Dried yeast may provide ‘gold standard’ pet food protein

Dried yeast provides proteins and their building blocks, amino acids.

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photo by Andrea Gantz
photo by Andrea Gantz

Dried yeast left over from the production of ethanol, used as a biofuel and in other industries, may provide palatability enhancement in pet food on par with brewers’ yeast, Gary Davenport, PhD, companion animal technical manager for ADM Animal Nutrition, during a video from Petfood Forum 2018. Additionally, dried yeast provides proteins and their building blocks, amino acids, which means the desiccated fungus may serve as a novel protein source to replace animal byproducts in dog and cat food formulations.

“We also know that the amino acid composition of this dried yeast is comparable to egg,” he said. “Egg protein is the gold standard from a protein quality perspective. So, we have a product here that from an amino acid perspective and protein quality perspective that matches the gold standard.”

Dried yeast is high in protein, at roughly 50 percent protein, he said, while being low in fat and ash.

“We’re positioning them as an alternative protein source for pet food formulations,” Davenport said.

Dried yeast palatability and digestibility in dogs and cats

ADM’s researchers have conducted studies with dogs and cats on palatability and digestibility.

“What we see is that in both dog and cat there are palatability benefits,” Davenport said. “Two to one benefits with cats in food consumption. With dogs, it was a two to one benefit with first bite preference, which was surprising because generally you think of brewers’ yeast for palatability benefits, but in this case it was a dried yeast that showed a pal [palatability] benefit.”

For cats on a diet containing yeast compared to a control, ADM researchers saw improvements in urine pH and in the metabolically important ability of the cat to concentrate their urine.

Formulation of the yeast containing pet foods

The experimental diets contained 10 percent yeast, which is relatively high, said Davenport.

“We wanted to ensure that we had a level that was going to push the dog and the cat,” he said. “If there were going to be problems, we wanted to see it, but it was just the opposite of that. The diets fed well, the dogs and cats both responded well. From a digestibility perspective, they were equal to the control, so it all just turned out extremely well from a feeding perspective.

In their testing with dogs and cats, ADM researchers did not observe any negative repercussions on animal health.  

About Petfood Forum events

Petfood R&D Showcase is scheduled for October 9-11, 2018 at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. Early Bird registration is now open.

Petfood Forum is the not-to-be-missed trade show event for pet food professionals from around the world to network, exchange ideas and do business with one another and with the industry's leading pet food manufacturers and suppliers. Petfood Forum 2019 will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA on April 29 – May 1, 2019.

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