Calcium is a vital nutrient for growth and sustained pet health. It is a principal structural component of bone and teeth, facilitates blood clotting binding-proteins, serves as a key conductor of nerve signals, initiates muscle contractions, activates select physiological enzymes and buffers pH changes.
L-carnitine is a supplemental amino acid (ingredient) commonly found in low-fat, “light” or so-called diet foods for both dogs and cats. For the most part, the body produces an adequate amount of carnitine (L-isomer metabolite) to fulfill its role in the conversion of fatty acids into usable energy.
Rosemary extract is a common ingredient found on dry petfood labels, typically at or near the bottom of the ingredient listing. While rosemary extract is generally viewed with favor by pet owners, it doesn’t provide nutritional fortification, it doesn’t provide medicinal support for any specific ailment, nor does it enhance the taste appeal of the food (for pets).
In petfood, citric acid is a common additive used mostly in the fat preservative (antioxidant) system. Food and nutrition experts consider this ingredient a natural functional compound, which, at its worst, is benign to pet health and wellness. However, increasingly pervasive internet claims have led some pet owners to doubt its safety and utility.
In an age of extremes and absolutes, vitamin A serves as a potent example of the necessity of balance in diet and nutrition. This is an important vitamin that has a direct effect on vision, the endocrine system in many ways and gene expression modulation.
The terms potato and protein don't often come up in the same sentence--probably because we think of potatoes solely as a starch source. But in our ever-expanding search for useful ingredients in the petfood industry, potato protein, a concentrated extract from the potato tuber, has turned up in several specialty petfoods in the last couple of years.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) was discovered in 1928 as the agent in citrus that prevented scurvy. The structure of what was then called hexuronic acid was identified by Haworth in 1933, and a process for its synthesis was described by Reichstein in that same year.
We read a great deal about vitamin D in the popular press these days. Beyond the age-old deficiency diseases, it is now reported that supplemental vitamin D in people has an influence on a wide range of conditions including cognitive function, osteoporosis, fatigue, diabetes, cancer and more.
As petfood companies and pet owners continue to explore a broader range of ingredient options, the lowly pea (Pisum sativum) has been gaining in popularity. Not to be confused with the fresh or succulent green pea, the type that is being used in an ever widening array of applications is dried peas.
In the search for new, high quality, raw material sources with consumer appeal and a solid nutritional pedigree, pulses are one class of ingredient that the petfood industry has all but completely overlooked. Is that because of limited availability, poor acceptability by the pet, misperceptions about acceptable ingredients for pets or some other intrinsic nutritional or health issue?