Ingredient splitting is the practice of subdividing a more abundant — yet inferior quality — ingredient into smaller portions. This tactic might be used to artificially raise a protein(meat) item to a higher position on an ingredient panel, which results in more inferior quality ingredients moving lower on the list.
In a food which a grain such as corn might be the most prominent ingredient, a company may “split” that ingredient into variations of the ingredient so they are represented as smaller percentages of the total ingredients.
Remember, pet food manufacturers are required to arrange each item on every ingredients list in order of its precooking weight.
Now, take a look at the “Before Splitting” side of the table below. Now take a look at the “After Splitting” side on the right. This graphic illustrates how the ingredient panel is affected by ingredient splitting.
As you can see with the illustration above, it is important to understand how to read an ingredient label and to be able to decipher them to fully understand what is being presented. If you remember how the moisture content affects placement on a panel, and how to read beyond any ingredient splitting, you will be better able to make smart nutritional choices for your pets.