In the latest issue of the Journal of Animal Science, a group of Spanish researchers explore a new way to analyze pet food. A technique called near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a common tool in food and feedstuffs evaluation, but there has been little data about its use in the pet food industry. In their paper, the researchers say the technique is useful because it is fast and does not waste food.
Scientists use NIRS to measure how the elements in a sample emit or absorb radiation. Each element reacts to radiation differently, so measuring those reactions tells scientists what a sample is made of. Near-infrared spectroscopy is useful in feedstuffs because it can measure elements deep within a sample. In their paper for the Journal of Animal Science, the researchers explain that NIRS works well for sampling extruded dried dog food.
“The NIRS technique can be used in feed formulation and for quality control to estimate total and available nutrients and energy content of ingredients and compound feeds,” they write.