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Research Notes / Pet Food Ingredients
on November 7, 2016

Pet food nutrition research focusing on proteins, obesity

In 2016, much of the published companion animal nutrition research focused on trending topics, including the use of protein in pet foods and pet obesity.

There have been a few hot topics in pet food nutrition in 2016 — most notably anything having to do with proteins (low-fat proteins, high-protein diets, alternative proteins) and the continuing industry quest to meet the health needs of an increasingly diverse pet food market (obesity and other health issues, specialty formulas based on individual animal needs). Unsurprisingly, these topics have been reflected in published research, as scientists and other experts in animal health and nutrition continue to look for answers and refine the knowledge that will carry the pet food industry forward into 2017.

Protein in pet food diets

pet-food-bag

Using mink kits in growth studies can provide valuable information in the protein quality assessment of extruded dog foods. | Andrea Gantz, WATT Global Media

Two different studies published in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Animal Science focused on protein in dog diets. The first, “Protein and amino acid bioavailability of extruded dog food with protein meals of different quality using growing mink (Neovison vison) as a model,” evaluated mink kits as a model for dietary protein quality assessment of protein meals used in extruded dog foods. The study also tested dogs. Crude protein digestibility and amino acid composition were two of the key points of focus during the study, which used three different protein meals of varying quality: lamb meal (low protein quality), poultry meal (intermediate quality) and fish meal (high quality).

For the mink kits, the lamb meal diet showed the lowest values for…

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