Ethanol Leftovers to be used in Pet Food
The president of the Pet Food Industry thinks it’s time for left over ingredients from the processing of ethanol to be utilized in pet food. Being more concerned with rising costs of grain products instead of quality nutrition, Greg Aldrich, PhD feels it’s ‘time’ pet food manufacturers use spent-fermentation leftovers. He feels it will be well received if it’s pitched to pet owners as a ‘green’ ingredient. Wonder if it will make pet’s feel ‘green’?
As if the pet food industry doesn’t have enough problems, now the president of The Pet Food Industry is encouraging dog food and cat food manufacturers to consider using leftovers from ethanol processing. Geez.
In an article on the Pet Food Industry website (http://www.petfoodindustry.com/ViewArticle.aspx?id=22862) Dr. Aldrich states: “The production of ethanol has meant many things to the petfood industry – much of which hasn’t been pleasant because of the pressure it has placed on grain supplies. But, maybe there is some redemption for ethanol production that petfood companies have overlooked these last few years. Redemption in the way of an ingredient – specifically the protein-enriched, spent-fermentation co-product known as distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS).”
Allow me to interpret…The production of ethanol has raised the cost of otherwise cheap grains commonly used as protein in pet food. Ah, but I discovered something that we might have overlooked…and it’s even cheaper! After they process grain for ethanol, the left over garbage still analyzes as protein – goodie for us! Jump on this gang, before the price goes up!
Dr. Aldrich reports on research of DDGS (left-overs from ethanol production): “To summarize this battery of studies, the inclusion of DDGS at up to 30% of dog diets was reported to be acceptable; but, digestibility, stool consistency and palatability were measurably diminished.”
Interpretation: Using up to 30% of this cheap @#$% is fine, even though it won’t provide much nutrition and will probably give the pet the runs (and big time gas!).
And Dr. Aldrich also reports on ‘drawbacks’: “One drawback to DDGS is the potential to concentrate mycotoxins, especially given that fermentation and distilling do not destroy these mold metabolites. Nor is the ethanol industry obligated to operate under the same restrictions as the food and feed industries. In one extension report from South Dakota State University, mycotoxin concentrations for 2000 through 2007 were reported to be measurable in each testing year.”
Interpretation: There is one problem, and it’s big… DDGS (left-overs from ethanol production) are extremely prone to a deadly mold that is known to be a killer of pets. Extensive research has shown it’s very risky. But remember, it’s cheap so it’s probably worth the risk.
As if the above isn’t bad enough…Dr. Aldrich feels petsumers will welcome this change: “Considering consumers generally have a favorable view of “green” ethanol…” Well Dr. Aldrich, we might not all have a PhD behind our name, but we certainly are not stupid! ‘Green’ pet food is NOT huge piles left in the backyard or litter box!
AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) currently name these types of products “Distillers Grains”, “Distillers Dried Grain Solubles”, “Wet Grains”, and more. We can only guess that if this becomes a popular ingredient, AAFCO will graciously accommodate The Pet Food Industry with a nice, safe sounding ingredient name. Something like “Protein-rich Solubles” – after all…”left-over @#$% from the processing of ethanol” on a pet food label probably won’t sell much pet food.
By the way, Dr. Aldrich reports there is no shortage of DDGS – last year there was over 3.5 million metric tons produced. Instead of pet food, the perfect place for this left-over @#$% to go is to produce BioFuel. Why not take the left over ingredients from producing ethanol and turn it into even more energy? Perhaps that makes too much sense.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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