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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Pet Food Ingredient Definitions

Pet Food Ingredient Definitions

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Animal Digest/Digest
The material that results from the chemical and/or enzymatic breakdown of clean animal tissue. If from a particular source may be labeled as such (i.e., chicken digest). Used to enhance the palatability of pet food products.

Animal Fat
See "Fat/Animal Fat"

Ash
Ash is a measure of the total minerals in a diet. Since minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and many others are required nutrients, all diets contain ash, or the diet would not be nutritionally complete.

Animal Digest/Digest
The material that results from the chemical and/or enzymatic breakdown of clean animal tissue. If from a particular source may be labeled as such (i.e., chicken digest). Used to enhance the palatability of pet food products.

Animal Fat
See "Fat/Animal Fat"

Ash
Ash is a measure of the total minerals in a diet. Since minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and many others are required nutrients, all diets contain ash, or the diet would not be nutritionally complete.

Barley/Cracked Barley
The entire barley kernel ground or chopped. A good source of carbohydrates and essential fatty acids.

Barley Malt Flour
The flour obtained after barley has been sprouted and steamed. A good source of carbohydrates. Sometimes used as a colorant.

Beef
See "Meat/Beef/Lamb/Veal/Venison"

Beef By-Products
See"Meat By-Products/Beef By-Products/Lamb By-Products"

Beef Liver
See "Liver"

Beef Tallow
The fat obtained from the tissues of cattle during the rendering process. A good source of energy and fatty acids.

Beet Pulp
The dried residue from cleaned sugar beets which have been extracted in the process of manufacturing sugar. A good source of water-soluble fiber.

Brewers Rice
See "Rice/Brewers Rice/Rice Flour"

  • Excellent source of available carbohydrates for energy
     
  • Highly digestible for smaller, firmer stools

Brewers Yeast
The dried non-fermentative yeast (Saccharomyces) resulting from the brewing of beer. An excellent source of protein and vitamins. Also used to enhance palatability.

Broth/Stock
The material obtained by cooking mammalian, poultry or fish bones, parts or muscle tissue. If from a particular source may be labeled as such (i.e., chicken broth, beef broth, etc.). Used as a source of protein and flavor.

Brown Rice
Whole, broken or ground kernels of rice not separated from the bran. An excellent source of carbohydrates.

Calcium Carbonate
A mineral supplement containing 38 percent calcium. Used as a source of calcium.

Calcium Sulfate
A mineral supplement containing 29 percent calcium. Used as a source of calcium.

Canola Oil
See "Vegetable Oil/Canola Oil/Corn Oil/Soybean Oil/Sunflower Oil" Provide Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which are essential for a glossy coat and healthy skin.

Carageenan
See "Gums/Guar Gum/Locust Bean Gum/Xanthan Gum/Carageenan"

Carrots
Whole carrots and pieces obtained from the processing of carrots for human consumption. A source of carbohydrates and fiber.

Catfish
See "Fish"

Cellulose/Dried Cellulose
The purified ground cellulose obtained by the special processing of fibrous plant materials. An excellent source of insoluble fiber.

Chicken
 

  • Excellent source of high quality protein
     
  • Supplies calcium and phosphorus for strong bones

Chicken By-Product Meal
See "Poultry By-Product Meal/Chicken By-Product Meal"

Chicken By-Products
See "Poultry By-Products/Chicken By-Products"

Chicken Digest
See "Animal Digest/Digest"

Chicken Liver
See "Liver"

Chicken Liver Digest
See "Animal Digest/Digest"

Chicken Meal
See "Poultry Meal/Chicken Meal/Turkey Meal"

Choline Chloride
A vitamin necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Cod
See "Fish"

Corn Bran
The outer coating of the corn kernel. An excellent source of insoluble fiber.

Corn Gluten Meal
The dried residue from corn after removal of the starch, germ and bran. An excellent source of highly digestible protein. Excellent source of highly digestible protein.

  • Provides essential amino acids important for a glossy coat.

Corn Grits
The medium sized hard portions of ground corn. A source of carbohydrates and fiber.

Corn Syrup
A purified concentrated solution of nutritive sugars obtained from corn starch. Used as a palatability enhancer and to bind water making it unavailable for bacteria.

Corn/Ground Corn/Corn Meal/Corn Flour
The entire corn kernel ground or chopped. A good source of carbohydrates and essential fatty acids.

Corn Oil
See "Vegetable Oil/Canola Oil/Corn Oil/Soybean Oil/Sunflower Oil"

Deflourinated Phosphate
A mineral supplement containing approximately 33% calcium and 18% phosphorus. Used as a source of calcium and phosphorus.

Dicalcium Phosphate
A mineral supplement containing approximately 20 percent calcium and 18 percent phosphorus. Used as a source of calcium and phosphorus.

Digest
See "Animal Digest/Digest"

DL-Methionine
An amino acid necessary for growth and protein synthesis. Depending upon the ingredients in the food it may or may not be necessary to add this amino acid.

Dried Beet Pulp
A high-quality fiber source which helps promote a healthy digestive tract. Helps produce smaller, firmer stools.

Dried Blood
The dried product from clean fresh animal blood. Used as a source of iron and as a colorant.

Dried Egg Product/Egg Product
The product obtained from egg graders, breaker or hatchery operations that is dehydrated. It must be free of shells and other non-egg materials. An excellent source of protein and fat.

Dried Whey
The product obtained by drying whey in which a certain proportion of protein, lactose or minerals have been removed. Usually used to enhance palatability.

Duck
See "Poultry/Chicken/Turkey"

Egg Product
See "Dried Egg Product/Egg Product"

Fat/Animal Fat
The fat obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry during the rendering process. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e. chicken fat, pork fat etc). A good source of energy and essential fatty acids.

Fish
The cleaned tissue of whole fish or fish cuttings. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e., herring, salmon, tuna, whitefish etc.). A good source of protein, fat, calcium and the amino acid taurine.

Fish Broth
See "Broth/Stock"

Fish Meal/Salmon Meal/Tuna Meal/Whitefish Meal
The cleaned dry ground tissue of whole fish or fish cuttings. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e., salmon meal, tuna meal, whitefish meal etc.). A good source of protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus and the amino acid taurine.

Flaxseed
The product obtained by grinding flaxseeds. An excellent source of essential fatty acids.

Giblets
The heart, liver and gizzard of poultry. If from a particular source may be labeled as such (i.e., chicken gizzard, turkey gizzard).

Grain Sorghum/Ground Grain Sorghum
The entire product made by grinding the grain from sorghum. A good source of carbohydrates.

Ground Barley
See "Barley"

Ground Brown Rice/Ground Rice
See "Rice/Brewers Rice/Rice Flour"

Ground Corn (Chicken Formulas only)

  • Good source of highly digestible carbohydrates.
  • Excellent source of fatty acids for a healthy looking pet

Ground Whole Grain Barley
See "Barley"

Ground Wheat (Lamb Formulas only)

  • Good source of highly digestible carbohydrates
  • Good source of fatty acids for a healthy looking pet

Ground Whole Wheat
See "Wheat/Ground Wheat"

Ground Yellow Corn
See "Corn/Ground Corn/Corn Meal"

Gums/Guar Gum/Locust Bean Gum/Xanthan Gum/Carageenan
The dried extract from various plant sources. Used as a stabilizer, thickener and moisture binder in canned pet foods.

Haddock
See "Fish"

Herring Meal
See "Fish Meal/Salmon Meal/Tuna Meal/ Whitefish Meal"

Iodized Salt
See "Sodium Chloride/Salt/Iodized Salt"

Kidney/Lamb Kidney
Kidneys obtained from mammals. If from a particular source it may state so (lamb kidney, beef kidney, etc.). An excellent source of protein and a good source of vitamin A. Often used to enhance the palatability of canned pet foods.

Lamb
See "Meat/Beef/Lamb/Veal/Venison"

  • Excellent source of high-quality protein
  • Supplies calcium and phosphorus for strong bones

Lamb By-Products
See "Meat By-Products/Beef By-Products/Lamb By-Products"

Lamb Kidney
See "Kidney/Lamb Kidney"

Lamb Liver
See "Liver"

Lamb Meal
The rendered product from lamb tissues but does not include added blood, hair, hooves, horn, hide trimmings, stomach or rumen contents. A good source of protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus.

Liver/Lamb Liver/Chicken Liver
Liver obtained from mammals or poultry. If from a particular source it may state so (lamb liver, beef liver, chicken liver, etc.). An excellent source of protein and vitamin A. Often used to enhance the palatability of canned pet foods.

L-Lysine
An amino acid necessary for growth and protein synthesis. Depending upon the ingredients in the food it may or may not be necessary to add this amino acid.

Locust Bean Gum
See "Gums/Guar Gum/Locust Bean Gum/Xanthan Gum/Carageenan"

Mackerel
See "Fish"

Meat and Bone Meal
The dry rendered product from mammal tissues including bone. Does not contain added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hides, stomach or rumen content. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e., beef meal, etc.). A good source of protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus.

Meat By-Products/Beef By-Products/Lamb By-Products
The clean parts derived from mammals. It may include lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bones, stomach and intestines. It does not include hair, horns, teeth or hooves. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e., beef by-products, lamb by-products). A good source of protein, and fat.

Meat/Beef/Lamb/Veal/Venison
The clean flesh derived from mammals limited to striate tissue found in muscle, tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e., lamb, beef, calves/deer, etc.). An excellent source of protein, and fat.

Monosodium Phosphate
A mineral supplement containing approximately 21 percent phosphorus and 32 percent sodium. Used as a source of phosphorus.

Natural Flavor/Natural Chicken Flavor
Clean animal tissue or the material from the chemical and/or enzymatic breakdown of clean animal tissue. If from a particular source may be labeled as such (i.e., chicken digest). Used to enhance the palatability of products.

Oat Bran/Oat Mill By-Products
The by-product obtained in the manufacture of oat groats consisting of oat hulls and particles of the groat. A good source of carbohydrates and soluble fiber.

Oat Fiber
Fiber extracted from oat hulls. An excellent source of soluble fiber.

Oat Groats
Cleaned oats with the hulls removed. A good source of carbohydrates and soluble fiber.

Oatmeal
Consists of broken and finely ground oat groats along with a small amount of oat hulls. A good source of carbohydrates and soluble fiber.

Ocean Fish
See "Fish"

Oil
See "Vegetable Oil/Canola Oil/Corn Oil/Soybean Oil/Sunflower Oil"

Pasta
The dry whole particles of noodles resulting from the manufacturing of edible pasta. An excellent source of carbohydrates.

Peanut Hulls
The outer layer of the peanut hull. A good source of insoluble fiber.

Pearled Barley
See "Barley"

Peas
Whole peas obtained from the processing of peas for human consumption. A source of protein and fiber.

Peppers
Pieces obtained from the processing of peppers for human consumption. A source of fiber.

Phosphoric Acid
A liquid supplement used for three different reasons in pet foods. 1) Sometimes used as a source of phosphorus; 2) Used to acidify foods to help prevent certain urinary tract blockages in cats; 3) Used as a preservative in certain semi-moist pet foods or treats by lowering the pH.

Pollock
See "Fish"

Potassium Chloride
A mineral supplement containing approximately 52 percent potassium and 48 percent chloride. Used a source of potassium and chloride.

Potato Flour
The dried ground residue of potato pieces obtained from the manufacture of potato products for human consumption. An excellent source of carbohydrates.

Potatoes
Whole potatoes and pieces obtained from the processing of potatoes for human consumption. A good source of carbohydrates.

Poultry By-Product Meal/Chicken By-Product Meal
The dry rendered product from poultry parts including flesh, skin, bone, heads, feet or entrails. Does not contain feathers. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e., chicken by-product meal, turkey by-product meal, etc.). A good source of protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus.

Poultry By-Products/Chicken By-Products
The clean parts of poultry including bone, heads, feet or entrails. Does not contain feathers. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e., chicken by-products, turkey by-products). A good source of protein and fat.

Poultry Digest
See "Animal Digest/Digest"

Poultry Meal/Chicken Meal/Turkey Meal
The dry rendered product from clean poultry flesh and skin with or without bone. Does not contain feathers heads, feet or entrails. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e., chicken meal, turkey meal, etc.). A good source of protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus.

Poultry/Chicken/Turkey
The clean combination of poultry flesh and skin with or without bone. Does not contain feathers, heads, feet or entrails. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e., chicken, turkey, etc.). An excellent source of protein, and fat.

Powdered Cellulose
See "Cellulose/Dried Cellulose"

Rice Bran/De-Fatted Rice Bran
The bran layer and germ of rice obtained in the milling of edible rice. May or may not contain fat. A good source of water-soluble fiber.

Rice Gluten
The dried residue from rice after removal of the starch, germ and bran. An excellent source of highly digestible protein.

Rice/Brewers Rice/Rice Flour
Whole, broken or ground kernels of rice separated from the bran. An excellent source of carbohydrates.

Salmon
See "Fish"

Salmon Broth
See "Broth/Stock"

Salmon Meal
See "Fish Meal/Salmon Meal/Tuna Meal/Whitefish Meal"

Salt
See "Sodium Chloride/Salt/Iodized Salt"

Shrimp
The undecomposed waste of shrimp, shrimp parts and whole shrimp.

Sodium Caseinate
The solid material obtained from milk by precipitation. An excellent source of high quality protein.

Sodium Chloride/Salt/Iodized Salt
A mineral supplement containing approximately 39 percent sodium and 61 percent chloride. Iodized salt contains small amount of iodine. Used as a source of sodium and chloride as well as a palatability enhancer.

Soybean Meal
The ground product obtained soybeans after removal of the oil. A good source of protein, fiber and potassium.

Soybean Mill Run
The combination of soybean hulls and some soybeans which adhere to the hulls during normal milling operations. Used as a source of fiber.

Soybean Oil
See "Vegetable Oil/Canola Oil/Corn Oil/Soybean Oil/Sunflower Oil"

Stock
See "Broth/Stock"

Sunflower Oil
See "Vegetable Oil/Canola Oil/Corn Oil/Soybean Oil/Sunflower Oil"

Taurine
An amino acid required by the cat for proper vision and heart function. Depending upon the ingredients in the food it may or may not be necessary to add this amino acid.

Tomatoes
Tomato pieces obtained from the processing of tomatoes for human consumption. A source of carbohydrates and fiber.

Tricalcium Phosphate
A mineral supplement containing approximately 38 percent calcium and 20 percent phosphorus. Used as a source of calcium and phosphorus.

Tripe/Lamb Tripe
The first or second stomach of a ruminant. If from a particular source may be labeled as such (i.e., lamb tripe, beef tripe). A good source of protein, and fat.

Tuna Meal
See "Fish Meal/Salmon Meal/Tuna Meal/Whitefish Meal"

Turkey
See "Poultry/Chicken/Turkey"

Turkey Broth
See "Broth/Stock"

Turkey Meal
See "Poultry Meal/Chicken Meal/Turkey Meal"

Veal
See "Meat/Beef/Lamb/Veal/Venison"

Veal Broth
See "Broth/Stock"

Venison
See "Meat/Beef/Lamb/Veal/Venison"

Vegetable Oil/Canola Oil/Corn Oil/Soybean Oil/Sunflower Oil
The oil obtained from the seeds of plants, which are processed for edible purposes. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e., canola oil/corn oil/soybean oil/sunflower oil, etc.). An excellent source of energy and essential fatty acids.

Wheat Germ Meal (Lamb Formulas only)

  • Excellent source of vitamins and highly digestible protein
  • Provides essential amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins important for a glossy coat

Wheat Bran
The course outer covering of the wheat kernel as separated from wheat in the process of commercial milling. A good source of insoluble fiber.

Wheat Flour
The flour obtained in the process of commercial milling of wheat. A good source of carbohydrates and essential fatty acids.

Wheat Germ Meal
Consists of wheat germ and some wheat bran. An excellent source of protein and essential fatty acids.

Wheat Gluten
The dry residue from wheat after removal of the starch, germ and bran. An excellent source of digestible protein.

Wheat/Ground Wheat
The entire product made by grinding the grain from wheat. A good source of carbohydrates and essential fatty acids.

Whitefish
See "Fish"

Whitefish Meal
See "Fish Meal/Salmon Meal/Tuna Meal/Whitefish Meal"

Whole Ground Wheat
See "Wheat/Ground Wheat"

Whole Wheat
See "Wheat/Ground Wheat"

Xanthan Gum
See Gums/Guar Gum/Locust Bean Gum/Xanthan Gum/Carageenan""

Yeast Culture
The dried product composed of yeast and the media on which it is grown. A good source of vitamins.

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