Some pet food brands practice “Ingredient Splitting” but not Lucy Pet
Understanding the facts on Peas, Pea Starch, and Pea Flour in our formulas.
Lucy Pet food formulas are developed by top nutritionists with over 40 years’ experience in dog and cat nutrition. Science shows that animals thrive with a variety of sources of protein from both meat and vegetables. Protein is an important component in pet food, so consumers often ask about the protein source. Depending on the formula, the majority of protein comes from either meat or fish, with additional protein being plant-based (quinoa, chickpeas, peas, sweet potatoes).
To make pet foods properly requires extensive knowledge of how nutrients react when cooked, how bioavailable they are when digested, and how those nutrients affect a pet’s gut health. Strong knowledge of animal physiology and digestion is also necessary. Some nutrients become more bioavailable to the animal when cooked.
Every single dietary ingredient matters. Each ingredient is part of a very precise dietary matrix used to meet the nutrient requirements of the animal. Too much of one ingredient could cause an imbalance. Ingredients have unique nutrient profiles that must be considered and factored properly. An experienced nutritionist understands how the ingredients, in total, will perform to support the animal’s health.
In our grain-free cat and dog diets, we incorporate several plant-based ingredients to ensure the formula is balanced with protein, fiber, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Our grain-free diet ingredient labels list some ingredients that may look similar and are listed separately. For example, we use different fractions of peas, also known as legumes. Each has a different purpose and nutritional value, such as whole peas, pea starch, and pea flour. These main ingredients are quite different from one another and they not listed differently for the benefit of the label listing to mislead a consumer (sometimes referred to as “ingredient splitting”).
The reason Lucy Pet uses different versions of the pea is because of what they contribute in their different form. Each ingredient is prepared in a specific manner and, as such, can be more concentrated in nutrients such as protein, or certain essential vitamins and minerals, and also provide different types of fiber. Examples:
- Dried Peas: We start with fresh, whole green peas and dry them to remove much of the water. Peas consist of the entire pod and are an excellent source of protein, fiber, niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Folate, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Whole peas have roughly 25% protein on a dry matter basis, along with starch, fiber and a small amount of oils.
- Pea Starch: We cook, dehydrate and isolate only the starch component. Pea starch aids with the binding structure and shape of the dry kibble.
- Pea Flour: We split and dry the pea, then grind it to a very fine flour consistency. It is a high quality, digestible source of protein, fiber, and vitamins. Pea flour typically contains about 60% starch, 12% protein, and 25% total dietary fiber.
Each of these has a different utility when added at select percentages, to a complete recipe, and it is very common to use varying concentrations of each in a complete recipe as they supply various nutrients to benefit the dog or cat. These are each listed separately because they have a different purpose and are what is right for the animal’s optimal nutrition and health. It is important not to assume that because the ingredients may sound similar they have been listed differently to alter the perception of the label. Lucy Pet is proud of the quality of ingredients we use, from the very first item listed right through to the very last ingredient. We can say this because we only use high-quality ingredients with a nutritional purpose.
Remember that no single ingredient in pet food is the most important. It is the combination of ingredients that your dog digests and utilizes that matters. When you rely on proven science as the guide for nutrition, instead of a marketing trend you will find that it is the combination of nutrients, in precise levels, that is so critical to the health of your pet.
Lucy Pet has spent over 18 months feeding our formulas to thousands of dogs and cats with truly exceptional results, so you can feel confident in the nutritional science behind our foods.