Corn Ingredients And Their Use In Our Foods

Food For Thought™ Technical Bulletin No.6R

Innovative Research in Dog and Cat Nutrition™

Corn Ingredients

Corn is used as an ingredient in many pet foods. It is included in various forms, such as ground corn, corn meal, corn grits, corn gluten meal and corn bran.

  • Ground corn or corn meal is whole corn that is finely ground and chopped.
  • Corn grits is the portion of ground corn containing little or none of the bran (fiber) or germ (the small protein portion at the end of the kernel).
  • Corn bran is the outer coating of the corn kernel and is largely fiber
  • Corn gluten meal is a dried protein source. It remains after the corn's bran has been separated and removed and a large portion of the carby hydrate and germ have been removed. Corn gluten meal is not as digestible as high-quality animal protein ingredients and is deficient in the essential amino acids lysine and tryptophan. 1
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Corn in Our Products

It is more appropriate to associate the corn used in our products with "corn bread" rather than "corn on the cob." The difference is similar to cooked corn versus raw corn. Only the highest-quality corn is used in our products. The corn is finely ground to a meal, which breaks up the outside covering of each kernel, and then it is cooked, which increases its digestibility.

Corn grits and corn meal are used in our foods as high-quality sources of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy.

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Glycemic Response and Corn

Corn generally results in lower glycemic and insulin response than rice. This can be especially beneficial for senior and overweight pets.

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Food Allergies and Corn

Dogs can develop allergies to any ingredient in their food. The problem develops not because the food or ingredient is "bad" or "poor quality", but rather because the dog has a hypersensitive immune system. Of the many dogs that regularly eat a food containing corn, only a very few will develop an allergy to corn.

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When properly processed, corn is highly digestible and provides high-quality carbohydrates for essential energy.

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1 Case L, Czarnecki GL: Protein requirements of growing pups fed practical dry-type diets containing mixed-protein sources, Am J Vet Res 51:808-812, 1990.