A healthy eating trend has gripped the country, and more people are sitting down to eat meals made with nutritious foods and wholesome ingredients. Humans, however, are not the only ones benefiting from this shift toward natural, quality ingredients. Pet food companies, such as Nestle PurinaStore PetCare, are reformulating their dry dog food products in response to consumer demand for safe, healthy and balanced dog food.
One of Purina’s most popular brands, Beneful, has been criticized by a facebook group of pet owners as being unsafe because of certain ingredients and additives found in the dog food. Critics point out that the company’s use of propylene glycol and colorful dyes are potentially harmful and unnecessary. Propylene glycol, an additive that is approved by the FDA, is used to make the dog food chewy, while colorful dyes are used to make the food more visually appealing to the dog’s owners, who are the ones buying the food.
Outrage over the potentially harmful ingredients found in the food led to a class action lawsuit filed against the company in 2015. The case is currently pending, and Purina has no intention of settling. “We believe the lawsuit is baseless, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves and our brand,” Purina said in a statement.
In order to improve their products, Purina has developed a new formula for the Beneful brand dog foods. Seven of the brand’s eight formulas will include real meat as the first ingredient, with the final formula, Originals with Real Salmon, following suit in 2017. The new formulas will no longer include propylene glycol as an additive, and added sugar has also been removed from the list of ingredients. The dog food will continue to have colorful dyes but the quantity has been reduced.
Quantities on the guaranteed analysis label remain similar to the previous formula, with crude protein percentages at about 23-28% and crude fat percentages increasing by 1-2%. The new formulas received high marks in a taste test conducted with volunteer families and their dogs.
Carlotta Copper has more information about how the Beneful formulas are being improved in her Huffington Post article, found here. Follow Beneful: https://twitter.com/beneful