Of the many marketing tricks played by some pet food manufacturers, the split ingredient trick is the most common.
FourFriends strongly disapprove of the labelling game as some manufacturers mislead its customers into thinking that their ingredients and therefore their products, are better than they actually are. They do this by splitting certain ingredients listed on the packaging.
We all want to see meat listed as the primary ingredient. However, many lower quality products don’t have enough meat content to list it first, so to make meat protein sources higher on the ingredient list, some manufacturers take carbohydrate and plant sources and split them up.
So, for example if wheat is the foods most abundant ingredient, it is not always represented that that way on the labelling.
We also need to remember that wheat is regularly linked with dietary intolerance making it a highly controversial ingredient.
A simple internet search found one dog food manufacturer who split their label contents. This is how part of the label reads:
- Chicken Meal, Ground Whole Wheat, Wheat Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Rice, Rice Bran, Chicken Fat……
While Chicken Meal seems the first ingredient by %, by splitting wheat and rice into different descriptions it can be listed separately so it looks like a smaller % of the food as a whole.
If the wheat & rice ingredients are added together, the same ingredients would read like this -
- Wheat, Rice, Chicken Meat, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Fat…….
By ingredient splitting we are tricked into believing that a meat protein source is the highest ingredient by quantity. However, in this instance wheat is the predominant ingredient.
It is therefore important to understand the ingredient panel on your bag of pet food. Be sure to determine whether the primary source of protein is from animal meat or plant sources. Animal sources of protein are of a much higher quality and provide a wider range of amino acids. These are important for both dogs and cats.
If you don’t understand any component on a bag of pet food, then please call FourFriends on 01302 637377 we are here to help.