Ethoxyquin is a synthetic antioxidant (artificially manufactured from other elements) that is approved for various uses. It is approved and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for use as a preservative in animal feeds. Pet food manufacturers have been using ethoxyquin to prevent rancidity and maintain the nutritional quality of their products for more than 35 years.
Ethoxyquin remains stable at the high temperatures required to process pet foods during extrusion. It is important in protecting fats and oils from degrading, losing available calories, and becoming rancid.
Despite the fact that all studies conducted to date prove that ethoxyquin is safe for use in all animal foods when used at approved levels, rumors continue to circulate to the contrary.
Individuals who seek to discredit the use of ethoxyquin will often cite certain studies that showed toxic effects in animals fed ethoxyquin. What these individuals fail to point out is that the animals in these studies were given excessive amounts of ethoxyquin—20 to more than 50 times the maximum limit—before negative effects were exhibited.