All pet foods must list the ingredients present in the food. The ingredients must be listed in order of weight. This is one of the best ways to determine the quality of the food. With a little knowledge of the ingredients, you can choose a food that is highly digestible and free of unwanted products. Be careful of one tactic used by manufacturers to disguise less desirable ingredients. Breaking an ingredient into several different smaller ingredients and listing them individually is used to lower these undesirable ingredients farther down the ingredient list. For example, a product list could contain chicken, ground corn, corn gluten, ground wheat, corn bran, wheat flour, wheat middling, etc. If we were to group all of the corn ingredients as one, they would probably far out-weigh the amount of chicken, and wheat. As a consumer, you must read all of the ingredients carefully including the ingredients at the end, to know the type of preservatives and colourings that are used.

Ingredient Action
Alpha Tocopherol More commonly known as vitamin E
Animal Fat Is fat obtained from the tissue of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial process of rendering or extracting
Ascorbic Acid Source of vitamin C which helps prevent common diseases, anaemia and haemorrhage
Beef Tallow Fat derived from beef
Beta-Carotene Substance from plants that the body converts into vitamin A. Also acts as antioxidant and an immune system booster
BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) Synthetic fat preservative permitted only at relatively low levels. Has been associated with liver damage, foetal abnormalities and metabolic stress. Also had questionable relationship with cancer
BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) Synthetic Preservative permitted only at relatively low levels. Has been associated with liver damage, foetal abnormalities and metabolic stress. Also had questionable relationship with cancer
Biotin Vitamin essential to cellular metabolism, help metabolise fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Biotin helps prevent anaemia, muscular pain and skin disorders, as well as heart disease.
Borage Oil An essential fatty acid, maintaining cell structure and producing energy. Source of imp nutrients i.e. phytosterols and beta-sistosterin as well as phospholipids which aid in digestion of fats
Brewers Rice Small fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice.
Brewers Yeast  Is the dried, non-fermentive, non-extracted yeast that results as a by-product of the brewing of beer and ale
Brown Rice The unpolished rice left over after the kernels have been removed.
Calcium Carbonate Pure form of limestone that is ground into powder. Source of calcium, necessary for bones and teeth to help prevent osteoporosis. Also useful for the temporary relief of occasional indigestion
Calcium Iodate Source of calcium as well as good source of nutritional iodine which is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and metabolic regulation
Calcium Pantothenate Also called coenzyme A, an important metabolic cofactor. Source of calcium as well as part of B-Complex group of vitamins which is vital for many essential body processes such as the proper functioning of the adrenal glands & production of steroid hormones. Pantothenic acid is required for the conversion of fat and sugar into energy.
Calcium Propionate Source of calcium which is easier to absorb than conventional caustic calcium sources. Also used as preservative
Carob Rich in complex sugars, minerals & vitamins. Contains tannins, which are well recognised antidiarrheic agents for dogs and cats. Dried carob in combination with dried turmeric, rosemary, fenugreek and kelp help support the skeleton and articulations and help prevent HD.
Chicken Clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken or a combination thereof exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.
Chicken By-Product
Consists of the ground, rendered and clean parts of carcass of slaughtered poultry such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines without feathers
Chicken Fat Fat obtained from tissue of chicken. Source of energy and high quality fat providing 20% to 30% essential fatty acids utilized for a healthy skin and coat.
Chicken Meal Dry ground clean combination of chicken flesh and skin with or without bones, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails, derived from the parts of whole carcass of chicken.
Citric Acid Natural Preservative. Is an organic acid, widely found in fruits, which effectively bonds to many minerals and trace nutrients acting as a very effective transporter across gastrointestinal mucosa.
Choline Chloride Increases rate of growth and decreases the fat content in the liver (vitamin B4)
Chondroitin Sulphate A mucopolysaccharide extracted from animal cartilage, that has anti-inflammatory properties. Helps alleviate arthritic symptoms 
Cobalt Carbonate Mineral Supplement
Copper Sulphate/Proteinate Important for the haemoglobin system, reproduction and a healthy skin
Corn Gluten Meal Is the by-product after the manufacture of corn syrup or star and is direct residue after removal of the bran, germ and starch. The entire corn kernel ground or chopped.
Corn Meal Put through drying process, then cleaned, steamed & outer hull removed. Degermination occurs leaving only the endosperm, which is passed through rollers & broken into granules
D-activated Animal
Source of vitamin D3, which helps with the absorption of calcium and phosphorus necessary for healthy bones and teeth.
Dehydrated Chicken Clean, fresh chicken flesh, from carcass free of skin, bones, feathers, heads, feet and entrails. Dried at max temp of 85 degrees C to avoid denaturation of the protein as well as deterioration of the fat, providing high protein efficiency ratio (PER) levels
Dicalcium Phosphate Natural supplement which supplies essential calcium and phosphate requirements of dog and cats
DL-methionine Natural amino acid which serves as a urinary acidifier. Is indispensable to maintain liver function and a lack of may lead to hepatopathy and nephropathy
Dried Beet Pulp Is the residue resulting from the extraction of simple sugars in the manufacture of table sugar, with no or little sucrose left in it. Causes no sharp rise in blood glucose levels and provides most of its energy in form of volatile fatty acids. Also relatively good source of calcium 
Dried Cayenne This is a dried fruit used as a stimulant for the whole organism. It increases blood flow, tones the nervous system, revives appetite and helps respiration.
Dried Corn Fermentation soluble product Source of added enzymes (biotechnology) in the form of Bacillus Subtilis, Aspergillus Niger and Aspergillus Oryzae
Dried Dandelion In combination with turmeric & fenugreek, reduces the risk of diabetes. Also helps control excess weight when combined with turmeric. A bitter herb, dandelion is an excellent tonic and detox agent. Helps heal skin problems such as eczema
Dried Egg Product Refers to eggs that have been removed from their shells for processing. Basic egg products include whole eggs, whites, yolks and various blends, with or without non-egg ingredients that are processed and pasteurized. 
Dried Fennel The seeds and occasionally the roots and stems are utilized. Helps gas evacuation, and is also mild expectorant and diuretic
Dried Fenugreek One of oldest medicinal plants used to help in treating anaemia, diabetes and weight loss. Also excellent tonic and good hypoglycaemic compound. Known to promote milk production
Dried Ginger This root helps gas evacuation produced by gastrointestinal fermentation. Also used as expectorant, anti-emetic (prevents vomiting) and can be used as  antidote to several food toxins
Dried Kelp Increases appetite, improves digestion and promotes healthy skin and coat. Excellent source of protein-bound iodine, which is important for healthy nervous system and for endocrine functions i.e. reproduction and immunity. Contains over 60 digestible chelated minerals
Dried Rosemary Its essential oils are recognised for their antioxidant properties. Helps detoxify cardiovascular and hepatic (liver) systems. Also increases bile production, which favours the digestion of fats
Dried Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Fermentation Extract Mannanoligosaccharides are derived from this, which  are important modulators of gastrointestinal health. Effects include exclusion of pathogenic bacteria (harmful) from the gastrointestinal tract, also enhances digestive function & stimulates immune system
Dried Turmeric Multiple functions include protecting the liver, increasing bile secretion and help to  prevent gall bladder stones. This herb is also anti-arthritic (anti-inflammatory)
Ethoxyquin A chemical preservative that is used to prevent spoilage in dog food.
Source of iodine which is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland (metabolic regulation)
Ferrous Sulphate Iron supplement. Provides iron needed by body to produce red blood cells. Used to help treat/prevent iron deficiency anaemia, caused by pregnancy, poor diet etc.
Fish Meal Clean, dried & ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings which may or may not have oil removed
Flax Meal Has impact by influencing metabolism, intracellular enzymes, protein synthesis and malignant cell proliferation
Flaxseed Source of Omega 3 & Omega 6 fatty acids. In a ratio of 1:5 or 1:10 shown to reduce the production of plasma and neutrophils, the latter being inflammatory mediators in skin. Also reduces possible skin irritation. Omega 3 also shown to help prevent coronary heart disease,  hypertension & mellitus, non-insulin dependant diabetes, renal disease, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis in some patients.
Folic Acid Important in the cellular reproduction and formation of choline
Fructooligosaccharides Selective stimulation of the growth of Bifidobacteria, thus modifying the composition of the colonic microbiota. Also has additional nutritional properties on digestive physiological parameters like colonic pH and stool bulking.
Glucosamine (sulphate/hydrochloride) Is a mucopolysaccharide compound with anti-inflammatory properties, helping to alleviate arthritic symptoms. Also keeps joints healthy for optimal cartilage development
Ground Corn Entire ground clean corn kernel. Nutrience uses pre-extruded ground clean kernels which increase starch digestibility (good source of starch)
Ground Wheat Entire ground clean wheat kernels including bran, germ and starch
Ground Whole Grain Barley The entire barley kernel, ground or chopped
Ground Whole Grain Sorghum The grain of the sorghum plant, ground or chopped
Inositol Is primarily used in the treatment of liver problems, depression, panic disorder and diabetes. Also aids in the breakdown of fats, helps in the reduction of blood cholesterol
Iron Proteinate Important for cellular respiration and oxygen carrier
L-arginine An amino acid that releases human growth hormone and enhances fat metabolism.
L-carnitine Helps reduce body fat & increase lean tissue mass, creating positive effects such as muscle protection during calorie restriction (i.e. when dieting)
Lecithin A rich nutrient that lowers blood cholesterol levels. It is believed that it strengthens arteries thus controlling blood pressure. Also helps reduce the fat content within arterial walls
L-lysine Is a key amino acid needed for growth, tissue repair and production of antibodies, hormones and enzymes.
L-tryptophan Essential amino acid and metabolic precursor to serotonin. Serotonin acts as a chemical messenger or neurotransmitter in the central nervous system & appears to affect the sleep/wake state of arousal.
Lutein Lutein is first considered to be essential for proper eye function & vision. Also powerful antioxidant that helps maintain a strong immune system defending against the risk of disease
Manganese Proteinate Chelated source of manganese which is important for fat metabolism, reproduction, active enzymes & help produce ossein
Manganese Sulphate Source of manganese which is important for fat metabolism, reproduction, active enzymes & help produce ossein
Manganous Oxide Source of manganese which is important for fat metabolism, reproduction, active enzymes & help produce ossein
Meat Clean flesh of slaughtered animals (chicken, cattle, lamb, turkey, etc.). The flesh can include striated skeletal muscle, tongue, diaphragm, heart, esophageus, overlying fat and the skin, sinew, nerves and blood vessels normally found with that flesh.
Meat By-Products Clean parts of slaughtered animals, not including meat. These include lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bone, and stomach and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth, or hooves.
Menadione Sodium
Bisulphate Complex
Source of Vitamin K activity which is useful for good blood coagulation
Niacin More commonly known as vitamin B3. Helps maintain good growth, coenzyme, & transformation of fat, carbohydrates and proteins
Peanut Hulls The outer hull of the peanut shell
Potassium Chloride In trace amounts is essential for the electrical conduction that makes muscles and nerves work
Potassium Iodide Is 76.5% iodine which is essential for proper functioning of the thyroid gland (metabolism regulation) as well as source of potassium which is important in controlling the activities of the heart, muscles, nervous system etc.
Poultry By-Products Clean parts of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, and internal organs (like heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, abdomen, and intestines). It does not contain feathers.
Propyl Gallate Synthetic Preservative  
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Source of vitamin B6. Important in the protein transformation. Helps to transform linoleic acid into arachidonic acid. 
Riboflavin Source of vitamin B2. Helps prevent neurological disorders, opacification of the cornea and maintains healthy skin and coat.
Rice Bran The pericarp or bran layer and germ of rice
Rice Flour Finely granulated powder made by grinding and sifting a long grain variety of rice unless otherwise specified.
Rosemary Extract Its essential oils are recognised for their antioxidant properties. Helps detoxify cardiovascular and hepatic (liver) systems. Also increases bile production, which favours the digestion of fats
Salt A natural mineral, necessary for life and good health
Sodium Hexametaphosphate Known to be effective in the removal of extrinsic tooth stains
Sodium Selenite Similar to vitamin E functions. Helps prevent diseases such a muscular dystrophy and myocardosis
Soybean Meal Grinding of the soybeans after the chemical or mechanical extraction of the oil
Soybean Mill Run Consists of coarse and fine particles of soy bran and soybean shorts (offal from the tail of the mill from commercial soybean milling)
Taurine A non-essential sulphur-containing amino acid. Plays important role in bile acid metabolism. Taurine is incorporated into one of the most abundant bile acids, chenodeoxychloic acid where it serves to emulsify dietary lipids in the intestine, promoting digestion
Thiamin More commonly known as vitamin B1
Thiamine Mononitrate May prevent certain neurological disorders and maintains weight. Can predispose formation of vitamin C in the intestine
Tocopherols - mixed
(vitamin C & E)
Naturally occurring compounds used as a natural preservative. Function as antioxidants, preventing the oxidation of fatty acids, vitamins and some other nutrients
Vegetable Oil The product of vegetable origin obtained by extracting the oil from seeds or fruits which are processed for edible purposes
Vitamin A Acetate / Supplement  Useful for reproduction functions, for healthy skin and coat; helps keep visual system in good health and helps produce antibodies
Vitamin B12 Supplement Helps maintain normal concentration of haemoglobin in blood. Helps growth (esp. weaning period), & formation of choline and methionine
Vitamin D3 Supplement Helps the absorption of calcium and phosphorus necessary for healthy bones and teeth. Also prevents rachitis.
Vitamin E Supplement Useful for the reproduction function. It is a natural fat preservative.
Yeast Culture For improved gastrointestinal function resulting in improved feed efficiency. Coverts the more or less indigestible and insoluble proteins, starches and grains into a more ready form for assimilation, resulting in a greater release of energy. Yeast changes tough starch cells into easily digested sugars
Yucca Schidigera
Contains steroidal saponines (inner bark) which are "uresase inhibitors",  reducing the activity of enzymes responsible for converting urea to ammonia which is responsible for the odours in dogs and cats faeces. Also good for arthritis, arthrosis, gut & kidney problems.
Zinc Methionine
Is vital in several enzyme system and is important in such functions as proper growth, reproductive capacity, immune response and bone and skeletal soundness.
Zinc Oxide Prepared by oxidation of pure zinc or by roasting zinc ore. Necessary to maintain healthy skin and hair. Important for the body metabolism, coenzymes, calcification and helps remove vitamin A from the hepatic content
Zinc Proteinate Chelated source of zinc which is necessary to maintain healthy skin and hair. Important for the body metabolism, coenzymes, calcification and helps remove vitamin A from the hepatic (liver) content.


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