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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Articles > Articles: Diet and Nutrition

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Old 04-20-2007, 04:39 PM
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Default Ethoxyquin (Preservative)

There was a considerable amount of discussion regarding ethoxyquin as a preservative in bird diets on CAGTAG-L back in March of this year. I have gathered a lot of material on ethoxyquin, but just haven't had the time to go through it all and to come up with some conclusions regarding its safety or otherwise.

Ethoxyquin is not used as a preservative for HUMAN foods with the following exception: . It is permitted to "promote colour retention" in paprika and ground chili pepper in a maximum concentration of 100 ppm.

The maximum allowable residue in eggs, meat, poultry, apples, pears, poultry fat and livers for HUMAN use is 0.5 ppm.

In ANIMAL feeds, the maximum allowable concentration of ethoxyquin is 150 ppm.

Lafebers provided me with information on the concentration of ethoxyquin in their avian products and it is less considerably less than 150 ppm.

Neither Kaytee nor Roudybush responded to my letters requesting information on the concentrations of ethoxyquin in their products.

So what are the potential concerns regarding ethoxyquin? This chemical is not innocuous as has been suggested. Attached is part of an earlier post of mine in response to a question regarding the safety of ethoxyquin for birds:

"Interesting question. I was not familiar with the ethoxyquin controversy. However after quickly perusing the toxicity data (abstracts) there may be reason for concern. The acute oral LD 50 of ethoxyquin in rats is 800 mg/kg and in mice it is 1730 mg/kg.

Its chronic toxicity in animals is reported as "apparently low."
Chronic feeding studies in rats of 0.2 % of ethoxyquin in the diet caused transient depression in growth rate, At necropsy, damage to kidneys, liver and thyroid gland were seen in many of the male rats but not in the females.
In another study, diets containing 0.5 % ethoxyquin fed to rats for up to 18 months, produced renal lesions in all of the study animals.
Continuous administration to rats fed a diet of 0.2 % ethoxyquin, caused tumors in some of the animals according to one study.
Toxicity in chicks was "significantly greater when the diet was low in protein." (Details of this study were not given).
The above abstracts suggest that long-term exposure ito this chemical in our birds is a reason for concern."

As I have mentioned, I do not have the information together in order to offer you guidance as to whether you should use ethoxyquin-preserved avian diets or not. You will have to decide what you feel most comfortable with. There are good diets available that contain no preservatives and others that contain preservatives that have been approved for human use. Ethoxyquin has not been approved as a preservative for human use.

Lafeber's Classic Nurti Berries
Parrot food

the old ingredients:
Ingredients (exactly as found on the label)
Cracked corn
hulled white proso millet
peanut splits
hulled canary grass seed
red millet
rape seed
ground corn
corn syrup
corn oil
propylene glycol
whole egg
dicalcium phosphate
ground limestone
DL-methionine (an essential amino acid)
L-lysine (an essential amino acid)
potassium sorbate (a preservative)
Vitamin A supplement
Vitamin D 3 supplement
Vitamin E supplement
Ethoxyquin (preservative)
menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity)
thiamine mononitrate
pyridoxine hydorchloride
vitamin B12 supplement
folic acid
ascorbic acid

and the new ingredients:
Lafeber's Classic Nurti Berries
Parrot food

"new omega 3 & 6 balanced naturally preserved"

Hulled white proso millet
cracked corn
oat groats
hulled canary seed
peanut splits
red millet
safflower seed
ground corn
rape seed
soybean meal
wheat flour
peanut granules
corn syrup
dicalium phosphate
corn oil
ground limestone
propylene gylycol
canola oil
whole egg
citric acid
mixed tocopherols (a preservative)
choline chloride
DL methionine (an essential amino acid)
vitamin A supplement
vitamin D3 supplement
vitamin E suppliment
ascorbic acid
menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity)
niacin supplement
calcium pantothenate
riboflavin supplement
B12 supplement
calcium propionate (a preservative)
folic acid
manganese sulfate
zinc culfate
copper sulfate
potassium iodine

Lafeber Nutri-berries

Their website shows ethoxyquin as an ingredient, but when i bought a new tub last week, its been removed. I wonder if the new "preservative" is any better?
Is this just a "new name"?

Roudybush contains Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide.

Ethylenediamine dihydriodide (EDDI) is a salt of ethylene diamine and hydrogen iodide. It is used as a pet food additive and cattle feed additive to prevent iodine deficiency. It has high bioavailability. It is a colorless to light yellow crystalline powder. Its chemical formula is C2H6N2.2HI. Its CAS number is [5700-49-2]. It is nonflammable, but iodine may be released during a fire. It is soluble in water.

In cattle, administration of EDDI has preventive effects on foot rot. [1]

Other iodine supplements in animal feed are calcium iodate (most stable) and potassium iodide (most water-soluble, least stable). EDDI is restricted to GRAS as a nutrient source of iodine only. FDA suggests a limit of intake to 50 mg/head/day. [2]

EDDI may react with sulfates and release free iodine.

Last edited by FaeryBee; 04-05-2013 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 04-23-2007, 04:01 PM
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What’s the Deal About Ethoxyquin?
Author: Susan E. Orosz, Ph.D., D.V.M.,
Diplomate ABVP, Avian Practice, Diplomate, European College of Avian Medicine and Surgery, Professor.
Dr. Orosz is a Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, specializing in Avian Medicine

The use of synthetic antioxidants in pet foods remains a controversial subject and represents an area that veterinarians need to understand. The most common of these synthetically derived compounds include ethoxyquin, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). These compounds have been used in animal foods (including chicken diets) and in human foods as preservatives for more than 30 years. They play an important role in the prevention of oxidative rancidity of fats, loss of protein quality, and deterioration of fat-soluble vitamins.

So, why are we concerned about these antioxidants now? Because they “could” be bad. Concerns have been raised about these synthetic compounds contributing to cancer and chronic immunosuppressive disorders. Although they increase the toxicity of other chemicals, the concerns for ethoxyquin have not been documented to date. The dose and length of exposure is an issue that must be addressed scientifically in a variety of animals, including birds. On the other hand, it is known that colonies of research psittacines have been fed diets containing ethoxyquin for 5-10 years with no ill effects.

How about natural antioxidants? Much interest has recently been generated about the use of “natural” antioxidants. “Natural” isn’t necessarily “better.” The term natural can be misleading in the manufacturing business. Intuitively, natural would suggest that it is “better.” But “natural vitamin E,” for example, represents the residue from soybean oil tanks. These naturally derived antioxidants include gamma and delta tocopherols, ascorbic acid, citric acid, and lecithin. Gamma tocopherol, however, has only 10% of the biological activity of the alpha form, leading to the question whether use of this product has any biological use as a viable antioxidant at all.

Ethoxyquin is used in pet foods more commonly than “natural” antioxidants because of its vastly superior ability to stabilize fats and vitamins in the diet. For example, when ethoxyquin was incorporated with mixed fats, it took 100 days to reach a concentration of 20 meq/kg of peroxide (a breakdown product of fats). When alpha tocopherol was used, the same concentration was reached in only 12 days. Similar data has been found in tests with vitamins. In sum, the protective effect of a natural antioxidant may be as little as one-tenth as a synthetic antioxidant. Unfortunately, many pet foods are sitting on the shelf for longer than 100 days and the activity of the natural antioxidants will be reduced or will have expired by the time of purchase and/or use. To compensate for this problem, vitamin E could be added; however, if large amounts are added, this may indirectly affect selenium and/or vitamin D metabolism.

Without the presence of antioxidants in foods, components within the food will degrade over time at various rates. The protective effect of antioxidants helps maintain the nutritional value of the food, reduces rancidity, and/or inhibits discoloring. Without this protective effect, the diet’s metabolizable energy is reduced, with less fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins available. The vitamins most sensitive to oxidation are the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E, as well as vitamin C and beta-carotene. As we know, reduction of these vitamins in birds can lead to an altered immune status, making them more susceptible to infectious diseases, cancer, and calcium/phosphorous imbalances (poor bone and egg shell development). A vitamin E deficiency in the growing bird can result in crazy chick disease and, in the adult bird, white muscle disease and/or exudative diathesis.

For the present, ethoxyquin can be an important component for stabilizing the diets of companion birds so that each bird receives maximal nutritional value from its food. Nutritional deficiencies may occur, most likely from the oxidative rancidity of the fats. This can be particularly significant in young, growing handfed chicks. Ethoxyquin does have a place in diet preservation. This information can help you to look objectively at these issues.[/I]

Last edited by FaeryBee; 04-05-2013 at 08:50 PM.


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