Meow Mix Tender Centers Salmon & Turkey Flavors With Vitality Bursts Review
Review of Meow Mix Tender Centers
Salmon & Turkey Flavors With Vitality Bursts
This product is manufactured by Big Heart Pet Brands.
According to our data, this Meow Mix recipe provides complete & balanced nutrition for all life stages. In other words, this formula is AAFCO approved.
Meow Mix Tender Centers Salmon & Turkey Flavors With Vitality Bursts is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.
We'll begin this review of Meow Mix Tender Centers Salmon & Turkey Flavors With Vitality Bursts with a detailed discussion of the ingredients.
The first ingredient is ground whole grain corn. Ground whole grain corn contains the entire corn kernel (the germ, bran, and endosperm). Corn is a cereal grain which provides a modest amount of vitamins, minerals, and plant based protein. It also happens to be one of the most controversial ingredients in cat food.
Proponents of corn claim that corn is highly digestible and an excellent source of protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
Opponents however believe that positive claims in regards to corn are either half-truths or completely false, we'll discuss a few of the opposing arguments.
In regards to digestibility, the claims of "highly digestible" are only true if corn is processed into a meal or flour and subsequently cooked. In regards to the protein contribution, we must note that corn is a plant based protein which does not contain all of the necessary amino acids required by cats to sustain life. Therefore substituting corn for meat is an unsuitable substitution and actually degrades the overall protein quality of the product.
Finally, we'll discuss the claims about vitamins and minerals in corn. Although corn does provide many vitamins and minerals, it not necessarily an exceptional ingredient in this regards. There are many other ingredients which are more complete and biologically appropriate. Therefore the usage of corn as the primary ingredient in cat food should certainly warrant further questioning.
The second ingredient is chicken by-product meal. Chicken by-product meal is produced by cooking chicken by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of chickens which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.
Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by cats.
The third ingredient is corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal is a by-product from the production of various corn products (corn starch, corn syrup, etc). It's very high in protein (nearly 60% protein) and therefore can significant boost the protein content of the product. Because plant based proteins such as corn gluten meal are inferior to meat based proteins (lack many essential amino acids), they are not suitable substitutes.
The fourth ingredient is soybean meal. Soybean meal contains more than 50% protein. Therefore, soybean can significantly boost the protein content of the product. The inclusion of non-meat protein typically degrades the overall quality of protein in the recipe. This degradation is due to the inferior amino acid profile of plant based proteins.
The fifth ingredient is animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). Animal fat is a by-product of tissue rendering. The source animal is not specific and therefore we cannot be certain that the source does not include diseased animals or even euthanized dogs and cats.
Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Meow Mix Tender Centers Salmon & Turkey Flavors With Vitality Bursts are not as important as the first five ingredients.
However, collectively they still have a significant impact on the overall quality of the product. Therefore, we'll continue discussing the remaining ingredients in this Meow Mix recipe.
Next we have whole wheat. Whole wheat is one type of whole grain and contains the entire grain of wheat (the germ, bran, and endosperm). Wheat is regarded as an inexpensive and low-quality filler in pet food. However, wheat does provide plant-based protein and makes pet food more affordable for consumers. It's important to note that plant based protein does not provide the same amino acid profile as meat based protein.
The next ingredient is animal digest. Animal digest is the result of undecomposed animal tissue after hydrolysis, a chemical reaction. It is typically used as flavoring to improve taste. Animal digest is considered by many as an undesirable low-quality ingredient. What's more, the source animal is not specified and therefore animal digest can contain almost any animal, including dogs and cats!
Then we have calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is a naturally occurring mineral supplement. Although it's often used as a dietary calcium supplement, it can also be used as a preservative or color retainer.
The remaining ingredients in this Meow Mix Tender Centers recipe are unlikely to affect the overall rating of the product.
Our analysis of the ingredients show that this product derives a considerable amount of protein from non-meat ingredients. This is an undesirable property because plant based protein often lacks many of the necessary amino acids required by cats. This property is typically found in lower quality products.
Unfortunately, this product contains artificial colors, artificial preservatives, and anonymous meat ingredients. These type of ingredients are typically undesirable in any pet food. We'll discuss each category to clarify our position.
Many artificial preservatives contribute to adverse health affects and therefore we prefer products preserved naturally. However, artificial preservatives used in very small quantities do not necessarily imply the product is unhealthy or low quality.
Studies have show that many artificial preservatives are typically safe in small quantities. However, our pets typically consume the same product for multiple years and this type of exposure is not necessarily well researched.
In regards to the anonymous meat ingredients, These are not necessarily always negative; however, they are typically low quality and inexpensive additions. If the particular anonymous meat ingredient is controversial or low quality, it should have been mentioned earlier in this review. Otherwise, it is safe to assume the anonymous meat ingredient is an acceptable addition.
Finally, in regards to the artificial colors, although the FDA has approved the artificial colors used in this product, they are unnecessary and unhealthy additions. Long term exposure can have serious consequences. See our article on artificial food dyes for more information.
The official PawDiet rating for Meow Mix Tender Centers Salmon & Turkey Flavors With Vitality Bursts is 1.0 out of 5.