Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is used in the petfood industry for rapid assessment of several macronutrients and gross energy (GE) content, but there is little published data regarding its usefulness for GE and GE digestibility (GED) evaluation of commercial dog food.

Using the NIRS spectra of 71 commercial extruded dog foods and reference values determined by calorimetry and in vivo feeding trials, chemometric models were developed for GE, GED and digestible energy (DE) prediction. The SE and R2 of cross-validation were 0.30 MJ/kg DM and 0.93 for GE, 2.10% and 0.82 for GED and 0.53 MJ/kg DM and 0.92 for DE.

The results indicated that NIRS provides GE, GED and DE estimation values for dog food with an accuracy similar to that of the 2006 Nutrient Research Council proposed equations for use in petfood. This technology is a fast and accurate method for predicting energy content in commercial extruded dog food and is a useful and reliable technology to be used by the petfood industry when a wide enough calibration set is available.

Source : M. Hervera et al., 2012. The use of near-infrared spectroscopy to predict energy content of commercial dog food. J Anim Sci online October 2012. doi: 10.2527/jas.2012-5106J