Meat Meal,Fish Meal and Chicken Meal Definitions
Questions often asked about nutrition. You will find the terms "chicken meal" or "meat meal" and "fish meal" in your higher quality dogs foods. The term "meal" addresses the way the product is rendered. This definition is related to the chicken meal and Meat meal etc. Matins K9 Formula has meat meal and many people ask me "what is meat meal?" In my opinion, NO food is 100% complete nutrition for your dog. I use NuVet Supplements to complete the diet along with a tri-weekly dose of Martins Probiotic. I've seen dogs react to small diet changes like milkbones and other poor quality treats. It's like eating salad for lunch to be healthy and then having a fast food dinner. Diet is critical to everything your is. My first question is always about diet. I use my dogs as an example of how a good diet can control tarter on their teeth and maintain a strong and healthy dog. It is important to slowly transition your pet from his/her current diet as it takes a few days for the body to adapt to the new nutrient levels. To transition, gradually mix in the new food over a 5-7 day period, increasing the amount of Martins K9 Formula each day, so that you are feeding 100%
“Meat meal is the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, , hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. It shall not contain added extraneous materials not provided for by this definition. . . . If the product bears a name descriptive of its kind, composition or origin, it must correspond thereto.”
Chicken meal, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean chicken flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from whole carcasses of chicken, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails. A meal in general is "an ingredient which has been ground or otherwise reduced in particle size."
Chicken meal is ground up chicken meat that has been carefully dried to a moisture level of 10%. The protein content is 65% and the fat level is 12%. Regular chicken contains about 70% water with 18% protein and 5% fat. To create chicken meal, ingredients are placed into large vats and cooked.  This rendering process not only separates fat and removes water to create a concentrated protein product, it also kills bacteria, viruses, parasites and other organisms. Because meat can be rid of infectious agents through the rendering process, “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased or disabled) are allowable chicken meal ingredients. While not always present, the possible inclusion of these ingredients makes chicken meal always considered unfit for human consumption.
FISH MEAL FOUND IN EVO BY INNOVA: Surplus fish, waste from filleting (fish-house waste), and fish unsuitable for human consumption are dried and powdered. The resultant meal is a valuable source of protein for animal feed, or, after deodorization, as human food since it contains about 70% protein. That made from white fish is termed white fish meal, distinct from the oily type which is sometimes of very poor quality and is generally used as fertilizer.
Chicken meal is mainly used in pet foods, its protein content is much higher than regular chicken because most of the water has been removed.
Typically when it comes to pet food, all of the ingredients (meats, grains, vitamins, minerals) are mixed together and put through a machine called an extruder. The extruder cooks the mixture by adding steam and water. The result is the familiar kibble coming out of the extruder and is subsequently dried. Fat is added after drying. (This is the same process for making many breakfast cereals.) The final pet product has a moisture level of around 10%.
The processing of chicken meat along with the other ingredients essentially is converting it to chicken meal. However, there are some characteristics of regular chicken meat that makes it less flexible for use as an ingredient compared to chicken meal. The high moisture content of chicken limits the amount that can be formulated into a complete finished food. Chicken is generally stored frozen to minimize microbial growth. The frozen chicken is thawed and made into slurry before adding to the mix.
Chicken meal, however can be used in a finished food at levels much greater than chicken meat. Chicken meal in a finished food provides roughly 4-5 times the nutrients as the same weight of chicken meat because of the differences in moisture.
So, a pet food made of chicken meat may only have 20% of the chicken in the final product, providing only 3.6% protein. An equivalent proportion of chicken meal would provide 13% protein