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How Some Pet Food Companies Are Responding to Consumer Demands

By Dr. Becker

According to industry experts, pea fiber is  increasingly used in place of beet pulp and wheat, corn and soy fibers in pet  foods – apparently to answer consumer demand for dog and cat food formulas with  fewer cheap fillers.

Let’s take a closer look at this latest  peculiar entry in the pet food ingredient follies.

Pea Fiber 101

There are two types of pea fiber available  on the market -- one is derived from a dry process; the other from a wet  process.

In the dry process, the seed coats and  hulls are separated from the seed as part of the normal operation of cleaning  the peas.

In the wet process, the pea starch is  separated from fiber.

The seeds are ground, and then water is added to decant  the fibers.

The pea fiber resulting from the dry  process has a higher concentration of dietary fiber (over 85 percent) and is  rich in xylose sugar.

The pea fiber produced from the wet process contains  about 65 percent dietary fiber and is rich in three other sugars.

Both types of pea fiber contain more than  75 percent insoluble fiber and from 5 to 25 percent soluble fiber.

When pea fiber is compared to other,  comparable fibers, it performs about the same, except that it doesn’t seem to  produce as much gas as other vegetable fibers.

Pea fiber is very low in fat and high in  crude fiber (35 to 40 percent). This makes it a perfect ingredient to lower the  calorie content of those 'low  fat' and 'weight management' pet foods I NEVER recommend for overweight  dogs and cats.

Pea fiber doesn’t have much protein -- and  what little it does have is vegetable protein, not the animal  protein your pet’s body requires -- but it’s high in lysine and also  contains tryptophan...

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