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Palatability test shows ‘pawsitive’ results for insect-based petfood

Image credit: Fernando Vega on flickr

In a wet food acceptance test conducted by Protix, 94 percent of dogs and 81 percent of cats were happy to eat petfood containing insect protein as the sole source of animal protein. The food was presented over two consecutive days in addition to the pet’s normal diet. All the dogs that accepted the food found it so irresistible, they devoured the full amount offered. Cats are known for adapting only slowly to a new diet, yet even here 50 percent ate all the food presented. This is a very ‘pawsitive’ result, and forms the basis for longer and more extensive trials to deep dive into the palatability and best inclusion levels for insect-based petfood.  

The test was carried out among Protix’s internal pet panel of 17 dogs and 16 cats in private households. The wet food was given as an extra meal. Pet owners were asked to record their pet’s behaviour via forms and videos. 

The formulation included around 60 percent PureeX, a fresh insect meat made from the black soldier fly. PureeX is a true innovation in petfood as it is minimally processed and maximally nutritious. It has all the health benefits of insect proteins and lipids such as antioxidant activity, while also lowering the pawprint of petfood. It is part of the Protix portfolio designed to bring the food system back into balance with nature.

Bruna Loureiro, Ph.D., product development manager at Protix, and pet nutritionist, comments, “The results are ‘pawsome’, and a great inspiration for petfood companies looking to create the foods pets love. This test confirms the excellent acceptance of insect-based petfood, and paves the way for formulations that are naturally palatable, packed with health benefits and that offer a low pawprint. We are happy to support manufacturers in their new product development with our experience with various inclusion levels. Together we can provide pet nutrition that delivers more goodness to the world via insect ingredients.”

Protix is now building on these positive results through further research with various renowned partners. Firstly, a more extensive acceptance test in certified external testing facilities and with panel-trained cats will trial the same product over a longer period. Secondly, collaborative research to find the optimal inclusion levels for PureeX and the most suitable co-ingredients to create the best taste, texture and nutritional experience in wet recipes is taking place. 

Science is at the core of what Protix does. Bruna Loureiro explains, “Our strong focus on research ensures we offer a consistently high-quality portfolio backed by data. We aim to provide goodness for pets as well as for the planet. Our environmental credentials and low pawprint are reflected in the recently published Life Cycle Assessment conducted by DIL, the German Institute of Food Technologies. Moreover, we recently revealed the data of two antioxidant studies of insect-based ingredients and petfood. Every study brings us one step closer to a better world.”

For more information about Protix visit the website, HERE.

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