Texture of dry cat foods and its relation to preference
Structure analyzer devices were constructed for individual breaking and compression force measurement for dry cat foods. Three commercially available products with different flavors (chicken, lamb, tuna) of two manufacturers (premium and good quality) were examined. The self-developed devices were fitted to a computer-controlled structure test equipment. From a methodological point of view the different granule size and a curved granule surface cause uncertain results with the application of individual breaking device. However the cat food structure characterization with the compression measurement device was successful. The measured force values varied between 0.9 and 1.38 N/mm2. According to the results of a parallel animal preference test the feed consumption values were remarkably different between feed types. Concerning the feed intake of the most and least preferred cat foods more than fivefold difference (75 vs. 420 g) was measured. With joint evaluation of the structural and preference results the hardest product proved to be the most favorable for the cats. Interestingly the compression force and also the feed intake sequence proved to be identical in case of the measured cat food products.