What Are By-Products?
There is a lot of misinformation about by-product meal out there, largely because many people don’t understand what these ingredients are. The names and definitions of ingredients are subject to regulations and guidelines proposed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and enforceable by each state. The ingredient listed as chicken by-products is typically indicative of the use of organ meat in the product. Chicken by-products are comprised of clean tissue such as lungs, liver and spleen, which would be ingested by cats and dogs in the wild when catching prey.
The facts are chicken by-product meal is highly digestible, it has an excellent amino acid profile and is nearly identical nutritionally when compared to muscle meat. In fact, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has noted, “protein quality of by-products is sometimes better than that from muscle meat.” Most scientists and nutritionists who have studied the subject acknowledge that by-products contain similar nutritional benefits to muscle meat.
Why is Royal Canin Switching to By-Products from Chicken Meal?
The key to high-quality protein sources like chicken by-product meal is the amino acid profile that they provide. Royal Canin products each have a specific amino acid profile designed to maximize the performance of our diets. For example, chicken by product meal contains methionine and cysteine, which are essential sulfur amino acids needed for hair coat strength.
Our decision to change to chicken by-product meal was simply because there is not enough traditional chicken meal available to meet our uniquely demanding nutrient specifications. After looking at a variety of potential ingredient alternatives, we’ve found the best way to deliver our nutrient profiles is with chicken by-product meal.
It’s important to know, the shift from chicken meal to chicken by-product meal has not changed the quality or nutritional profile of any Royal Canin formula. In the long term, chicken by-product meal is going to offer a more sustainable supply of the highly-specified nutrients that our formulas require.
Every decision Royal Canin makes is based on the nutritional needs of cats and dogs, and this decision was no different.
What Does This Mean for My Pet?
Royal Canin’s focus is to support the health of cats and dogs through nutrition. Royal Canin diets are born out of research and innovation focused on the precise nutritional needs of cats and dogs—not fads or trends. Through more than 40 years of science, observation and research, Royal Canin has provided proven nutritional solutions. Cats and dogs need the nutrients our products offer, and chicken by-product meal will allow us to continue to deliver reliable, high-quality formulas for years to come. You can feed Royal Canin with confidence and know you are delivering the most optimal nutrition available for your pets.