Articles by Greg Aldrich, PhD

Venison, rabbit and buffalo: A throwback to our pets’ primitive past

Products provide expanded choice for consumers, but producers must study ingredients to justify costs
For the past decade there has been an increasing number of "novel protein ingredient" foods marketed in the petfood industry. Originally these were merchandised in the veterinary trade for elimination diets intended as nutritional support for animals with recalcitrant food hypersensitivities.
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Copper sulfate: A standard of reference for copper in petfood

If handled properly, this form of the trace mineral can be a vital petfood ingredient
Copper sulfate is a very common and effective copper source used in petfoods. There have been some recurrent concerns expressed to customer service hotlines and on some enthusiast web sites that copper sulfate is "toxic" and that it "attacks the heart, liver and kidneys" and that it is "moderately poisonous."
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Coconut oil: Does it belong in commercial petfoods?

Recent popularity in human food arena warrants second look for petfood
Coconut oil has become fashionable with a near cult-like following in the human dietary health and supplements aisle. Although it was once cast aside as an ingredient that contributed to cardiovascular health issues, now it is being touted as a cure for everything from obesity to acne.
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Grapes and raisins: Are they really toxic?

Current available data not enough to go by, more studies needed
Grape products get a great deal of press these days in the human food and supplement market. They are touted as beneficial for a wide array of functions from simple fruit and fiber to antioxidants that have health benefits and near-medicinal value.
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Fillers: Are they incorrectly vilified?

Ingredients seen as inferior may actually be valuable tools
Whether product promotion or informational website, the term "filler" is a popular topic of scorn. Many petfood packages make bold statements that their recipe "contains no fillers," has "no added fillers," or never uses "cheap fillers."
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Glycemic index: Elegant technique in search of a petfood product claim

Is this carryover from the human food industry a valid concept for evaluating petfoods?
The concept of a product possessing a "low glycemic index" is emerging as a new parameter for evaluating petfoods. The index is a carryover from the human foods industry, where it is used as a method to help diabetic individuals make ingredient and meal choices in their effort to constantly monitor and control blood glucose levels.
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Lecithin: Emulsifier and more

Typically used at less than 2%, this petfood ingredient has the potential for more
Lecithin is an ingredient that we see periodically on petfood labels, most commonly on canned foods. It is included for a "functional food" purpose but has some nutritional benefits, as well.
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L-Lysine Monohydrochloride: A key amino acid

This ingredient, found in a wide range of petfoods, is a vital tool for formulation and nutritional fortification.
Lysine is an essential or indispensable amino acid. In other words, the dog and cat are unable to produce an adequate quantity to support their normal physiological functions and must therefore obtain it from the diet. If the diet is inadequate it can result in depressed intake, retarded growth and development, and graying of feathers and fur among various species.
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