Pet Food Knowledge Part I – Carrageenan as natural preservative 寵物食品知多啲 – 卡拉膠天然防腐劑

As awareness on what goes into a commercial pack or can of pet food increases, the thirst for knowledge from the public also increases. As a veterinary practice, we aim to provide you – the pet owner and consumer, relevant information regarding the food you feed to your pet.

Life in Hong Kong is expensive. Keeping a pet is becoming ever more expensive. So putting two and two together gives you massive expenditures. We hope to promote a practical and reasonably economical approach to feeding our pets. The following posts are to provide the Hong Kong pet owners a glimpse into the world of pet food reality.

Working with a budget to feed your pet (and yourself) does not necessarily have to compromise too much on food quality. Commercial dry and can foods are handy but can be disproportionately expensive when one weighs the potential cumulative side-effects. That is – long term feeding leading to potential stomach upset, chronic diarrhea and vomiting, liver and kidney failure and the ultimate fate of CANCER.

Semi- to full home-cooking for pets can be time-consuming but possibly less costly. It’s your life so you have to choose how you live it. As long as you have an idea of what you are committing to – you are making better informed choices. You are more likely to live down the outcome – with less guilt.

The following passage will be written mostly in Chinese – to cater to our Hong Kong readers. There will be a mixture of English spluttered throughout and we ask for your understanding. Afterall, publicly available scientific research is usually written in English. Food labeling, branding and marketing is usually presented in English. You as a Hong Kong pet owner – may use this information presented in both languages to hopefully help you be an informed consumer. You are not only helping your pet. You are learning for yourself too. This is what I, as a veterinarian and a pet owner – has learned – through treating my dog for an unexplained, near-fatal episode of liver failure.

 

IMG_5344

“Finn” circa 2016. 3 days of hospital with IV fluids for life-threatening liver
failure.

寵物食品 – 卡拉膠天然防腐劑 (Carrageenan)

卡拉膠是一種從紅色海藻 (Rhodophyceae) 提煉而成的食物添加劑. 卡拉膠本身是沒有什麼營養成份.

卡拉膠作為一種天然食物添加劑, 出現於多類食品. 它的用處主要是作為增稠劑 (thickener) 讓食物更添濃厚 (creamy) 口感. 卡拉膠可見出現於奶類製品, 肉類(特別是製作三文治), 嬰兒奶粉, pizza 麵粉團, 動物罐頭糧等. 在寵物健康而言, 後者當然是我們最擔心的情況. 經一個團體The Cornucopia Institute於2015發佈的報告 “Decoding Pet Food” – 市面上近七成 (70%) 寵物罐頭糧含有卡拉膠.

卡拉膠疑似有什麼問題

20多年的獨立研究指出 – 長期進食含有卡拉膠的食品可引致體內自由基數量增加, 胰島素失去平衡, 身體增加發炎情況從而形成癌症. 多個研究指出卡拉膠與腸炎有密切關係, 特別是大腸癌.

大家細心思考 – 如果生物長期有腸/胃發炎, 自然胃口不佳如早上不想吃早餐, 晚上終於肯吃卻又有會嘔吐. 有些動物甚至兩至三天完全不吃. 長期發炎又可以使口腔健康不佳例如口氣重. 受影響動物也容易痾, 容易嘔, 痾軟便多出血等症狀.

卡拉膠只是我們人類及動物經常接觸到多種疑似毒素的其中一種. 食物質素, 食物來源地, 新鮮程度, 烹煮方式及處理保鮮方法(有關食物內含有不同種類的防腐劑)等都是我們要考慮的多個重點. 現時全球性所觀察到人類腸胃癌及動物的腸胃病已不停增加. 如果你作為一位動物主人, 留意到以上提到的問題, 應該多參考食品標籤資料.

以下提供的正是The Cornucopia Institute 自2015年提供有關動物食品含有的幾個關鍵資料例如 – 有基標籤, 可包含卡拉膠成份, 可有經過動物製品加工 (rendering products), 可含有人工防腐劑及製作可有用優質原材料 – 即不含有玉米(corn) , 小麥(Wheat), 玉米麵筋(Corn gluten), 大豆 (soy), 釀酒大米 (Brewers Rice). 按此處閲讀.

請緊記, 這些資訊是供各寵物主人參考. 資料來自獨立研究非品牌公司的研究, 而且在公眾平台容易找到. 請大家繼續多閲讀, 多研究才可以明白及接受你作的選擇.

 

References:

  1. Review of Harmful Gastrointestinal effects of Carrageenan in Animal Experiments. Research Review Vol. 109 (10) 983-994
  2. Decoding Pet Food – The Cornucopia Institute November 2015
  3. Carrageenan –  Section 7.3.4 Pet Food – Food and Agriculture Foundation of the United Nations
  4. Carrageenan – New Studies Reinforce Link to Inflammation, Cancer and Diabetes – The Cornucopia Institute April 2016

 

 

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