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Starch characterization of commercial extruded dry pet foods

2020, April


CITATION: Isabella Corsato Alvarenga, Charles G Aldrich, Starch characterization of commercial extruded dry pet foods, Translational Animal Science, Volume 4, Issue 2, April 2020.



Starches provide an effective energy source for dogs and cats and can affect health according to its inclusion and extent of digestion. The starch fraction that escapes small intestine (SI) digestion is called resistant starch (RS) and is desirable due to its prebiotic function. Starch is not an essential nutrient for dogs and cats and thus is not reported on commercial pet food labels. Hence, the objective of this work was to characterize starches in commercial pet foods. The top five pet food companies by sales were selected to represent U.S. pet foods, which were divided into four strata with a sampling frame of 654 foods: dog grain based (372 foods), dog grain free (71 foods), cat grain based (175 foods), and cat grain free (38 foods). Five random foods within each stratum were purchased (20 total). Starch analyses (total starch, resistant starch, and starch cook), as well as nutrient analyses were conducted on all foods. Total starch, RS, and starch cook means were compared using a two-group Z-test on dog vs. cat and grain-based (GB) vs. grain-free (GF) diets, and differences were considered significant at a P < 0.05. Total starch was higher (P < 0.05) in dog than cat food, and starch cook was greater (P < 0.05) in GF diets. A regression analysis showed that nitrogen-free extract was a good predictor of total starch. Resistant starch was low and not different among groups. A post hoc test showed that a total sample size of at least 28 diets per group would be required to detect differences in RS between GF and GB diets, if one exists.

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