What it means to be carrageenan-free
At Weruva we’re always striving to improve our recipes so that our furry feline friends are getting the best foods and nutrition. Over the years we’ve received many requests to remove carrageenan from our aspic recipes from pet parents who are looking to phase it out of their cats’ diets. So, we listened and did just that – Weruva foods are now Carrageenan Free!
Since making this change there have been a lot of questions about carrageenan, what it is, how it works, and why we made the change, so we’re taking this opportunity to address your questions and concerns.
What is carrageenan?
Carrageenan is an ingredient that helps thicken foods and make the aspic (aspic is the gel-like substance that holds the food together). Aspic does a great job at helping create a texture which allows ingredients to be “protected” during the cooking process, kind of like fruit in a jello mold.
What did we change?
We made a simple formulation change to all products that contain carrageenan (by removing it), and this change has impacted the appearance of the product.
With carrageenan removed, the remaining gums no longer form a gel (like a traditional aspic), and instead, the recipe takes on a gravy-like/soft gel-like texture. This, of course, creates a very different appearance than the original recipe– though the amount of water and meat is the same in both versions. As fish is delicate and flaky, it may break apart in the gravy as it is not “protected” by a thicker aspic, so the minced-like pieces may become even smaller.
Does the fish type make a difference?
Certainly! Because we use sustainably sourced, wild caught fish, it really depends on the catch of the fish (where they swam, what they ate, and their age), so there will be varying levels of firmness. We have also found that when fish go through the de-boner, some of the meat from recent catches ends up a bit softer. Again, without the aspic to “protect” the fish during cooking, it flakes and blends into the gravy more.
Does this change affect palatability?
From a palatability standpoint, there should not be much of an impact…though there may be some texture-sensitive kitties that prefer the mouth-feel of the aspic as well as kitties who are not fans of gravy/gelee. Also, though we do strive for 100% consistency, as mentioned above the meat itself will
vary. As the fish swim in different temperature waters, eat a varied diet and may be of different age and size, variations in the aroma and taste may play a role in acceptability. For instance, fish swimming in colder waters tends to be a bit oilier/fattier. Cats often may experience sensitivities to this and may turn their noses up at something they would otherwise eat with gusto.
If your kitties are unhappy with the change, we’d like to recommend more gel-like flavors with tuna: La Isla Bonita and Kitty Gone Wild from our Cats In The Kitchen line. We also have many new options in our B.F.F. line, including some pate items. There are tuna-based, mixed, and chicken-based options to choose from.
If you have any further questions, we’re happy to hear from you. Drop us a line any time.