Pro Pac Smart Rewards Chick 'N' Strips Review


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Review of Pro Pac Smart Rewards
Chick 'N' Strips

Ingredient Review

The first ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is produced by cooking chicken using a process called rendering. The rendering process dramatically reduces the natural moisture of chicken and thereby results in a highly condensed protein source.

The second ingredient is wheat flour. Wheat flour is produced by grinding uncooked wheat into a powder. In addition to dietary fiber, wheat flour provides various vitamins, minerals, and plant based protein.

Wheat is considered a controversial ingredient because of it's protein content. Plant based proteins degrade the overall protein quality in the product. In addition, many people believe wheat is one of the most common ingredients to cause food allergies or intolerance. However, grains such as wheat are typically low offenders in comparison to certain protein sources such as beef.

The third ingredient is soybean flour. Soybean flour 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 fourth ingredient is corn flour. Corn flour a ground 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 dog 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 dogs 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 dog food should certainly warrant further questioning.

The fifth ingredient is sugar, which is really an unnecessary additive. It's most likely used to improve the food's palatability.

Next we have chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). Chicken fat is typically collected while cooking chicken using a process called rendering. Chicken fat is a relatively high quality source of essential fatty acids. In particular, chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an important omega-6 fatty acid.

The next ingredient is natural chicken flavor. As the name implies, natural chicken flavor provides chicken flavor to the product. This particular flavor is derived from natural sources which may or may not include real chicken.

Then we have propylene glycol. Proplyene glycol is an artificial preservative which has been banned by the FDA for use in cat food. Unfortunately, proplyene gycol is approved for use in dog food. Studies have linked proplyene glycol to heinz body anemia, a blood disorder.

Controversial Ingredients

Garlic in very small quantities can be an acceptable addition, however, garlic can also be toxic. Therefore many pet owners choose to completely avoid garlic.

Caramel color is a concentrated form of caramel, a natural food colorant. Caramel color has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals. Since our pets do not care about food color, caramel color is an unnecessary addition with possible health risks.

Harmful Ingredients

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is an artificial preservative and possible cancer-causing agent. Studies have show that BHA can be linked to various tumors in laboratory animals.

Yellow 5 is an artificial dye which may be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals. Like other dyes, yellow 5 does not provide any nutritional value.