The Importance of Natural Preservatives

All Farmina 'Vet Life' and 'Natural & Delicious' products are preserved using only natural antioxidants (tocopherol rich extracts). Preservatives and antioxidants, in particular, are compounds that have the ability to delay, prevent, reduce or eliminate oxidative damage in food. Dietary antioxidants can also provide beneficial health effects by reducing damages caused by free radicals and by creating Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that counteract cellular aging. ROS can reduce the onset of chronic and degenerative diseases caused by oxidative stress.

We understand that some of the nutrients found in our food can easily become oxidized especially lipids. In general, lipids have a greater tendency to lose electrons and self-oxidize which results in an alteration of color, flavor, texture, quality, genuineness, and safety of the food. For example, oxidation alters Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) or fat-soluble vitamins causing major changes in the food through the formation of volatile odoriferous compounds and hydroxy acids that affect aroma and flavor.

To accomplish our goal of creating all-natural products we never substitute natural antioxidants for artificial ones. 

Some artificial antioxidants such as TBHQ, BHA, and BHT that are used mainly in food have controversial health effects. Several studies show a correlation between the intake of such compounds and changes to the animals organs, especially when consumed in high dosages. Literature reports some of the side effects of artificial antioxidants are:

  • Suppression of leptin-dependent satiety circuits
  • Chromosomal and spermatic abnormalities
  • Interference with prostaglandin synthesis and immune response
  • Initiation of microsomal H2O2 formation
  • A reduction of contractility of cardiac muscles 
  • An impact on lipid metabolization and vitamin E levels
  • A transient elevation of plasma lipids and cholesterol
  • Promotion of gastric, bladder, thyroid, and lung carcinomas 
  • Induction of hyperplasia and gastric cytotoxicity
  • Liver, thyroid, adrenal glands, and lungs hypertrophy

These are some of the reasons why we decided to use only natural antioxidants in our food products. Natural antioxidants are also much safer to consume in large quantities compared to artificial ones. This allows us to safely add more antioxidants to our food so we can deliver the healthiest product possible.

Some of the natural antioxidants we use during the storage of our raw ingredients and in our finished product include:
  • Carotenoids
  • Retinoids (VitaminA)
  • Bioflavonoids (Citrin)
  • Polyphenols (hydroxytyrosol)
  • Tocopherols (Vitamin E) 
  • Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)

Many of these antioxidants are found in the vegetables, fruits, and cereals we use such as:
  • Oats
  • Beetroots
  • Potatoes
  • Pomegranate
  • Oranges 
  • Blueberries
  • Currant
  • Green tea

As a final preservation step, all Farmina 'Vet Life' and 'Natural & Delicious' products are packaged in a protective atmosphere to prevent fat oxidation while maintaining flavor and freshness. We achieve this by introducing nitrogen into our food bags to displace any oxygen that might be present. This technology is widely used in human food packaging as nitrogen is a safe, natural gas.