Whole Meat vs. Meat Meal: How to Spot the Difference in Ingredients

Whole Meat vs. Meat Meal: How to Spot the Difference in Ingredients

What’s in a name? Does it matter? Yes!

有很多方法可以为宠物提供必要的营养素,包括各种蛋白质来源。大多数狗和猫粮含有来自其他动物的肉 - 通常是鸡,火鸡,牛,猪或鱼,但也可以使用许多其他更多的异国动物。

但是肉是什么?它可能听起来像是一个直接的问题,但狗和猫食中使用的“肉类”不一定是在杂货店或屠夫商店找到的同类肉类。吃肉的人通常只消耗动物的肌肉组织。虽然肌肉组织是可靠的水和蛋白质的来源,但它们确实含有可变量的脂肪,矿物质和维生素,这取决于它们在身体上的位置和从中除去的动物类型。

In the USA, pet foods are regulated by an agency called the Association of American Feed Control Officials; you may be familiar with seeing them referenced asAAFCO. Even the ingredients used in pet food are defined by AAFCO. They have a loose categorization of ingredients as being ‘major’ or ‘minor’. Meat is considered a major ingredient and often it will bear an animal name – this means if a product lists ‘pork meat’ on the label, it must contain flesh from a pig. If an ingredient list doesn’t include the animal name and just says ‘meat’, it can only come from cattle, pigs, sheep or goats. All other animals (e.g.: chicken, bison, venison), must be specified. This makes the ingredient easily recognizable to consumers. In comparison, minor ingredients are primary sources of minerals, vitamins or other nutrients and may not have a recognizable name. For example, alpha-tocopherol, a minor ingredient, is added to diets as a natural anti-oxidant and to provide the essential nutrient vitamin E.

By the AAFCO definition,“肉”is:

The clean flesh derived from slaughtered mammals and limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that part which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart or in the esophagus; with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and portions of the skin, sinew, nerve and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh.

AAFCO 2012.

This description may sound familiar to the type of meat humans consume; this is the whole meat that Halo uses in their meat formulas. Meat as used in pet food cannot contain any bone, meaning it is most often mechanically separated from the bone, resulting in a finely-ground paste-like product, just like what is used in processed meats for human consumption (like hot dogs).

In comparison,“Meat By-Products”are:

The non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially de-fatted low temperature fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs.

AAFCO 2012.

Meat byproducts are raw ingredients and include only ‘non-rendered’ parts of an animal. The qualifier ‘byproduct’ means that it is not a part of the animal that is consumed by humans in the USA, and thus it is a byproduct resulting from the production of muscle flesh. Rendered products are those that have undergone a cooking process. Rendered ingredients are treated with high heat and pressure to remove most of the water and fat, leaving primarily the protein and minerals from the raw ingredients. Rendered products that are ground up into a powder include the term “meal”. Meat meals are not deemed fit for human consumption in the USA.

Thus, by AAFCO definition,“Meat Meal”is:

Rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidable in good processing practices. It shall not contain extraneous materials not provided for by this definition.

AAFCO 2012.

与全肉(甚至肉类副产品)不同,肉类餐不需要包括它来源的动物的名称。如果动物名称是自愿的,例如,'牛肉餐',它只能包括从那只动物的肉类中的肉。因为肉粉是浓缩蛋白质和矿物质的来源,所以有严格的矿物质水平准则,特别是对于钙和磷,必须用最低粗蛋白,脂肪,纤维,最小磷和最小值标记产品。和最大的钙水平。

全肉是未加工成分,并且在纳入宠物食品之前经过热处理。这意味着,就像为人类消费准备的原油一样,它们必须使用冷库从屠宰场运到加工设施。全肉的运输和储存需要维持寒冷的温度,以防止产品的细菌生长和破坏。这是您通常只在价格上占用的食物中的一个原因,因为该公司利用这些原料以制造宠物食品的价格更多。相比之下,因为它们已经煮熟并研磨到粉末,肉饭菜相对轻,可以储存在更长的时间内,并且不需要冷运输或储存。这使得它们在宠物食品中使用的成本较低,这就是为什么这么多宠物食品公司选择在食谱中使用肉食而不是全肉。

不仅是AAFCO调节的成分定义,而且还有成分在产品包装上列出的方式。在美国,宠物食品的成分必须以最低重量减少的令。由于他们的含水量,肉和肉类副产品非常沉重,而不是烹饪浓缩蛋白质来源的肉饭。这意味着含有肉类和肉类副产品的食物通常会在成分列表中列出非常高的,而含有肉食的食物可能会显示在列表中降低的成分,即使总干物质含量也非常相似。

So, if you’re looking to spot the difference in ingredients on a pet food label, you can look for the word ‘meat’ and determine what species it is from. You can also determine what sort of processing it has undergone, with the presence or lack of the word ‘meal’. Meat meals have undergone heat and pressure processing resulting in a meat powder prior to being incorporated into pet food, while whole meats have not. Be sure to check your pet food labels!

Best wishes and tail wags,

Dr. Sarah Dodd

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