Like any bureaucracy, AAFCO definitions and documentation can be tedious and lengthy. That’s why I allotted several hours to the task of tackling the AAFCO definition of the additive and ingredient “wheat.” But, in this case I was surprised to find…
Page 626 Index:
“Wheat” ……… page 387, page…. wait, what? One page? No seriously… wheat is huge in pet and agricultural feeds, right? It must be more than one page… where is the rest? Hmmm…. it also references Wheat Bran, Wheat Flour, Wheat Germ Meal, Wheat Germ Meal Defatted, Wheat Germ Oil, Wheat Gluten, Wheat Middlings, Wheat Mill Run, Wheat Products, Wheat Red Dog, and Wheat Shorts…But as for just “Wheat” (which would be the whole wheat like what you picture when you think of a field of fresh, delicious and nutritious wheat (for those of us that aren’t allergic to it)… nope!!!! One page.
Alright, so on to page 387:
At the bottom of the page, section 22.3 Grain Products — In any of the normal forms such as whole, ground, cracked, screen cracked, flaked, kibbled, toasted, or heat processed we can find a variety of ingredients including Barley, Corn, Grain Sorghum, Mixed Feed Oats, a variety of Rices and… oh, there it is… Wheat. Wait a minute again…. where is the rest? All it says is “Wheat”… that’s it. Where is the definition? Are there regulations? Are there restrictions for what part of the wheat? What about how its processed? Anything? It just says “Wheat” here… what about the rest?
Oh wait… there it is… it doesn’t just say wheat… it says:
” * Wheat”
Totally different. There is an asterisk. Alright, more information found elsewhere then, eh? Alright, that’s cool. Moving on to page 388 to find the meaning of the asterisk.
page 388, top of the page:
” * No official definition for the grain product.”
Well, there you have it folks… that’s the official AAFCO definition of “Wheat” in pet and agricultural feed. It’s a “Grain Product” of some form and there is “no official definition for the grain product.” The end.
What does that mean for your pets and the meats you eat? Ultimately it means its up to the ethics of the provider or manufacturer of the product.
An ethical company may choose to use “Wheat” in their product and provide wholesome nutritious whole wheat to your cattle or pet.
An unethical company may choose to use “Wheat” in their product because they’re not really sure what it is… it showed up in a bag that was unmarked because it came from a recalled batch of a variety of wheat glutens and wheat meals… not really sure what’s in there… don’t know how it was processed or what parts are in there… don’t really know anything about it at all but “Wheat” by definition, doesn’t actually mean that they HAVE to know so that seems like the most appropriate label.
And this concludes identification of serious AAFCO issues, day one.
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