Developmentof a preference ranking procedure with dogs

by Han Li

Institution: Kansas State University
Year: 2017
Keywords: Palatability; Sensory; Dogfood; Ranking; Preference; Descriptiveanalysis
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2182300
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2097/36230


Palatability of pet food is an important factorinfluencing food purchase decision of pet owners. In industry,single- or two-bowl methods are traditionally used to determinefood acceptance or preference by pets but shortcomings exist tothese methods. The first objective of this study was to propose anddevelop a preference ranking procedure. Preliminary testingconsisted of five phases each lasting five days. Each day twelvebeagles were presented 5 treats encased in identical rubber toys(kongs). The order of selection was considered as the ranking ofpreference. The five phases consisted of training, testinglab-baked treats formulations with five varieties of fats, starchesand proteins, and commercial foods. The dogs generally ranked 1-2flavors above others, indicating this procedure could be a moreefficient method to determine preference since more samples can beevaluated simultaneously. The second objective was to validate thisprocedure by following the same process as the preliminary test.The results from phases 2 to 4 showed a similar pattern. For phase5, various treat formulations were tested by combining the most toleast preferred ingredients in each category. The results provedthat the ranking of the formulations resembled the preference ofthe dogs for individual ingredients. Therefore, this procedure wasconcluded to be reliable. The third objective was to usedescriptive sensory analysis to study the sensory characteristicsof the treats and gain insights on the drivers of dogs preference.Five highly trained panelists profiled the aroma of the treats andthe data was analyzed with the preference results collected fromthe dogs. The external preference maps showed that fish and meatyaromatics tended to be liked by the dogs and grain and musty/dustyaromatics appeared to be disliked. The last objective of this studywas to further explore the applications of this procedure bystudying the effect of toy/puzzle toy of the treat and ingredientdosage/ratio. With the same dogs, Styrofoam cups (puzzle toyalternative) and kongs were evaluated separately with the sametreats. The results collected with Styrofoam cups were similar butless discriminating than kongs. It potentially suggested that thedifficulty level of the toy can affect the significance of thedogs preferences. No significant preference was observed whentesting the treats with different ratio of the most and the leastpreferred protein sources, although the human descriptive panel wasable to provide different profiles for the samples. In conclusion,the preference ranking procedure is a reliable test method but moreresearch is necessary to further explore applications.Advisors/Committee Members: Kadri Koppel.