How Preservatives Are Used in IAMS™ Dog Food

Why Use Preservatives?

Preservatives slow down or prevent the breakdown, or oxidation, of food products, thereby helping the food maintain its nutritional value longer.

Oxidation is a chemical process that occurs when oxygen combines with another substance. When the other substance is a food product, it deteriorates or spoils, depleting the food of nutrients. Because of their chemical structure, some foods (such as fats) are more susceptible to degradation by oxygen, which can lead to spoilage.


IAMS Meets the Challenge

Dogs thrive on diets high in fat. To preserve a high-fat dry kibble diet, however, is a challenge. The IAMS research team met that challenge with an effective preservative system that is used in all of our dry dog food products, such as IAMS ProActive Health™ Adult MiniChunks


Ingredients Included in the Preservative System

The preservative system features a special blend of mixed tocopherols. Some products such as biscuits, sauce, and treats may contain potassium sorbate.

  • Tocopherols are antioxidants extracted from vegetable oils. There are four major types of tocopherols. One common tocopherol is alpha-tocopherol, generally referred to as vitamin E. A specific mixture of the different tocopherols protects against rancidity.
  • Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid. It is an ingredient that effectively inhibits mold.

Our preservative system slows the rate of oxidation and allows for an extended shelf life.


How Wet Foods Are Preserved

Wet foods, such as IAMS™ Woof Delights Turkey & Lamb Tango™ Wet Dog Food , do not require preservatives because they are preserved by packaging. When the ingredients are mixed and ready for cooking, the mixture is packed into cans or pouches and cooked in a retort. Similar in principle to a pressure cooker, the retort sterilizes and preserves the product.

The cans or pouches are then cooled under conditions that assure product sterility and container integrity.


Shelf Life

Thorough shelf life testing is conducted on all of our products. In general, shelf lives for various types of products are:

  • 24 months for wet foods
  • 16 months for dry foods
  • 12 months for biscuits