A Note About Corn

By Karin Krisher

Corn. High fructose corn syrup. Corn fillers. Corn Allergies. Corny blog post introductions. Corn’s on everyone’s mind lately. And that makes sense.

It’s not always good for you, and there are some very realistic reasons for concern about products that contain too much corn. For our part, we’d like to tell you about our ingredients—both to ease your minds and encourage you to stay educated on the matter.

Why the controversy over corn content? There are historic and evolutionary arguments for our health: notable differences between the teeth and bodies of humans who consume corn and the bodies of those who don’t. Dogs consume grains as part of their diet—but only when they’re in other animals’ stomachs. Cats, we all know, are total meateaters.

So why do so many food and supplement manufacturers include corn in their products? The general answer is as disappointing as you’ve probably expected. Most companies are trying to find cheap alternative fillers, and because corn has saturated the United States food market, it’s a go-to.

But there are also some legitimate reasons to include small amount of corn in supplements or treat item. For some companies using corn in products, the minimal amount necessary for the product’s working ability is always taken into account. Pet Naturals is a perfect example.

We would never tell you that our chew products don’t contain corn. But we’ll also expain ourselves, because corn confusion is legitimate and you deserve clarity. Our chews’ inactive ingredients require a humectant blend in order to achieve a moist, edible consistency.

Humectants are designed to regulate moisture content, so that a chew isn’t hard as a rock. There is a minimal maltodextrin component to our standard humectant blend. Maltodextrin is derived from corn. The formula is about 2.5% humectant, and the maltodextrin accounts for about one third of that 2.5%.

Many people are concerned about corn allergies, and that’s right, too: proteins in corn can be the cause of allergies. In the instance of Pet Naturals soft chew formulas, of 17 mg of maltodextrin derived from corn, a negligible percentage would include corn protein.

In addition, most allergies to corn are less common than we believe. It’s true that eating products heavy with corn can cause skin concerns and other health issues that appear to be an allergic reaction. However, these issues can also result from nutritional deficiencies due to the corn calorically replacing other important nutrients. (Note the term “filler” here.)

Chelsea Tomat, animal product developer at Pet Naturals, says that a simple way to understand this idea. “It’s like saying that if I ate French fries for every meal, every day, and that made my skin greasy and gross, I’m allergic to French fries. That’s not true. I can eat some French fries with no adverse effects.”

That said, there are some dogs that do have allergies to corn and cannot tolerate even the tiniest bit. However, the humectant blend includes a minimal amount of corn-derived maltodextrin—so little, in fact, and so for the right reasons, that we feel happy to tell you about in detail!

Despite the fact that you may have come out on the other side of this corny blog a little more informed, it’s important that you continue to ask questions, be curious, and talk to your vet about your dog’s or cat’s reaction to corn and corn proteins.

Have you ever had a corn concern? What provoked it? Tell us in a comment!

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