Published Study on Human-Grade Pet Food

In late 2019, a team of researchers with PhDs in Animal Nutrition at the University of Illinois published a study1 in a USA peer-reviewed journal on the high digestibility of a commercially made fresh cooked diet for dogs using human-grade ingredients. The results demonstrated higher than anticipated levels of digestibility (well above AAFCO digestibility averages for traditional kibble and canned diets) and concluded these results would likely translate to similar commercially formulated and produced fresh cooked diets using human edible ingredients.

These published findings in an animal science journal are exciting for Tom&Sawyer because our prepared fresh cooked diets (a) use similar human-grade ingredients and (b) we prepare our pet foods in our owned commercial kitchen facilities (we do not outsource), which is the same criteria used for diets by the USA-based company in the study. It is of our opinion that these two criteria are important as controls measures in yielding similar repeatable results by any pet food business. In this study, Oba et al. (2019) write:

Consumers are also demanding greater corporate transparency about the ingredient sourcing, processing, distribution, and local and wider economic and ecological impacts of pet foods, as well as company practices and values in general”1

The study used 6 different recipes of a USA-based fresh cooked dog food company similar to Tom&Sawyer. This fresh cooked pet food company, like Tom&Sawyer, produces their diets and does not outsource to a third party, a very rare but an important distinction for quality assurance production controls (outsourcing was the major cause of the 2007 pet food recalls).

The results of this study demonstrate that a fresh cooked diet using human food grade (not feed grade) ingredients were highly digestible (majority of recipes result was over 90% digestibility), which is higher than the common pet foods using feed grade pet ingredients and processes, on which AAFCO determines their conventional pet feed formulation criteria. The study concluded that this result is likely consistent in other fresh cooked pet food diets that follow similar ingredient and processing criteria (of which Tom&Sawyer is one of very few that would meet the same criteria).

Our Co-Founder, Kristin Matthews, has conversed at length with one of the study’s authors about Tom&Sawyer’s pet food diets and comparisons to similar recipes of human-grade ingredients and made in company-owned facilities.  The release of the results of this study shines a bright light on the future of companies who make human-grade fresh cooked pet food in their own facilities.

“Tom&Sawyer is very excited for the results of this fresh cooked pet food study, which proves the foundation on which Tom&Sawyer was created: that higher quality nutrition comes from formulating and gently cooking food for pets using human edible food ingredients in an independently owned commercial kitchen with human food production standards. We look forward to continuing to contribute to the advancement of innovative higher standards of pet nutrition.”

                                                        - Kristin Matthews, Co-Founder & President

At Tom&Sawyer, we are very passionate about real food nutrition of the highest quality and bioavailability and keep current on industry research and new insights that can help us further the health and well-being of your pets, that is our promise to you.

We pledge to you that we are transparent about our unparalleled ingredients and processes in the Canadian Pet Food Market, which is the foundation of our business and why we invested considerable time and money in building our own pet meals kitchen, making us the leader in the fresh cooked pet food industry.

Click below link for the publicly available complete study findings published study in this peer-reviewed journal (open access permission).

1Patrícia M. Oba, Pamela L. Utterback, Carl M. Parsons, and Kelly S. Swanson,True nutrient and amino acid digestibility of dog foods made with human-grade ingredients using the precision-fed cecectomized rooster assay’, Translational Animal Science, Volume 4, Issue 1, January 2020, Pages 442–451