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[QUESTION] Taurine and frozen meat

Vraag & antwoord 11 t/m 17 november 2007.

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[QUESTION] Taurine and frozen meat

Berichtdoor *Robin* » ma 12 nov, 2007 01:23

Dear Mogens,

This is asked because the prey my cats get are sometimes frozen for a long period and I want to know for sure that they get everything they need.

Many times I come across questions about taurine. (also on other raw feeding forums)
I thought it would be a good question for you. :wink:

When meat is frozen does this affect taurine in any way?
Does the quality of the taurine reverse if it is frozen for a long period?
Let's say for 6 months, or maybe longer, can you still trust that the meat still contains enough taurine for a cat?

Thanks in advance!

Robin
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Berichtdoor Mogens Eliasen » ma 12 nov, 2007 04:42

Hi Robin,

I don't know of any evidence that taurine should self-decompose or seriously react with air, for instance. It is generally classified as a stable chemical, under "normal" temperature and pressure. It does contain a sulphonic acid group in the molecule, though, and that makes it a fairly powerful oxidant. This means, it will react with flammable materials - and you won't find those in a freezer... :-) But freezing will not affect it. But if you heat it above body temperature, it can easily find other chemicals to react with, so in cooked foods, it will be destroyed.

It is opposite of what the case is for vitamin E, for instance. Vitamin E will react with oxygen in the air, and thus destroy itself.

In all principle, freezing will cause everything in chemistry to become LESS ACTIVE, because lower temperature simply is the same as less vibration and less rotation of chemical molecules. It makes everything MORE STABLE.

The problem with freezers is that they also contain air... And those things that do react with air (like vitamin E) will still do so, regardless of the freezing. A bit slower, yes, but that is easily more than compensated for by the much longer times of that storage, compared to what you could do at room temperature!

This is why frozen food loses a lot of its aroma. Those volatile gases that make the food smell good DO evaporate, also when frozen, just as wet clothes also will dry even in heavy frost. That makes the frozen food have less "quality" for humans, as it doesn't taste quite as nice anymore with those aroma gases missing - but it does not affect the nutritional value. Amino acids, like taurine, do not evaporate significantly before you heat them to several hundred degrees!

Even Vitamin E will not get destroyed in serious quantities when frozen, because it generally is completely embedded in the fat tissue. On the surface of the fat, where oxygen can access the few molecules of the vitamin, yes. But, in the overall picture, this effect is negligible. A few percent per year or so. It is far worse in dry kibble, where the vitamin has no protection from the air!

So, generally, you can store the raw food in the freezer for a couple of years at least.

There was the Siberian mammoth that was found frozen in the tundra from the ice age, some 20,000 years old. The animal was preserved, and all the meat was fed to dogs... No problems from that!

But if you are concerned about taurine for your cat, then make sure that beef heart of heart from other animals is a regular ingredient. Heart muscle contains A LOT more taurine than any other meat or organ. And all cats I know simply love it. Just think about what the World would be like if kids loved what was good for them... :-)

Cheers,

Mogens
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