Dr. Mary Bandu to present session at 25th edition of the Petfood Forum

Dr. Mary Bandu

Dr. Mary Bandu

Mary Bandu, PhD, will speak at the 2017 Petfood Forum in Kansas City, Mo. at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5.

Bandu’s talk is entitled “Thermal processes validation for pet food formulations containing inclusions using a dual surrogate.” In it, she’ll explain how pet food trends are driving brands to increasingly incorporate fruit, vegetable and meat inclusions in product formulations.

With these formulations, validating thermal processes against Salmonella spp. can be a challenge due to difficulties in measuring internal temperatures of inclusions and the effects of inclusion moisture on lethality. A dual surrogate approach can provide information: one regarding inactivation of Salmonella spp. in the base formulation and one in the inclusion.

The Petfood Forum, touted as the largest gathering of professionals in the pet industry, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017. Pet industry professionals from all over the world will come together to learn the latest pet food trends, network with experts, discover new tools for success and share ideas.

“The value that Petfood Forum educational sessions bring to attendees is really one-of-a-kind,” said Debbie Phillips Donaldson, Editor-In-Chief of Petfood Industry. “Content and speakers are carefully selected in order to ensure that they are providing information that really matters for the success of attendees’ businesses.”

Bandu has been involved in the pet food industry by assisting customers with challenges, including shelf life and in-plant validation studies.  As director of technical services for Chestnut Labs, she has years of experience in research microbiology, including extensive experience in microbial pack/challenge studies, thermal process validations and antimicrobial intervention validations.

She earned a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Houston and a doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Kansas. In addition to teaching courses in an industry setting at Chestnut Labs, Bandu was an adjunct professor at Johnson Country Community College and has given numerous presentations at international conferences and meetings.


Chestnut Labs is a leading ISO 17025 accredited Food Safety Solutions provider. These solutions assist customers with meeting the demands of the changing regulatory environment, as well as customer expectations. Microbiology, Chemistry, Research, Training, Auditing and Consulting are all a part of the Food Safety Solutions portfolio of services. We are dedicated to providing our clients with tailored, timely and accurate services to solve today’s challenges.

Bryce Wilks