In a wet food acceptance test conducted by Protix, 94% of dogs and 81% of cats were happy to eat pet food 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% 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 pet food.
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 behavior via forms and videos.
The formulation included around 60% PureeX, a fresh insect meat made from the black soldier fly. PureeX is a true innovation in pet food 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 pet food. 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 pet food companies looking to create the foods pets love. This test confirms the excellent acceptance of insect-based pet food, 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.