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Kibble & the Dangers of Acrylamide

Kibble & the Dangers of Acrylamide

Many manufacturers are replacing grains with potato and other starches.  They are proudly marketing them as “grain-free” products.  Maybe they are finally realizing that grains do not belong in dog food.  Carbs, such as grains and potatoes are not natural components of the a canine diet.  Corn is a notorious allergen so many companies have removed corn from their products to address allergy issues.  Replacing grains with other forms of starch does not make kibble any healthier.

A little known fact to pet food consumers is that the heat applied throughout the production of kibble is more harmful than what pet food manufacturers are telling us.  To make matters worse, carbohydrates make up the great majority of kibble products. Consumers have a false sense of security with regard to the safety of these dog food products as they have been led to believe that high temperatures kill off all toxins and keep the food safe.  Is that really the truth?

A huge danger regarding kibble is the acrylamide.  This is an extremely toxic by-product when heat is used to process carbohydrates.  The Natural Toxicity Program of the US Department of Health & Human Services has stated that acrylamide has been shown to cause to cancer in animal lab studies. Where does the acrylamide come from?  When carbohydrate-rich kibble is processed at temperatures in excess of 248°F.  Under such extreme heat, sugars and an amino acid called, asparagine react to create acrylamide. The production of kibble requires baking and extrusion (which uses steam and pressure) to process the kibble at temperatures that can far exceed 248°F.  Acrylamide is a chemical that warrants great concern.

Although the following video is geared toward human food, it is a huge concern when it comes to dog food products.  Remember that not only is a dog’s body not designed to thrive on carbs, but those inappropriate carbs are contaminating their meals. Even more important, the pet food industry is not regulated.  It is basically running on an honor system.  The AAFCO has guidelines, yet there are no agencies responsible to enforce those guidelines.  The individual states may enforce guidelines if they wish to.  As far as acrylamide is concerned, it is not an ingredient that is deliberately added.  Therefore, there are NO guidelines whatsoever. The issue is being addressed in human food like potato chips.

 

Not only can high temperature baking create acrylamide, but it also kills off all the nutrients that were in the kibble prior to processing. The kibble is then completely absent of nutrients and requires “fortification.” As a rule, large pet food manufacturers must add tons vitamins which are provided in the form of vitamin premixes to their kibble products. To see more about premix, you can find a list of related articles HERE.

The less processing of food, the healthier it is.  That is the reason why I insist on giving my dogs a raw diet.  See What I Feed My Own Dogs for details.

 


Sources:

“Acrylamide – What is acrylamide?.” American Cancer Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 June 2014. <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/acrylamide>.”Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition (2011).” The Natural Toxicity Program of the US Department of Health & Human Services. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2014. Print.

 

Essentiallydogs.com is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) veterinary treatment. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements. Please do plenty of research so that you may equip yourself with the knowledge necessary to be an effective advocate for your dog’s well-being.

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