Pet food preservatives are harmful.
It's a myth
Some consumers believe that preservatives are unsafe
ingredients that shouldn’t be added to foods for
humans or pets.
Preservatives are added to ensure pet food
remains wholesome and nutritious during
distribution and storage.1
- Preservatives called antioxidants are added to
commercially prepared dry foods to help prevent
spoilage and breakdown of nutrients.
- The preservatives used in Purina® pet foods
are the same ones approved by the FDA for use
in human foods.
Fats, proteins and vitamins are the critical
nutrients that require preservation during
- Fats may break down during storage if not properly
- Antioxidants guard against oxidative destruction
of fat and other nutrients to help preserve the
nutritional quality of the food.
Preservatives or antioxidants can be
categorized into two basic types: natural
antioxidants that are derived from nature
and synthetic antioxidants.2
- Natural antioxidants are found in certain grains,
vegetable oils, herbs and spices.
- The most effective and commonly used natural
antioxidants are mixed tocopherols (vitamin E
compounds) that are primarily obtained from
soybean oil or other vegetable oils.
Synthetic antioxidants are more effective and stable
than natural antioxidants.3
- Synthetic antioxidants are 5 to 10 times more
effective than natural antioxidants.
- They are more stable and better able to withstand
the heat, pressure and moisture used during
- Because higher levels of natural antioxidants are
needed, they are sometimes used in combination
with synthetic antioxidants to provide an
adequate level of protection.
- Some of the FDA-approved synthetic antioxidants
commonly used in both human food and pet
foods include BHA, BHT and TBHQ. These
have been proven safe for use in the approved
Given the proper information, you can confidently
choose foods for your pets that are properly preserved,
safe, and provide the guaranteed nutrient content and
quality throughout their shelf life.