Pet Food Regulations / Pet Food Labeling
on September 7, 2010

More news from AAFCO

At its annual meeting, AAFCO addressed ingredient definitions, petfood safety matters and certified organic petfoods

At the meeting, IDC discussed a proposed new definition for “vital wheat gluten.”

Last month, I reported on the activities of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Pet Food Committee during its annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, USA, in early August. This month I cover items that occurred outside of the Pet Food Committee session but still may affect petfoods.

Ingredients : Wheat gluten is an ingredient that was falsely implicated as a causative agent in the 2007 melamine-related petfood recall. As it turned out, the purported “gluten” was wheat flour purposely spiked with melamine to falsely increase apparent protein content. Regardless, the incident raised the question as to why wheat gluten was not AAFCO-defined.

At the meeting, the Ingredient Definitions Committee (IDC) discussed a proposed new definition for “vital wheat gluten.” The “vital” terminology refers to an ingredient processed so it retains its viscoelasticity, a property key to its technical function in petfoods. Apparently, a “devitalized wheat gluten” definition is also in the works. No action on the proposal was taken at this meeting.

IDC did vote to delete “charcoal” as an official feed term. Charcoal has been included in petfoods, perhaps most frequently in dog biscuits, for decades, with the feed term used as the ingredient name. However, reports of concerns regarding contaminants such as dioxins prompted a reconsideration of this use of the term. With the deletion of the term (assuming the board of directors and full membership agree), continued use of charcoal as a…

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