Ethoxyquin is a synthetic antioxidant (artificially manufactured from other elements) that is approved for various uses. It is approved and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for use as a preservative in animal feeds. Pet food manufacturers have been using ethoxyquin to prevent rancidity and maintain the nutritional quality of their products for more than 35 years.
Why Ethoxyquin Is a Good Preservative for Cat Food
Ethoxyquin remains stable at the high temperatures required to process pet foods during extrusion. It is important in protecting fats and oils from degrading, losing available calories, and becoming rancid.
Why Do Some People Question the Use of Ethoxyquin in Cat Food?
Despite the fact that all studies conducted to date prove that ethoxyquin is safe for use in all animal foods when used at approved levels, rumors continue to circulate to the contrary.
Individuals who seek to discredit the use of ethoxyquin will often cite certain studies that showed toxic effects in animals fed ethoxyquin. What these individuals fail to point out is that the animals in these studies were given excessive amounts of ethoxyquin—20 to more than 50 times the maximum limit—before negative effects were exhibited.
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Understanding and learning how to decipher kitten food product codes will help you choose the right kitten food. While selecting the right ingredients is important, making sure those ingredients are fresh is just as vital to your young cat. Learn how to read the product codes of kitten food packages and cans with our handy guide.
What Is a Product Code?
A product code is a series of numbers and letters printed on the outer package of each product a manufacturer produces. This code provides information about when and where the kitten food was made.
As part of the product code, IAMS™ products include a “Best Used By” date, or the date at which the product is no longer considered fresh and should no longer be sold. This date is expressed in “ddmmyy” and “ddmmmyy” formats.
The second line of the product code represents company internal information for use in traceability and inventory control.
Line 1: (ddmmyy) (ddmmmyy)
Example: 040220 04FEB20
Line 2: 60351111## QQQQQQQ
This product should be used before February 4, 2020.
Depending on the production line, pouch products* may have code date information in a single or double line. By recognizing and understanding these codes, customers can make sure they are receiving a fresh product.
What Is Shelf Life?
Shelf life is the duration, measured in months, during which a properly stored kitten food product maintains its freshness. This means if a product has a 16-month shelf life, it is fresh for up to 16 months from the date of manufacture.
The shelf life for IAMS dry kitten foods is 16 months. All canned formulas have a shelf life of 24 months.
How to Properly Store Dry and Wet Kitten Food
Unopened dry kitten food products are best stored off the floor in a cool, dry place. Open bags of kitten food should be stored in a clean, dry container with a tight seal. Dry kitten food products may also be frozen without loss of nutrients.
Opened wet kitten food products are best kept refrigerated in tightly sealed containers for no more than three days after the container has been opened. Wet products should not be frozen in unopened cans. However, wet kitten foods can be frozen if removed from the container, packed in freezer containers and frozen immediately.
*IAMS has no kitten pouch products at this time.
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