Every wondered what’s inside those fun Pup-Peroni sticks we love to give to our pets? I thought about it the other day whilst I was out shopping at my local supermarket. My partner and I were gathering up salads and burgers for a great summer bbq we were planning, so as Angela went about finding the best deals and ingredients, I began larking about the pet food aisle and Pup-Peroni’s caught my attention. I read the label and decided to bring to everyone’s attention a fuller explanation of the ingredients, slightly more scientific mind you.
Pup-Peroni Original Beef Recipe Ingredients
From the label: Beef, Meat By-Products, Soy Grits, Sugar, Liver, Salt, Propylene Glycol, Garlic Powder, Caramel Color, Natural Smoke Flavor, Potassium Sorbate (used as a preservative),Sodium Nitrite (for color retention), Red 40, BHA (used as a preservative), Onion Extract.
And now … lets explain the ingredients … the truth about pet food!
Beef – okay everybody understands beef, however since the FDA does not regulate with precision what this term actually means, for pet food manufacturers beef can contain any part of the animal. For sure its not the choice cuts from cows so that leaves things like hooves, entrails, etc.
Meat By-Products –This means generic meat ingredients that do not indicate a particular species (e.g. bone meal, blood meal, fish, fish meal, poultry, poultry by-products). Yummy!
By-Product Meals – even if a species is identified (chicken/beef/turkey/lamb by-product meal etc.), since highly questionable ingredients may be used in these rendered products.
Sugar – Can include sucrose, cane sugar, caramel, corn syrup and others. Sugar or sweetener is an absolutely unnecessary ingredient in pet foods, added to make the product more attractive. Continuous intake can promote hypoglycemia, obesity, nervousness, cataracts, tooth decay, arthritis and allergies. Pets also get addicted to foods that contain sugars, so it can be a tough piece of work to make them eat something healthier.
Liver – Whenever the word ‘meat’ or the name of an organ appears by itself (without a species) on a pet food label, there is no way to know which kind of animal it came from. It could be horse liver, goat, duck, pig, or even skunk or other animals of questionable origin.
Salt – Also listed as Sodium Chloride. A colorless or white crystalline solid, chiefly sodium chloride, used extensively in ground or granulated form as a food seasoning and preservative. May also appear in ingredient list as “Iodized Salt” (iodine supplement added), “Sea Salt” (as opposed to salt mined from underground deposits) or “Sodium Chloride” (chemical expression).
While salt is a necessary mineral, it is also generally present in sufficient quantities in just about everything WE eat and also in the foods we give to our pets. That’s the huge societal problem isn’t it? Anyway too much sodium intake is unhealthy for animals. In poor quality foods, it is often used in large amounts to add flavor and make the food more interesting.
Propylene Glycol – A colorless viscous hygroscopic liquid, CH3CHOHCH2OH, used in antifreeze solutions, in hydraulic fluids, and as a solvent.
This chemical is used in semi-moist kibble to keep it from drying out. May be toxic if consumed in large amounts, and should definitely not be an ingredient in a food an animal will eat daily for weeks, months or even years of its life. In countries of the European Union, propylene glycol is not cleared as a general-purpose food grade product or direct food additive.
Garlic Powder – Used solely as a flavor enhancement.
Carmel Color – made by the controlled heat treatment of carbohydrates (nutritive sweeteners which are the monomers glucose and fructose or their polymers, e.g. glucose syrups, sucrose, invert syrups, and dextrose), generally in the presence of food-grade acids, alkalies, and salts, in a process called caramelization. (More sugars and salts)
Natural Smoke Flavor – produced by burning hickory chips and condensing the smoke into a liquid form.
Potassium Sorbate (used as a preservative) – used to inhibit molds and yeasts. Its primary use is as a food preservative (E number 202). Potassium sorbate is effective in a variety of applications including food, wine, and personal care.
Sodium Nitrite (for color retention) – with chemical formula NaNO2, is used as a color fixative and preservative in meats and fish. When pure, it is a white to slight yellowish crystalline powder. It is very soluble in water and is hygroscopic. It is also slowly oxidized by oxygen in the air to sodium nitrate, NaNO3. The compound is a strong oxidizing agent.
It is also used in manufacturing dyes, nitrous compounds, and other organic compounds; in dyeing and printing textile fabrics and bleaching fibers; in photography; as a laboratory reagent and a corrosion inhibitor; in metal coatings for phosphatizing and detinning; and in the manufacture of rubber chemicals. It may also be used as an electrolyte in electrochemical grinding manufacturing processes, typically diluted to about 10% concentration in water. Sodium nitrite also has been used in human and veterinary medicine as a vasodilator, a bronchodilator, and an antidote for cyanide poisoning.
Red 40 – The color additive FD&C Red No. 40 is principally the disodium salt of 6-hydroxy-5-[(2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo]-2-naphthalenesulfonic acid.
The most widely used food dye. While this is one of the most-tested food dyes, the key mouse tests were flawed and inconclusive. An FDA review committee acknowledged problems, but said evidence of harm was not “consistent” or “substantial.” Like other dyes, Red 40 is used mainly in junk foods.
BHA (used as a preservative) – Butylated Hydroxysanisole – a white, waxy phenolic antioxidant, C11H16O2, used to preserve fats and oils, especially in foods.
Banned from human use in many countries but still permitted in the U.S. Possible human carcinogen, apparently carcinogenic in animal experiments. The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity.
Onion Extract – Onion of any form is toxic to dogs and has no place in dog food!