Author Topic: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food  (Read 59812 times)

Dottie

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #150 on: Sep 27, 2017, 05:51 »
I have only frozen soaked cold pressed food to make lollipops etc. No idea whether this affects the nutritive values. Never had problems with the food and limited shelf life. Once bought a large bag that was just a smidgen over the sell by date by the time I got to the bottom and the food was ok.  However, I now pay more and buy 5kg bags as only have two small dogs and I like fresh supplies. I wish that all the brands were sold in 2kg bags as it would be more acceptable for folk with small breed dogs.



 
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Meg

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #151 on: Sep 27, 2017, 11:03 »
Quote
Another thread on these boards discusses issues with large bags spoiling before all eaten within date, (typically but not always cited as 6 months in ideal conditions).
Bearing in mind above has anyone with above issues  tried decantering some cold pressed into daily portion amounts and freezing same ?

This has not been an issue for me and I've not so far needed to freeze cold pressed food. An interesting question and hopefully other posters may help to provide further answers.

Seaweed

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #152 on: Nov 01, 2017, 11:14 »
Tribal Pet Foods new cold pressed dog food, tribal TLC (Truly Lower Celcius) is now available on their website.
https://www.tribalpetfoods.co.uk/
https://www.tribalpetfoods.co.uk/shop/dog-food

Anita...

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #153 on: Nov 01, 2017, 11:41 »
The TLC looks pretty good  :)

Petmum

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #154 on: Nov 01, 2017, 15:09 »
Tribal TLC is also being stocked by Pets Corner stores.

David

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #155 on: Jan 15, 2018, 14:31 »
I visited Markus Mühle last week and it really is a remarkable company. I will give a full write up in the next couple of days but in the meantime there's a brief summary on the facebook page.

Dottie

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #156 on: Jan 15, 2018, 14:37 »
Thank you. What a treat.  :)  Very much looking forward to the write up.
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Tinyplanets

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #157 on: Jan 15, 2018, 18:01 »
I will look forward to the full report. How exciting.

Seaweed

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #158 on: Jan 20, 2018, 19:04 »
News from Forthglade of two new grain free cold pressed foods, also to be available in selected Sainsburys stores.
https://forthglade.com/2018/01/17/grain-free-cold-pressed-natural-dog-food/

David

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #159 on: Jan 26, 2018, 11:33 »
Sorry about the delay with this. I've been absolutely snowed under these last couple of weeks. This write up will be a bit briefer than I would have liked but hopefully it will be of some interest.

The trip came about when I passed on some queries (originally raised by another manufacturer) to Markus Mühle by email. The suggestion was that the processing temperatures claimed by MM must be too low. MM obviously refuted the suggestion and invited me over to see for myself.

The factory is about 40 minutes drive from Frankfurt in a pretty little village called Hintermühlen. It's quite unlike any pet food factory I have been to before, made up of a collection of relatively unassuming, almost pretty green buildings clustered around a stream and the cottage where company owner Markus Olberts was born and still lives.

The staff were very welcoming and happy to discuss at length any topic I raised.

I mostly spoke with Markus Olberts and Peter Doepp, the company's Executive Officer & Press Officer. I was also given an extensive tour of two of the three mills.


Some key points:

The maximum processing temperature on site is indeed 40-45 Celsius as the company claims. I examined the processing line from start to finish, placing my hand on each piece of equipment including the press itself to get a gauge of the temperature and at no point did it rise above what I would describe as lukewarm. There was no use of steam and the maximum pressure throughout the process is 1.4 bar. It was a world away from extrusion.

Of course, due to this low temperature, practically all of the ingredients have to be cooked beforehand which is why some critics of cold-pressing believe it's not all that it's cracked up to be. This was one of the key topics of our conversations - how the pre-cooking affects nutrient levels and how the nutritional value of cold pressed foods stacks up against other types of foods - particularly extruded and raw.

In answer to the first part - how pre-cooking affects nutrient levels - Markus and Peter were keen to highlight the very high quality and traceability of their raw ingredients which, they believe, contain much more intact natural nutrients than the bog-standard ingredients used in most pet foods. While this is a reasonable assumption, there simply isn't enough data available on how much cooking (and particularly the production of meat meal) affects ingredient nutrient levels to allow us to do anything more than speculate.

And comparing cold-pressing with other dog food types, MM were unsurprisingly critical of extrusion where, they believe, the high temperatures and extensive processing are responsible for large-scale nutrient loss. Again, however, no real data is available to support this. Interestingly, Markus did suggest that, when done right, raw food is probably better than any dry food.

Markus Olberts designs his formulas around the diets of wolves and regularly visits a wolf sanctuary in Spain. One of the chief assertions behind the recipes and the relatively high proportion of carbohydrates is that wolves will prioritise eating the semi-digested stomach contents of their herbivorous prey even above muscle tissues etc. This claim, however, has been widely challenged (read more here) and I'm afraid I am currently unable to confirm one way or another.

The factory is small, almost pretty. Inside it's clean (REALLY clean), bright and airy. It combines traditional cold pressing techniques with modern electronic monitoring technology. From my brief look around, the staff seemed happy and well looked after.

Despite it's relatively small size, the company produces 2,500 tons of pet food every month. Both the ingredients silos and the warehouse are turned over very regularly so nothing is left standing for any extended period.

The processing method is, by all accounts, very simple. The ingredients are ground, mixed and pressed into the distinctive cylinder shaped biscuits. They are then cooled to room temperature using fresh air drawn in from outside and bagged.

Quality control tests are carried out at just about every stage including each ingredient batch that arrives and each batch of finished product that leaves. They have their own on-site lab and also send samples out to independent labs for analysis.

The entire facility is run on green energy from hydroelectric.

The company makes numerous charitable donations including a very sizeable monthly donation to a huge dog shelter in Romania.

From talking with Markus and Peter, it does seem that there is a big difference between the cold pressing they do and what happens at other cold pressing pet food factories around Europe. I'll be doing more research on this.

Overall I was very impressed by Markus Mühle. Everyone that I spoke to seemed to a have a genuine excitement for what he or she was doing. This enthusiasm as well as the obvious passion for pets and the environment were quite compelling. In terms of the products, the combination of high end ingredients and the very gentle processing method make a sound case for a very very good dry food more data is necessary to say how it compares to other foods.

Sorry about the slightly jumbled info. If you have any questions, please reply below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Dottie

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #160 on: Jan 26, 2018, 15:47 »
David - thank you very much for taking time out to explain about your trip to the Markus Muhle factory in Germany. It is appreciated, especially as you are so busy right now. Your report fits with what I had previously read and the company sounds very good indeed. It is reassuring that the owners and staff care passionately about their product/s and that standards are so high. 
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Carra-Pet Foods

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #161 on: Jan 26, 2018, 15:48 »
Some key points:

The maximum processing temperature on site is indeed 40-45 Celsius as the company claims. I examined the processing line from start to finish, placing my hand on each piece of equipment including the press itself to get a gauge of the temperature and at no point did it rise above what I would describe as lukewarm. There was no use of steam and the maximum pressure throughout the process is 1.4 bar. It was a world away from extrusion.

Of course, due to this low temperature, practically all of the ingredients have to be cooked beforehand which is why some critics of cold-pressing believe it's not all that it's cracked up to be. This was one of the key topics of our conversations - how the pre-cooking affects nutrient levels and how the nutritional value of cold pressed foods stacks up against other types of foods - particularly extruded and raw.

In answer to the first part - how pre-cooking affects nutrient levels - Markus and Peter were keen to highlight the very high quality and traceability of their raw ingredients which, they believe, contain much more intact natural nutrients than the bog-standard ingredients used in most pet foods. While this is a reasonable assumption, there simply isn't enough data available on how much cooking (and particularly the production of meat meal) affects ingredient nutrient levels to allow us to do anything more than speculate.

Thank you for your post David.

Just to query a couple of points you make. First of all regarding the processing temperature - MM or any pressed food manufacturer are unable to give you exact temperatures their ingredients reach during the pressing process - they can only give you the artificial heat that they add to the process. With the greatest of respect, placing your hand on the exterior of the machinery will not give you a guide to the friction and natural heat that the ingredients are exposed to as a result of the pressing process. A very mundane experiment you could do - simply rub your hands together, the friction creates heat but you won't feel that heat on the other side of your hand.

On the point regarding pre-cooking the ingredients and their objections to extruded food, surely there's a bit of a contradiction there? On one hand we're saying it's speculation to say that by pre-cooking the ingredients the nutrients are being damaged but at the same time they're critical of the additional heat used in producing extruded food?

As I believe I may have told you in the past and may have hinted at on here, the term 'cold pressed' is a myth and it's very misleading for manufacturers to use headline figures such as 40-45c when in actual fact the ingredients have been cooked at far higher temperatures before the pressing process begins. It should be also pointed out that pre-cooking ingredients isn't always necessary for pressed foods - other manufacturers will add steam (as you mention) and increase the artificial heat in the pressing process to around 70c which allows them to produce their kibble without the need of pre-cooking. This method results in the lowest true temperatures used throughout the entire cooking/production process but unfortunately doesn't sound as good from a marketing point of view.

Meg

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #162 on: Jan 29, 2018, 00:42 »
Yes it appears that we remain somewhat in the dark as to how high the pre-cooking temperatures are vs degree of nutrient loss....

I also wonder if the pre-cooking of ingredients takes place before arrival at the cold pressing plant?

Dottie

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #163 on: Jan 29, 2018, 09:31 »
I was told by a knowledgeable source that the ingredients which require heat are "gently cooked", not super heated.  For anyone who requires further information, the person to contact is Beate Rothon of Gentle Dog Food.

Across the Internet there are many reviews of cold pressed foods and the vast majority are positive. Cold pressed food is clearly helping our dogs to live healthy lives, whatever temperature is used to cook the ingredients which require heat.
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David

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Re: Markus Muhle and other cold pressed dog food
« Reply #164 on: Jan 29, 2018, 10:28 »
Thanks everyone for a really interesting debate!

Just to go back to fundamentals for a minute, with any food the three main issues that determine the nutritional quality are 1) ingredient quality, 2) pre-processing and 3) final processing. Although the three are linked (for example some final processing types necessitate the inclusion or exclusion of certain types of ingredients or pre-processing methods), it is important not to confuse the three.

A gentle final-processing method is all well and good but if the ingredients are low grade or if they have been overly processed before arriving at the factory, it will still result in a nutritionally poor food. Similarly, a manufacturer may have the best ingredients around and might use minimal pre-processing, but if the final processing method is too harsh, the resulting food is still going to be substandard. Only when you combine nutritious ingredients with good pre-processing and final processing methods will you get a really excellent food.

On the subject of ingredient quality, I think MM have all of the boxes ticked: very strict sourcing criteria; close relationships with supplier farms; sourcing exclusively high-welfare, natural animals etc etc.

Similarly, as far as final processing method goes, I think most of us would agree that the pressing system used by MM is about as gentle on the ingredients as is possible to make a dry food. Erdem, you may dispute the temperature claim but I have no reason to doubt it. The experiment you suggest involving rubbing hands together is interesting and would have been relevant if the press was made of hands but, as far as I can recall, it was not. It was made of metal - a very good conductor of heat.

Which leaves us with the only real point of contention here - the pre-processing.

Virtually all of the ingredients used in MM are pre-cooked. That has been established. Many of the ingredients (the carbs for example) require pre-cooking to make them digestible for dogs. For those pet owners that are against carbs or cooking for dogs, this is obviously a problem but I have always found certain cooked carbs (brown rice, sweet potato etc) to be very beneficial for dogs.

For the other ingredients and especially the meat, how much the pre-cooking affects the natural nutrient levels is an unknown at this point. I have contacted numerous pet food companies including many raw food companies and others that have openly criticised meat meal on the premise that it is nutritionally inferior but none have been able to provide any data to confirm their assertions. On the other side of the argument, one company insists that the cooking of meat actually makes it more digestible for dogs in the same way as it does for humans but, again, they were unable to provide any evidence to support their claims.

Whatever the answer, it's worth noting that pre-cooked ingredients like meat meal are extremely wide spread in the dry pet food industry so almost every other dry food is subject to the same debate.

So, going back to the three key factors:

  • MM's ingredient sourcing is excellent
  • Their pre-processing is a matter for debate (but that is no different from almost any other dry food on the market)
  • Their final processing method is excellent

Hope that helps.


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