Many of us have been told to look for dog foods that have meat as the first ingredient. We still believe this to be true but there is something as consumers we should be aware of and that is, ingredient splitting.
What is ingredient Splitting?
Ingredient Splitting is a common practise in the pet world since manufacturers are aware that consumers look for food with meat high up on the ingredients list. The process involves subdividing a more abundant ingredients – like corn or peas – into smaller portions so that a meat item or more desired ingredient appears higher on the ingredient list.
Since pet food manufacturers are required to list their ingredients from highest to lowest based on their pre-cooking weight, meat may appear to be a dominant ingredients but in reality it may not be the case.
Let's take a look at how this practise is used. Below is an example of how undesired ingredients can be split.
Take the example of corn. Before ingredient splitting, its pre-cooking weight is 30% corn, while chicken meal is only 18%. We know by now that consumers look for meat as the first ingredient therefore instead of using 30% corn, a pet food company can use 15% corn meal and 15% corn flour which would move corn down the ingredient list making the 18% chicken meal appear higher and therefore be ranked higher on the ingredient list.So, if you see pea, pea fibre, and pea protein on your pet food label that is ingredient splitting.
The next time you are out shopping for your pups next meal, keep in mind these tactics so that as consumers you can make the right choice for our pups. Instead choose foods that have fresh, whole foods and that don’t contain any by-products or meals.