"How it is very special in so many ways"
The objective of Archetype™ raw dog / cat diet is to provide raw meats and state-of-the-art nutraceuticals in a safe and shelf stable, eagerly accepted food form. This is a challenge in many respects. Raw ingredients in their fresh form not only degrade rapidly, but also have inherent dangers such as food-borne pathogens.
Heat is, of course, the easy solution since it not only destroys pathogens but also inactivates the enzymes and removes the moisture that causes fresh foods to spoil. This easy solution is used throughout the processed food industry and in every homemaker's kitchen. But heat is also the enemy of nutrition and health, every bit as much as fire is an enemy to your home and belongings. Fire does not create life nor the complexity of food upon which life depends. It destroys both.
Nothing good comes easy. Archetype™ is most certainly a case in point. To achieve its goals it is not a matter of buying an automated machine that merely churns out shelf stable raw foods at tons per hour that can then be packaged and sold. Canned, frozen and kibbled pet foods can be produced that way and thus costs can be more easily contained. In contrast, the production of Archetype requires many pieces of expensive custom machinery, special handling facilities, special freezing facilities-and can best be described as tedious, laborious, time-consuming and difficult.
Nevertheless, Wysong has done what is necessary to accomplish the important nutritional goals of Archetype™ because it needs to be done; pet nutrition is a serious health matter. Here's how:
1. The Experts -
Our in-house staff of DVM and PhD level scientists with nearly three decades of experience in the fields of biochemistry, food science, nutraceuticals, health and processing formulate and oversee Archetype™.
2. The Ingredients -
- A mix of fresh meats and organs is selected to emulate the prey diet.
- To the degree possible, organic and humanely raised sources are used.
- To the degree possible, highly nutritional trimmings and the like are used so as not to rob resources for human consumption and not require the needless slaughter of food animals.
- These are mixed with our antioxidant Wysong Oxherphol™, immune stimulating, essential fatty acid and other health enhancing nutraceuticals at certain points in the process to ensure that their nutritional integrity and value is retained.
- A special Wyscin™ formulation containing ingredients scientifically proven to destroy and impede the growth of a broad range of food-borne pathogens is incorporated.
- All natural ingredients are selected to provide a broad range of micronutrients such as vitamins, amino acids and minerals.
3. The Process -
- Ingredients are maintained at -20° F for an extended period of time to impede and destroy food-borne pathogens. (This specially constructed freezer requires many expensive design features such as a very thick insulated floor slab containing thousands of feet of venting tubing which prevent the deep freeze from penetrating the ground and buckling the floor.)
- Frozen blocks are then hand cut by special multi-bladed band saws into thin slabs for sublimating (drying without thawing) the moisture.
- These slabs are put into specially engineered machines that operate under extreme vacuum and have special refrigerated condensing cylinders that capture and freeze the removed moisture before it is sucked into the vacuum pumps.
- The slabs are hand loaded onto trays a single layer thick, and then put into the machines where they will remain under constant pumped vacuum for 3-4 days, 24 hours per day. The product never increases in temperature above 118° F, the critical point at which raw becomes cooked and nutritional value is lost. (Many "freeze-dry" producers heat the food far above this point to reduce the processing time.)
- When the product has reached the appropriate moisture level - as determined by water activity tests (not the same as % moisture - it is removed from the machines and put through a shredder/chunker.)
- At this point certain of the nutraceuticals and essential fatty acids (such as omega-3s) are enrobed onto the product in a mixer.
- This final product is then quickly hand packaged in light- and oxygen-barrier bags and flushed with an oxygen-free atmosphere.
- The final product is then again frozen at -20° F to further help its stability and destroy/impede food borne pathogens.
- The whole tedious and time-consuming process then begins again with another batch placed in the machines for a 3-4 day, 24 hour-a-day process procedure.
4. Expensive? -
Archetype™ is expensive because it is tremendously expensive in terms of what it contains and what is required to produce it. The construction and equipment necessary for Wysong to accomplish this feat (literally), even on the small scale of our present capacity, requires greatly expanded human resources, took over a year for devlopment, and costs exceed one million dollars. Archetype™ is not considered a profit center for Wysong but a labor of love and commitment to doing what is right. Pets and their owners deserve at least one business to which they can turn to get an optimally healthy pet food that has not been compromised, destroyed by heat, and has as many safeguards as modern science permits against food-borne pathogens.
Archetype™ is so revolutionary and important in concept and design that every pet owner should give their pet its benefits at least periodically as a treat, alternative meal, or top-dress. As is always the case, Wysong does not recommend that Archetype™ be fed as the sole diet any more than we would recommend that any other food be fed that way if health is the objective.
We hope this writeup helps you understand the painstaking effort that has gone into this extraordinary pet product, and why it is unavoidably a costly food in spite of our best efforts to keep pricing reasonable.