Nutritional biochemists in Illinois found that corn fiber shows promise as a more economical and healthier ingredient in dog food than some of the fibers now in use.
George Fahey and colleagues point out that the fiber content of dog food
varies widely and is often of inferior quality. Many dog foods use fiber from
sugar beet pulp. Corn fiber — available in large amounts as a byproduct of
ethanol production — is an attractive alternative. However, researchers have
little information on corn fiber’s effects in dogs.
In the new study, researchers studied digestion, food intake, and
fecal characteristics in dogs fed either a special food containing corn fiber or
a standard food containing beet fiber. Substituting corn fiber for beet fiber
“does not dramatically impact nutrient digestibility, food intake, or fecal
production and characteristics,” the researchers say.
Corn fiber should
therefore be considered a promising fiber alternative for use in dog food, they
note. Previous studies suggest that corn fiber in animal food could have
beneficial effects in reducing risks of obesity and diabetes.
“Chemical Composition, in Vitro Fermentation Characteristics, and in Vivo
Digestibility Responses by Dogs to Select Corn Fibers” is scheduled for the
March 26 issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
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