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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Cat Food Ingredients Uncovered

A friend sent me this article/paper on what is really in cat food and what the different ingredients are there for... it answers a lot of questions that are asked on here so I thought I would share.

Its a pdf and about 20 pages

Cat Food Uncovered

If you don't want to download the whole thing - these are the basic bits:

Meat or Meat-Based Ingredients


Animal by-products (US) AAFCO define these as parts not used for human consumption e.g. kidney, lung and tripe. By-products are secondary or incidental products of the meat industry e.g. feathers, hair. Poultry by-products contains head, feet, underdeveloped eggs, intestines, feathers and blood. Fish by-products are fish process residues and can contain heads, tails, intestines and blood. Meat by-products can include hair, hooves, viscera and also the blood soaked sawdust.

Animal by-products (UK) Unprocessed fresh or frozen slaughterhouse material. Processed material including blood meal, meat meal, meat and bone meal, greaves (the dry remnants left over after fat rendering)

Animal by-product meal (US) Made by rendering those animal tissues which do not fall into the US categories listed here.

Animal digest (US) Powder or liquid (soup, slurry) made from dndecomposed animal tissue, broken down using chemical or enzymatic
hydrolysis. The type of meat used is specified e.g. chicken, turkey, beef. Digests are ingredients not soluble in their natural state, but made soluble (hence useful as ingredients) with the use of heat, moisture and or
chemicals/enzymes e.g. "Poultry Digest" may be processed chicken feet.

Fish meal (UK) Dried processed whole fish and fish offal (e.g. cod heads).

Highly Pigmented Slurry (UK)
Mechanically Recovered Meat (UK) pulp. Contains varying amounts of bone. This slurry is reformatted into chunks and may be texturised.

Meal (US) The ground or pulverised composite of animal feed-grade
ingredients e.g. poultry by-product meal consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such
amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Meal contains nothing humans would term meat.

Meat (US)
The clean flesh of slaughtered cattle, pigs, sheep or goats. Does include muscle meat, tongue, some organs, fat and skin of the animal. AAFCO define "meat" as the "clean flesh of slaughtered mammals as is limited to the striate muscle with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve and blood vessels, which normally accompany the flesh."

Meat (UK)
The flesh, including fat, skin, rind, gristle and sinew in amounts naturally associated with the flesh used, of any animal or bird normally used for human consumption. Does include diaphragm, head meat (muscle meat and associated fatty tissue only), heart, kidney, liver, pancreas, tail meat, thymus and tongue. May (depending on intended use of product) include brains, feet, large and small intestines, lungs, oesophagus, rectum, spinal cord, spleen, stomach, testicles, udder. (Meat Products and Spreadable Fish Products Regulations 1984)

Meat by-products (US) The clean parts of slaughtered animals, excluding meat as defined above in "Meat (US)". Does include lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bone, fatty tissues, stomach and intestines. Does not include hooves, teeth, horns or hair.

Meat by-products (UK) Offal e.g. liver, kidney, tripe, melts, lights. Also blood, bone, heads, feet, whole rabbit/chicken carcasses, other carcasses from which flesh has already been stripped for human consumption. Includes poultry by-products. (Waltham Book of Dog and Cat Nutrition)

Meat Derivatives (UK)
Rendered carcass material (I could not find a precise description)

Meat meal (US) Rendered meal (dry) made from animal tissues. Does not include blood, hair, hoof, horn, skin, manure, stomach or intestinal contents, except for those small amounts unavoidably included during processing (contaminants). AAFCO define "meat meal" as "the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any blood, hair, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents."

Meat and bone meal (US) Rendered meal (dry) from meat and bone. Does not include blood, hair, hooves, horn, skin, manure, stomach and intestinal contents, except for very small amounts that may be unavoidably included during processing.

Mechanically Recovered Meat [MRM] (UK)
Meat (UK) obtained by mechanically stripping flesh from bones. MRM includes meat recovered using combinations of grinding, steam and high pressure. Contains bone
marrow, cartilage and ground up bone.

Plant-Based Ingredients

Beet pulp (US)
Dried residue of sugar beets from the sugar production industry.

Brewer’s rice (US)
Small pieces of rice kernels sifted out of the larger kernels of milled rice.

Cereal by-products (UK) By-products of the cereal industry. Includes wheat, barley, oats, rice, rye, maize (sweetcorn), some sorghums. Sago and tapioca are considered as cereals although they are processed cassava root. (Waltham Book of Dog and Cat Nutrition)

Cereal food fines (US) By-products of breakfast cereal production; particles of food.

Cornmeal, Corn chop, Ground corn (US) Meal made from the entire maize (sweetcorn) kernel.Must contain no more than 4% foreign material.

Corn gluten meal (US)
Residue from the manufacture of maize (sweetcorn) syrup or starch. Gluten is a sticky substance which gives wheat starch or maize starch its tough elastic quality. It is used to bind or hold together other ingredients.

Dried kelp (US) Dried seaweed. The percentage of salt and minimum percentages of potassium and iodine must be stated on the label.

Dried whey (US) The thin part of separated milk, dried (powdered). Must not be less than 11% protein nor less than 61 percent lactose.

Mill run (US)
See vegetable by-products

Textured Vegetable Protein [TVP] (UK)
Made from de-fatted soya bean meal.

Vegetable by-products (US)
The residue left after the primary food product has been extracted during milling e.g. "Corn Mill Run" is a pulverised blend of maize husk and corn-cobs left over after the sweetcorn kernels have been removed.

Anticaking agents: Keeps dry ingredients (flour, salt) free-flowing, prevents clumping
Antimicrobial agents: Prevents growth of bacteria
Antioxidants: Preservative, prevents spoiling
Colouring agents: Turns murky brown slurry/meal a more appetising colour!
Curing agents: Preservative
Drying agents:
Emulsifiers: Binds water and fat together so they do not separate
Firming agents: Turns slurry into a meaty or jelly texture
Flavour enhancers: Modifies flavour, may do this by chemical effect on brain itself!
Flavouring agents: Adds flavour to unappetising slurry/meal
Flour treating agents:
Formulation aids: Help at various stages in recipe
Gelling agents: Turns slurry into a meaty or jelly texture
Humectants: Makes the food taste moist.
Leavening agents: Raising agent used in flour
Lubricants:
Non-nutritive sweeteners:
Sweetener which adds no nutritional value.
Nutritive sweeteners: Sugars!
Oxidizing and reducingagents: Used in rendering, processing and cooking.
pH control agents: Control pH of food or modify pH of urine.
Plasticizers: A texturizer - for chewiness and some reformatted meat products
Processing aids: Used only to aid or ease the manufacturing process
Sequestrants:
Solvents, vehicles: Dissolve flavouring or colouring so they are evenly distributed
Stabilizers, thickeners: Stop food separating, curdling or breaking down; thickens food
Surface active agents:
Surface finishing agents:

Synergists:
Texturizers: Modifies texture of food e.g. by affecting proteins
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 02:35 PM
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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I seen that, which is what reminded me to post this article.

I decided to make it a separate post as it also concentrates on points other than JUST understanding the labels, if you read the whole article' in that how foods are made, regulatory bodies in different countries, and diet related food problems none of which really fit with the other thread.

In fact, this was partially in reply to your post about all foods in the UK being holistic.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 03:44 PM
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UK food is inherently better than US food. I would not worry so much about cat food if I live in UK. UK people also let their cats outside which is beneficial for their health. In US the outside world is too dangerous b/c of cat haters.

UK people alwys seemed to have a more holistic approach in life than the US people. McDonalds is a US invention. Spamlet said there are duck-flavored Whiskas pouches in UK. I can only dream about duck-flavored foods in the US.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 04:16 PM
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The UK seems to be better for animals in many ways than the US. We have far better regulations etc all over the board.

Thanks icklemiss, that was really helpful & interesting, and I have actually been looking for something comparing the US & UK foods and the way they are described/advertised. I can officially state I am glad to be British!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
I can officially state I am glad to be British!
Having lived in both, so am I!

Shengmei, Natures Variety have canned duck which is sold down there... and there are cat haters in the UK too... and not everyone lets their cats outside there either.

Why do you say it is beneficial to let your cats outside? I think it is much safer to have my cats inside, regardless of where i live.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 06:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
UK food is inherently better than US food. I would not worry so much about cat food if I live in UK. UK people also let their cats outside which is beneficial for their health. In US the outside world is too dangerous b/c of cat haters.
Not letting cats outside has little to do with cat haters.

Life Expectancy – The average life expectancy of an outdoor cat is just 2 to 5 years, while an indoor cat may survive for 17 or more years. Cats who roam are constantly in danger.

Cars – Millions of cats are run over by cars each year. Seeking warmth, outdoor cats crawl into car engines and are killed or maimed when the car is restarted. Motorists risk accidents attempting to avoid free-roaming cats.

Animal Attacks – Torn ears, scratched eyes, abscesses, internal injuries, diseases, and sometimes death result from encounters with dogs, other cats, and wild animals like raccoons, coyotes and foxes. My childhood cat, Tigger, died from from an abscess.

Disease – Cats allowed outdoors risk exposure to fatal diseases including rabies, feline leukemia, distemper, and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Vaccines are not 100 percent effective; there is no vaccine at this time for FIV.

Parasites – Cats allowed outdoors are more likely to contract debilitating parasites such as worms, ticks, mites, and fleas.

Poisons and Traps – Exposure to pesticides, rodenticides and antifreeze poisons kills thousands of outdoor cats each year. Cats are maimed and killed in traps set for fur-bearing animals.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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Snowball, all these reasons, plus I have a cat with dietary needs who I don't want getting fed elsewhere are the reasons I would NEVER let my cats out regardless of whether I moved back home to the UK.

I am more interested in why Shengmei believes that it would be better, apart from the fact that they are running away from little kids/dogs/cars etc so get more exercise and tend not to have as high cases of obesity, I can't think of ANY reasons to let them out (although I understand why some people do let them out). But I don't think that this outweighs the bad things to the extent that being outside is beneficial.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-19-2005, 03:17 AM
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I can't bring myself to let my youngest 2 out EVER, I am too frightened of losing them! If I lived in a rural area of the UK, I would let them all out. Finn is my only cat who goes in & out freely, but he wouldn't have it any other way. Before he came to me, he was a long term stray and had lived outdoors as a tom for a couple of years. He is streetwise and used to the outside, and he was hellishly stressed out the period I cooped him up. He is never out at night, however, and now comes in whenever called.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-19-2005, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21
Why do you say it is beneficial to let your cats outside? I think it is much safer to have my cats inside, regardless of where i live.
My cat Sunshine was diagnosed with a heart murmur. I started letting him and Jade graze my garden for dandelions for about 15~30 minutes EVERY single day. His heart condition had improved VASTLY since I let him graze grass. The grass had been very good for his heart condition. His energy level improved and his coat got a lot shinier. His overall alertness also perked up incredibly. Dandelion is a MIRACLE drug.

Also, the sunshine is beneficial for helping cats make vitamin D. I heard that the indoor formula cat foods have more vitamin D because indoor cats are often vitamin D deficient. I think vitamin D deficiency has something to do with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which cats can actually get.

My cats do nothing except eating grass and bamboo shoots everytime they go out. I am starting to think that they have herbivore souls trapped inside the carnivore bodies. Also, the exercise had made both of them losing a little bit of weight, which is good. They also in general seemed MUCH happier, especially since I go outside and play with them when they are outside.
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