To become an accredited member of The Biologically Appropriate Pet Food Association, companies must adhere to the following ingredient standards, which cover ingredient sourcing all the way through to preparation of the final product for commercial sale.
High meat content and freshness
Formulations of biologically appropriate pet foods must be high in meat and protein. This is because dogs and cats are carnivores and need high protein levels for optimal health. Biologically appropriate formulations should contain a majority of meat, preferably fresh rather than by-product meals and sourced from the same country as manufacture. Modern diets for dogs and cats should mirror their ancestral diets, which is a high level of meat.
Balanced formulation with fruits, vegetables and herbs
Fruits, vegetables and herbs are all needed to nutritionally balance biologically appropriate pet foods. They provide essential nutrients when included at the right levels. Low-glycaemic ingredients should be used and detoxifying herbs should be added to the formulations in small amounts.
Appropriate levels of vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients
There are various standards governing vitamins, minerals and antioxidant inclusion rates in dog and cat foods. Biologically appropriate pet foods should adhere to the standards set out by various feed authorities and necessary nutrients should be included as a result.
Low carbohydrate inclusion
Carbohydrates are needed in diets for dogs and cats, however, these levels should be lower than the meat inclusion used in the formulations. The carbohydrates used, should also be carefully chosen and blended.
No Grain Inclusion
Unfortunately, too many pet foods contain large amounts of grains, corn, rice or cheap fillers which add no nutritional benefit to dogs and cats. For this reason pet foods must have no grain inclusion to be considered biologically appropriate.
No artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or GMO's
Biologically appropriate pet foods must be as close to the ancestral diets as possible. Therefore, inclusions of artificial ingredients are not accepted.
Country of Origin sourcing
Sourcing ingredients from close to your preparation and manufacturing facility is key. This allows fresh ingredients to be used in formulations rather than frozen ones. Frozen or dehydrated ingredients which have been stored for long periods can potentially lose essential nutrients. Thus, a majority of ingredients must be sourced from the country which is manufacturing the biologically appropriate pet food.
Preparation and manufacture
An essential component of pet food is the preparation and manufacture. It is not only important to source biologically appropriate raw ingredients, but the preparation of these ingredients is also paramount. It is fundamental that key quality controls are maintained during the preparation of pet food all the way to the packaging of the final product. It is a necessity that facilities which are involved in the preparation of biologically appropriate pet foods, are HACCP accredited and adhere strictly to governing standards such as the AS5812 in Australia, USDA and FDA in the US or equivalent.