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Why are Antioxidants Important?

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Protecting pet food against oxidation is more critical than ever.

Opportunity and risk

The development of improved pet food diets with an optimum balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids has seen a significant nutritional improvement for pets. Antioxidants are a major opportunity for pet food manufacturers and brand owners to add to their marketing efforts. However, high susceptibility towards oxidation and how to minimise it remains a top priority for manufacturers and brands.

Types of Antioxidants

In the past, antioxidants have been used in pet food to protect against fat oxidation, maintain the taste and protect nutrients throughout the shelf-life.

In modern times, antioxidants are used at various stages in the supply chain. This is to protect the quality of materials for animal nutrition, raw materials during rendering processes, bulk oils, pre-mixtures and fats. As fats remain an essential part of the diet, antioxidants will continue to play an important role in protecting fats against oxidation.

Looking ahead

In the future, rising demand for healthy, nutritious and natural products will greatly impact the pet food market and the antioxidants are likely to change.  But which antioxidants are natural, clean and safe?

Natural mixed tocopherols (Vitamin E) have a good image and are very important because animal fats and oils contain very minimal amounts of vitamin E.
A certain shelf life extension can be achieved with natural mixed tocopherols, however, there is a limit for this.

Rosemary extract also known as carnosic acid is beginning to have increasing importance and adds further shelf-life beyond what natural mixed tocopherols can provide. This is a natural option and does not impact on palatability.

Shandell Dog Foods use both natural mixed tocopherols and rosemary extract to naturally preserve your pet’s food. This is to ensure there is a good shelf-life and helps to maintain the quality, freshness and palatability in our recipes.

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