Can I Buy A Safe Dog Treat Frosting?

I recently had a reader leave a comment on my Frosting Recipe that as a professional baker she much preferred the commercial frostings.  She went further to recommend a brand.  I know she may be simply wanting to add a link to her website but I love when our readers leave helpful suggestions so I thought I would do a little research in order to recommend the ones I could safely approve.

photo credit: pixabay

photo credit: pixabay

Magifrost Dog Treat Icing by K9Cakery  

10 ounces - $10.99

  • Dog treat icing that hardens
  • Made in the USA
  • Designed for dogs
  • No gluten, soy, or lactose
  • No refrigeration needed
  • Comes as white powder that is mixed with water and applied
  • Use powdered food coloring to color as desired
  • Made to flow and dry to a shiny, hard coating (does not hold its shape like a buttercream icing)
  • Will never melt
  • Lasts over a year when applied as instructed
  • The industry standard used world-wide

Ingredients: Tapioca starch, maltodextrin, dextrose, titanium dioxide. 

Tapioca Starch

Sometimes called Tapioca Flour this starch is extracted from the root of the cassava plant. It is often used as a carbohydrate source in grain free dog foods but due to its general lack of all nutrients other than starch it is generally regarded as a low grade filler.  It contains mainly carbohydrates, is low in protein, fat, and other nutrients such as minerals and vitamins.  It is naturally gluten-free and allergies are rare.  If your dog is diabetic or overweight, keep in mind  this flour has a high glycemic index and is high in calories. Not nutritional but safe in small amounts.

Maltodextrin

An artificial sugar (also known as a polysaccharide) that has a mild, sweet taste. It's usually created from corn and wheat but can also be made from rice, potatoes and tapioca. This white powder that is easily digested and delivers nearly 4 calories per gram is used to thicken, prevents crystallization and help bind ingredients together.   In the United States, manufacturers primarily use corn while in Europe, manufactures primarily use wheat.  Studies using laboratory mice found that sugary maltodextrin promoted the growth of unhealthy bacteria, which damaged the intestine and increased the risk of inflammatory disease, according to a review in the journal PLoS One in July 2014. The consumption of maltodextrin has similar side effects and health risks as most food additives. These side effects include allergic reactions, unexplained weight gain, bloating and flatulence. Specific allergic reactions associated with the use of maltodextrin include rash, asthma, itching and difficulty breathing.    

Dextrose  

A simple sugar chemically identical to glucose (blood sugar) that is made from corn.  The problem is most, if not all, corn is now genetically modified (GM) which means the seeds have been chemically altered to produce plants that can withstand repeated spraying with Monsanto's Roundup weed killer.  Independent animal feeding safety studies show adverse or unexplained effects of GM foods, including inflammation and abnormal cell growth in the GI tract, as well as in the liver, kidney, testicles, heart, pancreas and brain. Corn is linked to a wide variety of health problems in companion animals, including allergies, skin disorders, oral disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and cystitis.  Kirby is 7 years old, and to date, has never tasted corn in any form because it's just that bad.

Titanium Dioxide

This ingredient adds whiteness and brightness to products and also helps them resist discoloration. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies titanium dioxide as a Group 2B carcinogen, which means it’s “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” This was based on an animal study showing inhaling high concentrations of titanium dioxide dust may lead to lung cancer. It’s unclear what health risks may be linked to ingestion of titanium dioxide nanoparticles, but research suggests there’s cause for concern.  One animal study published in Cancer Research, for instance, found titanium dioxide nanoparticles may induce clastogenicity (causing breaks in chromosomes), genotoxicity, oxidative DNA damage and inflammation. 

Bottom Line

I like there are only four ingredients.  Sadly three of them are raise enough concern that I'll pass on any risks just to make a cookie look pretty.

Hi Shine Frosting Wet Look By K9Cakery

8 ounces - $12.99

  • A fresh wet look with a mirror shine
  • Made in USA
  • Human grade
  • Product has a strong odor when wet but dries odorless
  • Do not mix with water as product will seize up

Ingredients: food grade refined bleached lacquer

This is an FDA Approved product.  According to CK Products it is an off-white, amorphous, granular resin creamish in colour. It is insoluble in water but free soluble in alcohol and fairly soluble in acetone. Being an organic resin, shellac is edible. Due to its property it finds its vast consumption in food industry for coating purposes. It is mixed 1-1 with alcohol.

Bottom Line

First of all alcohol is toxic for dogs. Second, Ugh! All I can say is this is too gross to even consider!

Treaty Treat Icing by Pastries4Pets

12 ounces - $9.99

  • A yogurt based powder mix icing
  • FDA safe for dogs
  • All you need is water
  • No worry of melting or cracking
  • No refrigeration is needed

Ingredients: Non-Fat Milk Solids, Lactic Acid, Cultures, Modified Tapioca Starch, Dextrose, Egg Whites, Pectin.

Non-Fat Milk Solids

Milk is approximately 87 percent water and 13 percent solids. As it comes from the cow, the solids portion of milk contains approximately 3.7 percent fat and 9 percent non-fat solids. Milkfat carries the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. The non-fat solids consists of protein, carbohydrates, and minerals.

Lactic Acid

A colorless or yellowish, syrupy, water-soluble liquid prepared usually by fermentation of cornstarch, molasses, potatoes, etc., or synthesized.

Cultures

Live bacteria, yeast, or molds used in food production which carry out the fermentation process to preserve perishable foods and to improve their nutritional values.

Modified Tapioca Starch

This is made by physically, enzymatically or chemically altering starch to change its inherent properties. Modified does not necessarily mean genetically modified, however some modified starches are likely made from genetically modified ingredients.

Dextrose

See above.

Egg Whites

Uncooked egg whites contain avidin which binds to biotin (B Vitamin) to make it unavailable to the pet.

Pectin

A naturally occurring substance (a polyscaccaride) found in berries, apples and other fruit. 

Bottom Line

This one is the safest of all three but I'm still concerned about several ingredients so I'll pass.

A Final Word

I know it's so much easier to buy ready made icings but I caution you to check the ingredients so you know what your dog is ingesting. For now I'm sticking to homemade.  If you come across a safe and healthy commercial icing please let me know!

Sources: 

http://www.livestrong.com/article/502241-the-risks-of-maltodextrin/

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/11/14/genetically-modified-corn.asp

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/01/20/titanium-dioxide-nanoparticles-health-risks.asp

http://www.ckproducts.com/products/5489/8-OZ-CONFECTIONER-acute-S-GLAZE-78-8200-/617

http://www.bobsredmill.com/blog/healthy-living/modified-food-starch-demystified/