Newswise — Blue Seal Feeds Inc., has launched the newest addition to its dog biscuit line -- Blue Seal Lobster "Bisque-its" -- based on a concept devised by the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine and its commercialization partner, Saltwater Marketing LLC.

These unique dog biscuits are baked with real lobster meal, which is a source of natural flavor and protein. "Consumer" tests show that dogs love these tasty, all-natural treats.

"Saltwater Marketing has been working with the Lobster Institute for the past two years on the idea of a nutritious and flavorful lobster-based pet treat," according to Pat Pinto, president of the Portland-based company. "Bringing the production team from Blue Seal Feeds into the project was the final piece to the puzzle that made it all happen."

More than 43 million American households own at least one dog, and owners spend an average of $68 a year on pet treats alone, according to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association. Total pet expenditures in the U.S. were an estimated $39.5 billion in 2005; the pet food market made up $14.5 billion.

"Our product development work here at the Lobster Institute is geared toward creating a more efficient and profitable use of the lobster resource," said Dr. Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute and a professor at the UMaine. "Working with Saltwater Marketing and now Blue Seal Feeds, we were able to get this product out of the lab and into the commercial market. It is yet another example of the collaboration between business and the University that is such a critical part of economic development for Maine and New England."

The Lobster Institute, a division of the UMaine's Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station, has been working with and on behalf of the lobster industry since 1987. It is an industry-driven organization focusing on research, technical assistance, communications and educational outreach.

Blue Seal Lobster "Bisque-its" are currently available through the Blue Seal Dealer network.

Saltwater Marketing LLC, was founded in 2003. Its focus is on licensing, developing and launching innovative seafood technologies and products.

Blue Seal Feeds Inc. is a subsidiary of Muscatine Foods Corporation of Muscatine, Iowa. Since 1868, Blue Seal Feeds Inc. has been manufacturing quality pet foods and animal feeds. The company also manufactures organic lawn and garden products. Blue Seal Feeds Inc. operates manufacturing facilities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States and distributes its products throughout the United States.