Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dry Matter Basis

I hear so many conflicting things about protein levels in kibble. The one that irks me is the argument that high protein kibbles are dangerous to dogs, because if fed raw the protein content is so much lower.


You simply cannot compare kibble protein content to raw protein content without first converting the protein content in raw to a DRY MATTER BASIS.

FDA Dry Matter Basis Conversion

As stated on the above linked site:
"Canned foods typically contain 75-78% moisture, whereas dry foods contain only 10-12% water. To make meaningful comparisons of nutrient levels between a canned and dry product, they should be expressed on the same moisture basis."

"The percentage of dry matter of the product is equal to 100% minus the percentage of moisture guaranteed on the label."

"To convert a nutrient guarantee to a dry matter basis, the percent guarantee should be divided by the percentage of the dry matter, then multiplied by 100. For example, a canned food guarantees 8% crude protein and 75% moisture (or 25% dry matter), while a dry food contains 27% crude protein and 10% moisture (or 90% dry matter). Which has more protein, the dry or canned? Calculating the dry matter protein of both, the canned contains 32% crude protein on a dry matter basis (8/25 X 100 = 32), while the dry has only 30% on a dry matter basis (27/90 X 100 = 30). Thus, although it looks like the dry has a lot more protein, when the water is counted out, the canned actually has a little more."

Foods like EVO are actually the next best thing if for some reason you cannot feed raw, provided you compensate for the lost moisture.

My dogs are doing fantastic on their EVO fish formula trial.

Just as an example for the true comparison:
Take 1 oz (19g) of chicken leg (raw, bone in)
*Moisture: 11.48g (60.42%)
*Protein: 4.89g (25.75%)

According to the FDA, the DMB of this chicken leg would be
25.75% protein, divided by 39.58% dry matter, multiply by 100 = 65% protein in Dry Matter Basis. MUCH more than EVO's dry matter basis protein percentage.

EVO, Herring & Salmon
*Moisture (max): 10%
*Protein (min): 42%

Unless I'm understanding this wrong, I think higher protein diets from quality protein sources and no grains are the best possible kibble solution you can get for a healthy dog (with adequate daily water intake)

As an aside to the "high protein" debacle is the myth that higher quality meat protein diets can contribute to kidney failure. Protein has nothing to do with kidney failure. What is true is that kidneys that are already diseased or not functioning properly have trouble processing nitrogen. Nitrogen is a by-product of the digestion of poor quality proteins, like from plants. That is why, according to the holistic nutritionist I've been working with, canine kidney patients should avoid eating low quality protein and eat only high quality proteins from MEAT sources instead.

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