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Do insects smell attractive to dogs? A comparison of dog reactions to insects and commercial feed aromas - A preliminary study


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The goal of the present study was to investigate the olfactory attractiveness of air-dried insects used as aromas to dogs. The trial consisted of 35 adult dogs (20 males; 15 females) aged between 12 months and 7 years (mean = 3.6), varied in terms of breed, kept as companion animals. The dogs had free olfactory access to selected unprocessed dried insects, i.e., mealworm ( Tenebrio molitor ), Turkestan cockroach ( Shelfordella lateralis ), black soldier fly ( Hermetia illucens ), and tropical house cricket ( Gryllodes sigillatus ), as well as commercial dried and pelleted dog feed, which was used as a control treatment. Samples (100 g) were located separately in not transparent closed boxes with 5 perforations in the cover (7 mm each) to improve the intensity of the aromas without direct contact with the tested samples. The box was recorded as chosen when the dog showed interest in it for more than 15 seconds continuously per each attempt (3 attempts per dog). The presented study shows that the selected insect species were chosen as frequently as the control group ( P = 0.03). However, in terms of preferences by dog gender, Tenebrio molitor was favored more often by males than by females, which preferred Shelfordella lateralis . The current preliminary data suggest that the olfactory features of the selected insect species may be attractive to dogs.
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Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 18, No. 3 (2018) 795–800 DOI: 10.2478/aoas-2018-0012
Bartosz Kierończyk1♦, Mateusz Rawski1,2, Pola Pawełczyk1, Joanna Różyńska1,
Julia Golusik1, Zuzanna Mikołajczak1, Damian Józeak1
1Department of Animal Nutrition, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wołyńska 33,
60-637 Poznań, Poland
2Division of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture, Poznań University of Life Sciences,
Wojska Polskiego 71c, 60-625 Poznań, Poland
Corresponding author:
The goal of the present study was to investigate the olfactory attractiveness of air-dried insects
used as aromas to dogs. The trial consisted of 35 adult dogs (20 males, 15 females) aged between 12
months and 7 years (mean = 3.6), varied in terms of breed, kept as companion animals. The dogs
had free olfactory access to selected unprocessed dried insects, i.e., mealworm (Tenebrio molitor),
Turkestan cockroach (Shelfordella lateralis), black soldier y (Hermetia illucens), and tropical
house cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus), as well as commercial dried and pelleted dog feed, which was
used as a control treatment. Samples (100 g) were located separately in non transparent closed
boxes with 5 perforations in the cover (7 mm each) to improve the intensity of the aromas without
direct contact with the tested samples. The box was recorded as chosen when the dog showed in-
terest in it for more than 15 seconds continuously per each attempt (3 attempts per dog). The pre-
sented study shows that the selected insect species were chosen as frequently as the control group
(P=0.03). However, in terms of preferences by dog gender, Tenebrio molitor was favored more often
by males than by females, which preferred Shelfordella lateralis. The current preliminary data
suggest that the olfactory features of the selected insect species may be attractive to dogs.
Key words: dogs, feed additives, insects, aroma, nutrition
Edible insects are considered novel, environmentally friendly, and nutritious
compounds used in animal nutrition (Józeak et al., 2016). Moreover, even in the
case of Europeans, who do not traditionally eat insects, the acceptance for insect use
in animal nutrition is increasing. This acceptance is mainly caused by the need for
alternative protein sources to soybean and sh meal (Verbeke et al., 2015). The Eu-
*This work was supported by several sources i.e., the funds of Poznań University of Life Sciences;
TEAM TECH/2016-2/11-0026 project entitled: Insects as novel protein sourcs for sh and poultry, -
nanced by Fundation of Polish Science (POIR4.4); as well as founds of the National Centre for Research
and development, no POIR.01.01.01-00-0828/15, entitled: InnSecta: innovative technology of feedstuffs
production based on insect biomass.
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B. Kierończyk et al.
ropean Union has dened insect meal as a processed animal protein and has imposed
legislative barriers (Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009) to its inclusion into livestock
diets. However, insect meal may be used in companion animal nutrition, such as in
hypoallergenic diets. Currently, live insects are frequently used as nutrition for exotic
animals such as amphibians, reptiles, birds and rodents, and in some cases, insects in
dried or lyophilized form are included in commercial diets to increase the attractive-
ness of the meals. The application of insects as an innovative feedstuff component is
becoming one of the most interesting issues in the case of companion animal nutri-
tion and is used in the case of hypoallergenic feeds in which soybean or chicken are
eliminated. Moreover, insects are considered a functional feed due to their chitin and
antimicrobial peptide contents (Józeak et al., 2016; Józeak and Engberg, 2017).
In addition, it is well known that in animal, nutritional aromas and avors are sup-
plemented in feeds as attractants (Chen et al., 2017). These substances stimulate feed
intake as well as the consumption of poorly palatable feedstuffs. However, the use
of supplemental aromas and avors in pet foods generates additional costs without
direct feed quality improvement. Insect use may be an alternative that improves both
palatability and quality of the feed. It is particularly important in the case of pet
food production, which reached 19 billion US dollars in the United States in 2012
alone (Koppel, 2014). In the available literature, there are no data about the effect of
various insect species as an aroma source on dogs’ preferences. Due to the above-
mentioned facts, the goal of the present study was to investigate the attractiveness of
selected insect aromas to dogs.
Material and methods
The present study was carried out using 35 dogs kept as companion animals.
The dogs’ age varied between 12 months and 7 years (mean = 3.6), 20 males and
15 females differing in terms of breed (Yorkshire Terrier, Beagle, Labrador Retriev-
er, and mongrels) participated in the study. The dogs which were used in the present
study met the following criteria: no human-directed aggression history; no illness or
injury; no oestrus or lactating period. The dogs were not fed with insect-containing
feeds earlier, and each dog was subjected to the test separately. Due to neophobia
limitations, only adult animals were used in the study (Bradshaw, 1986). Further-
more, before the experiment, each dog was fed diversely (commercial and home
prepared feeds) to eliminate the “monotony effect”. Moreover, the dogs were not
fasted before trial. The design of the current trial was performed in accordance with
commonly used palatability measurements, i.e., the bowl test (Koppel, 2014). In the
experiment, the dogs had free olfactory access to 4 selected dried (50°C for 48 h)
insect species, i.e., Tenebrio molitor, Shelfordella lateralis, Hermetia illucens, and
Gryllodes sigillatus, as well as a commercial dry pelleted feed for dogs (based on
maize, wheat, chicken and turkey meal, animal fat, as well as soybean meal, digest),
which was used as a control. The nutritive value of each component was shown in Ta-
ble 1. The experiment was conducted in each dog’s household environment condi-
tions by the owner (without experimenter presence) to eliminate stress factor, impact
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Do insects smell attractive to dogs? 797
of new places and habituation on the experimental room, which could affect the
results. Insects were offered as whole dried, unprocessed larvae (Tenebrio molitor,
Hermetia illucens) or imagoes (Shelfordella lateralis, Gryllodes sigillatus). The se-
lection of life stages of the insects was determined by their practical use in animal
nutrition. The components were presented in separate tightly closed boxes with per-
forations (5 holes in the cover, each hole in each corner and one in the center; 7 mm
in diameter), to improve the intensity of the smell without the possibility of direct
contact with the components. The dogs were not able to see the experimental com-
ponents in boxes and choose visually preferred component due to the usage of white
covers, as well as the identical non transparent boxes. A total of 5 experimental feeds
including control were offered repeatedly (3 times) to dogs using a randomized block
design. The olfactory test was conducted at the opposite site of the room to where
the sampling had taken placed. The dog was held on a leash at a starting point, which
was located 2.0 m in front of the experimental boxes. The distance from the start-
ing point to each box was equal. The boxes were located on the oor, 50 cm apart.
When the owner led the dogs to the experimental area, they were walked around the
experimental boxes and allowed to choose the most preferred component. The box
was recorded as chosen when the dog showed interest in it for more than 15 seconds
continuously per each attempt. After the rst choice, the owner came back to the
starting point and was waiting two minutes for the next attempt, as well as provided
the dog with no form of attention at this time. After that, the experimenter was chang-
ing the order of the boxes for the next attempt. There were 105 replications, with 3
attempts per dog.
Table 1. Nutritive value of selected insect species and control feed used in the study
Item Control diet
Imago Larva Larva Nymph
Per kg of DM1
crude protein (g) 236.1 564 404 588 734
crude fat (g) 161 177 335 273 192
crude ber (g) 21 60 97 85 86
crude ash (g) ND266 71 45 46
1DM – dry matter; 2ND – data not available.
All obtained data were tested for a normal distribution using the Kolmogorov-
Smirnov test. Analysis of variance was conducted using Bartlett’s test. The signi-
cance of differences among groups was determined by Duncan’s multiple range test
at a signicance level of P≤0.05. The following general model was used:
Yi = µ + αi + δij
Yi is the observed dependent variable,
μ is the overall mean,
αi is the effect of offered aroma,
δij is the random error.
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B. Kierończyk et al.
Ethics statement
According to the Polish law and the EU directive (No. 2010/63/EU), the experi-
ments conducted within the study did not require approval of the Local Ethical Com-
mittee for Experiments on Animals in Poznań.
No acceptability disturbances were recorded during the experiment. The present-
ed study showed no signicant differences between the control treatment and the
experimental treatments. However, the aromas of Tenebrio molitor, as well as Shel-
fordella lateralis, were chosen as frequently as the control treatment. Despite those
results, different choices were noticed between males and females. Males showed
strict preferences towards Tenebrio molitor (Figure 1) in comparison to females,
which preferred Shelfordella lateralis (Figure 2) more than the other components
Figure 1. The frequency of aroma rst choice in male dogs
Figure 2. The frequency of aroma rst choice in female dogs
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Do insects smell attractive to dogs? 799
Olfaction in canines is one of the most important senses. It determines sexual
behavior and ingestion, as well as assessment and localization of feed. Moreover, it
was proven that smell also plays a crucial role in indicating nutritional preferences
(Houpt et al., 1978). The olfactory attractiveness analysis of pet foods or their com-
pounds have been limited in the current literature. Simultaneously, this kind of ex-
amination is crucial to understand canine behavior and expand knowledge about diet
formulation for dogs. However, Di Donfrancesco et al. (2012) described a few attrib-
utes (aromas) in dog food samples, i.e., sh, meaty, liver, oil, burned, dusty, and soy,
as well as spice complexes. It is well known that various dog breeds are character-
ized by the different preferences of feed, e.g., Basset hounds and German Shepherds
prefer sh meal in comparison to Salukis, which mainly choose corn akes (McCay
et al., 1949). However, from a practical point of view, the design of the present trial
examined the preferences of a wide population of various dog breeds with the aim
of verifying the usefulness of insect attractants, in general. Moreover, in the avail-
able literature, there is no information about the inclusion of insect species in com-
panion animal diets as an aroma additive. However, there is abundant evidence that
insects are part of wild Canidae diets, such as those of Atelocynus microtis, Otocyon
megalotis, Vulpes rueppellii, Vulpes zerda, Canis lupus, and Lycaon pictus (Sawosz-
-Chwalibóg and Kosieradzka, 2012). The current study demonstrated a positive ef-
fect of Tenebrio molitor as well as Shelfordella lateralis on improving attractiveness.
In the literature, there are very few studies that consider the effect of aroma on pal-
atability in dog genders separately. Houpt et al. (1978) observed more inclinations
to take in sugar by females compared to males. In contrast to this, Guerra (2015)
noticed that dog gender did not inuence preference for diet type. From this point of
view, it is difcult to explain why males and females preferred the abovementioned
insect species. In addition, there is a lack of information about what characterizes the
volatile substance proles in insects. These data could be very helpful to understand-
ing the attractiveness of the selected insects in comparison to the commercial diets.
The increased interest of dogs may be caused not only by odorant substances but also
by additional nutrient sources. Józeak et al. (2016) presented the nutritional value
of insect species predominantly used in animal nutrition. In comparison to other
components used in the study, Tenebrio molitor and Shelfordella lateralis contained
the highest crude protein levels, up to 59% and 73%, respectively. Moreover, the fat
content of selected insects was higher than that of the control feed. The possibility of
insect application to dog diets provides the double benet of an encouraging aroma
as well as an additional, high-quality nutrient source. It is important from a practi-
cal point of view, where producers of companion animal feed use expensive aroma
and avor supplements that do not provide any nutrients. As shown in the present
study, insects may effectively affect dogs to the same extent as the commercial feed
containing aroma, simultaneously provide an additional source of high-quality crude
protein and fat.
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B. Kierończyk et al.
The obtained preliminary data suggest that insects may play important roles as
alternatives for commercial aroma additives in dog nutrition. However, more data
are needed to explore insect attractants of other insect species, especially in terms of
their volatile substances.
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mization of key aroma compounds for dog food attractant. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech., 225: 173–181.
D o n f ra nc es c o B. Di, K o p p e l K., Ch am b e r s E. (2012). An initial lexicon for sensory proper-
ties of dry dog food. J. Sens. Stud., 27: 498–510.
G u e r ra C.C.M. (2015). Preferencias alimentarias en perros: effecto del sexo, raza, edad peso sobre la
eleccion de dietas comerciales. Dissertation. Univesidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
H o u p t K.A., H i n t z H.F., S h e ph er d P. (1978). The role of olfaction in canine food preferences.
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in livestock production. A review. J. Anim. Feed Sci., 26: 87–99.
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g o s z J., E ng be rg R.M. (2016). Insects – a natural nutrient source for poultry – a review. Ann.
Anim. Sci., 16: 297–313.
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pp. 210–211.
S a w o sz -C hw a l i bó g E., K o s i e ra dz k a I. (2012) Editors. Wild animal nutrition. Mammals (in
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Verbeke W., Spranghers T., Clercq P. De, Smet S. De, Sas B., Eeckhout M. (2015).
Insects in animal feed: Acceptance and its determinants among farmers, agriculture sector stake-
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Received: 9 XI 2017
Accepted: 6 II 2018
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... In the studies by Kierończyk et al. [11], the preferences of a wide population of different breeds of dogs in order to generally verify the suitability of insect attractants were analyzed. As shown in that study, insects can be as effective in influencing dogs as commercial fodder containing flavor, while providing an additional source of high-quality crude protein and fat [11]. ...
... In the studies by Kierończyk et al. [11], the preferences of a wide population of different breeds of dogs in order to generally verify the suitability of insect attractants were analyzed. As shown in that study, insects can be as effective in influencing dogs as commercial fodder containing flavor, while providing an additional source of high-quality crude protein and fat [11]. The palatability of meat-based pet food was found to be better than that of a vegetarian diet [81]. ...
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Towards the sustainable aquaculture production, more recent technologies have been developed in the past few years. The application of effectives microbes (EM) in controlling water quality, the application of biofloc technology, aquamimicry, Black Soldier fly (BSF) as supplemental protein feed, application of triploidy, polyploidy, vaccines, probiotic and prebiotic, Internet of Things (IoT) in monitoring the water quality in the farm operation, monosex culture and neo-female application also being applied in the aquaculture operation. The developments of these recent technology were towards achieving the sustainable aquaculture production, prevention of the disease outbreak, help in increasing the yield of crops harvested as well as towards the green environmental developments. This review paper emphasized on the most recent technologies developed in aquaculture in the past few years until these days. The developments of the new technology in aquaculture also in order to support the sustainable development goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nation focused on SDG1 (no poverty) and SDG2 (zero hunger) from the increase of aquaculture production achieved through the recent developed technology. Ultimately, this review paper can generate new knowledge and information to the aquaculturist and aquafarmers on the new technologies and developments in aquaculture which could help benefit in the cultures operation and increase of production in the year future.
Currently, insects represent a sustainable alternative to animal-based ingredients for pet food, but there is little information on the willingness of cat owners to incorporate insects into their pet diets. The objective of this study was to assess the perception of cat owners to feed insect-based feed. Between June and August 2021, an on-line survey was provided to cat owners in Chile; of the total number of participants (1684), the majority were female (89.2%), with university education (73%) and omnivorous eating habits (63.7%). Participants had an average of 2 cats per household with indoor lifestyle (70.2%). Most participants (63.6%) were willing to feed insects to their cats. Participants were more willing to feed their cats treats containing 20% insect meal (Overall willingness (OW) = 7.1 ± 3.1, on a scale of 1 to 10), than pure insect meal (OW = 4.9 ± 3.3) or whole insects (OW = 4.4 ± 3.3). Cricket meal treats were the most acceptable. Acceptance toward insects increased when mentioning the environmental benefits of insect production (OW = 7.6 ± 2.9). Participants more willing to offer insect-based treats to their cats were also more willing to use pure insect meal and even whole insects. The reasons for not wanting to include insects in cat feed were disgust, unfamiliarity and preference for traditional pet foods.
The interest in use of insects for human food has also resulted in the appearance of insect-based dog and cat food products in the market. Insect-based pet food producers are using several health and sustainability claims for marketing purposes, which are expected to be the main drivers of market growth in the near future. In this paper, we systematically synthesize information about the insect-based pet food market, investigating the type of products commercially available, providing a geographical overview and type of insect species being commonly used in these products. We then try to synthesize information about health and sustainability claims currently being used by insect-based pet food companies in different geographies. Finally, we review information about consumer perception of: (1). These products in general; and (2). Claims being used to market these products. The insect-based pet food market is growing rapidly in Europe. Recent regulatory approval in the USA will push this growth in the North American market too. It appears that consumers have connected very well with sustainability, hypoallergenicity and the overall gut health claims. Finally, insect-based pet food producers should: (1). Adopt systematic marketing; (2). Produce more scientific evidence; and (3). Actively communicate and partner with veterinarians to improve the consumer perception of claims used on insect-based pet foods.
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Attractive and repellent properties of many household chemicals may be used to combat synantrophic insects, such as cockroaches. In the natural environment, Shelfordella lateralis (Walker, 1868) (Blattodea, Blattidae) lives in the area spanning Central Asia to North Africa. Furthermore, in many tropical and subtropical countries, it is common in human accomodations. In the laboratory conditions, we determined reaction of cockroaches to aromatic mixtures and medicinal plants often used in households. Attractiveness coefficient was the lowest for cosmetic mixtrures Tutti-fruti and Verbena and Bamboo; other cosmetic aromatizers did not repell this insect (Lilac, Mango) or repelled it poorly (Grapefruit, Amaretto, Pine). Food additives that significantly repelled Sh. lateralis are Apricot, Barberry and Kiwi and lower effects were produced by Biscuit, whereas Vanilla flavouring had no repellent effect. Mixtures for vaping Strawberry pie, Pear, Frozen forest, Irish Cream and Blue Magic exerted strong repellent effects on cockroaches. Low repellent effect on Sh. lateralis were exerted by vaping mixtures Pancakes with Honey, Turkish Tobacco and Grapefruit. No significant effects on the number of cockroaches were exerted by vaping mixtures Vanilla, Club Ice Cream, Blueberry Smoke, Mojito, Chocolate, Apple, Mint and Walnut. Out of the fishing lures, the strongest repellent effects on Sh. lateralis were taken by Blood Worm, Onion and Honey, and weaker effects were exerted by Corn and Vanilla. Imagoes of Sh. lateralis were most significantly repelled by essential oils from jojoba, eucalyptus, daisy, tee tree, Cao Sao Vang balsam, and also fir essential oil. Neither luring nor repellent effects on imagoes of Sh. lateralis were displayed by essential oils from lemon, aloe, peppermint and mandarin. Dry medicinal plants repelled imagoes of Sh. lateralis: inflorescences of Calendula officinalis, leaves of Arte-misia absinthium, flowers of Jasminum officinale, leaves of Origanum vulgare, inflorescences of Matricaria chamomilla, inflorescences of Crataegus monogyna, leaves of Mentha x piperita, inflorescences of Achillea millefolium, leaves of Hypericum perforatum, leaves of Aristolochia clematitis and inflorescences of Tanacetum vulgare. No repellent effects on Sh. lateralis were exerted by Chelidonium majus, inflorescences of Tilia cordata and inflorescences of Helichrysum arenarium. Thus, most (40 of 58, or 69.0%) of the tested aromatic substances and medicinal plants repelled synantrophic Turkestan cockroach, while a much smaller share (31.0%) neither significantly lured nor repelled them. No aromatic mixtures attracted Sh. lateralis in our experiment.
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Due to the increasing global population, the world cannot currently support the well-known techniques of food production due to their harmful effects on land use, water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. The key answer is a solution based on the use of edible insects. They have always been present in the diet of animals. They are characterized by a very good nutritional value (e.g., high protein content and contents of essential amino acids and fatty acids, including lauric acid), and products with them receive positive results in palatability tests. Despite the existing literature data on the benefits of the use of insects as a protein source, their acceptance by consumers and animal caregivers remains problematic. In spite of the many advantages of using insects in pet food, it is necessary to analyze the risk of adverse food reactions, including allergic reactions that may be caused by insect consumption. Other hazards relate to the contamination of insects. For example, they can be contaminated with anthropogenic factors during breeding, packaging, cooking, or feeding. These contaminants include the presence of bacteria, mold fungi, mycotoxins, and heavy metals. However, insects can be used in the pet food industry. This is supported by the evolutionary adaptation of their wild ancestors to the eating of insects in the natural environment. The chemical composition of insects also corresponds to the nutritional requirements of dogs. It should be borne in mind that diets containing insect and their effects on animals require careful analysis. The aim of this article is to discuss the nutritional value of insects and their possible applications in the nutrition of companion animals, especially dogs.
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The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of full-fat insect meals fed “on top” to broiler chickens on their growth performance and gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiota composition. A total of 1,850 one-day-old Ross 308 females were used in a set of four independent experiments. The insects Gryllodes sigillatus, Shelfordella lateralis, Gryllus assimilis (imago and nimfa stages), Tenebrio molitor, and Hermetia illucens were applied in amounts that varied from 0.05 to 0.20%. The application of insect meals to the diets of broilers did not affect their growth performance in experiments 1 and 2. However, the additions of T. molitor and H. illucens stimulated feed intake for the 14-35 d period and the entire 35 d of experiment 3. Moreover, with S. lateralis supplementation, BWG (10-21 and 1-21 d), FI (1-10 and 1-21 d), and FCR (1-21 d) improved in experiment 4. The addition of insects reduced the pH value of digesta in the crop and in the caeca. Supplementation with H. illucens caused the most significant effect on the microbiota populations in the crop, ileum, and caeca (experiment 3). However, at the higher levels of S. lateralis addition to the diets of broilers, the counts of selected microbiota in the crop and ileum increased (experiment 4). Based on the results, the application of the insect meals as a feed additive can improve bird growth performance and may affect the composition of GIT microbiota as a result of the antimicrobial peptide and chitin contents of the insect meals.
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The consumption of poultry meat and eggs is expected to increase considerably in the nearest future, which creates the demand for new poultry feed ingredients in order to support sustainable intensive production. Moreover, the constant improvement of the genetic potential of poultry has resulted in an increased nutrient density in poultry feeds, which limits the possibility to include low quality feed ingredients. Therefore, the feed industry needs new sources of highly digestible protein with a desirable amino acid composition to substitute other valuable but limited protein sources of animal origin, such as fishmeal. With estimated 1.5 to 3 million species, the class of insects harbours the largest species variety in the world including species providing a high protein and sulphur amino acids content, which can be successfully exploited as feed for poultry. The aim of this paper is to review the present state of knowledge concerning the use of insect protein in poultry nutrition and the possibilities of mass production of insects for the feed industry. There is no doubt that insects have an enormous potential as a source of nutrients (protein) and active substances (polyunsaturated fatty acids, antimicrobial peptides) for poultry. It can be concluded, basing on many experimental results, that meals from insects being members of the orders Diptera (black soldier fly, housefly), Coleoptera (mealworms) and Orthoptera (grasshoppers, locust, crickets and katylids), may be successfully used as feed material in poultry diets. However, legislation barriers in European Union, as well as relatively high costs and limited quantity of produced insects are restrictions in the large-scale use of insect meals in poultry nutrition.
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A bland diet with the odor of meat or air blown through it was presented to Beagle dogs in daily two choice preference tests. At first, there was a 70% preference for the food that smelled like meat but, by the third week, the preference had fallen to 52%. These results indicated that, although dogs initially prefer food that smells like meat, odor must be paired with some other property of meat, probably taste, for the preferences to be sustained. Intact dogs significantly preferred lamb over horsemeat 67±4%, pork over lamb 89±3%, pork over horsemeat 89±3%, beef over lamb 84±2%, and beef over horsemeat 89±2% in two choice preference tests. Dogs made anosmic by intranasal infusion of zinc sulfate had preferences significantly less than those of intact dogs and did not show a significant preference for one meat over another with the exception of pork, which was preferred to lamb (61±4%). Anosmic dogs showed preferences similar to those of intact dogs for a sucrose containing over a nonsucrose diet and for a horsemeat containing diet over a non-meat diet. These results indicate that olfaction is important in canine food preferences which involve discrimination between meats, but not for sweet versus non-sweet and meat versus non-meat preferences.
Although several investigations devoted to dog food attractants (DFAs) have been conducted, these studies fell short in identifying the key aroma compounds that could improve the palatability performance of pet foods. The aim of this study was to identify the key aroma compounds in the DFA using headspace-solid phase micro-extraction, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR) analysis. Seven DFAs with different aroma compounds obtained by Maillard reaction were employed in the study. A total of 53 aromatic compounds were identified categorized as follows: 7 alcohols, 11 aldehydes, 4 ketones, 4 organic acids, 7 esters, 2 ethers, 10 heterocycle compounds, 4 phenols, 2 terpenes and 2 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Eight adult beagle dogs were used for the preference test (two-pan test) and acceptance test (one-pan test) to rank these seven DFAs. PLSR was performed to correlate the instrumental data with the preference results. Twenty-three aroma compounds of hexanoic acid, acetaldehyde, heptanone, butyl hexanoate, heptyl formate, methyl pyrazine, 2,5-dimethyl pyrazine, 2-heptanone, pentanal, ethyl decanoate, heptanal, octanal, pentanol, acetone, ethyl caprylate, 3-methyl butanal, anisole, 2-ethyl hexanol, 2-pentyl furan, 2,3-butanediol, benzaldehyde, ethyl vanillin and vanillin correlated with the preference data. Benzaldehyde, vanillin and 2, 5-dimethyl pyrazine were added to dry dog foods in order to validate the PLSR results. The presence of three aroma compounds significantly increased the preferences of the samples (dry dog foods). The validation study involving the three compounds suggests that the 23 compounds selected by the PLSR model are aroma compounds which influence palatability. Therefore the manipulation of these flavor compounds could improve the palatability of dog foods.
The use of insects in animal feed is a potential avenue to improve the sustainability of animal diets and meet the growing global demand for livestock products. Yet, little is known about the attitudes towards and willingness-to-accept insect-based animal feed and foods. This study presents findings from cross-sectional data collected in January 2015 from a sample of 415 farmers, agriculture sector stakeholders and citizens in Flanders, Belgium. Attitudes towards the idea of using insects in animal feed were generally favourable, most notably for fish and poultry feed. Two thirds of the study participants were willing-to-accept the use of insects in animal feed. The foods obtained from animals fed on insect-based feed were widely accepted. Farmers were more critical – but still generally positive – as compared to stakeholders and citizens. Insect-based feed was perceived to be more sustainable, to have a better nutritive value, but a lower microbiological safety as compared to conventional feed. In addition, the resulting foods were perceived to be more sustainable, nutritious and healthy, but at the risk of presence of off-flavours and allergens. Perceived benefits of using insects in animal feed pertained mainly to lowering the dependency on protein imports, and better valorisation of organic waste. Benefit perceptions were stronger and outweighed risk perceptions as a determinant of accepting the use of insects in animal feed. However, the strongest determinant of acceptance was a person's own willingness-to-eat insect-based foods. Overall, the findings of this study indicate a positive atmosphere and momentum for change towards the adoption of insects as a new ingredient in animal feed.
Pet food palatability depends on first and foremost on the pet and is related to the pet food sensory properties such as aroma, texture, and flavor. Sensory analysis of pet foods may be conducted by humans via descriptive or hedonic analysis, pets via acceptance or preference tests, and through a number of instrumental analysis methods. Sensory analysis of pet foods provides additional information on reasons behind palatable and unpalatable foods as pets lack linguistic capabilities. Furthermore, sensory analysis may be combined with other types of information such as personality and environment factors to increase understanding of acceptable pet foods. Most pet food flavor research is proprietary and, thus, there are a limited number of publications available. Funding opportunities for pet food studies would increase research and publications and this would help raise public awareness of pet food related issues. This mini-review addresses current pet food sensory analysis literature and discusses future challenges and possibilities.
A sensory lexicon for human description of the flavor, aroma, texture and appearance characteristics of dry dog food was developed using a consensus profile method. Twenty-one products, available in the U.S. market, were studied. A five-member highly trained descriptive sensory panel identified, defined and referenced more than 70 sensory attributes for this product category. The lexicon established included attributes common to most of the samples such as barnyard, brothy, brown, grain, soy, vitamin, off-flavors oxidized oil, cardboard and stale, and attributes appropriate for only a few products such as liver, fish, burnt, spice brown, garlic, celery, clove and smoky. The product category often showed a blended sensory profile and overall impact was evaluated to better discriminate among the products. One of the most competitive and economically relevant industries of food processing is pet food production. Although there are physiological sensory differences among Canis familiaris and Homo sapiens, human sensory data can be useful for several purposes. This research provides a lexicon that can be used as a starting point to describe the appearance, texture, aroma and flavor characteristics of dry dog food products when such information is needed for quality control, shelf life, product development or claims substantiation. This information is useful to product developers, researchers and technologists in understanding these characteristics and using those attributes to improve dry dog food products.
Optimization of key aroma compounds for dog food attractant
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C h e n M., C h e n X., N s o r-A t i n d a n a J., M a s a m b a K.G., M a J., Z h o n g F. (2017). Optimization of key aroma compounds for dog food attractant. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech., 225: 173-181.
Preferencias alimentarias en perros: effecto del sexo, raza, edad peso sobre la eleccion de dietas comerciales
  • C C M Guerra
G u e r r a C.C.M. (2015). Preferencias alimentarias en perros: effecto del sexo, raza, edad peso sobre la eleccion de dietas comerciales. Dissertation. Univesidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.