BSF Protein “Easy Swap” for Other Proteins in Dog Food
As alternative proteins become more and more popular in the human diet, they are also attracting the interest of pet food consumers, and black soldier fly (BSF) ingredients are among the most popular.
“We know that whatever food trend that occurs in the human food market is bound to spill over into pet food,” said Trevor Faber, director of pet nutrition and the food industry. technical service at Nutrition, who spoke to Pet Food Forum 2021 in Kansas City. And, he added, “Alternative proteins are THE food trend. “
The growing interest in BSF protein and oil can be explained in part by the fact that, at the regulatory level, “all the obstacles that were in place are starting to be removed,” said Brad Ewankiw, head of the line. of products, animal feed, at Bury, a producer of BSF products.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) approved BSF protein for adult dog food and treats in August, and AAFCO approvals are expected in 2022 for BSF oil for adult dog food and treats, as well as protein and BSF oil for adult cat food and treats. The use of BSF in dog and cat food has already been approved by the European Food Safety Authority.
“We really see BSF as a great alternative as a new protein in hypoallergenic foods,” Ewankiw said. “So food brands that are looking to provide alternatives for dogs that have food allergies, skin and coat issues, etc. can be used as another alternative and have shown very good results. “
He added that the ingredients in BSF have antimicrobial and prebiotic qualities, so they have additional nutritional benefits for pets.
“Due to the lauric acid and fat with antimicrobial benefits, as well as the chitin that comes out of the larval exoskeleton with prebiotic and antimicrobial benefits, we are very excited about the opportunities offered by food for pets, ”he said.
Ewankiw colleague Laura Metcalf, Key Account Manager, Animal Nutrition at Enterra, explained some of the feeding trials the companies have done on dogs that exhibit good palatability, high total digestibility, very high digestibility of protein and no concern for the health or safety of dogs.
“In trials with dogs, the BSF diet worked well and provided all of the nutrients needed to maintain the health of the dog,” Metcalf said, adding that the BSF protein can be easily incorporated into adult dog diets, often as a direct exchange for other proteins.
The total digestibility of premium pet foods ranges from 84% to 90%, she said, with the BSF digestibility test showing an average total digestibility of 84.6%. The average protein digestibility was even higher, at 85.4%, which is higher than some new competing proteins.
The palatability test found that the dogs’ first approach when comparing a BSF diet and a plant protein diet was similar, but the first taste for the BSF diet was 62% versus 38% of the diet at vegetable protein base.
“There was something about it, whether it was the smell or the appearance, that appealed to the dogs more,” said Metcalf.
And when it comes to consumers’ willingness to feed their pets with protein from insects, another study from Enterra found that after a very brief introduction to the ingredients, 31% of consumers said they would buy an insect-based pet food product.
Ann Reus is a reporter for WATT Global Media.