How dry food is made
What the feed consists of?
Walk along the pet food shopping arcade at any large supermarket or visit a pet website and you will find that there are so many brands that it can be difficult to choose one. Each feed is made according to a recipe that is developed in the company, and then transferred to the manufacturer, who mixes the necessary ingredients, bakes and packs the feed.
Despite the fact that each company has its own recipe for the preparation of feed, all manufacturers, without exception, must comply with certain standards set by the state. All feeds, regardless of brand, place of manufacture and recipe, must be balanced and have sufficient nutritional value to meet the animal’s needs. The composition of the feed should include proteins, which are rich in meat, poultry and eggs, as well as grains, cereals, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. All these ingredients are crushed and mixed until smooth, and then baked.
The Truth About Dog Food: Part 1
Dog biscuits and biscuits have been around since Roman times, and their commercial production began in the early 19th century. Nowadays, dog food is created either by baking or pressing. Compression equipment was originally developed for the production of puffed breakfast cereals, but has proven to be ideal for making nutritious dry food for long-term storage. The feed creation process starts with a test. it is mixed from dry and wet ingredients that have been thoroughly ground beforehand. The dough is then sent to a special rolling machine and then exposed to steam or hot water under high pressure. After heat treatment, the dough is pressed through holes of various shapes, which are called a matrix. The shaping process should take place while the dough is still in a compressed state, since then the pieces lose their density and swell.
What’s In Dog Food?
Swollen dough pieces are placed in a dryer, where all moisture is removed from them. Now that the dough has turned into dry pads, they are sprayed with fat, oil, minerals and vitamins and immediately packaged to prevent the product from losing its freshness. Some ingredients of the food are very important for the dog’s body, for example, the amino acid taurine. Taurine is originally present in meat, but it disappears during the production process. Therefore, manufacturers add synthetic taurine to the feed. The fact that taurine is necessary for the proper functioning of the animal’s body was discovered only after cats and dogs became exclusively pets and stopped eating fresh meat from the hunt. This led to a deficiency of taurine, and therefore to various diseases, such as blindness or heart problems.
Not all foods are created equal
When choosing food from a huge variety of brands, the first thing to look at is the label. Many firms prepare feed based on grain or offal, not meat at all. Each pack of feed must contain a list of ingredients, with all ingredients listed in order of decreasing content in the product. Therefore, you need to choose those feeds where meat is the first in the list, and then grain and other components follow. It is worth noting that dogs digest grains quite well, because they are omnivores, so the diet should ideally include meat, grains and vegetables.
Cats, on the other hand, are carnivorous, and food with a high m of grain and vegetables is not suitable for them. However, in cat food, grain is still present as a thickener, which helps the pads to maintain their shape, but its amount is negligible. To be sure that the feed contains no grain at all, buy only packs labeled “grain-free”.
The problem that our pets have to face is divided into three parts:
Depletion of energy and nutrient reserves. In order to fight toxins, the body is forced to spend additional energy and reserves of vitamins and minerals, which it could otherwise use for more useful needs. The body uses several different natural mechanisms to detoxify and eliminate toxins and waste products. This process primarily occurs in the liver (detoxifier of the body), kidneys (excretory system), skin (an excretory organ additional to the kidneys, toxins and toxins are removed primarily by their deposition (deposition) in wool (in our hair), which after this is immediately reset) and the immune system (the mechanism of response to hazardous substances in the body). Certain enzymes (enzymes) and related vitamins are involved in this process. The more toxic a chemical that has entered the body, the more efforts the body needs to neutralize and remove it, the more vitamins and enzymes are spent on this process. This in itself is a rather serious risk factor, given that in our environmentally dysfunctional world, the body already has to deal with toxins every day. (NB ! for this reason, the addition of vitamins and minerals to the diet of our pets is important even with high-quality natural food. Elf)
Accumulation of toxins. The body is able to neutralize and remove various toxins, since the mechanisms of detoxification and elimination have been worked out for many millennia of life in nature, in which there are enough natural toxins and poisons. If it were otherwise, neither we nor our smaller brothers would have survived. However, in the last hundred years, and especially in the last few decades, a huge amount of chemical toxins have appeared that we have never encountered before. Needless to say, this fact greatly affects the ability of our bodies to detoxify and eliminate these harmful toxins? In 1989, according to various sources, there were already 70 thousand different chemical compounds used by humans. About 3 thousand more are added to them every year. When you imagine these numbers, it becomes clear why the effect of the vast majority of these chemicals on the body has not been studied. In 1990, a study was conducted to find out the effect of 2,000 chemicals (i.e. only 3%) used in everyday life on their potential to cause cancer in animals. The result of the study was overwhelming. half of the tested substances actually provoke cancer in various animal tissues. If the body cannot neutralize and remove the toxin, it begins to be deposited in tissues. In addition, toxins deposited in tissues can still interact with each other.
Interaction of accumulated toxins. If there are two different chemical compounds. substance A and substance B. accumulate in the body, then there can be 4 types of interaction between them: none. A acts on B, making it more toxic. B acts on A, making it more toxic. A and B mutually reinforce each other’s toxicity.
Now let’s imagine that there are not two such toxins. And three. A, B and C. then the interaction options between them increases to nine. The variants of mutual reactions and effects grow exponentially depending on the amount of toxins accumulated in the body. Chemical analysis reveals that the body contains over 100 different toxins. This means that they can also interact with each other in 10 thousand variations, causing significant harm to the body.
When scientists studying a certain chemical speak about the degree of its danger to the body, they are only partly right. They talk about the dangers of this substance in its pure form, but cannot predict how it will behave in reaction with tens of thousands of other chemicals that can potentially enter the body. And if to date a little more than three percent of all chemicals used have been studied, and only for their potential ability to cause cancer in living tissues, then can we expect that the interactions of these substances with each other will be studied?
Feed math and moisture
The second factor that makes it difficult to compare different feeds in terms of their nutritional value is moisture. Here we need math again. For example, the label on canned dog food says it contains 6% protein. And on the package of inexpensive dry food it says that it contains as much as 20% protein. Much more than canned food, right? No not like this.
To compare the actual percentage of any nutrient in a feed, you must calculate the percentage of that nutrient on the dry weight of the food. To make it clearer, imagine that you squeezed every last drop of moisture from the canned food, and measured the percentage of protein in what was left. This is called the percentage of protein in dry matter. Then, in the same way, dry food was squeezed out to the bottom, the percentage of protein in it was measured and the two results were compared. And, believe me, as a rule, in canned feed, there is more protein after removing water than in dry.
In a word, for a correct comparison of nutrients in feed from different manufacturers, it is necessary to “discard” such a component as moisture (it is also indicated on the labels). Here’s how to do it: Look at the food packaging for moisture, subtract that number from 100%. this will be the dry weight of the feed. Let’s assume the moisture content of the selected canned food. 75%, then its dry weight. 25%, and the moisture content of dry food. 10% means dry weight. 90%. All nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, etc., are not contained in water, but in this dry residue. As for water, it passes through the body and is simply excreted in the form of urine, nothing more. Therefore, you need to know how much protein is actually and the rest is on the dry weight of the feed. Now that you know the percentage of dry weight of the feed, you can calculate the protein in it. To do this, divide the percentage of protein (or any other substance that needs to be estimated in the feed) by the percentage of dry weight of the feed. In our example with canned food, it turns out: 6%: 25% = 24%. those. the real percentage of protein in canned food is 24%! Now dry food from our example: 20%: 90% = 22.2%. here is the real protein in this dry food. It now becomes apparent that the canned food in our example contains more protein than the dry food. If you carry out such a calculation of various foods, it turns out that practically most dog foods contain at least 22% crude protein, and cat foods contain at least 22% crude protein. 32%. However, let’s not forget that we are talking here about raw protein, and not about what will actually be assimilated and has biological value for animals. That is why, looking at the label of a ready-made dog or cat food, you should not trust what is written on it: the real nutrients in this package or can may be completely different. The label will honestly tell you how much crude protein (carbohydrates, etc.) is in a feed at a given moisture content. But to understand how much your pet is getting, you need to know the biological value of these proteins, digestibility and percentage in dry weight of the feed (since the water in the feed is just a “transit passenger”).
Animal and Poultry Fat
You may have noticed an unusual, pungent aroma when you open a bag of dry food. what is the source of the delicious scent? This is most often the smell of animal fat, table fat, or other rancid fat or considered inedible to humans. Table fat has become the main ingredient in animal fat feeds over the past fifteen years. This fat, often kept in fifty gallon drums, can be kept open for many weeks at high temperatures without worrying about future use. “Combined fat (mixed fat)” or subsidiaries’ processed fat, and when this used fat is collected and different types of fat are mixed together, stabilize them with powerful antioxidants to slow further spoilage, and then sell the mixed products to dry food manufacturers and other end users. fats are sprayed directly onto the compressed granules and balls, otherwise the soft and unpleasant taste is not tasty. The fat also serves as a binding agent for the additive to which the manufacturers add other odor enhancing agents such as a hydrolyzate. Dry food experts have found that animals love the taste of these sprayed fats. Producers. experts in their field earn income when a dog or cat eats something from which it would normally turn its nose up.
Here are some other unwanted ingredients found in pet foods:
Propylene glycol. this component is known to cause various diseases in dogs. It is used to maintain the structure of the product, to moisturize and to maintain a certain level of moisture. In doing so, it inhibits the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
Potassium sorbate. it is a fairly common preservative, chemically similar to fat.
Ammonized glycyrrhizin (Ammoniated glycyrrhizin). sweetener. Considered a potential drug that needs to be scrutinized first.
How Its Made dogs food
Sucrose (Sucrose). This is regular table sugar.
Propyl gallate. manufacturers add it in order to slow down the process of product spoilage, however, there are suspicions that it causes liver damage.
Ethoxyquin. originally developed for the production of rubber, used as a preservative. Veterinarians have strong suspicions that it causes serious health problems in dogs.
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). this virtually unexplored preservative is believed by many to be responsible for liver damage, metabolic disorders, fetal abnormalities and increased serum cholesterol levels.
Sodium nitrite. this component is widely used as a preservative and a red colorant. When used in food, sodium nitrite produces powerful carcinogens. Another class of common artificial additives is usually not even deciphered or required to be specifically indicated on food labels. These are artificial food colors that are approved for production without any serious and time-consuming research:
Red 0 (Red No. 40) (probable carcinogen)
Blue (Blue No. 2) (according to the latest research, increases the susceptibility of dogs to fatal viruses)
Similar dyes were banned for use in food production for both humans and animals as early as the mid-1970s. Among them were the dye “Red” (Red No. 2), which, as it turned out, promotes the development of cancer and birth defects, and Violet (Violet No. 1). carcinogen causing skin problems.
Despite all the protests from pet owners against the FDA to ban the use of artificial colors in pet products, they continue to be used. To compete with each other in the huge feed market, manufacturers add food colors to make their products more attractive and more reminiscent of natural ingredients. for example, raw red meat. There are companies that sell their foods in their natural form, without dyes. these foods are available in various shades of gray-brown. Of course, such feeds do not look so attractive to many ordinary consumers. However, think about it. cats and dogs do not distinguish colors, but we do. Yes. So for whom do feed manufacturers paint their products with dyes? Of course, for us, so that we are attracted by their appearance.
Another huge class of nutritional supplements. synthetic flavors. They are labeled “safe” and have been approved for food production without any credible serious study of their effects on the health of our dogs and cats. They go under the name “artificial flavors” and do not even need an FDA approval to use them. Since we have no idea what these supplements can do to the body, everyone who cares about the health of their pet should avoid eating any food (dry, canned, treats, etc.) that contains food flavorings and flavor enhancers. Just like avoiding such human foods.
Dry food, composition, production, expert opinions
What you should pay attention to if you still decide to feed with dry food.
The Truth About Industrial Feed (Translated by Valeria Shabaeva)
Once again about the technology for the production of dry feed
For a person who is at least a little familiar with biochemistry, it is absolutely clear: under the influence of high temperatures, part of the food that even we! going to eat, it becomes either of little use or harmful. During heat treatment, very complex processes take place: isomerization (it seems that the molecule consists of the same atoms, but now it is not folded as “convenient” for the body, or even harmful) and fat oxidation (the taste of oxidized fat is perceived as rancid, while it acquires mutagenic and carcinogenic properties). But fats are still digested. But proteins, these most difficult to digest components of food, become almost indigestible.
What happens to protein molecules during heat treatment? I want to remind you: protein. a very long thread, consisting of all kinds of amino acids (there are 20 types of amino acids in the composition of plant and animal proteins). This thread, bending many times and intersecting with itself, is fixed on itself by its own amino acid residues, maintains a special shape, which is a biological machine. substrate. The thread sections are spacious here. They are available to molecules of digestive enzymes that can reach almost all parts of this protein molecule and cut it into many fragments, which will then be assimilated by the body. This is the process of digestion.
Now imagine that you have a beautiful macrame at home, which has captured a family of growing kittens as a toy. After a few days, this macrame will turn into a tightly matted ball of tightly intertwined threads. The same thing happens with food proteins when they are boiled or fried, not to mention the fact that in the production of dry food they are “coked” and autoclaved. Digestive enzymes of the gastrointestinal tract may be able to pinch off some fragments from the surface of this ball. However, most of the protein mass will leave the small intestine, where food is digested and absorbed, into the large intestine, which does not absorb nutrients for the body. Here, in large numbers, tens of times exceeding the number of cells of the whole body, many putrefactive bacteria of the luminal flora live (only the parietal flora of the large intestine is necessary and useful for the body.these are bifidobacteria and lactobacilli that form the mucoid layer of the large intestine, without a healthy state of which normal life any organism is impossible). And everything that is in the cavity of the large intestine is intensively drained as a result of the powerful absorption of moisture by the walls of the large intestine and then excreted as excrement.
Have you noticed that the excrement of animals living in the wild is almost odorless, while humans, dogs that eat dry food and the wrong food, on the contrary, smell intensely? This is explained simply: the body, supplying its putrefactive bacteria with undigested protein mass, breeds these bacteria in large quantities and intensifies the decay processes. At the same time, a significant amount of very harmful putrefaction products is absorbed into the large intestine, then enters the liver, poisoning it, penetrates into the general circulation, poisons the brain and other organs of the body, and then is partially excreted by the lungs. In this case, the breath takes on the smell of its excrement.
And once again about enzymes. Enzymes. these are proteins (i.e. proteins) that control chemical reactions, which form the basis of the life of any living organism. from a flower to a person. The action of enzymes: improvement of digestion (breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, fats), elimination of possible discomfort after eating (feeling of heaviness in the abdomen, belching, bloating); anti-inflammatory effect (at the level of the gastrointestinal tract); reduction of putrefactive processes in the intestines; reduction of gas formation, elimination of bad breath; normalization of intestinal microflora, etc. All living tissues and, accordingly, fresh food, both plant and animal, are replete with enzymes. Thermally processed food (boiled, fried, baked “until crisp”, as they like to repeat in advertising of dry food) is deprived of enzymes, because Proteins are destroyed at high temperatures. For millions of years, animals, including dogs, ate food rich in enzymes. Based on this, their digestive system was formed, which is still trying to work on the basis that, together with food that satisfies hunger, enzymes must enter the stomach that help to digest it. In addition, enzymes contribute to maintaining the health of the animal by preventing premature aging of the body.
Imagine now, what is the body of a dog that eats dry food since puppyhood. Not surprisingly, since the mass production of dry food was established, the average life expectancy of dogs has almost halved. Without vital enzymes, which a dog can only get from raw natural food, the body quickly wears out, ages and breaks down. Lack of enzymes in the diet plays an important role in the development of almost all degenerative diseases. cancer, kidney, liver, heart failure, diabetes, intestinal and stomach bloating, and as a consequence. twisting of the stomach or intestines, obstruction, allergies, etc.
Now let’s look at the production of dry food. This process is somewhat akin to baking a loaf. When you bake a loaf, you mix all the ingredients according to a specific recipe and get a smooth paste. Then this mass is baked and a finished product with a homogeneous structure is obtained. As with baking a loaf, it is very important when making dry food that all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. This is where some difficulties arise, since components with high moisture content, such as meat, do not mix well with dry components such as corn or wheat flour. To solve this problem in the production of dry feed, the components are dehydrated before mixing. Concepts such as feed with chicken, fish only mean that this component has been dried and crushed. The dried shredded meat product mixes well with shredded corn, wheat or other grains to form a smooth flour. Therefore, components such as chicken offal are more often used in dry food. In the production of dry food, the resulting homogeneous flour undergoes a pressing process. During production, dry food is subjected to high temperature processing (150 ° C). extrusion, which leads to a loss of nutritional value of the original products, fatty acids are decomposed. For example: the molecular structure of fat processed at high temperatures resembles the molecular structure of cellophane, i.e. completely inedible substance, and boiling fat turns into benzopyrine, a substance that is carcinogenic, a real poison. This equipment works as a high temperature pressing furnace. Hot water and steam are supplied to it, which significantly increase the pressure inside it. Inside the oven are paddles that stir the dough as it moves. Then, at the end of the oven, the dough goes through a “meat grinder” with small round holes or holes in the shape of stars, bones, depending on what shape the “croutons” should be. When the “crackers” leave the high pressure pressing oven and enter low atmospheric pressure, they expand and become porous. If you break the “crouton”, you will see that its structure resembles a honeycomb. Although the crust swells due to the pressure drop described above, its structure is maintained through a process called “starch gelatinization”. Gelatinization is a reaction between starch granules and water, resulting in the rupture of these granules and the formation of fairly strong and stable knots. Thanks to this process, “crackers” swell well and at the same time do not crumble into powder and retain their shape. Since the technology for the production of dry food involves the gelatinization of starch, the starch should be relatively high and is usually 40-60%. (To find the starch in dog food, add protein, fat, moisture, fiber, and ash and subtract that amount from 100%). Because stamping dry animal food is a water / steam cooking process and oil and water mix poorly, adding a lot of fat to dry food is not possible. Instead, warm liquid fat is sprayed onto the croutons after they leave the oven. The porous structure of the swollen “crouton” allows the fat to penetrate inside. When the fat and croutons cool to room temperature, the fat hardens. The fat on the surface of the “crouton” is exposed to oxygen and can be oxidized. To prevent oxidation, antioxidants such as vitamin E, ethoxyquin, BHA are added to the fat. Without these preservatives, the food would quickly become rancid, but with these preservatives, the dog gets liver and kidney diseases and good allergies. Most dry foods have lower digestibility and higher fiber levels. This increases the excretion of water in the faeces and decreases its excretion in the urine. In turn, this increases the concentration of urine and increases the risk of urolithiasis.
One hundred percent myth
The main advantage, which manufacturers and feed lovers assert. their perfect balance. However, it cannot be ideal for all, without exception, specific animals, since they are not average statistical, they have different ages, sex, breed, energy costs. In addition, there are individual differences in needs between animals of the same sex, age, and breed. So this merit also seems to be very dubious. And more about the notorious balance: they say that a veterinarian without much difficulty made from an old leather shoe (proteins), waste machine oil (fats) and sawdust (carbohydrates) something identical to the widespread industrial feed in terms of the ratio of these components.