The Research Behind Dog Food Kibble
Kristopher Figge, James Lindmeier and Mary Grodie of AFB International are associated with some research on kibble size and palatability. The machinery produced 3 kibble sizes; small, medium and large.
Each size of kibble had the same moisture and bulk density. All of the kibble was coated with the same lot and amount of poultry fat and with the same lot and amount of liquid palatability enhancer.
The taste testers consisted of 40 small breeds under 30 pounds; 40 medium breeds from 30 to 54 pounds and 40 large breeds above 54 pounds. The age of the dog was not a factor.
The trial only lasted two days. Two bowls with different size foods were presented to the dogs for comparison.
All of the dogs seemed to like both the small and medium-sized kibble dog food equally.
A term used in the research was Specific Surface Area (SSA) which showed that a higher SSA did not make the food tastier…but they go on to say that although the large kibble had a lower SSA value, it had the highest overall palatability.
The researchers conclude that each group of dogs preferred the large-size kibble over the medium and small sizes during comparison testing.
Kristopher Figge, senior technical sales and service representative for AFB International, presented these surprising findings at the Petfood Forum 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri.
From a marketing standpoint, pet food manufacturers may be able to cut the number of SKUs they produce because they can focus mainly on large kibble. In turn, pet retailers can focus on offering more brands of food.
New research reveals data contrary to common beliefs that smaller dogs prefer smaller kibble and larger breeds larger kibble. The research by AFB International was conducted to help customers make informed decisions about their dog food brands.
Conclusions: The research showed that kibble size (diameter) in dry dog food does affect canine palatability, and the concentration of certain flavor components on the larger kibbles appeared to have driven the preference. Texture may also contribute to palatability, and further investigation could lead to product enhancements and innovations for dog food brands.
Did you know there’s more to small breed kibble than its size?
You might think that your small-breed dog needs a small-sized kibble because it fits better into their tiny mouth, but there’s a more important reason to feed your dog a kibble that’s tailored to their body size.
Smaller breeds need a kibble that’s packed full of nutrition and is easy to digest for optimal gut health. A few large-sized kibbles can fill your small dog’s stomach without providing enough fat and protein to properly fuel a faster metabolism. A smaller, dense kibble that can be quickly and efficiently digested gives your pet the best-balanced nutrition to lead an active life.
Similarly, loading your small dog up with low-quality kibble or human food can quickly fill the stomach without providing adequate nutrition. Many small dogs suffer from digestive issues like gas, vomiting or loose stool not because they’re genetically predisposed to these ailments, but because they’re being fed the wrong diet.