in uses of whole and ancient grains in pet food. On Oct. 11, the first full day of the event, some of the country’s leading faculty will present their newest research on the emerging science behind the benefits of grains in pet food.

Scientific presentations will include an exploration of how cereal crop diversity can be used for improved health and the potential applications in pet food, how to use grain-based diets to maximize pet food safety, an in-depth look at kill-step validation, plus a keynote presentation from Dr. Tim Hunt, a veterinarian, pet food company owner and former Iditarod musher, organizers said.

On Oct. 12, attendees will have the opportunity to visit a number of interactive labs led by top pet food suppliers. During the activities and demonstrations, participants will see how the research discussed on the previous day comes to life. They can also ask suppliers questions.

Lab stations will cover how to produce a pet food diet using ancient grains, a hands-on activity baking dog treats mixed with grains, functional enzymes, and novel flavors, processed using rotary molding equipment; a demonstration of the diversity of functionalities that grains have in pet food diets; and making granola bars from ancient grains coated from various colors from botanical sources. All labs will be conducted at KSU’s Grain Science complex.

Various networking events are also incorporated into the agenda, including three evening networking receptions and an optional dine-around event on Tuesday evening, which will take place at local Manhattan restaurants.

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