Pet ownership has increased over the last few years, when an explosive boom during the COVID-19 lockdowns showing no signs of stopping. Over 70% of American households have at least one pet, with most of those homes having at least one cat or dog. As pet ownership continues to rise, so too does the demand for pet food.
Pet owners aren't just looking for the cheapest nutritional value, though. As more and more pet owners say they view their pets as members of the family, they express interest in feeding their pets like members of their families. More attention is being paid to things like allergens, sustainability, and nutritional quality. Dry kibble remains the top choice for pet food, but freeze-dried, frozen, and alternative sources of protein are rapidly gaining ground.
Novel protein approaches, such as carp liver or insect larva, are received more easily by animals, but it's still important to understand how these different sources affect the dietary values of pet food. One efficient way to analyze protein is with a nitrogen/protein determinator like LECO's FP828.
Rapid protein determination can be used both for developing new processes and recipes and for quality control once products are finalized. By measuring the nitrogen values in samples, the FP828 can apply a protein conversion factor to determine total protein in pet food and feed products. While many such determinators use helium as a carrier gas, the FP828 can be set to use argon gas instead, for added savings and sustainability. To see a comparison of pet food and feed samples run on the FP828 using both helium and argon carrier gases, fill out the form below to view our application note.