Whole food diets are challenging to make. The natural variability in density, moisture content, texture, etc. of whole food ingredients means our skilled manufacturing teams are constantly working to make minute adjustments in procedures and taking measurements of moisture levels, temperature, etc. throughout production to achieve as much regularity in finished product color, appearance, density, and consistency as possible.
Although our manufacturing team works very hard to minimize any changes, we expect to see variation in color and size of kibble, and in color, texture, and density of wet food. This is a reflection of the natural, whole food ingredients, and represents no concern for quality or safety OR nutritional precision.
GUAR GUM vs. CARRAGEENAN
Rayne does not use carrageenan in any of our products.
Our canned food product textures are sensitive to ingredient variability because we do not use carrageenan—a hydrocolloid commonly used in canned pet and human foods to ﬁrm and bind meat products. We don’t use carrageenan because of questions regarding its association with a variety of health issues in pets. Instead of carrageenan, we use an ingredient called guar bean gum—guar beans are ground into powder and mixed with the meat—and sometimes cassia beans. Guar and cassia beans are less effective binders than carrageenan and also create a less forgiving formula that is more likely to react to even small changes. Despite these challenges, we believe using these healthier ingredients is the right thing to do for pets eating our diets.
We can also see a difference in the texture of jerky due to reflection of whole food. The use of real meat means that fat content will vary from batch to batch, however, even if the meat is leaner in a batch, we still have to cook the jerky at the same temperatures due to FDA regulations. This can lead to a dryer looking batch of jerky. Depending on different environmental factors, our manufacturing team may also choose to dry a batch more than usual in order to prevent mold.
Working with kangaroo meat is definitely challenging. 100% of the world's supply of kangaroo comes from humane population control in Australia. As it is a wild killed animal, the nature of the meat changes for many reasons. Not only is it a very naturally lean meat, but due to the nature of the way the kangaroo are raised (wild), we are at the mercy of the lifestyle, environment, and the diet of the kangaroos. As a result the meat can come out dark and tough, or fattier and soft, and anything in between. If you, or anyone you know is a hunter who eats their ‘catch’, they will be able to vouch for the nature of wild caught meat, and the texture of the meat varying. With kangaroos, living in a very hot climate, there are many long periods of drought, and this can also result in the meat being darker, tougher, etc.
To ensure a consistent, high quality supply of a protein, it must be one that is being raised for human consumption. In North America, we tend to keep rabbits as pets, not for food, and there are very few rabbit meat breeders. Rayne sources the rabbit for our novel protein diets from Europe (Italy and France), countries where rabbit is a common staple in the human diet.
The rabbit industry is a small farm, cottage industry, and the rabbits bred for meat vary in breed, size, diet, etc. We have a high protein content for our diets, meaning that we require a lot of meat to produce them. Because of this, certain batches may be darker, have less moisture, etc.