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Ash in cat food...?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I see members discussing ash amounts in different brands of dry food.
It is in both wet and dry?

What is ash and what is the purpose of it in cat food?

What levels are best and why?
How much ash is to much?

Thanks for your help.
post #2 of 22
Ash is the mineral content of the food after it is burned.. it is the "ash " left after the burning process...

Most foods today fall between 5-8% total ash in a dry food or a wet food


Some foods have as low as 4% or as high as 10-13%
4% I would wonder if the minerals were high enough and the high end is more likely to have UTI issues

I try to get about 6.5-7.0 % just because then most of the minerals fall in line with "uti" health guidelines... yes there are food s with more or less that all fall into the guidelines but not very many ...

The right amounts vary but in general 6-7 seems to be where most "good" foods are
post #3 of 22
They "burn" the food? Do you know why?
post #4 of 22
Yes.. they burn it ... that is the most accurate way to get the mineral content.. because that is all that doesnt burn and then the idividual minerals can be found at exact levals
post #5 of 22
Before Alley died, she would sometimes lick the ashes off the fireplace poker. Would that be because she wasn't getting enough of these minerals in her food?
post #6 of 22
To be honest, do they actually measure Ash at all of the processing plants? My husband has done quality check before and said it wasn't one of the things they were required to check in any of the brands, even the ones that list it on the bag.
post #7 of 22
Is there any comparsions charts online for ash content and it being all major brands of food?
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping View Post
Is there any comparsions charts online for ash content and it being all major brands of food?
I would also like to know this! I monitor Ash levels(among other things) in my Ophelia because of UTI/crystals. It takes forever to look at all the foods in stores or online!
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Our search for the best food for our babies never ends.

Does anyone know what is burned to get the minerals & would that affect the bio-availability of the minerals?
Is there a separate company that processes ash for pet food companies or is it done at, as an example----Nutro?

This is fascinating.
I would love to see a comparison chart also.

It seems that when we learn something new...
from that, we almost always have more questions.
That's a good thing.
post #10 of 22
I like how you said questions not question! It's a never ending quest to find the perfect thing for our kits, eh?
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
At least we are not alone in this quest.
post #12 of 22
My understanding is it is done in a lab ... ie when a food is formulated or refomulated ... It is for AFFCO so it is not a processing item ... They dont put the ashes in the food... I will ask about the bio avail cause I dont know
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats View Post
Does anyone know what is burned to get the minerals & would that affect the bio-availability of the minerals?
Is there a separate company that processes ash for pet food companies or is it done at, as an example----Nutro?
The pet food itself is burned. It is collected regularly throughout the processing, taken to a lab at the plant/factory making the food. Gound up, burnt then tested for mineral, quality, etc. The food is also monitored for size, color, and proper ingredients. If there's is a mistake the whole batch is rejected and goes to "fines" there it will either be remixed with properly made food, depending on how bad it was messed up or sent off to be used for other uses, pig feed and such. The actual quality of the food can change between batches, worker sifts and depending how attentive the people on quality check are at the time it's checked. Rejected batches = more paperwork as you can imagine...
You should be able to find some sort of info or code on your cat food bags that says the date, plant, and even shift that made it.
I'm sure I skipped a few details, if anyone still has any questions about how the food is made, tested, or anything else that happens before it is shipped I can have my husband explain it better tomorrow.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
The pet food itself is burned. It is collected regularly throughout the processing, taken to a lab at the plant/factory making the food. Gound up, burnt then tested for mineral, quality, etc. The food is also monitored for size, color, and proper ingredients. If there's is a mistake the whole batch is rejected and goes to "fines" there it will either be remixed with properly made food, depending on how bad it was messed up or sent off to be used for other uses, pig feed and such. The actual quality of the food can change between batches, worker sifts and depending how attentive the people on quality check are at the time it's checked. Rejected batches = more paperwork as you can imagine...
You should be able to find some sort of info or code on your cat food bags that says the date, plant, and even shift that made it.
I'm sure I skipped a few details, if anyone still has any questions about how the food is made, tested, or anything else that happens before it is shipped I can have my husband explain it better tomorrow.
Wow that is a bit different than I was told but actually makes way more sence
post #15 of 22
Maybe some plants work a little differently, but I'd assume they all have in plant quality check with a couple people per shift trained to check it. What you read on the bag is probably from the initial "offical" lab test that gives the results that the plant labs have to try to meet as close as possible.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulaS View Post
Before Alley died, she would sometimes lick the ashes off the fireplace poker. Would that be because she wasn't getting enough of these minerals in her food?
Hi Paula,

This is off-topic, but I saw your pic of Alley, and Alley looks just like one of my foster cats. Was Alley a Maine Coon or perhaps a Turkish Angora? She is beautiful! How you must miss her...

Thanks,

MargeCat
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I can have my husband explain it better tomorrow.
So much depends on us making the right food choices for our kitties...
if your husband is willing to help us understand more about this important subject...
we could really use his help.

Thanks in advance.
post #18 of 22
A day late but...
The in-plant labs measure and regulate, protein, fat, moisture, and density with a type of infrared scanner. The burn testing is done with a halogen lamp that dries the food for moisture testing and is only done when they need to calibrate the scanner. Protein, fat, and moisture doesn't have to be exact, but within an approximate range, some allow 3% off from what's listed for example. Minerals and vitamins are premeasured and added when cooking, amounts after cooking in the finished product are not tested.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
I must say that's a relief.
Adding ash to food just did not make sense to me.
Thanks to taking the time to help us out here strange_wings.

By the way....
you have an interesting user name.
I would love to know what it means.

Mine is x for kisses...
o for hugs...
I love to hug and kiss my cats.
xocats
post #20 of 22
I'm glad I could help

Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats View Post
By the way....
you have an interesting user name.
I would love to know what it means.
It's actually the name of a song I really like by a band called Savatage
guess I'm guilty of being a hard rock and metal fan
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I'm glad I could help



It's actually the name of a song I really like by a band called Savatage
guess I'm guilty of being a hard rock and metal fan
Hard Rock?
Just kidding...
strange_wings is a different but really pretty user name.
post #22 of 22
Ah, so the Ash-contend is an analysing-help, not actual contend. A theoretical measure for us consumers.
Good to know and spread the word, as this question happens now and then at different cat-forums.

I want to add, if you do a correct burn of something, say wood, the most of it goes away as carbon-di-oxide and water vapour. And left are some ashes, surprisingly little.

So when you see the huge "smoke" clouds from a modern factory, it is actually not smoke, almost everything is water wapour and warm carbon-di-oxide. Ashes and such are filtered out and dont come outside the factory - ie in modern correctly functioning factories.
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