Monday, September 20, 2010

How to Avoid MSG in Pet Foods

MSG is a common hidden ingredient in pet foods, even in so-called “premium” and “natural foods.” Monosodium glutamate is used to enhance the flavor of many processed foods, for both humans and pets. It has been determined to be safe by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, it is a form of salt and many pet-parents would like to avoid feeding it to their pets.


Because so many prefer to avoid MSG, the FDA requires that products containing monosodium glutamate must include it on the product’s label. Unfortunately, this regulation does not apply to the way MSG is added to most pet foods, in the form of “hydrolyzed protein.” Hydrolyzed protein is protein that has been broken down into its amino acid components. It is typically added to pet foods to make them taste better.   

According to the FDA, “hydrolyzed protein is used to enhance flavor. The chemical breakdown of proteins may result in the formation of free glutamate that joins with free sodium to form monosodium glutamate (MSG). When added this way, the labels are not required to list MSG as an ingredient.”

To make things even more confusing to pet-parents is the fact that pet food manufacturers are not even required to list “hydrolyzed protein” when it is added as a natural flavoring. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) allows pet food ingredient panels to say, “Natural Flavoring” or similar wording. Yet nearly all flavorings added to pet foods with labels stating “Natural Flavoring” or “Liver Digest” are created by protein hydrolysis, and MSG is thus present.   

If you are concerned about MSG in your pet’s food, ask the manufacturer to disclose the exact ingredients used in their “natural flavorings.” They should be able to tell you if they hydrolyzed proteins that form MSG. Nature’s Logic never uses hydrolyzed proteins. Instead we use naturally-dried chicken and beef liver to create truly natural foods pets love. For more information about Nature's Logic raw, canned, and dry foods for dogs and cats, please visit http://www.natureslogic.com/.

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