Industry, Academia and Perennia Solving Shelf Life Issues

Dockside Pet Products and Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Dane Creek Capital Corporation, wanted to produce quality pet treats from Nova Scotia’s abundance of nutritive by-products from the agricultural and fisheries. Dockside has prototyped and demonstrated freeze dried whole capelin and pieces as treats for dogs and cats respectively, and would like to increase shelf life and improve product quality by reducing the yellowing of the product through the use of natural preservatives.

Through a Productivity and Innovation Voucher, the team at the Perennia Innovation Centre collaborated with Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus to determine and extend the shelf-life of freeze dried capelin dog treats preserved with a natural extract provided by Dockside Pet Products and Services Inc.

The project utilized freeze dried capelin with different concentrations of extract applied to the whole fish through several methods. Appropriate raw material handling and frozen storage parameters were recommended and packaging with UV protection and oxygen scavengers were investigated. Quality parameters such as color and level of oxidation were monitored over time to determine effectiveness of the treatment.

The desired outcome is an 18-month shelf stable dried whole capelin with appropriate packaging suitable for entry into the Canadian and US pet treat markets.