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Animals 2014, 4(2), 254-271; doi:10.3390/ani4020254

The Effects of Cooking Process and Meat Inclusion on Pet Food Flavor and Texture Characteristics

1,* , 2
1 Sensory Analysis Center, Department of Human Nutrition, Kansas State University, 1310 Research Park Drive, Manhattan, KS 66502, USA 2 Department of Grain Science and Industry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 20 May 2014 / Accepted: 20 May 2014 / Published: 23 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Palatability of Pet Food)
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Simple Summary: The results of this research indicate that processing (baked vs. extruded) plays an important role in determining pet food product texture. In addition, raw ingredients (fresh meat vs. meal-based) did not consistently affect product sensory characteristics. These results may help pet food technologists better understand factors that affect palatability.


The pet food industry is an important portion of the food and feed industries in the US. The objectives of this study were (1) to determine cooking method (baking or extrusion), meat inclusion (0 or 20%), and extrusion thermal to mechanical energy ratios (low, medium, and high) effects on sensory and volatile properties of pet foods, and (2) to determine associations among sensory and volatile characteristics of baked and extruded pet foods. Descriptive sensory analysis and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry were used to analyze the pet food samples. It was found that baked samples were lighter in color (2.0–2.6 baked vs. 3.5–4.3 extruded, color intensity scale 0–15), and had lower levels of attributes that indicated rancidity (i.e., fishy flavor; 0.3–0.6 baked, 0.6–1.5 extruded, scale 0–15), whereas extruded pet foods were more cohesive in mass, more friable, hard, and crisp, but less powdery than baked samples. Fresh meat inclusion tended to decrease bitterness and increase fishy flavor and cohesiveness of pet foods. High thermal to mechanical energy ratio during extrusion resulted in less musty and more porous kibbles. The main volatile compounds included aldehydes, such as hexanal and heptanal, ketones, and alcohols. Extruded samples did not contain methylpyrazine, while baked samples did not contain 2-butyl furan. Future studies should consider evaluating the relationship between sensory results and animal palatability for these types of foods.
Keywords: aroma; baked; dog food; extruded; sensory analysis aroma; baked; dog food; extruded; sensory analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Koppel, K.; Gibson, M.; Alavi, S.; Aldrich, G. The Effects of Cooking Process and Meat Inclusion on Pet Food Flavor and Texture Characteristics. Animals 2014, 4, 254-271.

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