Research and development is a constant when it comes to baking the best treats possible. Over the past 5 months Tatum and I have experimented with many different recipes working hard to create a delicious and nutritious product; a product that will sustain it’s freshness for a reasonable amount of time. I found out soon enough that this would be one of the biggest challenges I would face baking all natural dog treats. How do you preserve a product without adding actual preservatives? What’s the best way to prevent molding? Does packaging play a part in shelf life? These are all questions that I’ve been faced with throughout this process, and luckily I’ve found some answers…
First things first… research natural preservatives. Thanks to the website, www.dogtreatkitchen.com, I found that honey, cinnamon, sage, rosemary and cloves are all ingredients I can use to preserve my treats. I’m currently baking with honey and cinnamon to test this theory, as I thought they would be the most appealing ingredients to add to each of my four recipes.
With all natural dog treats, molding is a definite concern. I experienced this first hand when I noticed my treats beginning to mold approximately 2 weeks after baking. I had the idea that most dogs would eat up the treats before the two week “expiration date”, but if not I had to come up with a way to extend that time frame. The natural preservatives would help, but I learned that the cooling process would also play a key role in extending the shelf life of my product. I now cool the treats in a dry cool area for 24-48 hours before packaging, eliminating excess moisture for optimum dryness.
I’m fortunate in the packaging department, as one of my clients introduced me to a great company called Mile High Co Pack. This particular organization focuses on helping start-up companies find the best way to produce, package and seal their products in the most cost effective way possible. After meeting with the women who run Mile High Co Pack and touring their facility, I have a much better understanding of the process. We’re moving forward to package my treats in barrier zip lock bags and heat seal for an air tight effect. This alone should extend the shelf life by at least 1 month.
Trail Dog Treats are a work in progress, but I’m happy to say that we’re heading in the right direction! We’re proud to offer you and your dog(s) the goodness of an all natural, wheat free snack, packaged for optimum freshness.