Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Added Vitamins and Minerals in Pet Food Carry Unwanted Hidden Ingredients

Most pet guardians don’t realize that “added vitamins and minerals” are very common sources of hidden ingredients and contaminants in pet foods, even so-called natural foods. Truly natural nutrients come only from real food. If a pet food claims to be “natural with added vitamins and minerals,” those vitamins and minerals are NOT natural. This is actually a disclaimer, required by The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), to alert pet parents that the added vitamins and minerals are not natural.

Added Vitamins

All added vitamins, those not coming from the food itself, contain processing aids and carriers, and many also contain chemical preservatives. Corn oil, starch, sucrose, mineral oil, and gelatin are all used in processing synthetic vitamins. Examples of carriers used include corncobs and rice hulls. Sodium aluminum is a man-made, synthetic substance commonly used as an anti-caking agent. Many fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, often contain the chemical preservative BHT. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for Vitamin D3, published by BASF which manufactures it (http://www.natureslogic.com/pdf/MSDS/D3.pdf/) shows that the synthetic vitamin also contains sucrose, gelatin, starch, sodium aluminocilicate, and BHT. Excessive levels of added synthetic Vitamin D3 were the reason for the October 2010 Blue Buffalo pet food recall.

Added Minerals

Similarly, added minerals bring with them heavy metal contaminants such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. These hidden ingredients are allowed in mineral supplements added to animal feed and pet foods. There are hundreds of examples and variations of these man-made mineral supplements, including sodium selenite, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, calcium carbonate, zinc oxide or zinc amino acid complex, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, iron oxide or iron proteinate, magnesium amino acid complex, potassium amino acid complex, and manganese amino acid complex. In an attempt to manage these contaminants, the AAFCO Official Publication has an entire chapter on “Contaminant Levels Permitted in Mineral Feed Ingredients: http://www.natureslogic.com/pdf/ContaminantLevels.pdf/.

In addition, man-made mineral feed supplements called proteinates contain hydrolyzed protein. The process of hydrolysis used to make this protein also forms monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which then ends up in the pet food. The manufacturer’s label for copper proteinate shows hydrolyzed protein as one ingredient: http://www.jhbiotech.com/Product%20Labels/animal%20feed/buffermin%20copper.pdf/. While this label appears on the feed supplement shipped to the pet food company that adds the copper proteinate to its foods, hydrolyzed protein will not appear as an ingredient on the final pet food packaging.


None of these unwanted and potentially harmful ingredients will show up on the pet food label because they all are contained within the “added vitamins and minerals” disclaimer allowed by AAFCO. The only way to avoid these unwanted ingredients is to feed your pets foods without added synthetic or man-made ingredients. Nature’s Logic is the only full-line, commercial pet food with no chemically-synthesized nutrients. All of the vitamins and minerals in our dry, canned and raw formulas are derived from food. This is the safest way to supply nutrients to pets. More information about pet food ingredients may be found at http://www.natureslogic.com/.

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