Dog Food Declaration Dictionary

Dog Food Declaration Dictionary

example interpretations of pet food labels


On lists of ingredients on any product (e.g. human food, pet food, paint, soap, etc) the order the ingredients are given on the label is from the largest quantity of an ingredient to the smallest (e.g. if "chicken" is given as the first item on the list and "selene" as the last this means that chicken makes the largest proportion in the food and selene the smallest. It can however mean, that "chicken" makes up only 20% of the product since all other ingredients make up smaller proportions.

  • A
    • Alfalfa Meal: the ground alfalfa plant reasonably free of other grains
    • Alpha Tocopherol: Vitamin E, (see Tocopherol)
    • Animal by-products: anything that remains of an animal after it is butchered and is not suited or wanted for human consumption or meat originally for human consumption that has been contaminated or otherwise been rendered unsuitable for human consumption
    • Animal Digest: the dried, solid residue which is a by-product of animal rendering and is declared unfit for human consumption
    • Animal fat/tallow: tallow, lard or any other fat of animal origin (animal not specified); these fats have a high portion of saturated fatty acids
    • Animal meal: whole, dried, ground animals (this includes anything in and on an animal: bones, meat (maybe), hoofs, skin, intestines, hair and often enough unfortunately also medication, substances used to euthanize animals, poisons ingested by animals that led to their death, collars, insect repellents and anything else that might be in or on an animal)
    • Antioxidants: protects cells, acts as a preservative, "neutralizes" so called "free radicals" that are suspected to be involved in cancer development
    • Artifical flavourings: flavours that do not naturally occur in this form
    • Ascorbic Acid: Vitamin C
    • Ascorbyl palmitate: synthetic, fat soluable version of Vitamin C
    • Aspergillus: a group of approximately 200 types of mould; usually referring to a genetically modified, non-toxic type used as a preservative and as a probiotic
    • Autolysate: the product of autolysis; used as a flavouring by the food industry
  • B
    • Bacillus subtillus/licheniformis/coagulins: helpful colon bacteria
    • Bakery product: bread, pasta, crackers, etc; are sometimes used to disguise or "hide" sugar
    • Barley: a type of grain
    • Beef: meat (big surprise here!)
    • Beef Tallow: fat derived from beef (see tallow)
    • Beet fibre: fibre made of dried beets
    • Beet pulp: residue that remains of the sugar beet in sugar production; low sugar content (see also molasses)
    • Beta-Carotene: a substance found in plants that the body can convert into Vitamin A (NOTE: cats cannot do this and need "real" Vitamin A!)
    • Biotin: Vitamin B7, also known as Vitamin H
    • Blood/powdered blood: a natural source of minerals, particularly iron and salts
    • Bone meal: ground bones, a source of calcium; often of undetermined origin
    • Borage Oil: a source of essential fatty acids
    • Bran: a by-product of grain milling (hulling), the hulls of the individual grains that is removed in the process of transforming wholemeal flour into "common" (white) flour; although it is a by-product it is believed to be promoting health (see:bran)
    • Brewer's rice/beer rice: a dried leftover of rice used in brewing of alcoholic beverages or malting of grain, may contain dried, pulverized hops; leftover kernels left over from rice milling (AAFCO definition)
    • Brewer's yeast: by-product of beer production; rich in B-Vitamins and proteins
    • Brown rice: wholemeal (unpolished, unhulled) rice without kernels, usually ground
    • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA): a preservative; believed to be carcinogen; also known as additive E320
    • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT): a preservative; believed to be carcinogen; also known as additive E321
  • C
    • Calcium compounds: Calcium Carbonate: a salt that is a good source for calcium; Calcium Iodate: a salt; a source of calcium and iodine (e.g. the thyroid needs iodine); Calcium Pantothenate: source of calcium and Vitamin B5 (see Pantothenic acid); Calcium Propionate: more easily absorbed by the body than caustic calcium
    • Caramel: heated sugar
    • Carbonate: minerals in the form of mineral salts (hence water soluable and easily absorbed); in pet food Calcium Carbonate is the most common Carbonate
    • Carbohydrates: sugars of a vegetable source (in everyday language often referred to as "carbs")
    • Carob: contains lots of vitamins and minerals; may have anti-diarrheic properties
    • Carrageenan: a polysaccharide (sugar) extracted from red seaweeds used as a thickener
    • Carrot: carrots - the things rabbits eat, the things people eat,....
    • Cayenne/Dried Cayenne: stimulant of the entire organism, increases blood-flow, helps respiration, helps to gain more appetite; similar to hot chilis
    • Cellulose: undigestible cell membranes, usually of plants (e.g. bran, hay, etc), fibre
    • Cereal: the leftovers of grain milling such as kernels and hulls (only in an animal food context! In human food declaration it only refers to grains that have been milled or otherwise processed)
    • Chicken: animals that have feathers, fly, females can make eggs, people like to eat them..... dogs do too....
    • Chicken By-Product Meal/chicken by-products: ground by-products such as the remainder of fat rendering, necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, intestines, etc; various inferior sources of protein
    • Chicken fat: fat obtained from chicken tissue, contain 20-30% of essential fatty acids
    • Chloride/-chloride: a salt, very likely plain, old table salt (sodium chloride)
    • Choline: a B-Vitamin; a dog's body can synthesize choline provided sufficient amino acids are available
    • Chondroitin/Chondroitin sulfate: a member of the Glycosaminoglycan-family; possibly mild anti-inflamatory agent; these sugars are believed to help with catilage construction and relieve arthritis; less well digestible than Glucosamine but good addition to it
    • Citric acid: a natural preservative; an organic acid found in fruits; fascilitates the absorbtion of other nutrients in the colon
    • Cobalt/Cobalt carbonate: one element of the Vitamin B12 molecule
    • Copper Sulphate/Proteinate: mineral, important for the haemoglobin formation; may be involved in supporting preproduction and healthy skin
    • Corn: fresh corn/corn cob
    • Corn gluten meal: by-product of corn manufacturing (corn syrup/starch), residue left after removal of the bran, germ, and starch (see gluten)
    • Corn meal: dried and ground corn or - more commonly - whole corn cobs
    • Corn Products: corn meal, gluten, grits and other cheap corn products
  • D
    • D-activated animal sterol: Vitamin D3; helps in the absorption of calcium and phosphor
    • Dairy products: powdered milk, yoghurt, whey, cheese, etc; can be used to disguise sugar (Lactose)
    • Dandelion/dried dandelion: bitter herb, acts as tonic and detoxicating substance, may helps with skin problems; may reduce risk of diabetes in combination with turmeric & fenugreek; may control weight gain in combination with turmeric; may lead to stomach problems/vomiting
    • DL-methionine: natural amino acid, urine acidifier, supports liver function
    • Dehydrated [xyz]: dried [xyz=animal or plant material]; not heated beyond a point of denaturizing the nutrients in the product
    • Dicalcium Phosphate: source of calcium and phosphor
    • [xyz]-digest: partially digested substance
  • E
    • Egg: fresh egg without eggshell
    • Egg produce: primarily eggshell (contains a lot of calcium)
    • Egg powder/powdered egg/dried egg produce: powdered, dried egg-white and egg-yolk
    • Electrolyte: water soluable minerals (e.g. sodium, potassium) that have an important role in inter-cell communication; these minerals are lost through excessive sweating or loss of water for other reasons (e.g. diarrhoea, vomiting)
    • Enterococcus faecium: a positive bacterium in the colon
    • Erythorbic acid: an antioxidant; also known as E315; used to preserve fresh fruit, meat and fat
    • Ethoxyquin: a preservative believed to have carcinogenic properties (used in particular in products containing fish oils)
    • Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide: a source of iodine which assists metabolic regulation in the thyroid
  • F
    • Fennel/dried fennel: usually the seeds are used, root also edible; acts to relief excess gas and flatulence; a mild expectorant and diuretic
    • Fenugreek/dried fenugreek: used to treat anaemia, may assist in diabetes and is believed to help in weight loss
    • Ferrous Sulphate: source of iron
    • Fish: the meat of fish
    • Fish by-products: fish intestines, organs, bone, fins, skin, heads, anything that is not fish meat
    • Fish meal: dried, ground fish and/or fish by-products
    • Flax Meal: enhances metabolism/protein metabolism; helps intracellular enzymes
    • Flaxseed: rich in Omega 3 & Omega 6 fatty acids
    • Flour: ground grains, with or without kernels and hulls, but mostly flour with kernels and bran is referred to as wholemeal flour
    • Folic acid: Vitamin B9
    • Food Fragments: by-products of commercial food production/manufacturing (e.g. brewer's yeast from beer brewing, bran from grain hulling, soy bean meal after the extraction of oil, etc)
    • FOS (fructooligosaccaride): prebiotic, fibre
  • G
    • Garlic oil: oil derived from garlic that is believed to help fight internal parasites; sceptics believe it to be dangerous as - like onions - they can cause anaemia in dogs if consumed in large doses
    • Ginger/dried ginger: helps with excess gas and flatulence by fermentation, reduces vomiting, detoxicant
    • Glucosamine: an amino sugar believed to help in the regeneration of catilage and the reduction of pain associated with arthritis (see also Chondroitin above); helps the formation of connective tissue
    • Gluten: protein making up most of the starch in grains (e.g. wheat, rye, barley)
    • Greaves: the residue that is left after rendering tallow
    • Ground [xyz grain]: ground/chopped grains only (no hulls and kernels), e.g. wheat, barley, corn, soy, etc
    • Ground whole [xyz grain]: ground/chopped, whole grains including hulls and kernels (see wholemeal flour)
    • Guar Gum: a polysaccharide (sugar) used as a thickener
  • H
    • Haemoglobin/hemoglobin: protein; the red colouring in blood; good source of iron
    • Hydrolyzate: a protein broken up into its amino acid; a type of gelatine
  • I
    • Inositol: a B Vitamin, often referred to as Vitamin B8; a dog can synthesis this Vitamin
    • Inulin: probiotic; fibre; a polysaccharides (a sugar)
    • Iron Proteinate: source of iron
  • K
    • Kelp: a seaweed, source of Vitamins (A, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-12, C, E, G, S) and minerals (calcium, chlorine, copper, iodine, iron, lithium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sulfur, zinc, chromium, cobalt, manganese, niacin, riboflavin, sodium, thiamine); rich in fibre
  • L
    • L-arginine: an amino acid believed to help in fat metabolism
    • L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate: a stable source of Vitamin C used primarily in pet/animal food
    • L-carnitine: an amina acid also believed to help in fat metabolism; supposed to reduce body fat
    • L-methionine/L-lysine/L-lysine Monohydrochloride: an amino acid; easily absorbed by the body
    • L-tryptophan: metabolic precursor of serotonin (a brain messenger substance/neurotransmitter), appears to have a calming effect and possibly the sleep-wake rythm
    • Lactobacillus: probiotic; fibre; are used in the industrial production of various dairy products
    • Lecithin: fatty substance containing a lot of Omega-6 fatty acids, can be fully metabolized
    • Lutein: a powerful antioxidant
  • M
    • Maintenance: a name for foods meant to maintain the current state of nutrition (energy, etc)
    • Manganese [xyz]: Manganese a mineral believed to be involved in fat metabolism
    • Meat: what the name implies
    • Meat based: this means that the meat component of the food is made up primarily of meat, however, it also means that a substantial portion are made up of tendons, veins, etc
    • Meat by-products: anything that is not strictly speaking meat (e.g. liver, spleen, bone, blood, cleaned/washed intestines, brain, lungs, etc) it does not include the questionable item found in "animal by-products" such as hoofs, hair, horns, teeth, etc
    • Meat meal/Meat and bone meal: dried, ground meat; dried, ground meat and bones; dried, ground meat, intestines; dried, ground meat, skin, tendons; regulations what can be defined as "meat meal" vary between countries; the source of the meat does not needs to be specified (e.g. it can be chicken, pork, beef, etc depending on what is cheapest at the time of manufacturing, may also mean that one month chicken is used while the next month beef is used - this meat is usually not suitable for human consumption)
    • [animal xyz] meal: ground, dried meat, etc of the specified animal (e.g. chicken meal, fish meal)
    • Menadione/Menadione Sodium: a precursor of Vitamin K
    • Molasses: by-product in sugar production, very rich in saccharose (see also beet pulp
    • Monosodium Phosphate: source of phosphor
    • MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane): a sulphur compound; it is believed to help in the treatment of osteoarthritis and internal cysts
  • N
    • Natural flavourings: isolated, extracted flavours (e.g. vanilla flavour extracted from vanilla pods)
    • Nature identical flavours: articifally produced flavours that are chemically identical to natural flavours
    • Niacin/nicotinic acid/Nicotinamid: Vitamin B3
  • P
    • Pantothenic acid: Vitamin B5
    • Peanut hull: the ground, outer hulls of peanuts
    • Pearl(ed) barley/pot barley: hulled, polished barley
    • Phosphoric Acid: artifical flavour
    • Potassium/pot ash/Potassium [xyz]: a mineral
    • Potassium Iodide: source of both potassium and iodine
    • Poultry By-Products: anything that is not strictly speaking meat (e.g. liver, spleen, bone, blood, cleaned/washed intestines, brain, lungs, etc) it does not include the questionable item found in "animal by-products" such as feathers
    • Premium Diet/Premium Food: this label on a pet food guarantees that the manufacturer always uses the same ingredients and components as given on the inredient list on the label (e.g. if it says x% fat and the ingredients list "chicken fat" than that is what it is; if it said "animal fat" it could be any animals' fat, depending on which is cheapest at that given time)
    • Propyl Gallate: a preservative suspected to supress estrogen
    • Protein extract: usually refers to the starch in grains, see also gluten
    • Pyridoxine/Pyridoxine Hydrochloride: Vitamin B6
  • Q
    • Quinoa: a plant of South America; a very good source of protein and amino acids
  • R
    • Riboflavin: Vitamin B2; also known as E101
    • Rice: hulled, white rice without kernels
    • Rice bran: bran/hull and germ of rice (usually ground)
    • Rice meal: ground rice, usually without hulls or kernels or ground entire rice plants (including hulls, kernels, straw, etc)
    • Rosemary Extract: an essential oil that works as a natural preservative, increases bile production (hence helps the metabolism of fat), believed to "clean" and "purify" the entire system
  • S
    • Saccharose: plain, white common/household/table sugar
    • Salt: sodium chloride - common/household/table salt; all salts are water soluable and hence easily absorbed by the body
    • Sodium/Soda: a mineral
    • Sodium chloride: table salt (see salt)
    • Sodium Hexametaphosphate: a sodium compound that is effective in the removal of tooth stains
    • Sodium Selenite: believed to have properties similar to those of Vitamin E; a dietary source of the mineral selen
    • Sodium sulphate/-bisulphate/-nitrate: salts used as preservatives which are commonly believed to be a health risk
    • Sodium tripolyphosphate: a chemical substance used in food to retain moisture
    • Sorbic Acid: an artifical preservative
    • Sorbitol: an artifical sweetener
    • Sorghum: a type of grain primarily grown to feed life stock
    • Soy: a protein source, for dogs it is presumed to be inferior to meat as a protein source but superior to wheat or other grains - if nothing else, it is a cheap protein source; it is suspected to trigger allergies and hence is not considered an ideal food
    • Soybean meal: ground soy after the oil has been extracted; a protein source; it is suspected to trigger allergies and hence is not considered an ideal food
    • Soybean Mill Run: soy bran and soy shortening (a fat source)
    • Starch: a Carbohydrates and a sugar
    • Sulphate/-sulphate: chemical compounds with the salt of sulphuric acid enhance digestability and resorption of the nutrients
  • T
    • Tallow: unrendered melted animal fat tissue
    • Taurine: an amino acid, promotes digestion, most abundant bile acid; essential for cats to avoid heart problems and may be essential for dogs prone to heart diseases
    • Thiamin/thiamine/Thiamine Mononitrate: Vitamin B1
    • Tocopherol: Vitamin E, this can also act as a preservative; other sources claim it is a compound of both Vitamin C and Vitamin E
    • Turmeric/dried turmeric: believed to protect the liver, increase bile production, prevent bladder and gall bladder stones, anti-arthritic
    • Turnip: see beet and beet pulp
  • V
    • Vegetable by-products: leftovers from food production such as awn, nutshells, fruit pits, starch, etc
    • Vegetable fats and oils: fats and oils derived from plants such as olive oil, canola/rape(seed) oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, etc
  • W
    • White rice: hulled, ordinary rice without kernels
    • Whole egg powder: dried, ground egg white and egg yolk
    • Wholemeal-flour/rice-flour/etc: flour containing the whole, ground grains including hulls and kernels
  • X
    • Xanthan gum: used to emulsify and thicken food (make them smooth)
  • Y
    • Yeast/yeast culture: single-cell mushrooms containing a lot of B-Vitamins and proteins
    • Yucca Schidigera Extract: contains steroidal saponines (the inner bark of yucca trees); believed to lessen the odour of urine and feces by reducing the amount of urea transforming into ammonia; possible helpful in relieving arthritis, osteoarthritis, kidney and gut problems
  • Z
    • Zinc compounts: zinc, a substance believed to help the immune system, metabolism, etc

 


Sources:
  • European Union Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection
    • subsection "Animal nutrition and feed safety"
    • subsection "Labeling and Nutrition"
    • subsection "Food safety"
  • the German Federal Ministry of Health
  • the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human services
    • subsection "Food and Drug Administration"
  • Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • The Finnish National Public Health Institute - "Fineli"
  • the UK Department of Health
  • the UK Department for Enviornment, Food and Rural Affairs - "defra"

NB: the author does not guarantee the accuracy of this information or accept responsibility for harm caused through it

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