Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Science Diet: Going Natural With Plastics?

By Petslady @petslady


Science Diet logo
Science Diet logo

You'd better watch out for what your vet recommends these days.  Hill's, makers of touted 'veterinarian recommended' Science Diet, is seldom, if ever, on any pet nutritionist's list of best pet foods.  Finally though, Science Diet is going natural, with 'quality protein as the first ingredient' in its dog and cat food brands, and 'no artificial colors or flavors....'  But a pet owner just might be concerned by the plastic coating on the kibble.

Susan Thixton, a pet food advocate, has revealed in her newsletter, TruthaboutPetFood, that Hill's has received a patent for a chemical polymer that would be physically stable during its application to the pet food and "also stable during its lifetime on the pet food composition surface while being subjected to any further processing steps." 

As examples of the polymers, which would extend the shelf life of the food, the patent listed:  "zein, casein, starch(es), cellulose(s), gum(s), gelatin, starch/synthetic polymer(s), e.g starch/low density polyethylene, and the like."

Low density polyethylene (LDPE) film is used in making plastic wraps, plastic bags, milk cartons, and other food containers.  It is not, to my knowledge, used as an ingredient in any food - thus, the patent, I suppose.  This chapter of Ms. Thixton's research on Hill's newly formulated Science Diet, concludes:

"I doubt low-density polyethylene or plastic will be listed within the ingredient panel on the pet food label. I would guess that the plastic will be considered a processing aid - thus any pet food utilizing this shelf life extender will not be telling you about it."

sources: TruthaboutPetFood, PetFoodIndustry

see: The Top 5 Dog Foods 2012 and The Top 5 Cat Foods 2012

That's the buzz for today!


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