Meat vs. Meal on Pet Food Labeling
The Truth About Pet Foods
The first ingredient should be the most important on the ingredient list because they are listed in order by weight. However, that may not be true because that first ingredient may contain 70%-90% water!
By using a variety of proteins and carbohydrates in a formulation, the more desirable and expensive ingredients can be manipulated to a higher position on the list without actually using very much of the product. This makes the labels look much better to the consumer than they really are. When you see a word like “Chicken” or “Real Chicken”, “(Real) Duck”, “(Real) Lamb”, “(Real) Beef” etc., as the first ingredient, it is at least 70-90% water before processing. Considering this, when you add in the weight of the water to these ingredients, it actually should be listed further down the list, probably next to the vitamins and minerals.
Artificial Preservatives. Some companies still use Ethoxyquin as a preservative in small enough amounts that it isn’t required to be listed as an ingredient. A major company just recently acquired a patent to use Polyethylene as a preservative in their foods to extend shelf life. Both Ethoxyquin and Polyethylene have come under heavy criticism for their potential to cause cancer. No artificial preservatives are ever used in ProDiet.
Consumers are being brainwashed with big money and smart marketing. More than 80% of the consumers trust big companies and don’t realize they are being given inaccurate information. Don’t always go by what the salesperson and fancy ads tell you; do your own homework! Read the ingredient list and Guaranteed Analysis. Be sure the food contains the necessary ingredients--in sufficient amounts—to keep your pet healthy. And just because a food is the most expensive, it does not necessarily mean it is better for your pet. It may just mean they have more money available for advertising, which of course leads to profit.
#1 Chicken Meal (water removed) is the first ingredient in ProDiet.
What is the difference and what does it mean to your pets and you?
MEAT Facts. Chicken and lamb are 70% water and only 12% protein. Pet food labels like to use chicken or lamb to represent real meat. When used without the addition of meat meals, these protein sources contain 70% moisture, much of which is lost during cooking. The label leads the consumer to believe that the product is mostly meat-based when it may not be. Chicken and lamb meats are heavier than grains prior to cooking, but not after. Although the inclusion of fresh meats may be beneficial, the moisture contained in the meats (70%) is reduced by two-thirds during the cooking process, possibly leaving the total formula as a grain based food after processing rather than meat-based, as you might expect.
MEAL facts. Chicken meal and lamb meal are dry and 65% to 70% meat protein. Example: All ProDiet pet foods list chicken meal as the FIRST ingredient. Chicken meal is nearly dry (5% moisture content) and contains about 70% meat proteins. That is FIVE TIMES more meat protein than plain (Real) Chicken. During the cooking process, chicken meal and other meat meals do not shrink below the grain weight, producing a true meat-based formula for your pets.
Meat vs. Meal. Where should it really end up in the ingredient panel?
Ingredients are listed on pet food packaging in order of predominance by weight BEFORE they are cooked.
Meat meal is highly concentrated meat that is dehydrated, containing 5% moisture and 70% protein.
Meat is wet, containing 70% water and only 12% protein.
When meat is cooked in the extrusion process, the moisture is removed, resulting in a very SMALL percentage of meat in the total makeup of the finished pet food.
When meat meal is cooked in the extrusion process, it is not diminished, resulting in a much LARGER makeup of the finished pet food.
By using chicken (poultry) or meat only for your protein source, you could end up with a grain-based pet food.
*The above information is from a report by CANIDAE.