How are prepackaged raw diets for dogs preserved?
Topic: How are prepackaged raw diets for dogs preserved?
April 19, 2019 / By Bet Question:
I went to a pet store one day & saw that they offered prepackaged raw food. However, it was not refrigerated. It was cylindrical in shape & kept in one of those plastic wraps with the little twists at the end (you know, the ones you typically see sausage in?).
I went to this pet store a long time ago, so bear with me. I can't recall the name of the pet food, I just remember finding it odd that raw meat could be left out like that without spoiling. I'm starting to think that maybe I just read the package wrong? Or maybe there is some way of preserving raw meat without refrigeration that somehow managed to slip by me? Or is it possibly ridden with chemical preservatives, which leads me to my next question: is storing it in this fashion at all detrimental to its quality?
I'm really curious to hear your answers because though I've heard talk of prepackaged raw food, I have yet to see a freezer at my local pet supply stores, Lol.
The brand, "Nature's Logic" offers raw diets, and I just emailed them asking a few questions about their products, including the question of how they keep their raw diets fresh. The man conveniently answered all my questions BUT the one concerning raw food!
It must be a secret! :o
I replied telling him I'm still waiting on an answer from my previous question, Lol!
He just replied. Here's what he wrote,
"Our raw food is produced and then flash frozen at 30 below zero and is then stored at zero degrees even during transporting to the distributors and stores. Thousands of stores around the country have frozen food and freezers in their stores."
He then went on to suggest that anyone feeding prepackaged raw freeze it until use.
Sadly, his answer doesn't solve the mystery, but at least we know Nature's Logic is doing it right, and that there are pet stores with freezers.
I just looked at some pictures and I'm pretty sure Natural Balance is the brand I saw!
Why exactly is freeze drying? How is it done? I've heard of it, but I have no clue what it means.
Best Answers: How are prepackaged raw diets for dogs preserved?
Agas | 8 days ago
If it is really raw food, it has to be kept in a freezer. If it's something like Pet Botanics or Natural Balance dog food rolls--it's cooked/processed just like canned dog food and just shaped into a roll. It doesn't need refrigeration until you open it, just like cans.
The prepackaged raw food like Nature's Variety is either kept in a freezer in the store, or packaged & at room temperature if it is the freeze-dried medallions. NV also uses a high pressure pasteurization process to kill any potential bacteria while not cooking the meat or losing nutrients.
All the pet supply stores near me do have large freezers.
The Nature's Logic is supposed to be frozen until thawed for use:
(scroll down to the bottom)
add: I just looked at the Natural Balance site, and while it lists ingredients, nowhere does it say it's raw food.
The ingredients are not so hot either, a lot of wheat, sugar, salt.
LAMB FORMULA ROLL
Lamb Lungs, Wheat Flour, Sugar, Lamb, Wheat Bran, Lamb Hearts, Salt, Rice Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Egg, Glycerin, Lecithin, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Natural Smoke Flavor, Ascorbic Acid, Natural Flavor, Powdered Garlic, Vitamin E Supplement, Kelp Meal, Brewers Yeast, Calcium Disodium, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Rosemary Extract, Canola Oil, Sodium Erythorbate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Nitrite, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Natural Mixed Tocopherols.
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Originally Answered: If something is preserved properly, can you outsmart carbon dating?
Maybe. It's not so much that radiation has been absorbed into something. In our environment, there's a specific ratio of normal C12 to radioactive C14. The thing is that isotopes are almost identical, chemically speaking. That means that we get mostly C12 and a little C14 from our food and it gets incorporated into our bodies naturally at the same ratio as in the environment. When we die, the C14 levels start to drop through radioactive decay since we're no longer taking in new C14 from our diet (unless we're talking about zombies here). C14 dating pretty much looks at the ratio of C12 to C14 in a sample - the older it is, the less C14 will be present. This only works on samples of things that were once alive (though there are other radiometric dating techniques that can be used on inorganic samples).
So there are two ways that we could fool the system. Isolating the sample wouldn't do anything, since the decay of C14 is independent of the environment. However, if we were to bombard the sample with the right kind of radiation, we might be able to increase the amount of radioactive C14 present in it. Of course, this would also alter most of the other elements in the sample as well, which would show up pretty clearly in the test. At the very least, it would be pretty obvious that C14 dating wouldn't work properly on that sample.
The other way would be to directly influence the C12/C14 ratio in a sample. While we're alive, our ratio is maintained by our diet, which can all be traced back to plants, which get a mix of C12 and C14 from the air. However, if you were to feed someone a diet unusually high in C14 for a few years (just by slipping glucose made with C14 into their diet), you could seriously skew their normal ratio. And make them look younger. I'm not sure it would work, though, as there's a minimum age where C14 is accurate, just as there's a maximum age. Unless you're trying to pull one over on scientists a few thousand years from now, it would be hard to pull off without resulting in obviously unreliable data.
Likewise, if you gave them a diet depleted in C14, you could make them look much older. This would be a lot harder to do for plants since they get C14 from the air, and humans, who actually care what their food tastes like (since C14 depleted food would have to be either painstakingly custom made, or already very old, and fed to them over a few years). It's actually something we have to consider with some samples, though. Snails, for example, often feed on dead plant matter in ponds. Sometimes this dead plant matter has been sitting on the bottom for a long time, so it's C14 levels have already declined. Since the snails get their C14 from the plants, they can wind up looking much older than they really are. In this way, you could make a sample look much older than it actually is.
As a final method, you could make a plant appear older by growing it in an enclosure into which you pump CO2 made of mostly C12, and very little C14. This would alter the ratio in the plant, and skew its age. If you were trying to make an animal sample look older, you could grow plants in this way and then feed them to the animal (and then feed that animal to another animal, and so on). Growing a plant in this way would be time consuming and expensive, and the time and dollar value would increase dramatically the farther you go up the food chain.
If you just want to prevent an object from being C14 dated at all, you could simply treat it with a lot of C14. The external C14 would confuse the signal from the internal C14. It would be pretty obvious that something was wrong with the sample, but it would prevent C14 dating from being used. It would be like filing the serial number off a gun... it would be obvious that it wasn't legit, but it would still be impossible to identify by serial number.
It really depends on the brand (some use artficial preservatives while other use naturally-sourced preservatives). I've only seen Nature's Variety, which uses inulin (naturally occurring polysaccharides from plants; whatever that means, lol), and of course the meat is stored in freezers and has a "use by" date. I'm not sure either, but the answer will probably be something pretty obvious like that; no one would sell raw meat without a freezer or it would go bad.
I don't know much about freeze drying, but I know that the material is first frozen and then warmed, and the ice just "vaporizes"; I don't know how, though...Anyway, freeze-dried products are great snacks (I've also seen NV's freeze dried raw meat for treats and travel), but definitely not budget-friendly as meals. For example, I ate a bag of freeze dried strawberries in one sitting. The strawberries weighed 1.2 oz, but took a ridiculous amount of fresh strawberries to make (I only remember it was pounds; maybe 12?; it sounds crazy, but I read that most food is 80-90% water, which explains it). Also, too much air exposure or even a bit of water will "un-dry" it (I left a strawberry out by accident and three minutes later, it was all squishy), although it does stay fresh for years if stored properly.
EDIT: I'm reading an article right now and it looks like I wasn't exactly correct.
Here's an excerpt:
"The basic idea of freeze-drying is to "lock in" the composition and structure of the material by drying it without applying the heat necessary for the evaporation process. Instead, the freeze-drying process converts solid water -- ice -- directly into water vapor, skipping the liquid phase entirely."
This page of the article should help:
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Ive seen that stuff too. There must be several different brands because I have seen some kept in the cooler or freezer at the grocery store, and it wasn't the same as what I saw at the pet store. I think that maybe the stuff you saw isn't technically raw, but instead more like the stuff that comes in a can. Maybe its just a cheaper, more environmentally friendly packaging option than a can.
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i think I know which brand you are talking about let me go look it up it might be a different one as there a few small name companies doing logs as opposed to nuggets/patties etc
Dick Van Pattens Natural balance has a shelf life of 12 months unopened and uses mixed tocopherols for preservation
primal pets puts out a log version but from the looks of it has to be kept cold. So i might have been the above you saw or similar brand.
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The pet store where I buy my dog food has a freezer with prepackaged raw food in it.
Maybe the store where you saw your was not storing it properly.
I know someone who feeds Natures Variety, and the food she buys is frozen.
Oh...I know what you are talking about - I have seen the Natural Balance before, and its not raw.
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What you saw must have been freeze dried. It's essentially the same process they use to make astronaut food and military MRE's (meals ready to eat).
Here's how they do it. http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/fresh-i... click on "process" for the technical scientific process explination)
I know Natural Balance does have a small line of freeze dried stuff (mostly little medallions), and AFS does a lot of it. The only reason I ever bother with freeze dried meat is for camping - it's a godsend. Freeze dried meat has almost a gray-ish color to it.
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Excellent question Dd !
I was wondering the same thing the last time I was dog food shopping.
I'll star for my contacts.
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Originally Answered: Why isn't prepackaged food healthy even if the nutrition facts seem ok?
Pre packed foods are made with tons of chemicals to preserve them, also they usually use partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients (look at the ingredients of most chips and cookies) this oil last for a long time and keeps the food from smelling rotten, but its bad for the health. Also many artificial smells, colors and tastes are used which are harmfull to you liver.