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New packaging, new labels

16 JUN 2014

 

new-packaging-new-labelsWith the launch of our newly designed dog packaging, we have taken the opportunity to make some small changes to the statutory labels and some improvements to the food.

Statutory Label

This is the bit that appears in one of the gussets on the bag and it contains that information which we have to give to comply with the EC Regulation No 767/2009 on the placing on the market and use of feed. This regulation was introduced in 2009 and contained many significant changes to the previous regulation. We introduced the necessary changes in 2011 but, since then, there has been further guidance on interpretation of the regulation,resulting in the need for us to make further changes:

Composition

This was, and still is, a list of all the raw materials we use, given in descending order of how much we include. The regulation allows the option of declaring categories of ingredients (e.g. “meat and animal derivatives”) but we choose to list all the ingredients separately.

Previously, we have followed this list with a list of minimum levels of those ingredients mentioned on the bag. So, for Lamb & Rice Adult Dog, we had:

Composition: rice, lamb meal, ground whole barley, lamb fat, whole linseed, lamb gravy, sugar beet pulp, alfalfa meal, natural seaweed, sodium chloride, omega oil supplement, potassium chloride, chicory extract, calcium carbonate, yucca extract

Minimum levels: lamb (26%), rice (26%), barley (14%), linseed (3%), lamb gravy (2%), alfalfa (1%), seaweed (0.5%), yucca extract (0.02%), chicory extract (0.1%),

We declared lamb and rice each at a minimum of 26% because that was the minimum level required to allow us to call the food ‘Lamb & Rice’.

Now we are required to give the exact level of those ingredients we mention elsewhere on pack, so we have:

Composition: lamb meal (23.5%), brown rice(20.0%), white rice (19.7%), barley, whole linseed, lamb fat (3.5%), lamb gravy (2.9%), sugar beet pulp, alfalfa meal, omega oil supplement, sodium chloride, natural seaweed, potassium chloride, chicory extract, calcium carbonate, yucca extract

At first glance, it appears that we’ve reduced our lamb meal and increased the rice but, in fact, they have remained the same (the minimum 26% lamb comprised lamb meal, lamb fat and lamb gravy).

Additives per kg

This is the section where we tell you about some of the very small things we put in the food – they’re mostly vitamins and minerals, but just the ones for which the authorities have set a maximum limit. We also tell you how much natural antioxidant we add.

If we take the trace element iron as an example, we used to tell you how much iron we added to satisfy your dog’s requirement , but now we have to tell you how much iron sulphate we add to provide the iron. So, for Lamb & Rice Adult Dog, we used to have:

Additives per kgantioxidants: E306/Natural antioxidant, 150mg, Vitamins: E672/Vitamin A, 15.000 iu, E671/Vitamin D3, 2,250 iu, Trace elements: E1/iron, 40mg, E2/iodine, 2mg, E4/copper,5mg, E5/manganese, 25mg, E6/zinc, 100mg, E8/selenium, 0.2mg.

But now we have:

Additives per kgantioxidants: E306/Natural antioxidant, 150mg, Vitamins: E672/Vitamin A, 15.000 iu, E671/Vitamin D3, 1400 iu, Trace elements: E1/iron, 133mg, E2/iodine, 3.3mg,E4/copper, 20mg, E5/manganese, 40mg, E6/zinc, 385mg, E8/selenium, 0.44mg.

We’re now telling you that we add 133mg of iron sulphate to each kg of food and, because iron sulphate contains 30% iron, this is equivalent to 40mg of iron – exactly what was always there!

But please note that neither of these two versions tells you how much iron is in the food; it just tells you how much we have added using a mineral salt.  Because most of the raw materials we use also contain some iron, the total iron content of the food will be around 350mg/kg.

We don’t think that telling you how much iron sulphate ormanganous oxide we add is at all useful, but we have to adhere to the regulations.

Analytical Constituents

This is where we tell you how much oil, protein etc. is in the food.  You may find that the analysis has changed slightly on the new bags. Again, taking Lamb & Rice Adult as an example, the old version was:

Analytical Constituents: protein 20.0%, crude fibres 3.6%, fat content 10%, crude ash 8.4%, Vitamin E150mg/kg,  omega-3 fatty acids 1%,omega-6 fatty acids 1.1%

The new version is:

Analytical Constituents: protein 20.0%, crude fibres 3.0%, fat content 10.5%, crude ash 8.8%, Vitamin E150mg/kg,  omega-3 fatty acids 1%,omega-6 fatty acids 1.4%

The increase in Omega-6 fatty acids from 1.1 to 1.4% is intentional; we’ve used a small amount of sunflower oil to obtain this increase. That has also given us a higher fat content.  The other small changes in analysis – crude fibre down by 0.6%, crude ash (minerals) up by 0.4%, are the result of small changes in the analysis of some of our ingredients. It would be possible for us to change the formula so that we keep the same analysis, but we prefer to keep the same formula and accept small changes in analysis.

New raw materials

Our formulas or recipes are almost exactly the same now as when we first produced our foods. They are fantastic foods, so why would we change them?

The only reason for making even the smallest change to our recipes is to improve them – to make them better for your dog. As we get to know more and more about what the dog needs, we have to ensure that our recipes meet those requirements.  So, for example, we introduced a prebiotic to all our foods many years ago and we also introduced a joint support system where needed.

This time we have introduced two new raw materials to someof our foods, both at low inclusion levels.

Firstly, we have introduced sunflower oil to our Lamb & Rice and Grain-Free Lamb ranges to increase the omega-6 fatty acids. This should be particularly good for growing dogs.

The other new raw material is pea fibre. This is a very concentrated source of non-fermentable fibre which allows us to optimise the balance of fermentable and non-fermentable fibres with only a very slight change to the recipe. This is particularly important for the large breed dogs because their digestive tracts are proportionately smaller than standard or small breeds and cannot cope with high levels of fermentable fibre.

The other advantage of both sunflower oil and pea fibre is that they are extremely unlikely to cause an adverse food response.