This response came via comments, not a reply to the email I sent them, or the phone call made to the customer service, therefore I feel that rather than just leave it floating out there in the comments section I will give it a page all to itself.
This is a direct copy paste from of the comment left, (I Have also published it under the comments section of the Celebs dog foods and fillers post) it has not been edited in anyway.
I will address the issues raised individually.
Recognized experts in pet nutrition still debate regularly and often about what exactly constitutes a “by-product” in pet food. The simple truth of the matter is that by-products are not so simple to define and all by-products are NOT created equal.
Ingredients like corn gluten meal and soybean meal are not by-products but are co-products of accepted manufacturing processes. This means in the manufacturing of the ingredient (for example soy beans), a brand new ingredient results (of no less quality – just a new ingredient!). In the case of soy bean meal, the removal of soy bean oil from the soy beans results in a highly concentrated plant protein – and as we’ve discussed in the past, companion animals and dogs in particular need proteins from both animal and plant sources to deliver 100% complete and balanced nutrition as required by AAFCO guidelines.
Our product contains an ingredient called chicken meal. Chicken meal is made from real chicken with most of the water and fat removed. Chicken meal does NOT contain heads, feet, or intestines.
These commonly used parts of a chicken are a great source of protein. Think about making chicken soup at home from scratch – many people boil the necks and backs of whole chickens to make chicken stock for soup and other recipes. And we all know human beings love to eat wings! Chicken meal contains these parts of the chicken.
Chicken meal is different from Chicken By-Product Meal (that, by the way, is not found in Rachael Ray ™ Nutrish but can be found in many other commercially available super premium dog food brands). Many consumers find this particular ingredient less than desirable because chicken by-product meal contains the necks, backs, wings, undeveloped eggs and entrails of the chicken. Again, we do not use chicken by-product meal in Rachael Ray Nutrish ™.
Other commonly used by-product that we DO NOT use in Rachael Ray Nutrish ™ is meat and bone meal.
From CeleB dog foods and fillers, 2008/08/07 at 1:10 PM
Firstly in my original post BY-PRODUCTS were never mentioned. I would agree with the comment made in the post regarding by-product -V- Co-products.
Let us be clear, if the main ingredient is Meat everything else is a co-product, if the main ingredient is corn everything else is a co-product.
By-product are produced by processing the main ingredient, say meat, removing the meat leaves a residue, THAT RESIDUE is a BY-PRODUCT
My complaint is the food in question clearly states NO FILLERS, however when looking at the list of ingredients published at http://www.rachaelray.com/pets/nutrish.php one of the advertising points is No By-Products OR FILLERS
The first 10 ingredients of the Beef flavor food are listed as Beef, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Corn Meal, Soybean Meal, Animal Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Corn Gluten Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Dried Beet Pulp.
Fillers: (For those that do not know AAFCO is the INDUSTRY Overseer, that sets acceptable standards for pet foods)
CHICKEN MEAL: Chicken Meal has been rendered twice (cooked), losing almost all valuable nutritional value. Meal may also contain a majority of bone, and may not have any meat content at all.
” Better foods will not use it because they state it is a “lower quality rice product that is
missing many of the nutrients found in Ground Rice and Ground Brown Rice.”
” Also know as ‘the sweepings from the floor of the mill’.
Corn Meal: (Not sure if they mean Ground corn here, but over all corn is NOT a good item to put in pet food.) Ground Corn – AAFCO – Ground Corn is the entire corn kernel, ground or chopped.
” Many good foods do not use ground corn since: “Although Ground Corn is a good
quality source of carbohydrates, it is thought to be the #3 common cause of food
allergies in pets.
” Corn is not actually the allergen. Petroleum residue (see corn gluten meal) and
aflatoxins due to molds are. The great majority of corn used in pet foods is from
grain not acceptable for human use.
” Tested chemical and mold free corn is an excellent source of protein and amino acids
and is used to balance the ash in chicken.
Soybean Meal:-Soybean Meal – AAFCO – Soybean Meal is the product obtained by grinding the flakes which remain after removal of most of the oil from soybeans by a solvent or mechanical extraction process.
” Poor quality protein filler. The ‘Crude Protein’ analysis on pet food labels is only a
measurement of the amount of nitrogen in a food — not the quality of the protein.
Because of this, pet food companies can use the cheaper by-products of human food
production, such as Soybean Meal. Meat is always the best source of quality protein.
Meat protein is better absorbed and retained and is higher in essential amino acids
like methionine, arginine, and taurine. Soybean Meal has a biologic value less than
50% of Chicken Meal.
” Some allege that soybeans are the #1 allergy of dogs.” This goes back to the fact
that soybean oil is separated from the meal by petroleum distillation. The meal is
very high in petroleum residue which toxifies the liver and kidneys – leading to
” **This is a byproduct of meat meal processing**. The origin of the contributing animals is
never known, and the resulting oil is very low in linoleic acid — an essential fatty acid
that is important for skin and coat health. It is also, of course, cooked – which by its
very nature renders the fat less usable. ( **Just wanted to point out what AAFCO say about animal fat. **)
Corn Gluten Meal: – AAFCO- Corn Gluten Meal is the dried residue from corn after the
removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the
process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.
” A fractionated product – one of the reasons for pet allergies is the petroleum residue
left in corn after the separation of corn oil from the seed.
” Some foods use it because “Corn Gluten Meal is a plant protein source that is low in
Brown Rice: Do they mean brown rice as we know it? (which by the way , is still a filler. I use Human grade to bump up the amount of food I home cooked for my guys so they feel full) or do the mean Rice Bran, Rice Flour, is it Human grade brown rice? Very ambiguous listing in my opinion.
So what is brown rice ? Well human grade brown rice is made as follows:
Rice grains are covered with an inedible husk that has to be removed before eating—a task that is accomplished mechanically today. Underneath this hull lies another layer, this one very nutritious, which is left on to produce brown rice and removed to create white rice. It’s this nutritious, high-fiber bran coating that gives brown rice its light tan color, nutlike flavor, and chewy texture.Oatmeal: Speaks for itself, still a filler, but one of the better quaility ones.
Dried Beet Pulp. (Sugar) – CONTROVERSIAL – AAFCO – Beet Pulp is the dried residue from sugar beets which has been cleaned and extracted in the process of manufacturing sugar.
” Many pet foods use it because – “it as a good source of fiber and a stool hardener”.
” Others do not because they believe it is: “Added to pet food to slow down the
transition of rancid animal fats (think toxic waste). This holds the waste in. Kidneys
and liver work overtime. Dogs may chew their lower backs. Feet may swell, so the
dogs lick their feet. Sugar is a contributing factor to ear infections and cataracts”.
” Beet pulp is rather controversial, many think that it is an excellent additive and
source of fiber and that all sugar has been completely extracted before being added
as a pet food ingredients. If this is the only “problem” ingredient in a kibble, other
factors will have to help you decide.
So while I pointed out the Animal fat/ By-product issue I will not question it further as I use By-product in my homecooking. ( I boil the meat and skim and save the fat adding a little to each meal.)
I do however have some confusion as to the claim of NO FILLERS when 7 of the first 10 ingredients are VERY CLEARLY FILLERS according to the industry standard.
When is a filler not a filler?