Articles by Greg Aldrich, PhD

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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Dealing with choline chloride

It's an "Intel inside" type of molecule -- but also a problem child
Dogs and cats, like many other species, require choline. It's the "Intel inside" kind of molecule that allows others to function to their full potential. Almost all commercial petfoods contain supplemental choline, predominantly from choline chloride. However, putting choline chloride into the formula can have profound effects on the way the ingredients are combined and processed during production due to the molecule's hygroscopic (water-loving) nature.Dogs and cats, like many other species, require choline
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Kelp: a viable source of iodine?

Kelp is part of a broader group of seaweeds/algae that have become popular ingredients in dog and cat supplements, home-prepared petfoods, raw petfoods and specialty or boutique petfoods. Despite these benefits, the trace mineral iodine is the ...
Kelp is part of a broader group of seaweeds/algae that have become popular ingredients in dog and cat supplements, home-prepared petfoods, raw petfoods and specialty or boutique petfoods. Despite these benefits, the trace mineral iodine is the main reason for adding kelp. Is it a viable source of iodine?
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Are chelated minerals worth it?

The question is whether they provide additional benefit to the dog or cat
In the petfood industry, inorganic forms of essential trace minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, manganese, iodine and selenium have been the staple. In recent years, though, chelated forms of these minerals have found their way into a number of petfoods. The questions are whether they provide additional benefit to the dog or cat and if they have a place in petfood.
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Does MOS work for petfoods?

It may support gut health, but is it essential for healthy dogs and cats?
Mannan oligosaccharide - also called mannans or, more commonly, MOS - is a naturally occurring component of yeast cell walls. MOS has been researched extensively for use in livestock nutrition and more recently for humans and pets, mainly in Europe and Asia. While most of the nutrition-related discovery has occurred in the past few years, references on mannans appear in literature dating back a half century.
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Does adding enzymes to petfoods help digestion?

Enzymes hold a great deal of promise but also present challenges
Adding enzymes to the diet to aid digestion has been a source of intrigue for the petfood industry for a number of years. Enzymes (for example, digests and hydrolyzed proteins) are common in petfood production but are seldom found as ingredients in the diet.
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