Comparing Pet Nutrition Products- Dry Matter and Moisture Content

Aspects of comparing different foods include the physical evaluation of the food, which is mostComparing Pet Nutrition Products- Dry Matter and Moisture Content useful for determining whether or not the food is spoiled.  Evaluation of the product label, including the ingredients used is also important.  Determining a pet nutrition product’s nutrient content can help identify if any significant nutritional imbalances exist.  It will also allow for comparison between different pet foods and allow comparisons to your pet’s nutritional needs. Click here to learn about nutritional needs of pets based on age, breed, and activity level.

Comparison of pet nutrition products based on dry matter content

To compare the nutrient levels in different types of diets, it is necessary to standardize the base of comparison.  Comparing the dry matter content of the diet is the best way to do this.  The following formula is used to convert the nutrients in a pet food diet to dry matter amounts (DM):  DM basis =  % nutrient / % dry matter x 100.

In comparing a canned pet nutrition product with 8% protein and 82% moisture to a dry product with 20% protein and 11% moisture, it may appear that the dry product has higher protein content.  However, to compare the protein content of two different foods, the water factor must be removed, as it does not contain any nutrients.  Using the above formula, the canned food has a 44% true protein content (8% crude protein/18% dry matter x 100) compared to the dry product that has a 22% true protein content (20% crude protein/89% dry matter x 100).

Comparison of pet nutrition products based on moisture content

The moisture content of a pet nutrition product is determined by drying a sample of product to a constant weight.  The procedure removes all water and does not differentiate between water added and water that was a part of the ingredients in the product.  Differences in moisture content of pet nutrition products can have a large impact on the dry matter content of the product.

The following formula is used to compare the nutrients in a pet food diet to dry matter amounts (DM):  DM basis =  % nutrient / % dry matter x 100.  The following example compares two pet nutrition products that have moisture contents of 72% and 82% and therefore a dry matter content of 28% and 18%, respectively.  The difference in dry matter for the diet with the lower moisture content is 55% (82%-72%/18% x 100).  Thus, a small difference in water content results in a large difference in dry matter content.

To learn about ingredient lists and product label terms in pet nutrition products, click here.

To learn about ingredient statements an guaranteed analysis in pet nutrition products, click here.

To learn about protein, fat, and carbohydrate content in pet nutrition products, click here.

To learn about the caloric content in pet nutrition products, click here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
avatar

Dr Stephen Atwater

Stephen W. Atwater, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (oncology) is a board-certified veterinary oncology specialist. His professional interests include utilizing emerging therapies for difficult to treat cancers.

More Posts