Quality products are preserved naturally, but sadly there is almost always a possibility of products containing hidden preservatives and additives, since manufacturers only have to declare ingredients on the label that they have added themselves. If they purchase for example fish oil and meal, fats or other prepared ingredients from suppliers with stabilizers and other additives already added, these do not have to be listed.
The higher the ingredient quality, the less effort must be made to delay further degradation of the product, making natural antioxidants like rosemary extract and vitamin E very effective. Any chemical preservative should not be trusted. Some of them are even banned from human consumption in some countries outside of the U.S. due to their questionable side effects.
Here are some of the various preservatives used in pet food:
mixed tocopherols: Superior source of natural Vitamin E oils.
citric acid and rosemary: Natural preservatives although citric acid (Vitamin C) can be harsh on digestive tract.
rosemary: Natural preservative.
postassium sorbate: Mineral-based mold inhibitor.
The Bad, and the Ugly
ethoxyquin: The most carcinogenic preservative, most in industry have stopped using it except very cheap, poor quality foods.
BHA: Chemical. Highly carcinogenic preservative.
calcium propionate: Chemical. Potentially carcinogenic, antifungal.
propionic acid: Potentially harmful mold inhibitor.
propyl gallate and citric acid: Chemical preservative, can cause digestive upset, stomach irritation, deceptive adding with natural Vitamin C.
sorbic acid: A mold and yeast inhibitor.
DL-alpha tocopherol acetate: Synthetic source, non-nutritive. Used generally as a "natural" preservative.
DL-alpha tocopherol acetate: Synthetic source, non-nutritive.
sodium bisulfate: Used as disinfectant!
Mmmm.....anyone feeling hungry yet? Ugh!
What to look for:
►Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Rosemary-, Sage-, or Clove Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid and other forms of Vitamin C
What to avoid:
►BHA (Butylated Hydroxysanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), Ethoxyquin, TBHQ Tertiary Butylhydroquinone), Sodium Metabisulphite
Next time....flavorings, both natural and artificial
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