Almost every cat owners today knows that Taurine is an essential nutrient for cats. At one point this was not known, and commercially prepared cat foods did not contain enough Taurine, leading to severe illness in cats like blindness from Central Retinal Degeneration and heart failure from Feline Dialeted Cardiomyopathy.The function of Taurine in the body are even more complex than that, however.
Taurine is not an essential nutrient for many animals, because it is biosynthesized in the pancreas from the amino acid Cysteine, but cats lack the ability to synthesize enough Taurine in this manner and rely on a dietary source of it, which is readily supplied by many meats.
Taurine is Aminoethylsulfonic Acid – a naturally occurring sulfonic acid belonging to the organosulfur compounds and is widely distributed in animal tissue. It is sometimes referred to as an amino acid, but in biochemical terms it is not. It is chemically synthesized as a nutritional supplement from a reaction of Ethylene oxide with Sodium bisulfite dissolved in water.
China dominates the global market as manufacturer of synthetic Taurine, followed by Japan. Since the nuclear reactor accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in 2011, customers no longer wanted Taurine from Japan in their cat food premix, and I had virtually no other options then to source Taurine that was manufactured in China. In turn, this raised concern with some customers due to the incident of contaminated pet food in 2007 which was due to Melamine tainted wheat gluten and vegetable protein from China. Food ingredients are sometimes adulterated with Melamine to increase the apparent protein content of the food. The Taurine used in the TCfeline premix does not contain Melamin.
No additional supplementation with Taurine is necessary or in any way recommended when feeding cat food made using the TCfeline premix. The TCfeline premix is sufficiently fortified with Taurine. Levels of Taurine in the finished cat food are slightly higher than those found in mice and supply the cat with three times as much Taurine as the recommended daily intake established for adult cats.
Higher levels of Taurine in the cat food are not harmful to cats, but assure an apple supply of this essential amino acid by the time the cat consumes the food after after it was extensively handled (e.g. storage of premix, mixing, freezing, thawing, and warming of the finished cat food). The save upper limit of ingested Taurine for cats is over six times the amount found in cat food made with TCfeline.
Some people believe that Taurine degrades or is destroyed by freezing, but there is no know research to back this up. There are, however, at least two studies reporting that freezing does not harm Taurine. My own experience has been that Taurine remains stable during freezing. When I have submitted frozen samples of mice to the lab for analysis, the Taurine levels were as expected although the samples had been frozen for three months.
Taurine is destroyed by high temperatures, but is preserved by freezing like most other nutrients. Freezing is a phase change in which a liquid turns into a solid when its temperature is lowered below its freezing point. Freezing as food preservation slows both food decay by enzymes and the growth of micro-organisms. Freezing slows reaction rates of enzymes and makes water less available for bacterial growth. Most bacteria survive freezing, and some bacteria have been revived after having been frozen for thousands of years. Sperm and embryos are also preserved by freezing and then revived to produce new live. If freezing would be destructive to molecules then this would not be possible. Long term freezing is destructive to food quality only because the actions of enzymes and bacteria on the decay of food is merely slowed by freezing, but not stopped completely. During the short term that your cat food will be frozen, its Taurine content will be preserved perfectly.