Cellulose In Dog Food
In food, cellulose is the scientific term for dietary fibre. It can be found in the cell walls of all plants and is almost entirely indigestible for dogs which is actually a very good thing as its undigested form provides a wide range of benefits.
However, while cellulose per-se is good for dogs, it’s usually not a great thing to see it listed as an ingredient. This is because pure cellulose or lignocellulose powder is quite different from the fibre found in whole fruit and veg. It is a white, odourless powder that is most often produced as a low value byproduct of agriculture or as waste material from saw mills and paper mills .
Cellulose is most often found in light diets since it helps to bulk out the diet whilst providing almost zero calories.
As fibre supplements go, cellulose powder is probably the most controversial and many nutritionists recommend avoiding it altogether.
Why This Is Life Changing
This Queso Dip recipe is for everyone out there who has attempted to make a Mexican cheese dip like what you get at Mexican restaurants and found it lacking. If you want the dip to be silky smooth like the stuff you get in jars, then the recipes call for fake cheese Velveeta or other processed cheeses.
Other recipes are made starting with a roux butter & flour which is used to make a béchamel sauce into which cheese is added. While this makes a terrific cheese sauce for pouring over vegetables, in lasagna, gratins etc, it doesnt have that truly silky and rich texture of a cheese dip.
Some recipes call for real cheese and varying combinations of cream / sour cream / mayonnaise but the problem with these is that when the dip cools down, the cheese congeals. Its super tasty but you need to keep it warm. And it has a tendency to split when rewarmed.
The solution? Evaporated milk + cornflour/cornstarch + cheese = silky smooth rich cheese dip / sauce. Truly. It works.
Actually, I shared Nachos Cheese Dip a couple of years ago which is a simpler version of this dip. This Queso Dip is my copycat of the fake cheese dip I tried in Canada and the ultra addictive dips served at Tex Mex restaurants in America.
Dont make this Queso Dip when youre home alone. Im supposed to be on my Post Holiday Health Kick and its taken astronomical will power to hold back.
Ive got 3 batches of this Mexican Cheese Dip in my fridge. Im planning to offload them tomorrow. Nagi x
Healthy Alternative: Go Canned Or Skip It
The process of canning dog food preserves, eliminating the need for adding chemical preservatives to food. Supplementing canned food can be beneficial by reducing your pet’s exposure to preservatives, even if you feed dry food some of the time. Whenever possible, choose natural preservatives and make sure nitrites or nitrates are not in your pet food’s ingredient list.
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How Cellulose Is Used In Food
Fiber Supplement: With rising awareness about fiber intake, cellulose has become one of the most popular food additives. Adding cellulose to food allows an increase in bulk and fiber content without a major impact on flavor. Since cellulose binds and mixes easily with water, it is often added to increase the fiber content of drinks and other liquid items when the gritty texture of regular fiber supplements would be undesirable.
Calorie Reducer: Cellulose provides a lot of volume or bulk of food but because it is indigestible to humans, it has no caloric value. For this reason, cellulose has become a popular bulking agent in diet foods. Consumers who eat foods with high cellulose content feel full physically and psychologically without having consumed many calories.
Thickening/Emulsifying: The gelling action of cellulose when combined with water provides both thickening and stabilizing qualities in the food to which it is added. Cellulose gel acts similarly to an emulsion, suspending ingredients within a solution and preventing water from separating out. Cellulose is often added to sauces for both the thickening and emulsifying action.
The thickening power of cellulose also allows for more air to be whipped into products like ice cream, or whipped topping. Cellulose allows for the production of thick and creamy food items without the use of as much fat.
Whats The Purpose Of Cellulose In Food/treats For Dogs And Cats
Cellulose is a major part of the cell wall of most plants and can be extracted to be added to pet foods for a number of different reasons.
Cellulose is known as an insoluble fibre as it does not dissolve in water but it is very good at absorbing water. This water absorbing property means that a relatively low level of cellulose in pet food can help to produce well formed stools that are not too moist and loose nor too dry and hard. It can decrease gastrointestinal transit time, indicating increased motility of the digestive tract that keeps food moving along and helps with consistency of feacal volume and frequency of bowel movements.
Cellulose is composed of chains of glucose molecules joined together but dogs and cats do not produce enzymes that can break it down and so it passes through the digestive tract pretty much unchanged. Since cellulose is neither digested nor fermented in the digestive tract of dogs and cats it is essentially calorie free and so adding cellulose can reduce the calorie content of foods which may help with weight control.
Cellulose fibre is thought to help bind the hairs that cats ingest while grooming and help them pass down the digestive tract and out in faeces rather than vomiting up hairballs. A number of studies have shown that cellulose added to cat diets increases the amount of hair in faeces and reduces the number of hairballs as well as associated symptoms such as vomiting, retching and coughing.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Cooking Chicken For Homemade Dog Food
Cook the chicken by boiling it in a little water. It is important that all bones are removed from the cooked chicken. Let the chicken cool than dice the chicken into bit size chunks. Shredding it is also fine. The chicken is cooked when the juices inside run clear. You can use white or dark meat or ground chicken.
Understanding Pet Food Package Terms
Pet foods are often labeled with eye-catching phrases, like all-natural, organic, or wholesome.
These terms sound similar but can mean quite different things about the product. Some of these terms are regulated by AAFCO and the FDA, while others are not. Its important to know the difference and what these words actually mean.
Here is an abbreviated version of the AAFCO definition that can help guide you, but if you want more information, visit AAFCO Talks Pet Food.
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Is Cellulose Powder Wood Pulp
News outlets in 2014 were full of headlines about how you might be feeding your family wood pulp.
A scandal about Parmesan cheese brought a little-known filler called cellulose powder into the limelight, and many were quick to point out the fact that its a derivative of plant fibers.
The idea of wood pulp in our Parmesan cheese has been the thing that stuck in the publics mind ever since, and it pops up in various iterations every few years.
Worry not, though: cellulose powder is not shorthand for wood pulp!
Powdered cellulose is a derivative of any plant you can imagine, from trees to grains to fruits and vegetables.
Its the stuff that gives structure to cell walls and limits plant growth. Youre just as likely to be consuming cellulose powder from leftover apples and potatoes as you are from the crates that carry them.
Theres no difference in the end product, no matter what it comes from.
Sensationalized news outlets aside, cellulose powder is a great thickening agent, emulsifier, and anti-caking agent.
Healthy Alternative: Named Meats And Meat Meals
Look for real meats you can recognize, such as whole deboned chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, or salmon, or meals of these meats. These ingredients are likely processed less and contain more natural nutrients and usable protein.
To help you find the healthiest foods for your pooch, check out The Best Kind of Protein for Dogs.
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Tylose powder is a common ingredient for edible glues, as well as thickening up fondant and gum paste. Many professional bakers keep it on hand, as it is great for using when decorating cakes. However, Tylose powder can be hard to find and is not often something home bakers have in their pantry.
It is also commonly referred to as CMC, for carboxymethyl cellulose. Carboxymethyl cellulose is the chemical version of a natural powder called Gum Tragacanth. Gum Tragacanth comes from the sap of a root of a plant from the Middle East that is then dried.
It is a fine white powder that is vegan, gluten-free, and kosher. Typically it is sold at craft stores or online, though you may be able to find it in some specialty grocery stores.
Fortunately, you dont need Tylose powder to make edible glue. With just two simple ingredients, you can make a glue that is effective and safe to eat.
How To Determine How Much To Feed My Dog
As a rule of thumb as a dog ages it should be fed less food. If a dog is young it will require approximately 20% more food than a dog aged between two and seven years of age. Dogs over seven years of age will need twenty percent less calories than what they previously did.
Some dogs of different breeds require less calories than others. The goal is to be observant and to alter the amount of calories given to your dog as per your dogs requirements in the current stage of their life.
If your dog is obese and needs to lose weight than cut the recommended feeding amount in half.
To illustrate how much food to feed an obese dog, this recipe Chicken and potato recommends feeding a normal healthy dog that weighs 50 lbs four cups per day to maintain weight. For an obese dog you would cut that amount of food in half and feed the obese dog only two cups of food total for the day.
Review the daily caloric requirements for adult dogs .
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Whats The Difference Between Powdered Cellulose And Microcrystalline Cellulose
Theyre both the derivatives of cellulose and mainly acted as anticaking agent.
The following is some difference:
Quality Dog Food Checklist: The Must
Whether you are searching for a food that addresses a specific nutritional need or you are just looking for a good all-around option, you should always be sure to provide your dog with a high-quality food.
Generally speaking, this means you want to look keep the following things in mind:
Opt for foods that list a whole protein as the first ingredient. Dogs are omnivores, who remain healthiest on a diet containing a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, but the bulk of their calories should come from protein sources. Dogs are not obligate carnivores in the sense that cats or rattlesnakes are, but they should still be provided with a meat-based diet.
Avoid foods with unidentified meat meals or byproducts. There is nothing inherently wrong with meat meals or byproducts in fact, many contain a wealth of nutritional value. Your dog will actually enjoy health benefits from eating the cartilage, connective tissues, livers, gizzards and other organs that makeup meat meals and byproducts . While beneficial, these food items must always be identified by a single species. In other words, you must avoid things like meat meal and poultry byproducts, but foods with duck meal or pork byproducts are perfectly acceptable.
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Contacting The Pet Food Manufacturer
If you ever have a question about the ingredients in cat food or dog food, do not hesitate to do a little homework.
Some pet food manufacturers have very descriptive websites with lists of commonly used ingredients and descriptions, but if you cannot find the information there, contact the manufacturer.
A responsible pet food manufacturer should provide you with the ingredient information, including the source and why it is included in their formulation.
Prepare Potatoes For Dog Food
Cook the potatoes by boiling them in water. OK to leave the skins on. Remove any green or dark discoloration and sprouts. They can be mashed or cubed into bite size depending on the preference of your dog. Begin checking the potatoes after around 5 minutes of boiling most potatoes will be done in 10 to 20 minutes. Potatoes are done when tender: The potatoes are done when they are tender all the way through. You can test this by poking the potato with a fork, paring knife, or skewer. Potatoes need to be completely cooked to increase digestibility.
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What Is Powdered Cellulose
Cellulose is not an ingredient that many pet owners are familiar with, but it is, in fact, the technical term for dietary fiber.
Cellulose is found within all plants, and it is relatively indigestible for dogs. However, just because cellulose is indigestible does not mean that it is a negative addition.
Powdered Cellulose is simply a processed version of Cellulose that can be easily bought and utilizes in the mass production of dog food recipes.
However, the source of Cellulose is often controversial as it can be produced from leftover plant matter from agriculture and industry. Examples of sources of Cellulose could include the non-digestible parts of Corn plants, Sugarcane plants, or even trees that are processed in mills.
Common Sources Of Fiber For Dog Foods
A few of the most common sources of fiber in commercial dog foods include :
Youll generally want your dogs food to be based off high-fiber carbohydrates, as opposed to carbs that provide a ton of calories and relatively little fiber, such as refined grains.
Brown rice is better than white, whole grains are better than their processed counterparts.
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What Fiber Has To Offer Dogs
Its true that the wild canine diet contains very little fiber, and the dog has no absolute physiologic need for it. However, dogs eating processed commercial foods do appear to benefit from the addition of fiber.
While fiber itself is indigestible and generally considered non-nutritive, some fibers do contain nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, that can be extracted during digestion, either by the mechanical grinding action of the stomach and intestines, or through bacterial fermentation in the colon. However, the nutrients present in fiber are not the reason it is often included in dog fods.
Fibers major contribution to commercial dog food is modulation of the digestive process the fiber content of a food greatly affects the speed of passage of food through the digestive system. Fibers moisture-absorbing and lubricating actions can slow down peristalsis in cases of diarrhea, or speed it up in the case of constipation. In other words, fiber has a normalizing effect on the gut.
The presence of adequate fiber allows time for absorption of nutrients and water from the intestine into the blood. Some fibers also impart mucilaginous qualities to the food, helping it slide along the gut walls. Certain fibers increase the rate of stomach emptying , while others slow it down. Fiber binds some toxins in the gut and eliminates them in the stool.
Feline Weight Management By Dietary Cellulose
Feline weight-reduction and light diets often contain purified cellulose fibre as caloric diluter. Cellulose reduces the dietary concentration of metabolisable energy, but many cats consume the same food quantity as before, so they lose weight.
Light cat foods are recommended for weight maintenance in overweight-prone animals. According to the European Pet Food Industry Federation , the energy density of light foods should be at least 15% lower than that of comparable, regular products. The crude fibre level of light dry foods ranges from 4 to 12%. Veterinary weight-reduction diets for obese cats may contain up to 15% crude fibre. The insoluble cellulose fibre is commonly used as caloric diluter for the production of light and weight-reduction pet foods. When using conventional ingredients without cellulose, formulating low-calorie foods is a tough assignment. Cellulose is a calorie-free, concentrated fibre source containing about 70% crude fibre.
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Is Powdered Cellulose Safe For Dogs
Powdered cellulose is a synthetically derived carbohydrate added to dog food for its low price and bulking qualities. Powdered cellulose also provides no nutritional value to the dog.
Cellulose is an affordable substitute for fiber in your dogs diet as it is durable, non-toxic, water-soluble, and safe for human consumption.
Is it safe for dogs? Yes, its safe.
Is it good for dogs? Theres no real nutritional upside to it.
Is it bad for dogs? No, its not bad for them.
Powdered cellulose provides no nutritional value for dogs, only filler to make the food go further. Powdered cellulose is indigestible by dogs, as is other fiber, so it moves through the digestive tract pretty much intact.
As with humans , fiber helps ensure healthy digestion for your dog. It is essential, but your dog should be getting its fiber from fruits and veggies in the dog food, not wood pulp.
Powdered cellulose is not a required part of a balanced diet and should be avoided by all dogs.
In the long run, its better for your dogs health if you avoid foods with this filler and opt for ones that contain more natural ingredients, such as whole meats, vegetables, and grains.
When in doubt about the ingredients on a dog food label, remember that if it sounds weird, it probably is especially if there are multiple words you cant pronounce on the ingredient list. Dogs are carnivores, so real meat protein is best for them stay away from foods with carbohydrate fillers like powdered cellulose.