Armagh petfood firm develops new freeze-dried product range

Sarah McFarland launches Norsh with Holly, Mackle Petfoods' chief taster. Photo: Simon Graham

CO Armagh company Mackle Petfoods has developed the north's first ever freeze-dried food for pets.

The company, which produces Naturo, Brandy and Cat Club, said the development of ‘Norsh' follows the growth in global demand for freeze-fried pet food.

The freeze-dried market for pet foods is worth around $100m a year in the US alone.

The process involves removing the moisture from frozen raw ingredients when mixed together, over a slow period.

Minimal heat is applied under high vacuum, the moisture in the form of ice becomes vapour, a process known as ‘sublimination'. The vapour is drawn away from the product slowly.

Mackle Petfoods has developed its product with ingredients including salmon, chicken, blueberries and sweet potato.

Sarah McFarland, who has developed the Norsh range, said: “In the last year I have managed to set up the business within all of its legal requirements, create a brand, develop the manufacturing process, source all ingredients and machinery, and make sure the product meets all legally required standards.

“Now I am working to secure sales, so I am well out of my comfort zone as a food engineer, however I am really relishing the challenge and am excited about the potential for Norsh and this process for petfood.”

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