Purpose-built from the ground up, our state-of-the-art DogStar Kitchen dramatically enhances our Fresh Regional Ingredient and Biologically Appropriate capabilities, meaning ACANA and ORIJEN foods will feature fresh meat inclusions previously unheard of in the pet food industry.
Each ACANA and ORIJEN cooking line is paired with dedicated and custom-built high-capacity ingredient mixers, capable of blending any number of fresh meats, vegetables, and fruit, and sized to reflect the dramatic increase of fresh meats in ACANA and ORIJEN foods. Each mixer is paired with a fine blending system which ensures the quality ingredients mixed into our foods are perfectly consistent.
Following fresh meat blending and prior to steam-cooking, our Votator heat exchangers bring chilled, fresh ingredients to room temperature without introducing water or steam, which enables us to add even more fresh meats in our foods.
At the heart of our kitchen is a thermal twin extruder, which is fed fresh ingredients from our high-intensity preconditioner. Custom-built with over 11 months for fabrication, our thermal twin is the first of its kind in North America, featuring custom steam injection to enable exceedingly high fresh meat inclusions, and a gentle cooking process which helps further reduce the carbohydrates in our foods.
Moisture management is critical when making foods with exceedingly high fresh meat inclusions.That’s why DogStar features three sequential drying and conveyance systems. Highly efficient, this integrated system supports dramatic fresh meat inclusions while removing moisture at much lower temperatures, all of which protects the goodness and taste of our Fresh Regional Ingredients.
Our entire moisture-reduction system is equipped with moisture and density monitoring to provide real time feedback to our kitchen control center, enabling instant adjustments for optimal moisture reduction.
DogStar operates a sequential flow infusion process for essential oils and natural flavors, with key enhancements over conventional food-coating techniques.
A unique ‘tote bank system’ allows for the blending of specialty ingredients such as cold-pressed fish oil or unrendered lamb fat, in any combination, enabling very specific fatty acid profiles in ACANA and ORIJEN foods.
For optimal infusion and nutritional integrity, essential oils are brought only to 70 degrees with a proprietary low-heat system.
To enhance performance and taste, the first infusion might be a blend of cold-pressed fish oil, followed by freeze-dried tripe and finished with freeze-dried liver for a rich natural flavor that dogs and cats instinctively crave.
Advancing our Never Outsourced commitment by enhancing all-natural flavors, three state-of-the-art Cuddon freeze-dry chambers are equipped with dedicated blending so that the meats in our dry foods, freeze-dried foods, and freeze-dried palatants all come from the same trusted and regional sources.