Prediction of chemical composition and peroxide value in unground pet foods by near‐infrared spectroscopy

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The growing interest of people in the welfare of their pets has generated a dramatic development of the pet food industry, which now offers the market hundreds of canine and feline foods that meet the different needs of animals and the numerous demands of pet owners. Highly variable raw material compositions and the industry's new production techniques oblige manufacturers to monitor every phase of the pet food extrusion process closely in order to ensure the targeted composition and quality of the products. In this respect, NIRS is a potentially optimal control tool whose validity in estimating chemical composition and energy value of extruded pet foods has been demonstrated (Castrillo et al., 2005; Hervera et al., 2008, 2012). The use of NIRS would therefore facilitate real‐time monitoring of pet food composition and quality at all stages of production, but whether its application is also accurate in unground samples is not yet known.
The peroxide value (PV) quantify the amount of hydroperoxides in fats and oils, providing a measure of their oxidation level that negatively impact taste, flavour, odour, colour, texture and appearance (Frankel, 1988) and can be a valuable alternative to the quantification of antioxidant level of feed (Renzi et al., 2005). Therefore, the use of NIRS in predicting PV in dog food can be considered an important quality control analysis to be conducted by pet food manufacturers.
The aim of this work was to evaluate the potential of applying NIRS technology in predicting the chemical composition and PV of unground commercial extruded dog foods. The choice of using unground samples has the further advantage of reducing sample preparation time, an important aspect for pet food manufacturers needing a quick and reliable product quality control.
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