Dogs readily accepted the kibble with black soldier fly meal at up to 20%inclusion and with insect-based oil at up to 5%.

In feeding trials with both dogs and cats, pet foods made with insect-basedingredi­ents had similar palatability and digestibility to kibble containingconventional pet food protein and oil sources. The dog and cat foodingredients came from black soldier fly larvae, which increasingly serve asboth a protein and palatant in pet foods, as regula­tory barriers fall away.

Ryan Yamka, founder of consultancy Luna Science and Nutrition, discussed thefeeding trials using insect-based pet food ingredients during his presentationat Petfood Forum 2019.

Insect-based dog food ingredient acceptability study

Researchers offered 20 Beagles bowls of kibble made with black soldier flylarvae protein, oil or a control with conventional ingredients. The bowls wereoffered individ­ually for 30 minutes once daily for two days.

The control diet contained poultry by-product meal, brewers rice, corn,poultry fat, beet pulp, dicalcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, and avitamin and mineral mix. In the experimental diets, insect-based ingredientsreplaced the poultry meal or the poultry fat. The researchers used threelevels of black soldier fly meal (5, 10 or 20%) in one set of diets’ recipes.In the other experimental diet, the researchers applied black soldier flylarvae oil at three concentrations (1.0, 2.5 or 5.0%) to the exterior of thekibble.

Dogs readily accepted the kibble with black soldier fly meal at up to 20%inclusion and with insect-based oil at up to 5%. Those two values were used inthe subsequent digestibility study.

Insect-based dog food ingredient digestibility study

In the digestibility trial, six dogs ate one of three diets: either the 20%insect meal, 5% insect oil or control kibble. For 10 days, the researchersoffered the diets to the dogs once daily. After the first five days, theresearchers began collecting fecal samples from the dogs for analysis.

Both the insect oil and protein diets had digestibility similar to the controldiet. The dogs’ fecal quality was also similar in both the experimental andcontrol diets.

Insect-based cat food ingredient acceptability study

Cats too found insect-based protein and oil ingredients palatable. Likewise,cat’s digestive systems handled the insect-based pet food ingredients as wellas poultry products.

In the palatability study, twenty cats ate a variety of experimental pet foodor the control over two days. Each formulation was offered individually forfour hours.

For the cat acceptance feeding trial, the researchers used two levels of blacksoldier fly meal (5 or 20%). In the other experimental cat diet, theresearchers applied black soldier fly larvae oil at three concentrations (1.0,2.5 or 5%) to the exterior of the kibble.

The cats accepted the insect protein meal at up to 20%, but showed a lowerpalatability level than dogs for the black soldier fly larvae oil. In thedigestibility study, the researches used black soldier fly larvae meal at 20%,but the oil at the middle 2.5% concentration on the exterior of the car food.As with dogs, cats digested the insect-based ingredients’ nutrients at similarrates to poultry products.

Source: Tim Wall, Petfood Industry

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