What is Animal Digest?

What is Animal Digest? “

Animal digest" is an ingredient used in some pet foods and supplements, and the use is controversial. Some see animal digest as a practical, inexpensive material to include in pet foods (especially for flavoring), and others have serious concerns about contamination and maybe even issues with ethics. We at Nusentia do not use animal digest, but we thought it would be helpful to give some background on it for those concerned.

Animal Digest is often included in many commercial treats and conventional pet foods. It’s even found sometimes in supplements. The inclusion of animal digest is primarily to improve taste characteristics of foods, treats, and supplements. Here is the definition and guideline from The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO):

“Animal Digest –material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.”

Critics of Animal Digest

Animal digest has come under fire because some feel there is little control set in place over quality or contamination. Some describe it as a cooked-down broth, which can be made from unspecified parts of unspecified animals, including: dead, diseased, disabled, or dying animals before slaughter.

Supporters of Animal Digest

Others defend animal digest, stating that it is an excellent source of high-quality protein, and, it is extremely palatable. Citing that animal digest has value as a flavoring agent on dry diets. Often these will say that they impose some control on the process.

Nusentia’s Position on Animal Digest

We do not include animal digest in any of our products. As we stated, there are a few factors at play; ranging from safety concerns to ethics, to making sure that pet’s will eat the intended nutrients. At Nusentia we understand the concern and take a the approach: “when in doubt, do without." Simply, we aren’t comfortable with the process controls, or with some of the methods. But we do also understand the desire to make foods and supplements more palatable

If you prefer not to have your pet ingest “animal digest” then you can feel safe in using Nusentia® products.

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