La Trufa operates in the specialised dog and cat food market. It started out as a private research project searching for the best kind of food for these animals. At the time, for reasons of competition and health, and after having tried all the foods available on the market, a group of industry specialists spent several years working on developing the formulas and requirements needed to create a range of food products. These products would make it easier for the treated animals to grow and stay healthy. All of these very different animals, each with problems typical of their breed, became healthy and stable. The feeding regime allowed each animal to reach its genetic potential. The project finally culminated in our current brands: Zero and Il Tartufo.
At La Trufa we have made a range of high quality cat and dog food available both to specialist clients and to the general public. The food is formulated in such a way so that both nutritionally and in terms of the meat content, which is suited to our small meat-eating pets, it is very different from the other food typically available on the market. Our goal is to raise and provide for our pets as best as possible and at reasonable prices, giving an unbeatable quality/price ratio.The cat and dog food market started out in 1860, when an American electrician, James Spratt, created the first "dog cake", made from wheat, vegetables and veal blood. Other companies followed suit and thus baked dog food entered the pet foot market, which previously had been dominated by butchers, in addition to the classic leftovers. In essence, most of the formulas available to cats and dogs in our market are just a slight evolution from these origins. Beyond the issue of profitability, the fact that cats and dogs are fundamentally carnivorous is something which didn't happen in the industry until the beginning of this century. For us as an organisation, this is what we live by; it's our way of being. Knowing that any dog on earth is, genetically speaking, simply a wolf with 78 chromosomes is essential for determining how to feed it correctly. This same philosophy (reality) can be applied to cats. As such, all our food ranges, from our Zero Low Daily (low maintenance), to our II Tartufo Large Breeds with 88% of ingredients coming from an animal source in every dog biscuit, follow the same direction, recognising the reality of our dogs and cats. We kindly ask you to try our products and, if you love your pet, to stay away from formulations and ingredients that don't abide by this principle.
Certain protein sources are simply better than others because they provide a better combination of amino acids. These better proteins have something called Biological Value (BV). Biological Value (BV) is a measuring scale used to determine what percentage of a nutrient source is used by the body. In short, BV tells us how efficiently the organism actually uses the protein. In theory, the highest BV of a food source is 100%..
A nutritional list which is analytically correct doesn't provide the whole story, since it can be reached in multiple ways. Therefore the list of ingredients doesn't just tell you what the main ingredients are, but it can often give you an idea of the quality of the product. According to AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards, dog food packaging must list ingredients using their common names and in order of prominence by weight. Therefore, when you read the ingredient list, you should look at the order of ingredients and how specific or generic they are. It's also a good idea, though not as important, to look at the number of ingredients. On our website www.iltartufocanino.com you can find much more information.
Related to the issue of the biological value of food, what is the benefit of having food with higher quality protein if it can't be digested or it is digested poorly? We need to remember that cats and dogs are carnivorous. So, what is purpose of having 28 or 32% protein if it isn't good quality protein or easy to digest? In other words, much of what is eaten is later excreted. Non-premium food is food where most of the ingredients are not from an animal source (meat, eggs, fish, etc.). The easier the food is to digest, the greater the biological value, absorption, and use, and less of it is excreted. In short, PREMIUM food is food that has high amounts of animal protein, especially muscle (meat or however you may call it), and is easy to digest, meaning it has great biological value. Certain protein sources are simply better than others because they provide a better combination of amino acids. These better proteins have the Biological Value (BV) we mentioned above.
In humans, it is obvious that having access to good quality ingredients in our diets allows us to, in general, be healthier and have a better quality of life. La Trufa allows cats and dogs to consume premium quality ingredients that to date have not been very commonly available for these kinds of animals. These ingredients will let them be as healthy as possible, just like us. At La Trufa we work with foods that are suitable for human consumption, and we do so with business and work structures that exceed the latest food safety standards.
At La Trufa we have dry food (10% moisture) of super-premium and ultra-premium quality, forming a series of specialised products for cats and dogs of different ages and breeds. Basically, we have the best quality products that we were able to find worldwide, always looking for the best quality/price ratios, and we continue to work on developing and researching new products with the same philosophy.
We work with foods that are suitable for human consumption, and we use business and work structures that exceed the latest food safety standards. Our formulas are always adapted to the needs of our meat-eating pets, and we never use any man-made additives or antioxidants, such as BHT, BHA, Ethoxyquin, or fat-soluble non-natural Vit K, which can all cause allergies in many cases. Our food does not have chemical additives, since all the nutritional value comes from the ingredients we use, and if we ever have to use them, we use natural variants (selenium, natural vitamins, etc.). Our production process exceeds the current maximum food safety standard, FSSC 22000, which was developed by the Foundation for Food Safety Systems Certification (FSSC) and is recognised by the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative). This standard is a complete food safety tool which is based on the ISO 22000:2005 management standard and the PAS 220:2008 prerequisite programme on food safety for manufacturing.
Hydrolysis is a process which makes it possible to assimilate proteins better and in greater quantities as it breaks down the protein structure in the diet in order to remove allergens and any possible allergenic epitopes and, therefore, avoid immune recognition in cats and dogs that are already sensitive to intact proteins. With this we can achieve higher physiological acceptance in cats and dogs with our food, and prevent food hyper-sensibility problems. A secondary objective is to break down the proteins to a point where there are no more antigens that could cause an immune response, and sensitise an individual that has not previously been in contact. All of the dried meats in our diets have been hydrolised.
Perhaps we should clarify the question. It has been shown that continuous exposure to a single protein source can cause allergies to develop. For this reason, here at La Trufa we use different protein sources to achieve our nutritional goal. Changing a dog or cat's diet, as long as it is TRULY balanced, is something that should be at the sole discretion of the owner. Under natural conditions, the types of food available for these species are ever so slightly varied. The aim is to create a meat-based diet, with slight variations according to the sub-order or family in question. Cats hunt and eat basically "all meat that moves" and dogs are also hunters and scavengers, which gives the option for a wider range of food within the same order of carnivores. But in a practical sense, if the diet meets all the criteria described so far, and our cat or dog is comfortable with it, then why would you want to feed them canned food with sub-products and additives that smell fantastically good to our pet friends?
We're in an increasingly global market, even though manufacturing and labelling guidelines and standards are not. This situation causes certain problems for Spanish manufacturers like us. It can be said that most manufacturers label their items correctly, but in some cases the inconsistencies in legislation allow them to present product images which could be a closer reflection of reality.
For example, if a food item is labelled as "Grain Free", but effectively has a meat content of 10% or 20% in each biscuit, what do you think the rest of it will be made from? Low BV foods are not very nutritious and are harder to digest. Labels are meaningless if the things that a carnivore needs are still not there. A high quality food product does not need to be labelled by the manufacturer; they simply have to make it, and the only way to do it is by using high amounts of dehydrated animal protein.
Another example: if in a 17 kg sack of a good product such as ours, we need between 25 and 30 chickens, to extract and dehydrate their meat, as well as fish, eggs, and so on, then we can say that we'll need infinitely higher quantities to produce industrial amounts. If so, do you think that other manufacturers worldwide can produce using exotic, wild or uncommon sources? We all need to believe it's possible, but it is essential for consumers to use their common sense before making any purchase.
As an adjective, holistic is a concept based on the total and global integration of a concept. In the area of pet food, this concept is applied from a marketing perspective to all foods that meet all the needs of our cat or dog. Our new range for 2016, Il Tartufo, is a "holistic" food range. With this product we recognise the nature of our dog or cat, and we offer a feeding regime, which, more than just being balanced, is 100% suited to them, in order to ensure their well-being. From here, concepts such as "natural" or "fresh" are very debatable ideas. 70% fresh chicken, a certain product might claim. I promise that all the ingredients we use, in addition to originally being suitable for human consumption, in some cases they used to "move", I swear they were very fresh. But think about this: in how many supermarkets do you see the bags of food in fridges, to keep them fresh, like you would a steak? Noticing how the ingredients are named is a basic thing you can do in order to deduce which technology has been used to treat the food. For example, dehydrated meat from a specific animal is always preferable to other things.