Why do your PureBites Food Topper sometimes have inconsistent appearance or texture?

The first thing to remember is that feeding PureBites Food Toppers are a whole new paradigm of feeding.  Say goodbye to the unnatural perfection of assembly line, highly processed kibbles and canned foods and say hello to the incredible variations of natural and pure RAW Freeze Dried Food Topper.  Manufacturing natural, raw freeze dried food is a bit of a paradox since ‘manufacturing’ and ‘natural’ have different implications that affect our expectations. To most of us, manufacturing means conformity and standardization of a product. But the ‘natural’ world is all about variety and diversity. When an item is truly natural, we must expect variations as those are a hallmark of real, live unprocessed products. Furthermore, if no variations exist, we should be suspicious of the naturalness of the product.

Color and Smell

At PureBites, we do not use artificial colors, binders, fillers, flavor enhancers or other denatured food additives in any of our Food Toppers. For this reason, these products often show some variations in color and smell that are normal for nonmodified, real foods. Differences are especially noticeable in raw freeze dried foods as cooking and other forms of processing tend to mask dissimilarities. A protein molecule called myoglobin is responsible for natural color changes that occur in meats.  The optimum surface color of fresh meats varies by species and is unstable and short-lived. Packaging and light exposure can affect color changes in natural meat products and are all perfectly normal as the myoglobin fades or darkens in response to these conditions.  In addition, meat color and smell can also be influenced by the age of an animal, the species, sex, diet, season it was slaughtered and even the amount of exercise it gets. For example, animals that are older or have exercised more will have darker meat than younger or more sedentary animals. If you see these types of variations, rest assured that your pet is consuming natural treats or food that have not been “prettied up” with artificial colors – a process that degrades the natural treats or food.


Occasionally people wonder about texture differences in PureBites® Food Toppers. As with color, texture variations in natural proteins are normal. There are three general classifications of meat proteins: red meats (beef, lamb, pork, etc.), poultry (chicken, turkey, other fowl) and seafood (fish, mollusks, crustaceans, etc.), and all have individual factors that influence texture. One such factor is a protein’s Water Holding Capacity (WHC). The higher the WHC the stronger the structure and the drier the meat’s texture appears. Proteins with lower WHC have a softer texture. Beef and lamb have high WHC while turkey is lower and seafoods are even lower. It is not surprising that freeze-dried beef and lamb products will be firmer than freeze dried chicken or fish products because the Water Holding Capacity between these proteins are different. In addition, high marbling of fat can influence both texture and aroma of proteins. Rigor status, the amount and distribution of connective tissue, muscle bundle size and age of animals also affects meat’s texture. And, while each species is unique, the individuals within the species are, too, which further complicates raw Freeze Dried Treats and foods appearance. It is no wonder that texture variations occur in natural products, reflecting their inherent diversity.

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