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E-mail from Solid Gold

Goldens4Ever
October 8th, 2006, 03:12 PM
I have been corresponding regularly with a woman who works at Solid Gold about some recent concerns I had regarding the reformulation of their foods (adding different ingredients). Since many people seemed unable to attain specific answers to their questions from SG staff, I thought you all might be interested in reading this. Here is what she said:

"The AAFCO definition of tomato pomace is “the dried mixture of tomato skins, pulp, and crushed seeds”. Tomato pomace is an excellent source of soluble fiber and lycopene. We added it for both these reasons. We first started looking into using tomato pomace because of our interest in adding an antioxidant like lycopene. We then started reading evidence of tomato pomace being a great soluble fiber source. One of the biggest complaints we have had about our foods over the years are large and / or soft stools. Part of the reason for this was due to the lack of soluble fiber in our foods (as we have been told by numerous nutritionists over the years). We have been hesitant about adding a source of soluble fiber because of the choices out there – beet pulp being the most common source of soluble fiber in pet food. We did not add whole tomatoes because of the moisture content. In a dry extruded pet food, moisture content is very important – too much or too little will cause a problem with the formation of the kibble. The added moisture from the tomatoes would cause us to reduce the amount of other ingredients that contain a high moisture content, mainly the fresh meat. This choice was a no-brainer for us. The two things we were looking for when adding tomato pomace, fiber and lycopene, are not as evident in the juice of the tomato, therefore, for our purposes the juice is not necessary.

The natural flavor is spray dried liver. In the case of Hund-N-Flocken, it is spray dried lamb liver.

The pet food industry is always changing due to regulatory changes, new research, manufacturing changes / improvements, etc. Because of this, most pet foods will be reformulated at least once, more likely numerous times. “Hund-N-Flocken” has been around for about three decades, but it is quite different now than it was originally. Imagine the developments that have happened in nutritional research and manufacturing in the past thirty years. Any responsible company is going to adjust their foods based upon new findings.

The total protein, fat, and meat content are the same in the new formula. The lamb and lamb meal sources have not changed.

Personally, I think the new formula is superior to the old formula. We have added a few ingredients other than the ones already discussed that are really beneficial, especially the salmon oil as a source of DHA (an omega 3 fatty acid) and taurine for heart health.

We received a test batch of the new Hund-N-Flocken and I switched my dog over to it. I switched her automatically and she had absolutely no problems. She seems to actually like the new formula better than the old.

The sugar and salt used in the jerky treats are used as humectants to reduce water activity and protect against mold. The problem with semi-moist treats or foods is that they are very susceptible to mold growth without some type of food or chemical preservative to help protect against it. I really don’t think the small amount of sugar and salt in the treats is a big deal because they are treats. We would not put sugar and salt in our foods because they are the dog’s main form of sustenance whereas a treat makes up a small amount of the diet.

On another note: I really want to thank you for keeping an open mind and asking questions instead of being accusatory. We are a very small company, staff wise, and we all sink our heart and soul into the products we produce. We take it very personally and it is very hurtful when customers accuse us of making a change for our own personal gain. You can’t imagine some of the insulting email and phone calls we receive….Anyways, I just wanted to thank you." [/SIZE]

Prin
October 8th, 2006, 03:36 PM
Talk about PR...

The total protein, fat, and meat content are the same in the new formula. The lamb and lamb meal sources have not changed.So if you have a kg of meat with 2kgs of grain in the original, and then in the new one you have a kg of meat with 5 kgs of grain, is the meat content the same?

We received a test batch of the new Hund-N-Flocken and I switched my dog over to it. I switched her automatically and she had absolutely no problems. She seems to actually like the new formula better than the old.And her dog is the gold standard of sensitive dogs?

I still maintain that if it was really about the large stools, they would NOT have increased the oat content in the foods. Oats contribute to the large stool.

But thanks for posting that.:)

erykah1310
October 8th, 2006, 05:28 PM
You canít imagine some of the insulting email and phone calls we receiveÖ.Anyways, I just wanted to thank you.

Prin I think they are talking bout your letters and calls! ;)

Prin
October 8th, 2006, 06:05 PM
lol only one of my letters was rude and that was after getting nothing but bull piled on bull for 6 emails straight (being nice).

mafiaprincess
October 8th, 2006, 06:34 PM
Guess Prin and I were both bumped of the SG Xmas card list, may have t go cry about it.

It's propaganda emails followed by more propaganda emails.

Wonder how many SG bags have been returned in the last month to them.

Prin
October 8th, 2006, 07:26 PM
Yeah, they're just glad to keep any customers they have snowed happy, convinced and loyal.:sad:

Goldens4Ever
October 8th, 2006, 10:46 PM
Prin & MP,

I was only inquiring about SG's Hund-n-Flocken, NOT the WK or WC, so I am going to e-mail her back to ask if the kg per meat/grain has changed in this particular food--I am glad that you mentioned that, as I need to get more specific info on this. I will definately inquire about whether or not they have increased the oat content in this particular food, as that is what our girls have been on for some time now. I still want to switch them to TO, but we'll see.

I do not think that she believes that her dog is the 'gold standard,' by which to measure the quality of a food. I think that she saying that in an effort to ease my conerns about the reformulation by simply stating that her dog is doing fine on the new formula :)

I have read some not-so-good things about tomato pomace, and although she gave a good explanation as to why they chose to add it to their food, I still wonder if it's good for dogs to eat........? I am not completely convinced, but I want to keep the positive communication flowing between she & I so that I may gain as much information as possible (the information that she will devulge, that is).

mafiaprincess
October 8th, 2006, 11:02 PM
The hund n flocken was already SG's lesser quality food. If they fooled with it much more there wouldn't be a lot left to say about it.

She quoted the 'nicer' part of the aafco definition of tomato pomace. Since she doesn't have to tell you that they don't have to wash the tomatos to use them.. so all that pesticidey goodness is quite possibly in the food. The reasoning for them using it is still propaganda. It's in there as a stool hardener after frigging around with the better ingredients.

Of SG's foods the H and F isn't something I'd feed new formula or old honestly. It's lower quality, and from that email I guess they have fooled with it yet again. It started out as a better ingredient food and over changes has reduced it to a mediocre one.

Prin
October 8th, 2006, 11:08 PM
Tomato pomace isn't the worst, but IMO, it's only in there to counter the added oats they put in. Ask her if she thinks that pesticides on the skins of the tomatoes is of any concern.

Oh and be clear about the grains. You're not looking for the "number of grains", you're looking for the mass of grains or percentage of grains per kilo of food versus the old formula and same for the meat. (they keep saying "we actually took a grain out, so there are fewer grains in the WK"- fewer in name, but not in quantity).

Goldens4Ever
October 9th, 2006, 07:50 PM
Prin & MP,

GREAT comments & information-thank you. I will be certain to post to this thread again when I get some more specific information concerning the tomato pomace (washing the pesticides off the tomato) and the mass of grains (% of grains per kilo of food) from the old formula to the new. But, as you both eluded to, I may not be getting the 'whole truth,' as she may give me the fluffy version to put and/or keep a positive light on SG foods :frustrated: I will let you know what she says. Anyway, I am still contemplating TO Lamb, Barley, & Apple, as our vet wants us to keep our girls on a lamb-based diet.

Prin
October 9th, 2006, 10:45 PM
Good luck! :)

Goldens4Ever
October 11th, 2006, 07:26 PM
OKAY! I got some more answers from the woman at SG that I've been corresponding with.

a) Since the tomato pomace is the skin of the tomato, which is what comes in direct contact with pesticides, how is SG going to wash the tomato skins prior to putting them in the food?

The tomatoes are thoroughly washed multiple times before they are processed into whatever tomato products are being produced, tomato paste for instance. There is little to no pesticide residue left on the tomatoes after the washing. It is the same as if you went and bought tomatoes at the store and washed them over and over again before eating. I donít see why there is such concern about pesticides in tomato pomace, but it is not discussed in regards to other fruits or veggies. For instance, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc are processed into pet food whole. They are not peeled before added to the formulation. I believe the allowable amount of pesticide residue is much higher for sweet potatoes than tomato pomace.

b) Has the mass of grains or percentage of grains per kilo of food versus the old formula the same for the meat?

The percentage of overall grain has not changed in any of the formulas. The ratio of protein to carbohydrate has not changed. The ratio of meat to grain has not changed.

c) What kind of fish is used in the Ocean Fish Meal? What is it composed of exactly?

Ocean fish meal can technically be any fish that is derived from the ocean. Our ocean fish meal contains
anchovies, mackerel, sardines, and herring.

Goldens4Ever
October 11th, 2006, 07:29 PM
OKAY! I got some more answers from the woman at SG that I've been corresponding with.

a) Since the tomato pomace is the skin of the tomato, which is what comes in direct contact with pesticides, how is SG going to wash the tomato skins prior to putting them in the food?

The tomatoes are thoroughly washed multiple times before they are processed into whatever tomato products are being produced, tomato paste for instance. There is little to no pesticide residue left on the tomatoes after the washing. It is the same as if you went and bought tomatoes at the store and washed them over and over again before eating. I donít see why there is such concern about pesticides in tomato pomace, but it is not discussed in regards to other fruits or veggies. For instance, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc are processed into pet food whole. They are not peeled before added to the formulation. I believe the allowable amount of pesticide residue is much higher for sweet potatoes than tomato pomace.

b) Has the mass of grains or percentage of grains per kilo of food versus the old formula the same for the meat?

The percentage of overall grain has not changed in any of the formulas. The ratio of protein to carbohydrate has not changed. The ratio of meat to grain has not changed.

c) What kind of fish is used in the Ocean Fish Meal? What is it composed of exactly?

Ocean fish meal can technically be any fish that is derived from the ocean. Our ocean fish meal contains
anchovies, mackerel, sardines, and herring.

Goldens4Ever
October 11th, 2006, 07:33 PM
Although the woman I've been corresponding with has been very polite, I think that she MIGHT be getting a little frustrated with all my questions; however, I am glad to get some straight-forward answers. Hopefully all that she has said is factual and not fallacious. I can't imagine that she would outright lie about what she has told me over the past few days......

phoenix
October 11th, 2006, 08:39 PM
well they sound like good answers.

pretty hard to spray a sweet potato with pesticides as they grow underground...

meb999
October 11th, 2006, 08:48 PM
pretty hard to spray a sweet potato with pesticides as they grow underground...

LOL!! I would have never thought of that!!! :D

mafiaprincess
October 11th, 2006, 09:01 PM
ROTFLMAO

She sounds knowledgeable enough.. I think it sounds like propaganda though.

Prin
October 11th, 2006, 09:11 PM
lol so funny, Phoenix.:D

The percentage of overall grain has not changed in any of the formulas. The ratio of protein to carbohydrate has not changed. The ratio of meat to grain has not changed.Hmm... I'm so trying to figure out the loophole there. There must be one because of the addition of tomato pomace. If the ratio really stayed the same, there wouldn't have been a need for it.

I donít see why there is such concern about pesticides in tomato pomace, but it is not discussed in regards to other fruits or veggiesBecause that's all tomato pomace IS. If there was some sort of bulk to it and it wasn't just the skins and residues, maybe we wouldn't be as concerned. But you take the bulk out and you concentrate whatever pesticides are left, and we do get concerned.:shrug:

Goldens4Ever
October 12th, 2006, 11:49 AM
Let me know if anyone has any other questions/concerns you would like me to address with her :-) She has been great with answering these questions so far. The reason why I am so interested in inquiring about SG's reformulation of their products is because SG once was a reputable company that produced good products, and I have a difficult time stomaching why they would risk their reputation by down-grading the quality of ingredients. Reformulation of products should only be to improve (based on new research and scientific evidence), not to down-grade. I once thought very highly of SG and advocated (not sold) their products to other people. I am quite disappointed and really want to get this figured out, if possible: did they down-grade the ingredients in their formulas or did they improve them? I want an answer that is based upon facts and not opinions. Is there any way to accomplish this? Of course, the woman at SG is going to be baised, but I still can't fathom that she would be lying to me....?

Prin
October 12th, 2006, 01:22 PM
It's all definitely full of opinions.

But I have to say, if I came across the ingredients of the new formula of WK two years ago, I would have kept looking. Tomato pomace, if anything, is an indication that the food is not properly balanced as far as fibers and protein goes. Stool hardeners tell you that there is too much fast fiber (i.e. grain) in the food, and I don't want a food that has to compensate for its own shortcomings.:shrug: If I wanted stool hardeners, I may as well feed Nutro or Eagle Pack for $20 less a bag.

Goldens4Ever
October 12th, 2006, 04:40 PM
Prin-

I am not following what you just said. If none of the grain and meat contents have changed in the foods, why are you concerned that the food is no longer properly balanced between fibers and proteins? Adding a stool hardener, such as tomato pomace, should not indicate that SG foods are too grainy now since they have not changed the grain and meat contents....right? :shrug:

I am under the impression that tomato pomace is a soluable fiber, which doesn't necessarily act as a stool hardener, but as a binder to reduce the amount of stool.....? :shrug:

Prin
October 12th, 2006, 05:04 PM
No, tomato pomace is a stool hardener. It's less invasive than beet pulp, but the reason it's in there is to harden the stool.

Adding a stool hardener, such as tomato pomace, should not indicate that SG foods are too grainy now since they have not changed the grain and meat contents....right?They SAY they haven't changed the grain contents, but the tomato pomace indicates otherwise. You know? Either that or the way they changed them around affects the fast fibers in a bad way, resulting in the need for a stool hardener (i.e. more oats = more need for a stool hardener).

Regardless, all they had to do was reduce the amount of fast fiber in there, but then their protein/vitamin/etc numbers would drop (because this food, let's face it, depends on its grains), and the numbers on the bag wouldn't be balanced anymore. So instead of adding good things to boost the numbers back up, they left the numbers jacked up by the oats and other grains and added tomato pomace so the stool would be firm.

Does that make sense at all?

In the email exchange I had with them, they finally admitted in email #5 or 6 or something that indeed the tomatoes were in there as a stool hardener because they had already been getting complaints of large stools (which IMO, is not 100% truthful either- because if that was the case, they would have ONLY added tomato pomace and would not have goofed with the rest of the grains, especially the oats.)

Goldens4Ever
October 12th, 2006, 07:22 PM
Hhhmmm.....makes sense, and it is very sad to me :sad:

Why do you think they felt the need to add more oats though?

My girls will NOT be on any of SG's new formulas. I will be switching them to either Timberwolf Organics or Bravo! RAW

Goldens4Ever
October 12th, 2006, 07:26 PM
Prin-

Do you think that Timberwolf Organics Lamb, Barley, & Apple formula has a high oat content as well??

TIMBERWOLF ORGANICS LAMB, BARLEY & APPLE
Ingredients:
Lamb, Salmon Meal, Lamb Meal, Salmon, Whole Ground Oats, Whole Ground Barley, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and rosemary extract), Whole Ground Flaxseed, Unrefined Walnut Oil, Watercress, Spinach, Celery, Parsley, Fennel Seed, Dried GoatÔŅĹs Milk, Atlantic Kelp, Alfalfa Leaf, Wild Salmon Oil, Cottage Cheese, Potassium Chloride, Rosemary, Apples, Cinnamon, Thyme, Dried Carrots, Anise Seed, Ginger Root, Basil, Dried Mint, Choline Chloride, Lecithin, Probiotics: (Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Lactis, Bacillus Bifidum, Streptococcus Diacetilactis, Bacillus Subtillus), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (a source of vitamin E), Lysine, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine, Methionine, Carnitine, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Iodine Proteinate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine (a source of vitamin B6), Copper Proteinate, Selenium Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate, Papain, Yucca Schidigera Extract.
PROTEIN: 28%
FAT: 18%
FIBER: 3%
MOISTURE: 9%

Prin
October 12th, 2006, 08:18 PM
Not as high because it still has two meat meals before it. SG Wolf King just has one.:shrug:

I like their Dakota Bison and Ocean Blue formulas better.

Goldens4Ever
October 13th, 2006, 01:39 PM
Prin-

Why do you prefer the Bison & Fish formulas? Our vet want us to keep them on a lamb-based diet, though I have looked at their other formulas.

Prin
October 13th, 2006, 01:41 PM
Yeah, I do prefer the fish. Once you go fish, you never go back.:D The fish just does amazing, amazing things for the coat.

And IMO, it's easier to digest for most doggies than the lamb.