Ingredient Spotlight – Plasma
Plasma is a common element of a dog or cat’s diet in the wild
Plasma is an all-natural, all-star ingredient that many people may not realize is common in the diet of carnivorous animals, like dogs and cats. In the wild, carnivores routinely consume blood along with the meat and bones of their prey. Plasma is the fluid part of blood that allows red blood cells, nutrients, and other important components to flow in the body, and is an important ingredient in Nature’s Logic 100% natural pet food.
Plasma supplies iron, sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, numerous vitamins, and over 18 amino acids. Including ingredients like plasma is why Nature’s Logic® does not need to add any chemically-synthesized vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients to our formulas.
Plasma is obtained by spinning down whole blood and removing the red blood cells. After collection, it is dehydrated. It is very stable and can be stored up to 10 years after it has been collected. The industrial name for animal plasma is Spray Dried Animal Plasma (SDAP).
Plasma was first added to pet food to improve food texture and stability. Other ingredients can be used in pet food for this purpose – such as carrageenan, wheat starch and guar gum. Because Nature’s Logic relies on the wisdom of nature to guide every ingredient in our food, and we never use synthetic ingredients, we choose plasma for this purpose. Studies have shown that it brings a host of benefits:
- Improves food texture and stability
- Is a highly digestible protein source
- Supplies vital nutrients including iron, potassium and magnesium
- Can play a role in supporting optimal gut health
- Helps food taste better, so animals eat it more eagerly, especially cats.
But here’s the best part – plasma encourages a healthy immune response in the digestive system. Nearly 3/4 of the body’s immune system is along the intestinal tract, so digestion and immune function are closely related. Like colostrum (a nursing mother’s first milk), plasma contains antibodies and other proteins that can improve the immune response. These antibodies attack disease-causing bacteria that can cause diarrhea, inflammation and other digestive problems. In fact, in pigs, plasma can be used as an alternative to antibiotics.
No life exists without blood, and the nutrients it provides to carnivorous animals are essential. The inclusion of porcine plasma is one reason Nature’s Logic® does NOT need to add any chemically synthesized vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients to our formulas.
- Polo J, Rodriguez C, Saborido N, Rodenas J. 2005. Functional properties of spray-dried animal plasma in canned petfood. Animal Feed Science and Technology. Volume 122, Issues 3-4, Pages 331–343
- Quigley, III JD, Kost CJ, Wolfe, TA. 2002. Effects of Spray-Dried Animal Plasma in Milk Replacers or Additives Containing Serum and Oligosaccharides on Growth and Health of Calves. Journal of Dairy Science. Volume 85, Issue 2, February 2002, Pages 413–421.
- Torrallardona D, Conde MR, Badiola I, Polo J, Brufau J. 2003. Effect of fishmeal replacement with spray-dried animal plasma and colistin on intestinal structure, intestinal microbiology, and performance of weanling pigs challenged with Escherichia coli K99. Acsess DL, Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environmental Societies. Vol. 81 No. 5, p. 1220-1226
- Rodriguez, Carmen, Saborido, Neus, Rodenas, Jesus, Polo, Javier. 2016. Effects of spray dried animal plasma on food intake and apparent nutrient digestibility by cats when added to wet pet food recipe. Animal Feed Science and Technology, Vol. 216, p. 243-256.
- Hedegaard, C.J., et al., Natural Pig Plasma Immunoglobulins Have Anti-Bacterial Effects: Potential for Use as Feed Supplement for Treatment of Intestinal Infections in Pigs. PLOS ONE, 2016. 11(1): p. e0147373.