Making dog food more delectable by analyzing aromas

September 09, 2020

Dogs aren't known for being picky about their food, eating the same kibble day after day with relish. However, owners of pampered pooches want their pets to have the best possible culinary experience, especially for those rare finicky canines. Now, researchers reporting results from a pilot study in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have identified key aroma compounds in dog food that seem to be the most appealing to canines.

For dogs, palatability depends on a food's appearance, odor, taste and texture -- just as it does for people. Previous studies have suggested that odor is especially important for dogs. Some scientists have identified volatile compounds in dog food, but not much is known about how specific aroma compounds influence how readily the dog eats the food. Maoshen Chen and colleagues wanted to identify the key aroma compounds in six dog foods and correlate the compounds with dogs' intake of the foods.

The researchers began by feeding six adult beagles one of six foods for one hour each and determining how much the dogs ate. The intake of three of the foods was two to four times higher than that of the other three foods. Using mass spectrometry, the researchers found that 12 volatile aroma molecules were correlated, either positively or negatively, with the beagles' intake of the six foods. Then, the researchers added each aroma compound to an odorless food and gave the beagles a choice between food containing one of the compounds and the odorless food itself. From these experiments, the team determined that the dogs preferred food containing (E)-2-hexenal (which humans associate with an unpleasant, fatty odor), 2-furfurylthiol (sulfury, roasted, smoky odor) and 4-methyl-5-thiazoleethanol (meaty odor). In contrast, the dogs didn't care for food containing (E)-2-octenal (a slightly different unpleasant, fatty odor). Although other dog breeds and more subjects should be tested, these results could help dog food manufacturers formulate more palatable chow, the researchers say.

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the National Key R&D Program of China, the 111 Project, the National First-Class Discipline Program of Food Science and Technology, and the program of Collaborative Innovation Center of Food Safety and Quality Control in Jiangsu Province, China.

The abstract that accompanies this paper can be viewed here.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS' mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people. The Society is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a specialist in scientific information solutions (including SciFinder® and STN®), its CAS division powers global research, discovery and innovation. ACS' main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive press releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: Twitter | Facebook
-end-


American Chemical Society

Related Dogs Articles from Brightsurf:

Dogs are sensitive to their owners' choice despite their own preference
Inspired by work on infants, researchers investigated whether dogs' behaviors are guided by human displays of preference or by the animals' own choices.

Researchers identify new Rickettsia species in dogs
Researchers have identified a new species of Rickettsia bacteria that may cause significant disease in dogs and humans.

Paleogenomics -- the prehistory of modern dogs
An international team of scientists has used ancient DNA samples to elucidate the population history of dogs.

Tracking the working dogs of 9/11
A study of search and rescue dogs led by the School of Veterinary Medicine showed little difference in longevity or cause of death between dogs at the disaster site and dogs in a control group.

Fighting like cats and dogs?
We are all familiar with the old adage ''fighting like cat and dog'', but a new scientific study now reveals how you can bid farewell to those animal scraps and foster a harmonious relationship between your pet pooch and feline friend.

Why cats have more lives than dogs when it comes to snakebite
Cats are twice as likely to survive a venomous snakebite than dogs, and the reasons behind this strange phenomenon have been revealed by University of Queensland research.

Adolescence is ruff for dogs too
The study, headed by Dr Lucy Asher from Newcastle University, is the first to find evidence of adolescent behavior in dogs.

Urban dogs are more fearful than their cousins from the country
Inadequate socialisation, inactivity and an urban living environment are associated with social fearfulness in dogs.

Veterinarians: Dogs, too, can experience hearing loss
Just like humans, dogs are sometimes born with impaired hearing or experience hearing loss as a result of disease, inflammation, aging or exposure to noise.

Dogs and wolves are both good at cooperating
A team of researchers have found that dogs and wolves are equally good at cooperating with partners to obtain a reward.

Read More: Dogs News and Dogs Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.