What are pellet binders in pet food?

What are pellet binders in pet food

All dry pet food (kibble) needs something to hold it together, otherwise it would crumble.

This is the reason most pet foods have a significant amount of starch ingredients like corn, rice, or potato (which also serves to keep production cost down significantly).

A pet food made entirely of animal or whole-prey ingredients cannot be bound into what we recognize as kibble.

Sometimes we find an ingredient listed on a pet food as pellet binder or some variation on the theme. Sometimes unrecognizable as an ingredient used to bind a kibble.

So what is a pellet binder?

In dog or cat food, and also stock feed, various binders are used to form a kibble. Some common pellet binders used in dog food include:

  1. Starches: Corn, rice, and potato starch are often used to bind pet food ingredients together, although there are many other starches which serve the same purpose.
  2. Gelatin: A by-product of collagen, gelatin is a protein often used as a binder.
  3. Glycerin: A sweet, syrupy liquid that can be used to bind ingredients together and add moisture to the food. Glycerin has the added benefit of enticing your pet to eat a food made of ingredients which they may otherwise turn their nose up.
  4. Soy protein: A plant-based protein that can be used as a binder in dog food as well as increase the protein percentage as an alternative to meat proteins.
  5. Blood meal: A dried and ground by-product of slaughterhouses that is high in protein and can be used as a binder in dog food.

It’s important to note that the type of binder used can affect the quality and nutritional value of a dog food (or cat food), so it’s important to choose a product made with high-quality, safe, and nutritious binders.

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