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NEWS FLASH: Tree Top Planting Pumpkin for Pet and Human Foods

6/16/2021  By Jeannie Swedberg

 

NEWS FLASH: Tree Top Planting Pumpkin for Pet and Human Foods

It’s not often that I get to write about breaking news in this blog, so I’m delighted to be able to share with you that Tree Top is adding dried pumpkin flake powder to its fruit ingredient lineup. You heard it here first. As I write this, our growers are planting this year’s pumpkin crop in the fertile soil of Washington just a few hours from Tree Top headquarters in Selah. When the crop is harvested this fall, it will be pureed and drum dried in our nearby processing facility in Woodburn, Oregon. So, it will be grown, harvested, and processed in a fairly compact geographic footprint.

Why pumpkin?

You may ask, why pumpkin and why now? In short, all I can say is, why not? Pumpkin is delicious and super nutritious. It grows well here in Washington and makes a great addition to our plant-based portfolio of wholesome fruit ingredients. Pumpkin is also a familiar, label-friendly ingredient that many people think of as a ‘superfood.’

As many of you know, pumpkin is becoming a common ingredient in pet treats and toppers. Not only is it nutrient dense, it’s also low calorie and low fat. Because of that pumpkin is a natural ingredient for use in weight management pet food formulations. Chock full of dietary fiber, a prebiotic, pumpkin also supports an animal’s gut health and digestive function.

Pumpkin, like many other plant-based ingredients, is associated with a number of wellness benefits, among which is immune health. It contains high levels of immunity-boosting nutrients, including vitamin C and vitamin A. Furthermore, pumpkin also contains folate and iron, which can help strengthen the immune system by supporting physical barriers like the skin and boosting production of antibodies. Additionally, the vitamin A and zinc in pumpkin are linked to skin and coat health.

Pumpkin is a rich source of antioxidants – alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin – which can combat free radicals and prevent cell damage. Studies show that the antioxidants in pumpkin powder may help lower the likelihood of certain cancers. The carotenoids in pumpkin, which give the fruit its bright yellow-orange color, may also support eye health.

The Super + Natural

I’m not sure how pumpkins ever became associated with the supernatural in pop culture, yet they are. But I can tell you from a formulation standpoint – pumpkin is undoubtedly, super nutritious and naturally delicious. Here’s a quick rundown of the benefits of formulating with Tree Top Dried Pumpkin Flake Powder: 

  • Naturally enhances flavor and color
  • Easy to reconstitute, just add water; allows user to control viscosity
  • Shelf-stable, long lasting in ambient temperatures
  • Easily blended into dough matrix or topper
  • Finished products can be labeled “made with real fruit”
  • May be labeled as pumpkin powder or dried pumpkin on ingredient statement
  • Positioning claims: GMO free, gluten free, plant based, kosher, human-grade ingredient, functional ingredient in “healthy” formulations
  • Replacement for wet pumpkin puree
  • Low-cost transportation and storage
  • Versatile – useful in numerous pet food formulations

Now that you’ve got the scoop on our latest ingredient…let us know if you want to try our new super-nutritious pumpkin powder for your next pet food formulation. We have samples and can offer formulation support. Contact us or get more info.

Order sample of pumpkin powder