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Pet food gets tastier in Oak Center

Dear Answer Man, what is the International Ingredient Corp., which has a group of buildings in Oak Center, which as you probably know is mostly a wide spot in the road near Lake City. They were working late last night, it seems like.

I've wondered about that plant, too — ingredients for what? Turns out, they make flavorings for pet foods, and the company as a whole makes "specialty products utilized in swine, companion animal, dairy cattle, aquaculture, poultry, bee, and industrial markets."

For companion animals , International Ingredient Corp. makes "Dried Cheese: Preferred spray-dried real cheese for maximum palatability and cheese nutrition for pet foods and treats." For swine, it's dried whey products and one that looks particularly tasty for pigs: "Milk Chocolate Product: Real dairy chocolate nutrition and palatability, research-proven to partially replace dried whey and to eliminate the need for flavors."

Dried chocolate milk for pigs, in other words.

The privately owned company, based in the St. Louis area, has eight production facilities and Oak Center is one of them. That plant, formerly owned by Land o' Lakes, produces spray dried cheese powders used in pet foods and livestock feeding. I called the office this morning and was told they have about 13 employees.


According to a news release, the cheese powders are for "improving palatability and nutrition of pet food and other animal feed products."

If your dog is like mine, he appreciates the work that's being done in Oak Center on his behalf. And if you're a farmer, treat your pigs right and serve up a little dried chocolate milk now and then.

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