Interview

 

Galen Rockey

Process Manager for the Pet Food Applications Group within Wenger Manufacturing, Inc.
interview - March/2011

   
Esta entrevista em português    
     

Galen Rockey after completing a course of study in the Chemistry Option of Grain Science and Management, Galen graduated from Kansas State University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He joined Wenger Manufacturing in 1973, and in 1983 became the Manager of Wenger’s Technical Center, an agri-food laboratory devoted to research and development. He has 38 years of laboratory, extrusion process, and research experience.

 

A past member of the American Association of Cereal Chemists and the Institute of Food Technologists, Galen has authored numerous publications regarding the extrusion process. He was the recipient of the Alpha Mu Distinguished Service Award in Extrusion Technology from Kansas State University in 1990..

 

Mr. Rockey came to Brazil in March, 2011, to do a lecture at the III Congress and X Symposium about Pet Nutrition organized by Brazilian College of Animal Nutrition - CBNA. It occurred at São Paulo - SP - Brazil. Nutrição.Vet interviewed him about his lecture and about pet food extrusion and pet food safety.

 

01: Have you ever been in Brazil? What did you know about the pet food area of our country?

02: What was your impression of CBNA Congress (São Paulo – SP – Brazil, March, 2011)?

03: What is the importance of the safety in pet food in Brazil and in other countries?

04: What are the most important topics of your lecture that will be tomorrow in CBNA Pet Congress?

05: Wenger organized a workshop before the CBNA Congress here in São Paulo-SP, Brazil, is it correct? How was it?

06: What meetings do you usually go and what should someone go to keep itself up to date in Nutrition of Dogs and Cats?

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nutrição.Vet: 01- Have you ever been in Brazil? What did you know about the pet food area of our country?

 

 

 

Mr. Rockey:

Actually this is my 5th visit to Brazil and so I’m somewhat familiar with the industry here.

 

Wenger Manufacturing recognizes the importance Brazil has in the pet food industry. Only recently Brazil has become the number two player, passing up Japan in pet food production, and this further confirms the importance of Brazil.

 

In November of last year [2010] I was here at Florianópolis University to talk about pet food safety. Food safety is one of the most important issues and challenges facing the industry. Number one is pet food safety and number two is energy

efficiency. So I think these are very important factors.

_____

"... recently Brazil
has become the number
two player, passing up Japan in pet food production, and this further confirms
the importance
of Brazil...”

_____



(pg.01.) (continued). (top).

 

 

 

 

     
     

nutrição.Vet: 02 - What was your impression of CBNA Congress (São Paulo – SP – Brazil, March, 2011)?

 

 

Mr. Rockey: There are two things that really impressed me here.

 

Number one, when I looked the agenda I saw a number of papers been presented on research and I had no idea that the industry and the Academia in Brazil was this involved in pet food research.

 

I saw research on maximizing raw soy beans in extruded diets for dogs, I saw the use of enzymes and their impact on the diet and nutrition and health of the dog.

 

The level and amount of serious research going on in pet nutrition in Brazil was a surprise to me.

 

The second thing that impressed me was to be to meet so many of my colleges that I see in the U.S. at trade associations, at ‘Pet Food Forum’. They are here!  

 

able to meet so many of my colleagues from the U.S. involved  in the Pet Food Industry.

 

 

 

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So to me this also confirms the importance of the pet food industry in Brazil.

 

(pg.02.) (continued). (top).

 

 

 

 

     
     

nutrição.Vet: 03- What is the importance of the safety in pet food in Brazil and in other countries?

 

 

Mr. Rockey:

Oftentimes when Wenger  participates in a Seminar, a Workshop, a Trade Association we survey the participants and we ask them “what is the most important issues facing you now?”. Not yesterday, not in the future, but now.  Invariably in the last three years it’s been “pet food safety”.

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"... what is the most important issues facing you now?... Invariably in the last three years it’s been 'pet food safety'.”

_____


This is the number one issue, followed by energy efficiency and then availability of ingredients. But pet food safety is been number one for the last three years.

 

So, we feel that pet food safety is very important not only in United States but also in Brazil. And, why? Because we believe this is being driven not necessarily by government regulation but by the retailers.

For example: the GFSI – Global Food Safety Initiative –is a group of retailers that are trying to standardize on the food safety schemes. We believe that this will have more impact on the pet food industry than government regulations.  GFSI requires even deeper commitment   from the pet food manufactures than the government regulations in terms of the programs they must put in place, and more important, the culture that each pet food manufacture must have.

 

 

So, in the U.S. in January 4th of this year [2011], President Obama signed into law ‘the Food Safety Modernization Act “ which regulates pet food the same as any other prepared foods.  The requirements of this act are not as involved or detailed as GFSI!

 

GFSI  members include people like Walmart, Tesco, Carefor, etc…  These people say: “unless you follow GFSI-accepted programs, we will not market your product, whether it’s Brazil, U.S. or Europe or Asia.

 

So we believe that it’s really important to understand what the GFSI group is requiring. And they have listed a number of
schemes or programs that they will accept:  SQF; ISO 22000; Food Safety 2200 and all of these are really a combination of prerequisite programs and some type of  food safety management programs.   So again I think that eventually in every country we will see people adopting these programs.

 

While visiting the many multi-national pet food companies in Brazil, we see that many of them already have these programs in place or are in the process of implementing them.  The programs encompass food safety management programs, good manufacturing practices and standards operating procedures. 

 

 

Again, more importantly than the programs – is easy to say “I have this program”- but has to be the culture of all the people in the manufacture facility.


You know, trust is so essential in this, because we need the trust of the consumer and we need the trust of the feed regulatory officials. So if the industry can gain that trust, they will go a long way towards improving the industry and promoting the pet food industry.


(pg.03.) (continued). (top).

 

 

 

 

     
     

nutrição.Vet: 04 - What are the most important topics of your lecture that will be tomorrow in CBNA Pet Congress (*)?

 

(*)Proceedings can be purchased. Get in contact cbna@lexxa.com.br

Mr.Rockey: Well, number one, again, will be the recognition that the pet food manufacturing industry will need to adapt these pet food safety standards, as I’ve mentioned earlier.

 

Number two, this includes the establishing and monitoring and validating  of what I call “critical control point – CCP”, which normally includes the extrusion temperature. So every company will need to establish the minimum extrusion temperature for reducing and controlling salmonella and other pathogenic organisms. There is a correct way to do this and in my lecture I will give a detailed indication how to measure this correctly.

 

And then, finally, once we pasteurize the product  in the extruder, it’s necessary to prevent recontamination which can happen down stream of the extruder.

 

Another point is that every pet food manufacture should receive a certificate of analysis from the supplier for the raw materials coming into the plant, especially those that will be added in the coating step.

 

Pet food is coated with palatants, oils and fats after  the extrusion pasteurization step and these coatings must have a C.O.A. – Certificate Of

Analysis – that they are free of salmonella.

 

A last point to consider would be the packaging materials. Sometimes we think: “There is no possibility of this being a vector for infection”.

 

_____

"... even plants that have a good program all the way through their process flow, they forget about the packaging material and this could be a source of recontamination also...”

_____


 

 

But what we find is that even plants that have a good program all the way through their process flow, they forget about the packaging material and this could be a source of recontamination also. So it is important to have the C.O.A. even for packaging materials.

 

(pg.04.) (continued) (top).

 

 

 

     

nutrição.Vet: 05- Wenger organized a workshop before the CBNA Congress here in São Paulo-SP, Brazil, is it correct? How was it?

 

 

 

Mr. Rockey:

Yesterday which was March 29th, 2011, Wenger sponsored a workshop and invited the pet food manufacturing industry in Brazil to this workshop where we discussed the important topics of food safety and energy efficiency and how this relates to the efforts the Wenger is putting forth in terms of hardware or the equipment, and also in the supporting services for this hardware.

 

So I was really pleased to see many of the major players have representatives here at this workshop and at the end of the workshop we had a round table discussion and many of the participants expressed their views about what is going to happen in the pet food industry and how important food safety is.

 

I think everyone is taking this seriously and understanding if they don’t implement proper programs it will be

difficult for them to retail their products in the future. And this is already happening! For example I know that Walmart has said that within 18 months they want all of their suppliers to participating of these programs.


 

 

 

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So it is going to happen and I was very pleased to see that the pet food industry herealready recognizes that and are taking steps to make sure that they are implementing the proper program as required.

(pg.05.) (continued). (top).

 

 

 

 

     

nutrição.Vet: 06- What meetings do you usually go and what should someone go to keep itself up to date in Nutrition of Dogs and Cats?

 

 

 

Mr. Rockey: The primary one that comes to my mind is “Pet Food Forum” organized by Watt Publishing which is in Chicago, U.S.,  in April. This is a long standing event designed for everyone in the pet food industry. They also have a similar event in Europe – Pet Food Forum Europe.

 

I also would recommend the International Poultry Expo. That is held in Atlanta during the last week of January every year.  It includes a pet food conference that’s focused specifically on pet food safety and all of the current issues and challenges in the industry.

 

And there is one other resource - of course there is this one in Brazil of CBNA - but don’t forget the Webinars. There are many webinars addressing these topics and they are very helpful. A webinar is a internet generated presentation by experts and you just go on-line at the pointed time and you can see and hear the presentation and at the end you can ask questions at the presenter.

 

So they have this from the

lawyers point of view, they have it from the manufactures point of view, they have experts in microbiology.

 

Usually they are sponsored by an association, like the A.F.I.A  - American Feed Industry Association -, another one would be P.F.I. - Pet Food Institute -, another one is W.A.T.T. publishing -  . There are more, but these are the ones that come to mind. When you go to these sites they will tell you when these webinars will be.

_____

"... The primary
one that comes to
my mind is “Pet Food Forum” organized by Watt Publishing which is in Chicago,
U.S., in April....”

_____



nutrição.Vet: thank you!

(pg.06.) (top).

 

 

 

 

 


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