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Pet Food Ingredients
on July 12, 2010

Protein from potatoes?

Potato protein has features that make it a viable candidate for petfood applications

["In the process of extracting the starch, a protein-rich juice is produced.", "The smattering of information we do have seems to point in the right direction.", "In diets containing 10% potato protein, palatability was similar to other protein meals."]

The terms potato and protein don't often come up in the same sentence--probably because we think of potatoes solely as a starch source. But in our ever-expanding search for useful ingredients in the petfood industry, potato protein, a concentrated extract from the potato tuber, has turned up in several specialty petfoods in the last couple of years.

Like other concentrated vegetable proteins-for example, soy protein concentrate, wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate-potato protein is low in ash, retains some modest amount of food functionality and has a high content of protein and corresponding essential amino acids. In addition, like the others, it can:

  • Complement animal-based proteins in the diet;
  • Help control the influence of ash on urine pH in feline diets; or
  • Qualify for use in novel protein or hypoallergenic diets.

However, unlike the other, more common vegetable proteins potato protein is a bit unique in the annals of ingredients for petfoods because it isn't saddled with commodity or livestock feed perceptions, nor does it carry the tarnish of a recall. Yet it is not without liabilities, probably the largest of which is its relative newcomer status as a petfood ingredient, meaning we don't know much about its value or drawbacks. So, maybe it's time to do some digging to find…

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