Pet Food Flavoring, seen on labels as ‘natural flavor’, is another one of those little secrets of pet food manufacturing. An investigation by a law firm could provide us with a little more information as to what ‘natural flavor’ really is.
I’ve asked pet food companies many times – ‘What is natural flavor? What is in this ingredient?’ I’ve been told time and time again by many pet food manufacturers, this information is proprietary. Many of you have shared the same lack of information stories with me as well. Now, we might be provided with one piece to the natural flavor puzzle.
“The law firm Hagens Berman is investigating claims that an Illinois manufacturer of feed and feed additives for the livestock and pet food industries may have exposed its workers to a dangerous chemical at its now-closed Wheeling, Illinois plant that could cause long-lasting health issues.
Feed Flavor, now owned by Nutriad, reportedly used diacetyl — a chemical often used in flavorings to simulate the taste of butter. The chemical has been associated with serious respiratory illness according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), including bronchiolitis obliterans.
Bronchiolitis obliterans is a serious condition in which inflammation and scarring in the airways of the lung can cause irreversible damage to the respiratory system. Other symptoms of exposure to diacetyl, according to OSHA, include persistent dry cough, wheezing and shortness of breath upon exertion.
The firm’s investigation centers on reports that the Feed Flavor, Inc. plant in Wheeling, Illinois may have exposed employees to diacetyl, putting them at risk of developing respiratory issues. The plant has since closed.”
There are no reported risks of pets consuming diacetyl, inhalation of the chemical is the known risk. Besides factory workers (in plants using this chemical), there are some links to disease with microwave popcorn (known as popcorn lungs – inhaling the chemical used to flavor microwave popcorm).
I would have to guess there is minimal opportunity for pets to inhale diacetyl. We can safely assume however, because of this law firm investigation of Feed Flavor, Inc., diacetyl is one ingredient found in some pet food natural flavor; the mystery of natural flavor continues. Doesn’t sound too ‘natural’ to me.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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