Who would have thought that something considered pesky could become one of the most sought-after novel meats in pet food today?
Trichosurus vulpecula, also known as Australia’s common brushtail possum, is a cat-sized nocturnal marsupial (which means it carries its young in a pouch, like a kangaroo), and the second largest species among possums.
Common brushtail can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests and cities. In New Zealand, many are found living near farmlands and human settlements, and have no known natural predators other than humans and big cats.
Introduced from Australia to New Zealand in 1837 for the then-booming fur trade, New Zealand’s Brushtail has been tagged responsible for the destruction of millions of acres of pine plantations, regenerative forest, flowers, fruit trees, and buildings. Likewise, it kills off native birds and eat birds’ eggs as well as infect pasture with a host of microbes, destroying entire local ecosystems in the process.
The Brushtail’s journey
With no natural predators aside from humans, it’s easy to understand why the brushtail has thrived in New Zealand’s forests and farmlands. Currently, it is estimated that there are around 30 million brushtail possums in New Zealand, and their numbers have remained stable, regardless of the annual culling.
In search of novel meats in the 90s, Addiction Foods discovered the nutritional benefits found in Australian brushtail, then already considered a major agricultural pest in New Zealand.
By 1999, Addiction determined that it was an ideal high-quality protein rich in Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, and thus could be used as the main protein source for an ultra-premium quality pet food formula specially made for pets with allergies to common protein sources.
When Addiction’s New Zealand Brushtail & Vegetables Entrée was introduced in the early 2000s, it was the world’s first pet food formula that used brushtail possum as a protein. With higher levels of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids than any other meat, Brushtail meat contained anti-inflammatory properties that could help reduce painful allergies and skin conditions and yet remained enticing to eat even for the fussiest pets.
Not just any pet food
Unlike farmed animals, New Zealand’s Brushtail is free from antibiotics and artificial hormones since it is caught in the wild. This also means that by feeding your pets with this food, you are not just providing them with a nutritionally superior meal that promotes wellness and vitality, but also help to conserve New Zealand’s indigenous plant and animal life from this marsupial threat.
For decades, New Zealanders have been feeding their pets Brushtail for its nutritional value and great taste. It remains to be a highly nutritious protein, rich in healthy Omega 3s & 6s and is also hypoallergenic.
Now, Addiction’s Perfect Summer Brushtail for dogs raw dehydrated formula offers the same nutritious and delectable exemplar using mouth-watering Brushtail meat combined with nutrient-rich sunflower seeds, papayas, spinach and potatoes. Discover the science of RDF here.
Likewise, Wild Brushtail & Berries Entrée for cats combines the exceptional nutritional benefits of premium New Zealand Brushtail, known to promote optimal skin and coat health, with an antioxidant-rich blend of three beneficial berries – blackberries, raspberries and blueberries – as well as tasty papaya, carrot, spinach and sunflower seeds to give your cat all the nutrients he or she needs to stay happy and healthy across all life stages.
By cooking small batches of raw ingredients in temperatures not going beyond 70oC (158oF), Perfect Summer Brushtail retains all its nutrients and yet keeps the savory, irresistible taste in a dehydrated form that your pets will love.
The novel brushtail has come a long way with its journey together with Addiction Foods, from being perceived as a pesky non-native intruder into one of premium pet food’s most sought-after meat proteins.
Given Addiction Foods’ continued efforts to develop novel formulations for premium pet food enthusiasts, we know there is a bright future ahead for the brushtail in years to come.