Dr. Greg Aldrich provided an interesting presentation on what we might see soon as ingredients in pet food. The following are highlights from his presentation at the Virtual Pet Food Forum.
Past to Present: 1980’s we saw corn, corn gluten feed, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, animal fat, wheat bran ethoxyquin, bha, bht as common pet food ingredients; all were considered normal and acceptable.
In the 1990’s common pet food ingredients became brown rice, chicken meal, lamb, lamb meal, flax, fish oil, and beet pulp.
Ingredient listings today Dr. Aldrich finds…tapioca, jicama, yams, pumpkin, flaxseed, alfalfa meal, blueberries, cranberries, shitake mushroom, birch bark extract, aloe, and wheat grass.
Dr. Aldrich provided the following examples of novel pet food ingredients (newer to the pet food market but not considered exotic)…
Meats – venison, rabbit, duck
Carbs – sweet potatoes, millet, tomato pomace
Fruits – apples, apricots, pomegranates
Vegetables – spinach broccoli collard greens, alfalfa sprouts,
Other – cod-liver oil, marigold extract, kelp, and shark cartilage
He provided the following examples of exotic ingredients likely to be seen in pet foods soon…
Meat poultry fish:
Beaver, brushtail possum, unagi (eel) wild bar, sea cucumber
Seeds and fruit:
Chia, quinoa, amaranth, acai berries, Saskatoon berries, black currants, goji berries, yumberry
Vegetables & roots
Bamboo, bok choy, fenugreek sprouts, jicama
Tea tree oil, krill oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, almond oil, cetyl-Myristoleate
Bacteria, fungi, plankton
Coriolus mushrooms, hhiitake mushrooms, and maitake mushrooms, kefir, plankton
Herbs spices and nutraceuticals
Hawthorne berries, astragalus, angelica root, milk thistle, olive leaf, pau d-arco, birch bark extract, propolis, slippery elm bark, wild yam root, boswellia serrata, devils claw, nettles
Dr. Aldrich provided the following reasons for exotic reasons being used in pet foods…
Sales & Marketing, Health & nutrition, Allows one to be different from the competitor, Humanization, Variety for pet, Elitism (ego – pet food company and pet owner).
Exotic ingredients are typically added as gluten free alternative, Omega 3 alternative, other unique fatty acids, antioxidants, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and/or anti-carcinogenic properties
His concern of exotic ingredients is there are no studies in companion animals for exotic ingredients to date. No information on positive or negative effects based on animal health, toxicity, long term effects, palatability or acceptability, effects on stool quality, and post-ingestive tolerance.
Further, Dr. Aldrich believes there is a need for safety data, complete nutrient/chemical profiles, acceptability and tolerance information, food processing information, quality criteria of exotic ingredients in pet foods.
Dr. Aldrich is an independent nutritionist specializing in foods, ingredients, and nutrition for companion animals.
The presentation provided a great deal more information. Should you wish to watch it (and the other presentations), the recording will be available for the next couple of months. Visit The Virtual Pet Food Forum website at http://www.wattevents.com. You will need to register to view the presentations.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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