Re: [FH] what's important in analysis of food?
- Hi Ruthie,
In a message dated 12/31/05 11:51:04 AM, ruthieville@... writes:
<< What should I be looking for in the guaranteed analysis that makes one
better than another? >>
There is nothing in the guaranteed analysis that will give you that
information, so there is no reason to look at it. The GA is a rough analysis of the
minimum/maximum levels of certain nutrients that is required to meet certain
"standards" set by the AAFCO. The AAFCO is an unofficial organization that devised
its "standards" so that mfrs could produce cheap, non-nutritious but highly
profitable garbage...and still earn its stamp of "approval"...while keeping
consumers in the dark about the product, and thereby sickening millions of
animals each yr.
To make a meaningful evaluation of a commercial product, you'd need to know
1) the dry matter analysis or the caloric distribution and 2) the ingredients.
And you'd need to be able to interpret those pieces of information in context
of feline nutritional needs.
So, the real answer to your question is long and complex...but the short
version is that one product is "better" than another if its nutritional profile
comes closer to meeting the unique and specific nutritional needs of cats and
poses less risk than the other product does. This is why I usually offer a short
list of commercial products, rather than a long explanation, b/c there are
only very few products that do come close to meeting the nutritional needs of
cats with little risk...despite the umpty-ump products on the market and the
mfrs' claims intended to promote them. But I would be happy to go into detail, if
<< I would imagine the crude protein and crude fat would
be important but is higher better than low or vise versa?>>
No, they are not. In part b/c the "crude" values of the analysis 1) don't
represent what is actually in the product, and 2) the figures are derived from
analysis in a laboratory, not in a cat. You could analyze the "crude" protein
value of hair...and get an impressively high number...but that wouldn't tell you
anything about its *nutritional* value (for a cat or any other consumer) or
about its appropriateness in the cat's diet.
There are 2 things that might be helpful at this point. One is to read about
the nutritional needs of cats, so you have some framework for evaluating food
products. The other is to look at product ingredients instead of chemical
Here are some relatively reliable articles on feline nutrition:
Here are some traits to look for in the ingredients of a quality canned food:
1. muscle meat from a named species (as opposed to "byproducts," "poultry,"
or "meal") as the first ingredient;
2. organ meat from a named species (as opposed to "liver" or "poultry liver")
somewhere in the second to fifth ingredient positions, preferably from the
same species as the muscle meat;
3. muscle and/or organ meats in at least three of the first five ingredient
4. limited to no fish;
5. limited to no carbohydrate sources, preferably from low-glycemic
vegetables, such as squash, or whole, hypoallergenic grains, such as oats and barley
(as opposed to corn, wheat, and grain fractions, such as "rice bran");
6. no plant-protein "boosters" (such as "soy protein isolate" or "corn gluten
7. no nonnutritive fillers (such as "powdered cellulose" and "grain sorghum")
8. no synthetic preservatives (such as BHT, BHA, and ethoxyquin), colorings
(such as Red Dye #40 and titanium dioxide), or flavorings.
- This helps me greatly, Rosemary. I don't know what we'd do around here
without you, smile.
Ruthie and the crew.
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