In a recent study published in Animal Feed Science and Technology, biologists at APC Europe demonstrated that the inclusion of spray-dried animal plasma (SDAP) in a wet pet food recipe as a binder also improved the digestibility of the diet in healthy adult cats, compared to recipes using wheat gluten as a binder. Digestibility of dry matter, crude fiber, ash, calcium and phosphorus appeared to improve after the addition of SDAP. Thirty grams per kilogram of SDAP or wheat gluten were used in the corresponding recipes.

These results corroborate a 2005 study, published in the Journal of Animal Science, that demonstrated that the inclusion of SDAP in dry dog food added before or after extrusion improved the digestibility of premium and super-premium kibbles in adult dogs.

According to the authors, the improved digestibility may be due to the resistance and survival of some functional components present in SDAP to high pressures and to thermal processing conditions, or maybe to some bioactive components produced after the digestion of the plasma proteins. The improved digestibility of wet pet food recipes with the addition of a special binder like SDAP may be related to the healthy digestion of the diet and therefore may suggest a reduce output and improve consistency. This improved digestibility is an important observation for diets designed for all ages, and especially for adult pets.

SDAP may influence gastrointestinal system function, and thereby enhance digestion. Addition of SDAP to canned pet food improves digestibility of nutrients, and it is consistent with better digestive function in animals.

What is spray dried animal plasma?

The blood of animals slaughtered for human consumption is centrifuged to remove the blood cells and other components besides the plasma. The spray-drying technique used in the production process of SDAP is a mild dehydration process that maintains the functional physicochemical and biological properties of the plasma.

SDAP is used as a binder in canned pet food products due to its high protein concentration and technological properties. SDAP has high water-holding capacity, strong foaming and emulsifying properties and provides texture in the final product. In two previous studies in Animal Feed Science and Technology, one of the co-authors of the current study found that cats preferred recipes with SDAP and suggested that the carnivorous nature of the animals resulted in their preference for SDAP as a binder in place of wheat gluten.