Producing petfood isn’t easy. It must look good to the consumer, taste good to the pet, meet nutritional requirements, and it has to be produced in a cost efficient manner.

The answer to these seemingly opposing requirements is to use advanced analytical equipment. Perten Instruments has worked with petfood producers for many years and has the required tools.

With these products you will be able to ascertain parameters such as moisture, protein, fat and more in seconds. Our analyzers are quick, precise, durable and simple to use, and they can usually pay back their own price in under a year.

Recommended products

The products listed below are all suited to petfood producers. Which product to choose depends on your requirements, but we would recommend that you first consider the Diode Array 7200 as it is our most advanced and flexible analyzer.

Preferred choices

Diode Array 7200

Utilising the latest NIR technology it determines nutritional make up of ingredients and finished petfood with unmatched accuracy. No sample preparation is required, even for wet products, making it the fastest NIR instrument available. Using our disposable cups there’s no clean-up after the analysis! Spectral data collected on other NIR models can be transferred to the DA 7200, to provide a streamlined upgrade from your previous equipment. Read more about the DA 7200 NIR.


A flexible heating, cooling and variable shear viscometer to assess the gelatinisation properties of feed ingredients like starch, flour and wholemeal using a 13-minute standardized test. Also assess enzyme activity such as sprout damage in wheat using a 3-minute standardized test. Test pelletized and extruded half-products and finished products for starch degree of cook to ascertain friability and density. Read more about the RVA.

Low-cost NIR alternative

Inframatic 8600

Smaller sites should consider the Inframatic 8600. Using proven and durable NIR technology, it can determine most properties that the Diode Array 7200 determines. However, unlike the 7200, the Inframatic 8600 requires a lab mill for sample preparation. Read more about the Inframatic 8600

Laboratory Mill 120 or 3100

Approved hammer mills for preparation of whole grain and pellets. Produces a fine, consistent sample suited to NIR measurements of protein, oil etc. Read more about Lab mills.

Laboratory Mill 3303 or 3600

Approved disc mills for moisture content analysis. LM 3600 is suitable for grinding larger sized material, like pellets for example. Read more about Lab mills.

Additional products

Inframatic 9200 Grain Analyzer

For those who only require quality assurance of inbound grain and oilseed shipments, the Inframatic 9200 is the ideal selection. In 40 seconds it calculates moisture, protein, oil, test weight and more in grains and oilseeds at intake. Read more about the Inframatic 9200 Grain Analyzer

Aquamatic 5200 Moisture Meter

Determine moisture and test weight in all kinds of grains and oilseeds in 10 seconds. The Aquamatic is based on recent research performed by the US Department of Agriculture and is the foremost product in moisture measurement accuracy available. Read more about the AM 5200 Grain Moisture Meter.»

Save Money and improve Quality

At the raw material intake

Maintaining a high and consistent quality of products starts with having total control of your raw materials. With a DA 7200 from Perten Instrument you can ascertain the quality of all inbound shipments, making sure that what you received is what you requested. An analysis takes 6 seconds and samples don’t require preparation, so there isn’t any reason to not test every batch received.

  • Ensure that moisture levels provide for safe storage
  • Test ingredients for protein, fat and more to be certain that you will meet nutritional requirements in a cost-efficient way

Optimize drying

A too high moisture level means a risk of fungal infection, but if the moisture level is too low you are giving away product for free. The DA 7200 makes it easy to calculate moisture content after the dryer, for immediate adjustments to drying time and temperature.

Optimize fat spraying

Using a DA 7200 you will be able to enhance the fat spraying of pellets, helping you save money and meet nutritional requirements. As analysis is done in seconds and requires no sample preparation, it is simple to measure and adjust the fat content of the product to match requirements.

Finished product quality control

Even if you have done everything right there may be circumstances that are difficult, or even impossible to totally control. That’s why it’s important to verify that the finished product has the intended properties.

The speed and ease-of-use of the DA 7200 makes this convenient. Whether it’s dry or wet petfood, you simply place the sample in an open-face dish and analyze it. You are not required to prepare the samples, and if you use the elective Disposable Dish Module there is no clean up afterwards, even if analyzing wet petfood.

What you can analyze

Our analyzers can take care of the majority of the analytical requirements at a petfood plant. The following are the properties that are the most commonly measured with our instruments:

  • Moisture
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Starch
  • Fiber
  • Ash
  • Amino acids
  • Sugars

Calibrations for these and other characteristics are available for a large variety of raw materials and finished petfoods. All products are able to be analyzed as they are, whether in the shape of pellets, pastes, flakes or other shapes like treats.

  • Dry and wet finished petfood (dog, cat etc)
  • Grains (wheat, corn, barley, oats, etc)
  • Protein sources (meat meals, fish meal, oilseed meals, DDG etc)
  • Other (wheat middlings, corn feed meal, wheat bran etc)

Spectral data collected on other NIR models may be transferred to the DA 7200, to provide a streamlined upgrade from your previous equipment.

Customer Case Story


Nola is a South African company processing raw materials such as corn, soybeans and sunflower seeds into dog food as well as a range of other consumer products. The company was founded back in the 40s, and started as a farm. Nola has since grown substantially, and is now the leader in the South African market for several of its products.

Nola had been using Perten Inframatic analyzers for 10 years, but wanted to know ifthe latest technology could be used to optimize their operation.

Perten solution

Perten presented the Diode Array Feed Analyzer, utilizing modern diode array NIR technology. Perhaps its most useful feature is the ability to assess inhomogeneous samples of any kind without preparation, even hay or feed pellets.

Practical experiences

Over the years Nola has benefited from several benefits of their Perten NIR instruments.

One example is the enhancement of dog food oil content. If the oil content is too low the dog is not getting its recommended daily allowance, but on the other hand a higher oil content will introduce too high calorie content in the diet and up production costs. Using an Inframatic Feed Analyzer, Nola is able to control the amount of oil added to the pellets thereby increasing savings in raw materials and assuring the nutritional value of each batch. The instruments are placed at-line and thanks to the hasty analysis the operator can make changes to the process immediately.

Another at-line application Nola is benefiting from is the monitoring of the moisture content in the finished product. The dog food is analyzed immediately after the drying oven and the results provide information on whether the oven temperature and drying time is correct. Too high moisture content induces a risk of fungal growth, whereas too low moisture content causes unnecessary drying costs and a lower yield.

With the Diode Array Nola analyzes whole dog food pellets and sunflower seeds, avoiding sample preparation. An immediate effect of this was that the four employees who were working with sample preparation were able to move to other tasks that create more value to Nola.

The ability of the Diode Array to analyze inhomogeneous samples allowed Nola to tighten their specification of oil in the soybean press-cakes by one percentage point, considerably increasing their oil crushing plant efficiency. In economical terms the advantages were so vast that the Nola management decided to purchase a second Diode Array product from Perten Instruments.

Application Notes – External Link to Perten Instruments website

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