Pet Food Ingredients

Mold inhibitor of choice

Potassium sorbate is safe, effective and one of the more popular ingredients for battling mold
Preventing the appearance of mold in foods is a constant battle, and petfoods are no exception. Everyone has experienced the gray-green mold on bread or splotches on cheese; with petfoods, many have had an encounter with "fuzzy" biscuits or green kibbles.
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Plankton: coming soon to a petfood near you

Microalgae products have much untapped promise for supplying essential nutrients
Petfood manufacturers have for years been aggressively exploring the world for quality economical ingredients. More recently, companies have tried to find novel and unusual ingredients to attract pet owners' attention. But a new motivation may soon be pushing the introduction of novel ingredients--scarcity.
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Functional fiber with color

Tomato pomace has the potential to provide additional nutrition and health benefits
According to the US Department of Agriculture, tomatoes are the second most popular vegetable crop behind potatoes, with an annual average per capita consumption of 71 pounds going into juice, sauce and paste. The backstory is that 10-30% of this is seeds, skin and pulp, with no ready market in the human food aisle. This translates into an estimated 750,000 metric tons of dried tomato pomace potentially available to pet and livestock feed markets.
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Is canola oil toxic?

We lack research about canola oil being fed to dogs or cats -- this is a gap, but not an indictment
Canola oil has become an especially popular ingredient in human nutrition circles because of its heart-healthy message. This popularity has begun to migrate to petfoods with a few specialty products that contain canola oil. But, is adding this oil to petfoods wise?
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Cheap filler or nutritious fiber?

Use of wheat bran and middlings in petfood emerged from positive performance in feed applications
Wheat bran and middlings are two closely related by-products from wheat flour milling that have traditionally been considered laxatives for people or feed for livestock. Use of wheat bran and middlings in petfood emerged from positive performance in feed applications and their relatively low cost when teamed with commodity ingredients like meat and bone meal, corn and soybean meal in economy or value brands.
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Carrageenan: for appearance's sake only?

What is this quiet, unassuming ingredient, and should it be there?
Carrageenan is added to help form a loaf (meatloaf), retain moisture in the loaf and bind the contents together so they slide from the can intact. This ingredient is often lumped into the category of gels and thickeners, which "foodies" call hydrocolloids.
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Textured vegetable protein: all about appearance

It makes for a great visual effect in canned foods
Textured vegetable protein (TVP), the meat extender we loved to ridicule in our school lunches, may be more prevalent in petfood than many realize. It isn't being used to stretch the meat budget or even to supplement meat protein. Instead, the most common application for TVP in petfoods is cosmetic. It makes for a great visual effect in canned foods, making them look more like real meat.
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